Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Dear friends,

Jesse called tonight to tell us that he passed his test! There are 223 in his company and 11 made the same mistake he did on his first test. He basically made a typo- left out a heading on his preparation documentation last week.

Yesterday they did the preparation for the second go into the booth to interigate, and today was to be the interigation itself. It was his second chance to pass before being "recycled" to repeat the 2 1/2 months of training- or being sent to the infantry! So these 12 were pulled aside this morning and told that they passed and didn't have to redo the interigation. They had passed the part that they missed last week.

He said that about 1/3 of the 223 had passed as of this morning, and the rest would find out after dinner tonight. His battle buddy (best friend) was finding out tonight. He sleeps in the bunk above Jesse, was in the same company at basic training and is also from Jesse's unit here in WA. I haven't heard yet about him, but Jesse really wants him to pass so they can stick together.

On Friday afternoon Mike and Linda Fish arrived in Spokane after driving for 2 days from Denver. Their goal was to visit us, see the office and our rentals and our chuch, and to help us out with projects and be a blessing to us. So guess what?! Linda and Mike and I worked on making over Jesse's room- the 13 x 26 foot bonus room above the garage, into a very cool guest room. It isn't totally finished, but it is almost ready to go. I still have to get 2 XL single beds that can either be separate for singles, or put together to make a king for couples. I hope to post pictures on facebook soon.

Also, Mike helped Greg get done with the hardest part of building out his office in the basement. Our house came framed only in the basement. Greg and Mike put in a door to the room and one to the future closet. Mike also helped Greg install the needed electrical outlets since there weren't enough. Mike helped Greg finish our basement and other projects in Denver, so they already knew they were good work buddies.

We have had a lovely time together. Lots of laughter and conversation. Linda talked for 2 1/2 hours while picking raspberries at my friends' farm on Saturday morning. We picked enough to cover about 8 cookie sheets for flash freezing. Mike and Linda also helped Greg do some last touches on getting the town houses ready for the 36 girls who will begin arriving next week. All in all, it has been a very special visit and so appreciated to have friends come and share their strengths with us. I am so much better doing a project with a friend, and Linda is my special work buddy! And as well as we know each other after living in community together in Pasadena at Marengo House, we learned new things about each other. Thank you Lord for Mike and Linda, and thank you Fishes for coming to share your vacation with us!

To the rest of you...Come in over! We'll leave the light on for you! Blessings- Nancy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jesse is retesting Mon. and Tuesday

Dear friends,

Jesse told us yesterday that he was unable to get in to see the commander yesterday- Monday to appeal. He went ahead and began taking the test again. Yesterday was prep and today is the booth. Last night he felt like he was passing so far. Your prayers would be appreciated so much today. He will get the results after dinner tonight. Only 40% pass this phase of training and it will seriously hurt his career if he doesn't pass this time. I will let you know when I know!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Jesse's Test

Here is an update on Jesse's test I told you about last night...

Jesse just called to let us know how the test went. He says "Well I got just about as close to a perfect score as you can get... but I
forgot to put the title on a requirement that needed the number and title...
hundreds of hours of work down the drain. And yes, retest is on monday, then

Recycle means repeating 2 1/2 months of training. It also would mean that he is no longer in the top 10%. Loosing that distinction is very costly in opportunities later. Also, he is sure they would recycle him if he failed again, but technically they could put him in the infantry and send him to Afghanistan or wherever they want. All contracts are off at that point. No Arabic school, no college...He is going to talk to his commander on Monday and ask him to reverse the decision to fail him because of that one little technicality. He is afraid that he might do something else wrong and fail the test again. The mistake didn't influence his interigation results in any way, and the Army surely doesn't want to waste resources making him do it all again. Maybe his "soldier of the cycle" will help him out.

So please pray for the commander and for Jesse if he does have to retake the test on Monday and Tuesday. Two guys tried to commit suicide this week. One the night before the test and one the night in the middle of the test. They were discovered and taken to the hospital. The pressure is very high. Thanks for praying if you are so inclined!
Blessings- Nancy P.S. Mike and Linda arrived safely today. Yahoo!

VBS, Mama Hannah and thoughts of mortality...

Dear friends,

I wrote this entry for over an hour and it just deleted itself! THAT is FRUSTRATING. My friend David says that the second time it will be faster since you already practiced...

VBS ended tonight. We did 4 mornings and ended tonight. There was a huge croud tonight of parents, church family and 275 kids. I did the missions focus on Ghana. We had a different giving project every day. Seeds, Christmas party of kids in our adopted village in northern Ghana, a sewing machine to be a small business for someone and finally a group of 4 animals- cow, pig, sheep and goat. They met each giving goal and tonight topped it off and brought in $565 more to get the animals. The family pastor got slimed with gooey stuff and the kids loved it!

I go by Mama Hannah from Ghana during VBS. I wear Ghanaian clothes and act goofy and love on the kids. I set up the Ghana Hut on the church lawn. There are instruments to play which we brought back from there last summer. I teach them about the culture and give them activities to do each day. I already wrote extensively about this and just can't do it again. I really love the connection I have with the kids. I guess I am kind of "famous" in a VBS kind of way, and they are all feeling special when I interact with them. I love that they are learning about cultures and people living in different places.

He is being tested tomorrow for this phase of his training. He said that only 40% pass this time. If he weren't to pass, he would ahve to redo 2 1/2 months of training. He interigates one of his instructors and then has to write a report on what he learned. Mistakes can be easily made. Jesse said that on Monday he passed his practice test- finally. That is encouraging. I am praying hard and am eager to hear what happens tomorrow! I am sure he would appreciate any prayers you would like to send his way.

Our friend Lance and his tumor...
While we were in CO, Lance discovered that he has a brain tumor. He has had two surgeries and the lastest is that he has a year at the outside and his cancer is very agressive. He finally got to come home I think yesterday. As Lance and his wife and college aged daughter process his prognosis and treatment plan, those of us in our/his growth group are also processing our steps of help and encouragement. We all have different gifts and are doing different things. This is new for all of us, so we are all kind of in shock. We are praying for him and welcome your prayers for him too. Besides Lance, another friend of mine just found out she has a breast cancer recurrance. And my neighbor 2 doors down has metastasis all over and has been fighting cancer for years. I don't think she is doing well. I need to go see her.

Here is where I am thinking aobut mortality...It might sound self-centered, but as these things happen to those around me, the thought pops up in my consciousness that it could likely happen to me also. It already has twice- 11 years ago and 4 years ago. I check for new lumps and try to discern if they are new, or are they just the same old or new scar tissue? This could happen to me at any time, but really I have plenty to do in my life right now. I can dwell on these thoughts, or try to stuff them neatly back into the back of my mind, where they don't overwhelm me. I have to make a choice frequently about what to do with this reality. I told Lance before I knew his pathology was so bad, to not borrow trouble from tomorrow. His tomorrow is now here and it is time for him to deal with it. My today is OK, so that is where I have to choose to keep my focus. This probably sounds like rambling, but I know this is true for so many cancer survivors. This struggle with the what if's. It is in some ways both harder and easier to know what would happen if it did come back. You know the treatments and side effects and there is comfort in the familiar. But there is also knowing what is coming, and not wanting to experience it again. But then comes 2 Corinthians 1 where we can empathize and comfort because of our past experience. I think that is the way I would rather focus. My help for these friends can be practical since I know what it is like.

Friends arriving
Tomorrow Mike and Linda are arriving for a visit. We are excited about this! The guest room is ready and plans are on the burner. We enjoy company and we have known these guys for over a quarter century! So that is what I am going to focus on for now. And picking raspberries and strawberries and tomatoes in the back yard.

I am going to post this before it deletes again. I hope you are having a great summer! Blessings, Mama Hannah

Friday, July 09, 2010

2500 miles down the road and home!

Dear friends,

We are back from our trip to Colorado. Adjua, Greg and I left as scheduled on Tuesday, June 22nd. We drove to Buffalo, WY the first day and drove up into the National Forest to put up our tent for the night. It was dark when we got there. I saw something white on the ground, thinking it was a paper towel or something left by other campers. It was snow! Well, we woke up to beautiful mountain pasture views and a buck with a big rack. We also realized that Adjua's mattress had gone flat and she had been cold all night. It didn't make her a fan of camping to put it mildly!

We arrived in Highlands Ranch on Wed. at about 5:00. We enjoyed dinner with Janet and Sean Willcox, our hosts. Lots of laughter and instantly feeling at home with these dear friends. We settled in.

The next day Greg began his 3 day participation in the OMF board meeting. While he did that, Adjua took advantage of shadowing our former family doctor in Littleton- Rich Valenciano. She really enjoyed her two days there. She has to log over a 100 hours shadowing many different kinds of doctors as a prerequisite for med school.

While they were busy, I connected with friends. It was such a blessing to spend quality time with these supporters and friends. I attended a few OMF board dinners with Greg and on Saturday evening, we hosted a dinner party get together with friends and family at the Willcox's. We had fun catching up as well as seeing many of them connecting to each other for the first time...The Body of Christ at work.

Sunday we went to Cherry Hills Community Church and hugged many friends, had lunch with our old support group and relaxed for the evening. Monday morning we headed for Rocky Mountain National Park with Julie, Hannah and Andrew as well as Adjua. We knew our other friends were already camping there and planned to surprise them. It was a gorgeous day. We invaded their campsite and waited about a half hour for them to return from their morning outing. They worried when they noticed someone in their campsite. When they realized it was us, they were ecstatic. We climbed boulders by a waterfall, had lunch and dinner together, went to see the elk up close, and had Adjua'a first campfire and some'ores. We drove home watching the stars and recounting all the day's fun memories.

Tuesday we caught up with everything and went to dinner with Gene Kissenger. It was excellent to catch up on things at CHCC and at Partners. Gene is a gift to us from the Lord. We might be able to connect in Asia when we will all be there in October. At 2:20 a.m. Jenni arrived at DIA from Huntington Beach with me waiting to bring her home.

Wednesday and Thursday Greg lead 2 days of Partners meetings in Highlands Ranch. I picked up snacks for them and caught up with Jenni. She and Adjua and I hung out. Jenni caught up with her best friends after we went to Castle Rock to meet Greg's sister, mom and cousin for several hours.

Friday morning we left for DIA to get both Allison and Jesse who were flying in for the weekend. Jesse had a 4 day pass for the first time. Allison also had those days off and had a free ticket from being bumped on another trip. We had a great time greeting them both and hearing about Jesse's interrogation training. He has bulked up and is excited about what he is learning. We went to Idaho Springs since the freeway was too congested to get to Breckenridge for the day. We watched Ghana play Uraguy in the World Cup at BeauJoes. That was exciting since we had a Ghanaian with us. Then we went to Evergreen and paddled around the lake there. It was our 27th anniversary that day!

Saturday morning we took off for Shelby's (Greg's sister's) for our nephew's wedding. They got married with Pike's Peak in the background in their front lawn. It was a beautiful wedding. We talked a mile a minute and caught up with family that evening and the next morning. The cousins and friends made a movie that night and had a great time.

Sunday night we arrived back in Highlands Ranch for dinner and fireworks with friends. It poured, so no fireworks. But lots of fun was had as we remembered old stories and made new ones. The kids went to the airport in the morning- me taking Allison at 4:30. We packed and left about 9:30 to head home. We camped in the same area and this time woke up in a cloud! Adjua slept in the car that time!

We arrived home at 5:15 with 1135.7 miles from this leg on the odometer! God is so good! It was all we had dreamed and hoped for our trip to be. Thank you so much for praying for our trip if you did.

I am off for the chiropractor now so I need to get going! God bless you- Nancy