Saturday, December 22, 2012


In our feeble attempts to process the events of December 14th, Jeff penned these words. Though he calls his writings his "ramblings" his heart is expressed in these words. He graciously agreed to let me post them on our blog. _____________________________________________________________

Where is God in the darkness?   Where is God in the pain and sorrow?  Some would say that God is not there, or that God was never there. 

I cannot prove the existence of God.  I cannot say look here or there, that is God.  I cannot discount an individual’s experience.  All that I can speak to is my own experiences.  The event in Newtown, CT shakes me to the core.  I too have the question of why.  My heart is grieving.  I never met any of these children or teachers, but I was in pain that day.  I care because I am a human being, not because I believe in a God.  I care because it is painful for all of us.  My feelings are in distress regardless of the existence of any kind of deity.  I feel because I am a human being, and that day 28 of my fellow human beings died, and that hurts.  Days like these cause me to question why this could be allowed to happen.  I have no answer.  I do not know.  All I know is that it hurts me so much.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Holding it together? or Bursting out?

After an airline strike postponed my homecoming three extra days I couldn't be more excited to grab my bag and find Jeff and Ethan and give them great big hugs! As I waited for my bag to come around on the conveyer belt I noticed this sad, unfortunate bag coming around the corner.  I thought to myself, "those people aren't going to be happy about that". But as soon as I completed that thought I heard myself saying out loud, "oh no, that's my bag!".  Ha.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

We celebrated the 4th of July a little early and invited our friends over for a BBQ! 

Jeff grilled "American" burgers, avocado, mushrooms, onions, and peppers! We closed out the night with SPARKLERS (but forgot to take a picture)!! We had lots of fun! 

We hope you enjoy your 4th of July!!

(Special thanks to Pinterest for the ideas and to Ethan for helping Mommy make the decorations! from left to right: recycled juice boxes (our juice comes in boxes not bottles) and Pringle cans; hersey's kisses; Ruffles and Pringles are the only "American" chips around these parts; American flag skewers made with blueberries, raspberries (strawberries are out of season and you can't get them anywhere), and bananas; buns topped with American flags and flag plates (thanks to Joyce Daffern); door decor; my sister's famous apple crumb pie (my first attempt at baking from scratch); and 3D stars.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dinner Time!

Obviously, there are lots of new and/or different things for us to adjust to and so far we are all doing pretty well, in most areas. We discovered this week that Ethan hasn't quite adjusted to the later dinner time here in Macedonia. Dinner happens around here about 7 or 7:30 and that just isn't working for our little guy. Last night we planned to walk down and try out the neighborhood restaurant, Bravo's. Ethan had already told us at least three times that he was hungry and we had already distracted him with a snack and something "fun" to do an equal number of times. So, we stopped working on our tasks and began getting ready to leave. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something move under the dinning room table...just before I screamed (thinking it was a mouse or a cat or something else that crawled in from the balcony) I looked closer and saw this...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's day with a trip to the playground (just down the street from our house)!

 Ethan had a great time on the see-saw and going down the {much too steep} slide! 
Good thing Daddy was there to catch him on the way down. 

Ethan wanted Daddy to wear his hat, so he could wear his Daddy's hat!

It can't be a celebration without ice cream...luckily, the corner store across the street was open! 
Ice cream before dinner, yummy!

Happy Father's Day to the Best Daddy in the World!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Photo of the Week

Each week we will post a photo and a brief description so you can enjoy the sights too!

We took a 15-20 minute drive up the Vodno Mountain to see the city from above!  It was breathtaking. We stopped at an Orthodox Church and restaurant and snapped this shoot of another church and Skopje below. You can also see the Vardar River as well.

Let us know if there is something in particular that you want to see!!

J, A, &  e

Friday, June 8, 2012

We made it!!

After 4 airports, 3 airplanes, and 22+ hours of travel we arrived in Skopje, Macedonia on Monday, June 4th!  Travel went better than we anticipated even though we had very little rest.  As soon as we arrived we hit the ground running!! Thanks to the help of Shelia and Arville, we were able to select a place to live and signed a lease on Tuesday. We were able to move in yesterday afternoon and we are settling in. It is so nice to have a place to call home! 

We can't help but be deeply grateful for the many people that have made it possible for us to be here! Thank you for you love, support, and prayers! We have much to share with you in the coming days so stay tuned!!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Newsletters and Prayer Updates!

As we get closer to leaving we've had more and more people ask how they can sign up for our newsletters, prayer updates, etc.

We send newsletters quarterly and our prayer updates monthly. We are also committed to blogging regularly, at least once every two weeks.

To sign up click here, fill out the form, and click "Subscribe to List"! You will get an email confirmation to finalize your subscription.

Alicia, Jeff, & e

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grace ->Generosity ->Ministry

In the fall our Sunday school class went through a study written by Jeanette Dickerson (who just happens to be the pastor's wife of Jeff's parent's church in Mansfield, small world) that has been on my heart and mind. I kept thinking that once I could articulate my thoughts clearly to Jeff I would write a blog about it. Well, don't ask Jeff how many times I've brought this up to him...he's lost count. I've decided it's just time to muddle through my thoughts and pray that the Spirit helps us understand what I mean!! So here goes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Precious Gift!

Several weeks ago one of our wonderful GA (Girl's in Action) girls presented us with a heart warming gift and we realized that we haven't shared it with you! First, you have to understand that this little girl gets to pick one weeknight to have 1-extra hour past her bed-time to do whatever activity she'd like. We were so honored to learn that she used her extra hour to bless us!  She spent hours researching the web to create this special gift for us....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Health Update: Follow-Up Appointment

Jeff's follow-up appointment with the surgeon went VERY well! He told us that he expects Jeff to make a FULL recovery from surgery- a full recovery isn't always the outcome for folks that undergo this type of surgery so we are feeling extremely blessed!!  

We walked out with this little puppy....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What do you think?

I think Jeff is feeling better, do you agree?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Prayer Calendar Link

Here's a new link to the prayer calendar for Jeff.  Something wasn't working. If you already signed up, you'll have to add your name again.

Thanks for all the prayers!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

FAQs and Health Update

We want to draw your eye to a couple of new tabs on the menu bar:

"Ministry FAQs" cover the questions that many of you have asked us over the last several months. We will continue to update these questions as we get them! Keep 'em coming!

"Health Update" will provide you the link to the Caring Bridge site set up to post Jeff's condition and prayer needs as he undergoes procedures, surgery, and recovery. Also included is the link to a prayer calendar that was created for Jeff.