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I’m back….again

October 29, 2012

Okay, so I am slow. That and the fact that I have trouble with all this techy stuff that I really do need to know. But, I am proud to say that I figured out how to update my blog all by myself today…..I have been embarrassed to have to ask Bjork to help me again.
I have been back in Cebu for two months already! That is amazing. In some ways I feel like I never left but in other ways I feel like the new kid on the block here. One thing that has not changed is that we still have lots of cute kids who need CSC to survive, and hopefully thrive in life. It is an honor to be here.
So much has happened in two months. It is a change for me to be living alone in my house (except for my dog Katie and my cat Kali,  who are both quite good companions.) I kind of miss having other people around. I guess it is good I am not home a lot!  My office changed while I was gone for the year, it is now a three person office – I guess I exchanged a private office for a private home life.  That works…especially when home is often an office anyway.
I have already seen new kids come to CSC and old ones leave with their adoptive family. I have already seen darling and awesome school programs and been involved in the intricacies of our kids lives. I have prayed for sick kids and thanked God for answered prayers. I have been sad to miss out on special events in Minnesota and blessed to be a part of special events here in Cebu City.  I have had to deal with  a few tough issues and been able to  see God absolutely guide and protect in the process of dealing with those issues.  Yep!  It is good to be back.

Oh yeah,  and sharing in the “Event of the Year” saturday  was an honor and privilege as well.  Our Teacher Amy is now married to her wonderful best friend Marcel.   It was a beautiful wedding at the beach;  the weather cooperated,  family and friends all made it from far and near,   the food was delicious, the joy was contagious and  now Amy and Marcel are off on their honeymoon  –  on their motorcycle!

Hopefully these photos will help you forget that I have been negligent in my blog writing!  I will try to remember how it did it today so that I can have a repeat performance one day soon.

Enjoy the smiles,  birthday parties and school programs!

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I’m back!

September 10, 2012

I am back in Cebu.   I’m looking forward to sharing about all the amazing things that happen around this place.  For some reason my Blog did not want me to update it.  I just got access to update and will be doing that soon…as soon as I can find my camera that is.  I am still in the midst of unpacking my suitcases and boxes I sent months ago.  I will tell you that it is good to be back and that we still have a bunch of cute kids!    Check back later!

It’s about time…..

October 1, 2011

I have been getting a few subtle (and also a few not so subtle) reminders that I have not written a blog for a long time. Today is the day. I am in the USA, but part of my heart is always in Cebu. I do have lots of stories I will be sharing with you even though I am not there physically.
Leaving CSC is not an easy thing to do. There is always a little goodbye ceremony that is heartwrenching…..but oh so sweet. This ceremony is both the worst and best moment of the whole “goodbye” process. Worst because I always cry all the way through it, and best because it is always memorable and special.   Part of the process is the kids presenting handwritten letters to the person leaving – to be read and wept over at the recipients discretion at a later moment in time.  I would like to share a few of the notes I received with you. I love the way our kids use English! They do well considering  English is their second language;  frequently the wording only serves to make the note all the more special and humorous. I love their letters.
I will be returning to Cebu in 2012 but I know that much will change in the time I am gone – change is a constant at CSC.
God bless and enjoy the notes!  Just click on them to make them larger so you can read them.


August 6, 2011

We are still getting lots of rain,  but thankfully no more flooding in our storerooms.

We have a new after school activity;  Puppets.   Twelve of our kids are in a  once-a-week class to learn how to use puppets.  They will be putting on a show for one and all in a couple of months.  They will  even be making their own puppets.  It is great to see the kids use their creativity and imagination once their hand gets inside a puppet.  My good friend Mary (A  BGC Missionary) and her friend Diday,  are the teachers.

I had  five “piggy” banks full of coins that  I have been collecting for the past few years.   I decided that it was time to do something about them.  The kids thought they had discovered a treasure chest when they saw my stash!  They had never seen so many coins in one place before.   We had a great time,  as well as  mathematics practice,  figuring out just how much money I had!  The grand total was over 6,000 pesos  (over 12,000 individual coins)  –  just under $150. The kids are pretty sure that I am rich now……they  thought it weird that I called all these coins “change” – they wanted to know what I was going to change it  all to!

We have recently said goodbye to some kids… a first hello to others and even got the good news that more will be able to have an adoptive family.  This has certainly been a year of change at CSC.  Change is good. Both kinds of change.

Speaking of change,  I am going to be changing the Island that I live on.  I will exchange the island of Cebu (125 miles long and 25 miles wide) for the “Island” of North America.  I will have hot running water,   a garage door opener,   a dryer, grocery stores that I seem to remember have way too many choices,  roads that I will be able to drive over 20 miles per hour on,  gas stations where I have to pump my own gas,  electricity that is reliable,  I won’t see naked kids playing on the road side,  I will be in a place that I look like I belong (as opposed to being an obvious foreigner here) but in actuality I will feel like a foreigner there ….but I am ready.      I am NOT ready to say goodbye here but looking forward to saying hello to my family and friends there.  You gotta love change.

Enjoy the photos!

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4 weeks and counting…..

July 24, 2011

I leave here in less than four weeks.   Lots has to happen before then;  packing,  helping to train in Lindsay who will be doing some of my jobs,  staff meetings with ALL of us here (that does not happen very often),  get all the kids reports up to date, packing,  saying goodbye,  getting my drivers license renewed,   packing,   763 “loose ends” to tie up and a bit more packing.    Ah……

The kids are still settling into school and adjusting to “not having enough time to play” these days.  I have more office time without all my little visitors coming in and out of my office  all day (I love having them though!)

We have had lots of rainy weather so are having to find more and more “indoor” activities for our active kids.   We did find plenty  to keep the older kids busy – helping us clean up after more than one foot of water flooded the whole basement of the Duterte Home.  All our storage is down there…..quite the job getting that all cleaned up and arranged once again.  The kids had great attitudes about helping though!  Better than some of the adults.

Adoptions keep happening….we said goodbye to our darling Paula last week.    We miss our kids when they leave, but  we are also happy that when someone leaves it  means that another child can come to take their place;  another young life that needs a bit of help along the way.  What a blessing we have to be able to be here for these kids.   Sometimes the long days do not seem like a blessing I have to admit…but by the next morning I KNOW they are.

Here are a few blessings from the last week.

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Too many things to write about….

July 5, 2011

Things just keep happening!      Here are a few of the highlights.

We have admitted five more kids,  a sibling group of three (two boys and a girl) and a sibling group of two (boys).   Pray for one of the new little guys,  he is almost four years old and has had way too much sadness in his life.  This little guy is severely malnourished,  but has also been physically abused.  I have  never seen the degree of sadness and loss of hope that this little guy had when I first met  him.  We have had him for almost two weeks now and have seen a couple of fleeting smiles and a flicker of a spark of hope in his eyes.   He has gained two kilos of weight!   He will look us in the eye now and has even said a few words.  We know he loves spaghetti, chicken and ice cream, and we know he loves to go for a ride in a vehicle.  I am so looking forward to getting to know him more and helping to communicate to him that he is loved and cherished!     Oh my… of the biggest blessings that we have as staff here at CSC is to be able to see the changes that happen in our kids,  I am so looking forward to seeing the changes in this little guy.

We have added another CSC adoptive family to our big and growing family as well!   Adoption is such a blessing and a  solution to the problem of neglected and abandoned kids here in the Philippines (and all over the world.)

We have had lots of visitors!   We loved having Joel’s family and friends here to attend his wedding.  Joel and Jinkee are now married.  They are due back from their honeymoon today.   We had some fun times with a good friend and her family who spent a few days playing!   She lived here with her missionary family when she was a child and now is introducing her  husband and daughters to the Philippines.    Two of our  CSC darlings returned with their adoptive family to visit us.  One left as a baby so does not have real memories of being with us, but she enjoyed all the hugs and exclamations of joy that she received from all of us who do remember her! Her brother was 12 when he left CSC, it was fun to hear him talk about all his memories and to see the pride that he showed in introducing his adoptive family to his CSC family.   I love that our kids are proud of who they are and that they want to come back and visit.  God is good.

Birthdays!  Yep,  we always have them too!

We celebrated July 4th – Filipino-American Friendship day – in style.  We had a fun program at school with the kids and a burger Bar-B-Q  with the staff.

I am preparing to leave for my one year in the USA.  I will be there towards the end of August.   I am looking forward to seeing family and friends there,  but not looking forward to the goodbyes here….the dilemma of having two homes halfway around the world from each other!  I am also looking forward to telling many of you about all the amazing things that God is doing here in Cebu City. Invite me to share with your church, small group or just a gathering of friends!

I have included a few CUTE KID photos as well….may as well being my camera is full of CUTE KID shots.

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President Obama in Cebu

June 17, 2011

It’s  been another exciting week here!   We had a cloudburst of rain that allowed some of the kids to have  fun playing outside in the rain…until the thunder and lightening sent everyone inside.  The lightening and thunder were right on top of each other and right on top of us – louder than I have heard in a long time, maybe louder than I have ever heard actually!  I could hear kids shouting  from each of the three houses after each loud lightening event – Joemar was with me in my office.  He did some screaming of his own! NO…I did not scream, I happen to love storms but I do have to admit this one was a little wild….good that it was short!  We ended up with “Lake CSC” where our playground used to be.

I was sitting at a stoplight today and found myself face to face with President Obama….I didn’t realize he was selling coffee here in Cebu City!    I took some photos to prove it to you.

I thought I would give you a little clue as to how fast our four little newborn boys  are growing too….

I may have to add a few more of the weeks events later…but for now I think our babies, the huge storm,  and President Obama will have to do.

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