Sunday, September 28, 2008

Almost Autumn...

Autumn is by far the most precious and most favorite part of the year for me. I have always enjoyed Autumn, with the tree's turning colors, the crispness in the air, the holiday sensations beginning, and family gatherings, hitting up the orchards and festivals, my favorite combo of clothing:Jeans and a hooded sweatshirt,etc. And it hit me this morning when i looked out our bedroom window, that as you back home are beginning to see those things, i am not. For the first time in my life, i will miss autumn.

As we sat in church today i had a very hard time listening to the sermon. As i stared out at the ocean i was thinking, I have always dreamed about having a year round summer vacation, and now i have it, but yet i am still not satisfied. I guess we are never completely satisfied. And i know that those are the times that God wants us to focus on him the most. And trust in him and know that he has a purpose for what we are doing, and he is the only thing that can completely satisfy us.

As i sat there in church i also began to think of all the others things i am missing. Family, just driving an hour and a half to see them whenever we wanted. Watching the nieces and nephews grow up. Friends, my close friends who i could call at the drop of a dime or just drop by. Fresh vegetables, you can get them here, its just a matter of how fresh they actually are. I miss the farm. Waking up in the morning, sipping bettys coffee she had made like four hours earlier, because i didnt wake up until 10 am, i miss having a home that feels like a home... I miss alot of things...

And yes, i am sure you have noticed by what i have said thus far, that Brittany is very homesick. It definatly comes and goes, and i hate to admit it. But i know that God has placed Mark and I here, on this beautiful island, with amazing people, amazing school, amazing life for an amazing reason. And as for the things i miss, i know there are things i can do about it, i just need to do it. For example, missing family- call them more! Think about the exciting time you will have in 3 months with marks parents arrive is Saipan, and the time when my parents arrive here in 5.5 months. Friends, not only call them more, but take more time to grow in the relationships i have begun here. Because i know those friendships will blossom and grow the more i put into them. Coffee and the early morning crispness in the air. I dont know how crisp the air will ever really get here... but get up earlier, make that pot of coffee and go sit out on the beach and sit back and relax... Jeans and hoodies, put the AC on high all windows closed, put on a movie and snuggle up =)Autumn, do fun projects to decorate the house with, and make my own island style holiday traditions...

I knew that when we left the continental US that i would feel this way eventually and that was what made this the hardest decision for me. I also know it was hard to say goodbye to friends and family who didnt want us to go. And the fact that we would be missing out on so many wonderful and important times in the lives of our friends and families.. weddings, births, etc. But please know, that you are truely and whole heartedly missed.

There are so many things i could do to make this experience more positive. I guess today is just one of my low days... But this is a lesson i am learning at the time being, and know i will continue to learn it for the remainder of my life... To stop, look at what i have, and to know that i am completely and underly blessed, and to know that the only thing that will ever truely satisfy me is Christ, my king.

With that... I want you to know though, that Mark and I are truely enjoying this experience, and that God has definatly been growing in both mark and I but in our relationship. We have seen some amazing sites and enjoyed many adventures... and the awesome thing, is that it isnt over yet. We have roughly 8 months until we come home for the summer and then a whole other year to enjoy and grow. I cant complain to much, once we are blessed with a family of our own, we will be able to have experiences like this, but it wont be as easy... and just the two of us.

Please pray for me in my time of home sickness.... please pray for me and the positive decisions to make in order for this to be the best experience possible... And please pray for Mark as he has been my rock the last couple of days, until i get off this high horse. =).

Other then that, all is well here. Health is good, friends are good, school is good, the island is good and God is wonderful.

Love,
B.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Test Results...

Hi Family!

Hope this finds you all enjoying your monday....

Just wanted to update you on what the Dr. said when Mark and I met with him yesterday. My blood tests all came back normal... so there is nothing to worry about there. So no real news. Mark and I think deep down we were hoping there would be something so that we could say, Ah ha, thats why.. but we cant. 
So, after discussing options with the Dr. We are going to try for about a month of taking the "natural" route. Meaning, i am going to be eating as healthy as possible and getting atleast 30 min a day of exercise... while charting my basal body temp in the morning. We havent announced it, but i am guessing most of you know, we have been trying to get pregnant for awhile now, and nothing, which is no surprise since i havent had my period since april. That was my main concern in the first place,no period.  So the reason for all this is not just to get pregnant, which would be nice, but to see if that changes my body functions allowing me to have my period and ovulate... 

If this isnt working in about a month or two and we havent seen any real changes, the doctor suggested going on a diabetic medication that they use alot of times for this. It will simply lower my resistance to insulin, which in turn will help my motabolism... and in turn will hopefully get me back on track... 

I really like my doctor, he is a natural health MD, and tries not to put you on meds... tries natural stuff first, like doing things differently with your diet, etc... and then after that, if it is not working then goes to drugs... Mark was a little worried when he said this, but was relieved to know he wasnt a hippie and not into all the organics =). 

Anyway, thats all we have from here. Other then i woke up this morning with a horrible stomich ache and mark has a sore throat.. the kids are sick too at school... so please pray for good health and staying away from being sick.!

We love you and miss you!
B. 



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Results...

Good morning! Well, to most of you it would be afternoon, but it is only the start of our Monday here. We are starting our 7th week of school today and i think we are finally in a routine. Hallelujah! My kids are behaving today and quite, knock on wood! 

Well I am mostly writing to ask you all to lift us up in your prayers if you read this today. Most of you know that i have been diagnosed with Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome which can causes lack of periods, etc. Along with can cause infertility. Mark and I have been seeing a doctor here on island who we really like. Three weeks ago he had me go in for some blood work, etc. Today we go in and find out the results and will see where we need to go from now... whether it is fertility drugs, other drugs, or something. I am not quite sure. So please keep us in your prayers as we may have to make some decisions, but also that the tests would come back on a positive note.

Other then that, all is well. Went on a fun hike yesterday for our Sunday afternoon. Once i get a chance i will throw some on here!

Hope all is well. We miss you lots...We love to get mail, emails, etc. And would love to hear how each of you are!

B & M

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday... A Memorial

Saturday Morning, Mark and I met two friends from church Bev and Dean. After a beautiful morning with them snorkeling, Mark and I decided before we headed home he would show me Bonzai Cliff. Bonzai Cliff is another important point in WWII when the families thought the Americans were coming to eat them they decided to commit suicide by throwing themselves and families off the cliff... I couldn't imagine... This cliff is now a memorial to the lives that were lost. We also hit up the last command post. The last command post is literally the last place the island was under attack. Many old Japanese equipment have been found here and are now on display... 

Memorials at Bonzai Cliff. 
Memorial at the Last command Post
Mark in an old Japanese Tank, sad how they painted them. 
Mark and the big guns!
The last command Post. Up in the cliff was a shelter...
Hole into the shelter.
Another door into the shelter. 
They literally built this shelter into the back of a rock. 
Bonzai Cliff.
Mark at Bonzai... 
Bonzai, could you imagine throwing your family off of this cliff?


A shrine at Bonzai

Sunday Afternoon.

So after a busy week of progress reports, mark and i decided to take a lazy Sunday. Woke up, went to church, lunch with other church members, came home, slept two hours... and then... Mark worked in his garden, yes mark is planting a garden... defiantly has that farmer gene in him.... i made chocolate cookies to remind me of home, plus i had bought the chips and if i didn't use them soon, they would have all been eat by me! It was defiantly a nice afternoon. We then finished off the night with 3 episodes of CSI of DVD! I love lazy days!
A rainbow view from our apartment. 
My Farmer.

Mmmmm. So good. 

A Time to Remember...

This last Saturday, Mark, the Van Dams, and I did a tourist thing on the island. We went downtown to American Memorial Park, this park is fairly new, or at least the museum is... i believe it was built in 2006. But this museum is full of old mementos from WWII and the life of the people to who lived on Saipan. We were also able to watch a 20 minute moving explaining the beginning, while and then end of the war... It is very weird to look around the island now and wonder, okay, so what happened here where my apartment building stands... 
Part of an old plane. 
A photo of a photo. Families hid in caves from the Americans and were scared to death we were going to eat them... 
The end of the war...
Children in a camp... photo of a photo. 





Time of the War. So many lives were lost in such a short time. 

Friday Chapels

Every Friday morning from 7:30 to 8:00 we have chapel. All grades attend, there is music and someone speaks. Mark has volunteered this year to be the music leader... The children definatly love to sing. Some of their favorite songs are Pharoh, Pharoh and I like Bananas! 

Mark, Amanda and Jackie leading music. 
Each student is paired up with an older student, these are called chapel buddies. Chapel buddies help the younger students find the part of the bible we are reading from and show them a good example of what they are supposed to act like during chapel...
The Kindergartners, they are rocking out!
Mark leading. 

Vinson, one of my favorite kindergartners, he loves to dance, you should see him!