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June 04, 2008


12:17 AM (Central time): Just a quick update (because it's late, and I'm tired!). Randall is out of town at annual conference for the church. He's up at Glorieta until Friday (that's north of Santa Fe). As always, I'm staying up much later than normal--trying in vain to catch up on work.

Sophie had her monthly visit with the oncologist on Monday. Her counts looked great, and she also had an echocardiogram to check for any damage to hear her heart from the chemotherapy she took. He said her heart looked perfect. What a relief! She'll have another echo in 5 years. That visit marks the one year anniversary of the completion of treatment, so now we'll be going in for checks every two months for the next year. What a milestone!

Both girls have finished school (last Friday). At the awards ceremony, Elisabeth racked just about every possible award they handed out. She got perfect attendance, honor roll for the year, and had the highest GPA in her class. She's excited about moving on to fifth grade next year. They don't really do grades in kindergarten, and Sophie had 8 absences (because of those pesky oncology visits), so she certainly didn't have perfect attendance, but we're pleased to say she did well in kindergarten and is being promoted to first grade.

The girls are going to a summer program at a Methodist church in Clovis. It's full-day (which is wonderful for me to be able to get church done). They were in the same program last year and have really been looking forward to it. Making that trip twice a day every day is a drag (especially with these gas prices), but it's great having so much work time during the day.

June 12, 2008


I don't think we mentioned it, but Randall and I are on a mission trip in Costa Rica this week with the youth group from our church. We are working with a mission project that is part of the Methodist Church in Costa Rica, and some friends of Randall's from when they were at seminary at Duke are missionaries here. They have a web page if you want to learn more about what they are doing here: http://fairclothcostarica.com/.

We've been working on the building where the people stay when they are attending seminary or working on various mission projects. Much of our work this week has involved painting, painting, and more painting.

It's so beautiful here. We're in San Jose, which is the capital, so it's pretty urban. It's kind of tropical here, though not hot, and the whole city is surrounded by mountains. It rains every afternoon, sometimes very hard, so we save our indoor work for later in the day.

We're having a wonderful trip. We're working very hard and reconnecting with old friends. In addition to Will and Ella (our missionary friends), we are also spending time with our friend Dan and his daughter Maggie, who is 14. Dan and his wife Cindy were among our best friends when we lived in Colorado. Since we flew out of Denver for our direct flight into San Jose, Cindy took the girls and is watching them for the work along with their other daughter Myles, who is 5 years old.

Tomorrow, we're going to go to a local church and help feed lunch to some local kids (we haven't connected very much with the locals). We'll also do some souvenir shopping while we have the bus rented. On Saturday, we have the day off and will be taking a canopy tour. We fly home early Sunday morning and will make the long drive back to Texas.

June 16, 2008


2:00 PM (Central time): We're home from Costa Rica! Yesterday sure was a long travel day. We were up at 4:00 am (no easy feat with teenagers), had a 6 hour flight to Denver, and a 9 hour drive back home to Farwell. Although it was a lot cheaper given how many of us were traveling, we sure regretted not connecting through Lubbock.

Since my last update, we finished our work at the seminary in Costa Rica and also had a chance to see more of Costa Rica and interact with local people. On Friday, we went to a shantytown called Los Guido and helped feed some of the kids through a program the church in that neighborhood runs (see http://fairclothcostarica.com/Edgar.aspx). I know such poverty exists, but it's amazing to see it and witness how the church is actually making a difference in that community.

On Saturday we did a canopy tour (I thought that was going to be a boat with a canopy on it--ha!) and white water rafting on the rapids of the Sarapiquí River. I did not have a heart attack while on the zip line or fall out of the raft, so I consider that a success. When it was all over and we were eating a much-needed lunch, Randall kept saying, "I can't believe we just did that!"

I had no idea what to expect in terms of what Costa Rica would be like. How incredibly lush! Plants people have in small pots in their houses in the US can be seen growing outside as bushes and trees in Costa Rica. And the food was so amazing. We ate fresh pineapple nearly every day (along with beans and rice!). The woman who cooked for us at the seminary used to live in Houston, so she knew just how to mix traditional Costa Rican food (gallo pinto, for example) with gringo food (like pancakes, or french fries).

It's good to be home (not sleeping in a bunk bed and covered in paint) but hard to be home too (not surrounded by our friends 24 hours a day, feeling fulfilled by the work we were doing). The girls are back at camp in Clovis (having spent a fun week at "Camp Cindy" in Gunnison), and Randall and I are trying our best to get back into doing our normal work.

June 30, 2008


7:30 AM (Central time): Not long after our return from Costa Rica, our friend Roberta posted pictures from the trip on Facebook.com. We had to register on the site to see them, and we've both become obsessed with it! What fun! We've both reconnected with old friends and had a lot of fun setting up our profiles. If any of our readers would like to see the pictures we have posted there, let us know and we'll invite you to join.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine from work asked me how my weekend was, and I nearly wrote a novel, so I thought I would share it with you all as well! Our weekend was really great! Friday we picked up the girls from camp and did some shopping, which was fun. We slept in on Saturday (always good!), and in the afternoon I went to the closing ceremony of a Walk to Emmaus. It was the first one since my walk, and our group was responsible for setting up the potluck meal that closes out the weekend. That was nice.

Then I drove as quickly as possible from Amherst to Clovis (about an hour) to meet Randall and the girls and some friends of ours at the big Baptist church on the east side of Clovis. We had decided that we would all go to the Saturday night contemporary service together. Partly so I can better learn how to lead contemporary worship songs, but also so we can worship together as a family. It was nice to spend time together and get to know our new friends a little better. Sunday worship at our own church was really good. Randall's doing a five week series on "natural evangelism" called "Outflow"--lots of images of water, and we have a fountain in the sanctuary. After lunch and a much-needed nap, we all met back at church for dinner (potluck) and a movie (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). All in all, a very satisfying weekend!

We're all doing very well, and the summer is just flying by! We hope you are doing well too.