Completion is a beautiful thing.

This week was busy, yet so rewarding. We had one week to finish furnishing and arranging the new duplex for its first resident, who arrives Monday.

Furnishing a home from scratch is so different than just arranging furniture in an existing home. This home literally had to be furnished and decorated from the ground up, starting with deep cleaning since so much construction has been done in there. I have to give a big shout out to my friend, Beka, who gave of her time, energy, resources, and creativity to help make the place look so beautiful. She repurposed items we already had and helped me decorate so the place looks more modern and less thrown together.

And of course, Brian was the master carpenter behind this house. While he had quite a bit of professional help to finish the other duplex, he really remodeled this one almost single-handedly. This remodel took place amidst so many other things he worked on, not the least of which were multiple BCM World publications and fixing another bathroom on the property. How he handles all of his responsibilities, I will never understand. But, I’m so proud of him.

Without any further ado, I give you a photo tour of MRF Home #10!

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The entrance

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The living area, from the front door (this is facing right). The stone wall and fireplace were existing; Brian added the electric fireplace.

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Panoramic view of the living area. This is taken by the stairs looking back towards the entrance.

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Dining room table, complete with welcome basket.

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Repurposed giant picture into a chalkboard the residents can use for whatever.

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The kitchen, looking in from the dining room.

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Kitchen, from the opposite side.

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Brand new laundry closet, outside the kitchen. If I may insert a commercial – these are so quiet you actually forget you’re doing laundry!

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Last flight of stairs leading up to our favorite part of the house —

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–the office nook! How cute is this?! Those four black squares are chalkboards so the residents can have a little office area.

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Bathroom – another room Brian took down to the studs and completely redid.

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Master bedroom

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Bedroom #2

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Bedroom #3

Isn’t it just lovely? And it’s basically booked solid the rest of 2016! If you’d like, you can go here and compare the two sides of the duplex now that the whole thing is complete!

This week, we focus on Unit #1 – the first duplex on the property. Brian has been working on leveling this old home. He also had to completely redo one of the bathrooms as it was falling through the floor. This home will need a total remodel in the near future, but regular maintenance will take presidence this summer. But, since he had to do so much plumbing and other maintenance in the house, it needs a deep cleaning before residents move in… on Thursday! We have our work cut out for us this week!

Training!

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Yesterday I held my third training day for the children’s ministry volunteers in the church. I try to get everyone together one day every year for fellowship, a recognition/thank you time for their work, planning for the upcoming year, and training to improve the programs. I was nervous this year because they were calling for snow, of course, and the trainers I invited in had to drive up from Lancaster! Thankfully, they made it in just fine and we had a pretty good group attend.

The morning went very smoothly, thanks to a number of behind-the-scenes people who helped with food and childcare. The training time was first focused on what the responsibilities actually are of helpers and teachers in a church program setting. Then we transitioned into a two hour session with the guest trainers all about working with children with ADHD. It was p*h*e*n*o*m*e*n*a*l! Everything was practical, hands-on, and applicable to what we need right now in our programs. I was able to implement stuff this morning in children’s church and saw big pay out. Super encouraging!

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Brian was awesome and kept the kids at home. It’s so great to be gone all day and come home to happy, relatively clean children (ha!), laundry done and dinner in the crockpot! He’s an awesome husband who makes it enjoyable for me to do what I am doing at the church without worrying about what’s happening at home or even how long I have to be gone.

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  • We begin putting the duplex back together this week. We have about two more weeks until a resident moves in.
  • Once the duplex is done, Brian will begin maintenance on the other homes that needs to get done over the summer months.
  • I head to Lancaster Friday evening for a writer’s conference all day Saturday. I’m so excited!
  • Only one month left in our Wednesday night program for the school year! Then it’s all about summer events! 
  • We are praying about support raising opportunities for the next few months; pray with us that God will open doors to supply our financial needs this year.
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’til next time…

 

7 Years Ago…

Brian has this cool feature on his Facebook that tells you what happened on this day, however many years ago. This morning, he said, “Seven years ago today was our fire!” And we laughed and laughed… and so I thought I’d share this fun memory with you all!

When we first moved to Peru, we lived in what was the guest house (until our home was built a couple months later). It was this comfortable little apartment that was furnished and looked like this:

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Cute, right? We loved it!

We began to notice, though, that when the fridge would run, it would clunk. Then eventually the lights would also dim when the fridge would clunk on. And it got progressively louder, until one evening – thankfully, while we were home! – it clunked on and basically exploded. We were sitting on the couch and when we looked over, there were flames shooting out from behind it!

Being the level-headed person that I am, I panicked. I had no idea what to do. Brian very smoothly yanked the cord out of the wall and moved the items that were flammable away from it. It was out pretty much out as quickly as it started.

Then, he fixed the cord and plugged it back in! Good as new.:)

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Janelle (who is so much bigger now!) holding the burnt cord. You can see the damage to the wall. 

Okay, so looking back on this, it was definitely more exciting to us while it was happening than it is now retelling it. But still – we had a good laugh remembering it this morning and thought you’d enjoy this story, too!

A very happy un-Easter to you!

In many ways, I am a lot like my dad. I’m probably most like him in my love for Easter. The day after Easter each year, I find myself looking forward to the next one! This year, of course, was no exception. E and I were especially looking forward to the sunrise service. We talked about it way back in February.

Alas, the plans of mice and Biegerts. They were not to be this year.

The staff at church got systematically hit by the stomach bug last week and our family was certainly not left out. I shall spare you the gory details, but the basics are that little BabyJ started it Tuesday evening, much to our shock and chagrin. Thursday evening, Brian and I made it to our church’s beautiful communion service (perfect way to start the weekend) and our sitter was so content at home she agreed to us going out for awhile afterwards. We got home at 10. By 11:30, BigJ and I were desperately ill.

I have to give a HUGE shout-out to my amazing husband. I was sick enough that nothing really registered most of the night. Meanwhile, Brian was playing superhero taking care of a little boy who was horribly, constantly sick until about 4am. About the time he started finally sleeping, E woke up sick. And as soon as she did (literally), it hit Brian.

There is very little as horrid as the entire family sick simultaneously.

Oh wait, the baby was NOT sick… so he decided he needed attention and spent most of Friday not interested in his pack ‘n’ play and Cheerios like I had so desperately hoped he would be and instead spent his day screaming bloody murder which did wonders for our migraines!

Brian, though, was seriously amazing. When I could finally pull myself out of bed Friday morning, I found the living room adorned in every extra blanket we own, every trash can and bucket strewn about, and all three of them sound asleep. He had done laundry all night, gave multiple baths, cleaned meticulously, and finally crashed. Friday night, they were all pulling out of it, so while I got the baby to sleep (finally), Brian decided to tell the kids that they were going to have a sleepover and watch movies all night. This managed to turn the horrific memory of being sick over Easter break to the best night in their memory since they stayed up until 3, watched cartoons to their heart’s content, and ate crackers in the middle of the night.

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Joseph cleaning up the uneaten Cheerios

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The only happy one for a good part of this weekend!

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Finally up and smiling again Saturday night

We only missed out on the sunrise service at church, amazingly. But the whole family was exhausted and out of sorts by the time we got home from church. So our plan of the lovely family photos in our Easter finest got bumped; we’ll try again later this week. After a nice, long afternoon nap, we were able to do a little bit of celebrating with the kids. They were sad to miss out on the usual tradition of dinner at my parents’, but we’ll do it another time. They did, however, get to dye a few eggs, have a nice little hunt, and then we went through the Resurrection Eggs with them and retold the Easter story. The weekend ended a whole lot better than it began!

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And now, it’s back to life as usual! E returns to school tomorrow. Brian went back to work today. And life marches on!

Hope your Easter was a little less eventful. :) 

Easter week!

In case you missed it, the newest BCM World came out last week! I enjoyed putting together the spread on all the ministries in Ukraine. The entire magazine is well worth your time to read. If you don’t already, you can sign up to receive it directly to your inbox the next time it comes out. Click here to read this edition!

Brian is out tonight at an MRF board meeting. Over the last couple of days he was able to clean out the duplex quite a bit to make it presentable so the board members could get a tour if they would like. He’s really down to cleaning, arranging, and decorating. We’re going to work on the rest of it together. It’s like having a clean slate since he moved basically all the furniture out so we can decide what exactly we would like in there and how we want it to look.

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Our kids are learning to love Easter week as much as we do. We read through the last week of Jesus’ life in the Jesus Storybook Bible and have different Easter activities. My windows are getting slowly filled up with paintings of crosses, the empty tomb, and Happy Easter signs. Brian is planning on dying eggs with them, which will actually be the first time they’ve ever done that, so they’re pretty excited. We always do the Resurrection Eggs and Resurrection Rolls and they look forward to those traditions. E has learned some traditional Easter hymns at school and serenades us daily. We are looking forward to taking the whole family to the sunrise service Sunday at 7am and just enjoying our morning with our church family. Really, with no Easter, absolutely everything we do, everything we believe in, everything we are and all we teach our kids, would be utterly pointless. So we love celebrating Easter!

We wish you the very happiest of Easters! Thank you for continuing to pray for us!

*Now that Brian’s work load has eased some, we will be more actively pursuing support raising efforts to bring our support level back up. Pray with us as we pursue different ideas and trust God to provide for our needs.*

The culmination of the last few months of work is here for Brian! The print edition of BCM World is finally at the printer. Brian’s been taking online design classes and he thinks they helped with the layout this time around. I am totally, unabashedly biased, and I think it’s amazing. It’ll be exciting to finally get it in hand!

While he was wrapping up the print edition, he was also getting the regular e-zine ready to go out. Watch your inboxes; it should be there soon! I helped with the final proof last night. This edition has some fascinating articles; I hope you take the time to read what God is doing around the world.

We have seen a wonderful influx of children at church the last few months. Both our Sunday and Wednesday programs are seeing a full house! An exciting note: three kids will be baptized on Easter Sunday. I’m so very excited to see children taking this step of faith!

Easter Sunday will be busy with a combined Sunday School class and an exciting children’s church program on top of the sunrise service, breakfast, and baptism. One of the best days of the year — can’t wait!

Below you’ll see some pictures of the continued remodel at MRF. Brian is wrapping things up and just about ready to start cleaning and organizing:

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Okay, so the living room is still a tad messy. But, the stone fireplace (on the wall behind the mess) works now and looks beautiful!

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The new kitchen! This was originally a bedroom. All the tiling is Brian’s handiwork. He just needs to put in the large appliances. Beautiful & spacious!

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The window was to connect the new kitchen to the living area. The bar is brand new, Brian built and tiled it. It’ll be a great little breakfast nook.

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The bedrooms need to be deep-cleaned, arranged, and curtains rehung.

We are so excited for this house to *finally* be completely done! What a long remodel, but looking forward to amazing results.

I leave you with our kiddos… our joyful, wonderful kiddos...

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oh, and me, since i normally hide behind the camera.

The last few weeks:

February wrapped up pretty fast. Here’s some of what has transpired:

  • Another Skill Nite at church, this time all about sound and music
  • A fundraiser for MRF that brought in $250! Yeah!
  • Finishing my article for BCM World that is slated to come out in the next couple of weeks
  • Brian finishing up the print edition of BCM World; it’ll be sent to the printers within the next couple of days {and looks amazing}
  • Brian built an island and finished tiling the duplex kitchen
  • E enjoyed her first “Spirit Week” at school
  • The baby began walking alone!

March means Easter! And of course, all that it entails leading up to it. March also means finishing up {finally} the duplex and having a resident move in! March means another edition of BCM World. And March is the final prep for my training day for the kid’s min to be held on April 9.

In family news – kids are doing great! E is doing phenomenal in school and is surprising us all with her reading abilities. She is so sweet and desires to be everyone’s friend. She’ll tell us about someone in school who isn’t being kind and she’ll finish with tears running down her face, “But I just wanna be her friend!”

BigJ keeps getting bigger. He loves little brother, yet doesn’t understand why little brother doesn’t understand his way of playing yet. He watches sister read and then announces that he needs to practice reading, too, and sits down with a stack of books and makes up stories. His speech is still a little delayed, but it’s improving.

BabyJ is way too independent too quickly. He loves taking steps on his own and is fearless, toppling headfirst off of things and beginning to climb. He likes to head butt his dad and brother and thinks it’s hilarious to sit on everybody who dares to lie on “his”floor.

They keep us hopping! We wouldn’t have it any other way.

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*Pray for us as we pursue further support raising options and plan out the summer that is fast-approaching and filling up.*