Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall is here and Jesse is a soldier!

Dear friends,

The leaves are turning colors, and the air is gradually getting colder. I don't think I miss the snow Denver is experiencing. It is supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow here in Spokane, Washington. Genifer- our Ghanaian Whitworth student- actually wore closed toed shoes yesterday. She isn't looking forward to the colder weather!

I am beginning a study on the book of Esther by Beth Moore with our church's women's group. I ended up becoming a small group leader for that group. So far it is very good. I am looking forward to the discipline of doing a study with others. Discipline isn't my strong suit!

I saw the doctor yesterday about pain in my wrist and arm. He thinks that it is carpal tunnel rather than a cyst. The lump appears to be swelling from the constriction. He took x-rays and did some tests and is sending me for a neurological evaluation next Wed. to figure it out for sure. Then he'll call me to let me know. I have been experiencing so much pain and numbness, that I would like to figure out what is going on and find a solution. My research last night about carpal tunnel listed all my symptoms, so we'll see. My deductible is paid for my health insurance for '09, so at least I don't have to pay extra to get this checked. Any input from any of you about what worked for you in fixing this problem would be appreciated. (

I continue to have lots of problems with scar tissue from the radiation treatments I had at the end of '06. The dose that went to the nodes on the left side at the base of my neck, really is causing problems. The scar tissue pushes on the muscles in my neck causing my neck to get messed up pretty easily. I go to the chiropractor about once a week and he works on the scar tissue there and in my abdomen and the side of my chest wall. My knee is hurting as much as ever from whatever is wrong there. So I am sore and achy, but able to function OK. A few of my meds can cause muscle and joint aches, so that could explain how I feel.

I am planning a trip to the east coast for the second half of October. There are lots of details connected to that, and I am helping to lead chapel at Partners International this morning about Kidzana. I also need to prepare to teach 2 of Greg's Whitworth classes at the beginning of Nov. The class is Cross Cultural Ministry, and I will be talking about ministering to children cross-culturally. That should be fun.

So I am off to chapel... Have a wonderful day and God bless you! Nancy Fritz
Jenni is in France for her fall semester with Grove City College, Laura is days away from paying off her student loans as she continues to work for AT&T. Allison gets home in 2 weeks from her year in South Korea teaching English. And our international student, Genifer, or Adjua, is adjusting well to America. We took her to the fair and she wasn't sure about the rodeo and wondered why Americans enjoy bull riding and mutton bustin!'

And Jesse...He has enlisted in the National Guard. He is in community college this fall, going for one weekend a month and taking an ROTC class. He goes to boot camp March 1st for 9 or 10 weeks. Then he goes to Arizona for interrogation training, and then he goes to Monterrey, CA for a year of Arabic school. That could be worth two years of college. All together it takes 90 weeks. He gets to come home for Christmas next year.

After he's done he will probably be deployed for a tour. Then back for college and then more training and another deployment. Then he will be on the one weekend a month schedule. At that point he should be able to get a very good job. His National Guard counter intelligence job would not be front line, but questioning back from the front lines or interpreting tapes or documents. He got a bonus and a 'kicker,' will be paid while he does all this, school will be paid for and he should end up with money in the bank. I think the whole thing should take 8 years including the 2 years of college. So we are parents of a soldier!

I am helping to lead chapel today at Partners International about Kidzana, so I need to get moving! Have a wonderful day! Blessings- Nancy

Friday, September 04, 2009

Two girls came, one is gone & soldier's mother?

I can hardly believe that I haven't written for 2 1/2 weeks! So much has happened!

Jenni came home and we went camping in the Blue Mountains. They were beautiful in a different way than any we have seen anywhere else. We found a place for Greg and Jesse to hunt- lots of animals and places to set up camp.

We camped under tall pine trees on top of a mountain and all around us were smaller pine trees and multitudes of huckleberry bushes fully loaded! There was also warm fresh evidence of bears near the berries, but we didn't see any. I picked by myself for 6 hours and got 1 gallon. Right at the end of our time (and my sore back from bending over), I found another whole area where the berries were waist high and large and there were so many! I just couldn't pick anymore. And there were a lot of mosquitoes in there.

When we got home, I made huckleberry freezer jam and got 10 8 oz. jars. Counting the time, mosquito bites and scratches, those jars are worth a fortune to me! I am so very thankful for the jar a friend gave me last year!


Here is another thing that defies reality...Jenn has only been here for 13 days! She arrived at midnight two weeks ago tomorrow. She is a total delight. She loves to laugh and she thinks I am funny. (Imagine that!) She had fun with Jenni and Jesse and instead of Jenni teaching her how to keep Jesse in line, they both taught her how to tease me! Actually, she laughs when I get teased and doesn't tease me herself. She is 5'8" and is beautiful. We got her some warm clothes to prepare her for the fall. When it is 85 degrees or higher, she tells me that the weather is very nice. I don't think there are too many very nice days left until next summer!

In Ghana, everyone has a "day" name based on the day of the week they were born. Jenn's day name is Adjua, so that is what we usually call her. It solved the two Jenni problem. That is what her parents call her, so it makes her feel at home. We got her the fixings for Jolof rice last night so she can do some cooking. She discovered the ice cream in the freezer tonight and told me if she had known it was there, it would be empty already! She is having international student orientation today and tomorrow and freshman orientation on Sat- Tuesday. School starts for her and Greg on Wednesday. He is teaching a class this fall at Whitworth on Tues. and Thursday mornings.

Our son is planning to enlist tomorrow for Army ROTC National Guard with the counter intelligence unit specializing in Arabic. He registered for the fall at Spokane Falls Community College today, and would go to basic training/boot camp in Jan. After 9 weeks of that he would go to Southern CA for Arabic school for a total of 90-ish weeks. Then he would come back here for 1 1/2 years more of CC, and then 2 years at a state school- basically paid for and he would also have a nice amount in the bank. He could be deployed 1 time during his stint in CC, and after finishing college would serve for 4 years. We figure it will probably add up to 11 years. With the Arabic counter intelligence training, he wouldn't be on the front line but would have other jobs- he tells me. He would come out with training that would prepare him for employment afterwards and have no debt and be paid while he does it. All of these things are attractive to him.

If the contract doesn't include what we are expecting, he won't sign. Please pray for us to be sharp on details to make sure they are putting in writing what he expects them to. He goes at 5:45 a.m. and will call us when they are ready for our part. I am supposed to bring the camera and I just might also need tissues! Pray that if for any reason he shouldn't be doing this, the Lord will close the door. We don't have any huge red flags and he seems to have thought this through carefully. There are signing bonuses that he would get by doing this now rather than waiting and would go in with an E3 since he did 2 years of Jr. ROTC in high school and a few other factors. So anyway, please pray. We have heard more stories than we can count about people enlisting and ending up in situations very different than what they were expecting. I don't want that to happen to my boy who is really God's boy!

Jesse's African father and mother, Rene and Faustine Mbongo were here on Monday for lunch and Jesse talked to them in French a mile a minute. I guess he really did learn it while he was there! We are so grateful for the impact they had on his life!

I saw the doctor about me left knee last Thursday. It has been very sore and a little swollen. The Baker's cyst hasn't gotten any smaller since it showed up last October. My surgeon who tried to fix it in the spring, is disappointed that it isn't doing any better. He said it is possible to take out the cyst, but since I had a blood clot in that leg last summer, and because there are so many nerves going through there, he doesn't think it is a good idea.

I got a brace for it that is black and very snug yesterday. Last night my knee didn't hurt at all during the night for the first time in weeks. I wore it today and it gave good support and I think it pushes on the Baker's cyst and that feels good too.

The joint in my left pinkie is swollen and very sore. He looked at that and another cyst thing on my right wrist that is sending pain through my right hand. He said that these things might all be related to RA and asked me to go to my internist to see. I have an appointment on Tuesday. My low back is sore too and my chiropractor thinks it is connected to scar tissue in my abdomen. So ice on my back and knee when I can. I am feeling OLD these days, but am still grateful to be alive and able to get around. I have a kids' curriculum on Ghana started and have lots of ideas of how to finish it now that I have been there.

I got a call from Jacob, by new friend and the missionary to the village we spent the most time in while we were in Ghana. He said that many of the accused witches have become Christians and that the church has grown to 100 people! Before we were there, it had 20. Aslan is on the move in Nabuli, Northern Ghana!

Nancy Fritz