Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I got the coffee in her hands and we talked for a few moments and then Zebediah woke up with a smile on his face and a little squeal of delight. This caused John to awaken from his slumber and he came over to "check on Zebediah" which inevitably meant enough noise was committed to awaken Shekinah. By 4 a.m. we are all awake! Aaaahhhhh nuts. So much for going back to sleep. Well the good news is by 5 a.m. we were all showered and dressed for the new day of adventure.
Note: It is now 6:00 a.m. and Zebediah and Christie are sound asleep. And John and Shekinah have found switching between Nick and the Animal Planet channel on TV is entertaining so all is now at least calm in the motel room - just in time for the sun to come up and my alarm to go off. So now I will wait for the Cheetahs to catch their food on the Animal Planet channel and for Christie and Zebediah to wake up once again and then the adventure begins for the day. Ah yes. This is the stuff by which we remember vacations!
Friday, August 3, 2012
|Amanda Hall holding Zebediah Hall|
Yesterday I mentioned that Zedediah turned over for the first time.
Now that he has gotten the hang of it he turns from his back to stomach during the night. Of course he needs room to do this. This morning I woke up on the edge of the bed and found my wife on the other side of the bed hugging the other edge. Zebediah was smack in the middle of the bed "sleepng like a baby" taking up 3/4 of the bed!
So it has come to this. I get 18" and the baby gets 36"of bed space.. Oh the sacrifices of being a dad. I now have a new countdown. 42 days to September 13th - and I can reclaim by space! Meanwhile, we know who commands the activity in this house.
The picture here today is my oldest daughter holding her younger brother for the first time. There is only 32 years, 9 months separating them. It was good to be able to visit with Amanda for an hour between planes at DFW airport last Sunday. Since she lives in Seattle, rare moments together are indeed precious.
Meanwhile, enjoy the day. God is good and life is good.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
July, 2011 saw my wife and two of three children immigrate legally from the Philippines to the U.S. The third child is attending college in the Philippines. This immigration process is pretty slow and costly. I often joked that it would have been cheaper and faster to fly them to Mexico and walk them across the border. Once in the country, they would not be sent home since our government would not separate a family! Anyway, they are here legally.
August, 2011 brought school days to this household in ways never experienced before. Public school for the first time. Since my first wife (Joyce) and I home schooled our children we were exempted from the "joys" of public school. John (4th grade) and Shekinah (3rd grade) did really well in school considering they were handicapped in language and experiential knowledge. They both ended up on the A and B honor roll.
September - December, 2011 Two fun examples of experiential knowledge learned during this time would be: Not only does snow cover the ground but it falls from the sky. Having seen pictures of snow Shekinah knew snow covered the ground, but missed the fact that it actually fell from the sky. So one missed question on an assignment due to the lack of experiential knowledge. Another example is when the temperature dropped to 70 degrees in the Fall, all three were freezing and thought snow must be just around the corner. Never experiencing temperatures below 75 degrees brought days of endless wonderment as each noticeable drop in temperatures brought the prospect of snow that much closer. Finally in October I told them that before snow came the trees would lose their leaves. This declaration brought funny looks and countless questions and discussions and the realization that there are four seasons in the year. Needless to say, it has been a year of learning adventures for these three new Americans.
January - April, 2012 found Christie and I visiting a mid-wife on regular occasions in preparations for our soon to come baby.
April 13, 2012 is the day Zebediah Buyan Hall was born and my life reverted back 30 years to the last time there was a baby in my house.
Which brings us to the event of the day. This morning (August 2, 2012) at 3:30 a.m. Zebediah turned over by himself. Forget the Olympics. This far surpasses anything that will be accomplished in London today. And so a new day dawns and it is onward and upward (and another diaper to be changed.)
Also of note. I will not wait another 19 months to post again.
Friday, November 12, 2010
As a young teenager learning to shoot pheasants, I was always in awe of my dad's ability to consistently hit pheasants flying fast and far away. On one hunting trip I ask my dad how he was able to always hit the birds with seemingly so little effort. He commented that the hours of practicing shooting at fighter planes flying at all possible angles while moving at 275 m.p.h. made shooting at pheasants seem rather pedestrian.
I have found this reply to be fairly typical from Veterans. Having a lifetime of experiences forged into their character in a few short years, they go about their lives with little acclaim and no need for attention. They work, play, serve and bring much betterment to each community where they live. Their sacrifices given in years past seem too easily taken for granted by those never having to serve their fellow man through the military. Quietly productive in most all they do, building our nation up and moving her forward. True champions of liberty are the men and women serving us through their sacrifices of military duty. God bless our Veterans. Thank you one and all. And thank you, dad, for you're the best of them all.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Last week I had the wonderful privilege to host Pete Valdez here at the house. Pete is from the Philippines and I knew him from his interpreting some at a pastor's seminar last January. During the week we moved from acquaintances to friends. It was fun to introduce Pete to Texas culture. As he had been visiting California for a week before coming here, he was privileged to experience the better side of life in America! (Note: This is humor with a tinge of truth for my thin skinned friends on the west coast!) We did spend one afternoon shooting guns. He thought this was much more fun than a day at Disneyland. Pete has moved on to St. Louis and all is quiet for now. Two days after my return from the Philippines will be the arrival of Tomek and Renia from Poland. These are dear friends who were able to spend a week here two years ago. It will be good to have them back in the house again for a visit.
Did you know? Botanically speaking, the banana is an herb, the jalapeno is a fruit, and apples and peaches are members of the rose family. Now you may qualify for a TV game show knowing this trivia! Tonight is a great night for ice cream. So ice cream is on tap for part of the supper fare. Whoever came up with ice cream needs their name etched in immortality. Actually, ice cream dates back to the second century BC, when Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Tonight as I have a Root Beer Float I will again declare that God is good, therefore Life is good!
Monday, July 12, 2010
The clock is ticking. 13 days, 9 hours until I see my wife waiting for me at the Tagbilaran airport. It will have been only three months since we were married but it seems like an eternity since we were last together in the same country. A quick update on the status of Christie and kids coming to the U.S. The papers and documents have been sent to Homeland Security where they will do background checks on the "newest Halls" and determine they are kosher enough to apply for a visa. This usually takes 3-4 months. All in all I am still believing for the family to be here by Christmas. Thanksgiving would be nice, but Christmas is just fine too.
This week I have as a guest in my home - Pete Valdez. Pete is a pastor in the Philippines. More than this, Pete is a godly man and a good friend. In fact, he was one of the sponsors for Christie and me at our wedding. (Perhaps Christie sent Pete here to check me out to see if I was really as good as I appeared to be in April!) Well, as you can see by the photo, Pete has to earn his keep around here. Mowing grass and preaching. What more could a Filipino want to do while staying here. How about golf and shooting guns! This might be a week he doesn't forget.
Now for the "How Did You Do That?" story. I got a call this morning to fetch a set of spare car keys and get to Wal-Mart as soon as possible. Seems someone had flushed the car keys down the toilet! Now I must admit to laughing out loud when I heard the plea to come to the rescue. I was stumped as to how an adult could flush keys down a toilet. Maybe a 5 year old, but an adult? Reaching to give the spare set of keys I had to ask, "how did you do that?" It's really simple. Here's how. The lady is on the toilet and the cell phone rings. Reaching into the purse and moving stuff around to get the cell phone made the keys come alive and crawl out of the purse and jump into the toilet. Well there is only one thing to do and that is to reach in and retrieve the keys. So rising off the toilet to go after the keys, before you could say Jimminy Cricket, the automatic senor activates and a giant "Whoosh" whisked the keys out of sight! Who would have thought about the automatic sensor? Next time she will!
God is surely good on every front. There is always something to cause somebody somewhere to get despondent as they grouse about. But God who is always good and always has good counsel tells us to "Rejoice always" and to "Be joyful always". So I choose to heed his advice and look at the gracious goodness of our Heavenly Father all around. As I do this, I find my 'eyes of faith' are sharpened and my perspective is always shifting into alignment with God's perspective. I may not do this perfectly and consistently, but I am better at this than I used to be before I made a conscious decision to heed this admonition. I find God's grace changing my natural view on things and for this I am grateful.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Everyone repeat after me: Kansas is God's Country. The other day I went to open the refrigerator door and there it was. A refrigerator magnet stating, "Texas - God's Country." What? How did that get there? In all the people coming and going through my house someone slipped that thing onto the refrigerator. Under normal conditions I would consider this graffiti. But since it obviously came from a friend, albeit anonymously, it stays as a reminder of valued friendships who love to 'tease' with good humor. (After all, whoever it was who placed that thing on the refrigerator has had to put up with my humor for many years.)
At the end of July, (actually 25 days, 11 hours from now) I will be landing at the Tagbilaran airport in Bohol as I travel back to the Philippines to be with my family for a brief visit. During the trip I will have the privilege to share with a conference of Korean pastors ministering in the Philippines as well as preaching in two churches new to me. As exciting as these opportunities are, they are really side trips compared to spending time with Christie and the kids. The picture posted is a view of the Chocolate Hills on Bohol. During the dry season the vegetation on the hills dry up and the hills look like hundreds of Hersey Kisses have been dropped from heaven and landed in the center of Bohol.
The rest of the summer will have an international flavor here at the house. Pete Valdez, pastor, then interpreter, then acquaintance, then a sponsor to my marriage to Christie, and now friend (this is the progression in our relationship) will be spending week here with me during July. Pete is a wonderful man of God from the Philippines. When August roles onto the scene I have the honor to host Tomek and Renia Bieniek for a week. Tomek and Renia spent a week here two years ago and enjoyed it so much they are coming for a return engagement! This couple from Poland are precious and have hearts so in love with the Lord. It promises to be a great summer.
Before I close I need to share that Hannah Davidson, a college age student from CTC, is now in Tanzania for five weeks. Be praying for her as she serves the Lord among orphans in Tanzania. If you want to follow her adventures this summer, check out her blog at the following link: prayfortanzania.blogspot.com
Blessings to all!