Well, that went fast.

BabyJ’s birthday was the beginning of a very busy couple of weeks…

::Wednesday the 11th, I had my last Kidz Konnect for the school year. Families are always invited and we had a great turnout! We had a giant picture game with the families where they had to recreate with the kids some of the lessons we covered this year which was hilarious! They did an awesome job. It was a great way to close out a good year.

::Brian knew there was a leak somewhere in the water lines leading to the main pump for the entire MRF property. Also Wednesday, he and a friend of ours who does this for a living got out the backhoe and went to work. They dug out the water lines and replaced the main line, which did fix the leak. It was an all day job, but they both seemed to somewhat enjoy it, so… more power to them, I guess! Oddly enough, the only reason Brian found the leak to begin with was because of other issues in another house. If he hadn’t been underneath the house doing repairs, he wouldn’t have known about it, which would have resulted in a much bigger issue very soon! Praise God!

::Friday, I went to E’s school and was the guest speaker for the senior high missions class (a friend and current resident of MRF is the teacher). Small class since the seniors were on their class trip, but that was fine with me! I still enjoyed sharing our testimonies and encouraging them to look at missions outside of the box.

::Friday evening, we were enjoying the quiet of sleeping children when the phone rang. Our co-worker, who lives on the other end of the property, called to say they had no water. Brian went looking for the problem… and couldn’t find it. The entire property was without water until Saturday mid-morning. To be honest, he would have to explain just exactly what happened, but basically when the water was turned off for the day Wednesday it made other issues crop up with the electrical. Praise the Lord, the part he thought it might be was correct and he got it fixed on Saturday! Otherwise, we would’ve needed the water company and their crane! {Brian admits he actually enjoyed Friday evening looking for the issue since he was joined by two other men on the property – both of them there for moral support. He said it reminded him of life back in Peru; he never had to do a job alone and he was so grateful for that! We also think it’s pretty awesome that when issues like no water crop up on the rare occasion that the residents handle it so well. Every phone call I fielded that evening was full of laughter and, “Oh, this is great! Reminds us of being back in [Cambodia, Africa, South America]! Thanks for the memories!” We love serving missionaries.}

::Saturday, we were to be involved with a fundraiser at E’s school – a fun run and a carnival. The original plan was for just E and I to do the run and the boys to join us later. But with the water emergency, I ended up taking all three to do the run with me. E and BigJ thought running the kids’ mile was better than candy. BabyJ in his running stroller and I beg to differ. Let’s just say, Mommy is not as in shape as her children! However, I never lost sight of them and I did my fair share of running that mile. And I look forward to the next run. Next year. The carnival, though, was really nice and the children had a blast. My parents joined us and then Brian surprised us by showing up before lunchtime having fixed the water pump. All in all, a nice morning.

::Sunday, I went with a friend to see another friend’s new baby. They work teaching English in another country and came back to have their baby. They are in our small group and we’re really enjoying getting to know them and were so happy to welcome their little girl!

::Wednesday, I went back to E’s school and taught missions class again, this time for the junior high. It was such a fun time; I love teaching classes like that. Since it was the end of the school day, I also got to go into E’s class and showed them pictures and video of life in Peru since they’ve been taking an offering all year for a family moving to Peru as missionaries. Such a fun class… with an amazing teacher who has them all day long!:)

::Brian and I are working on getting the pavilion and Compton Hall all set for its first graduation party of the year this Saturday. Since it’s the first time the pavilion has been used all winter we’ve had to get it organized with the new picnic tables and cleaned out.

::Tomorrow, I’m getting set up for a yard sale with a friend. Then Brian and I will take E back to school in the evening for the school’s Spring Play. E’s class sings a few songs so it’ll be a cute evening.

::Saturday is a yard sale and a graduation party.

::Sunday is a big morning at church recognizing all the various volunteers.

::Next Thursday… our big girl graduates from Kindergarten! Where in the world did this school year go?! I blame it on lack of snow. Winter felt too much like a weird, prolonged fall and I never felt like we got winter. Yes. I think that’s the problem. Still – I can’t believe she’s already completed Kindergarten. And what a wonderful job she’s done! So proud of her accomplishments, her maturity, her relationships, and her character. Oh my… I’m going to be a mess next week.

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so cute…hard to believe she’s reading harder books than that now!

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Happy Birthday, Little J!

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He’s ONE!

Our littlest man joined us five days past his due date, yet somehow anxious to get moving. This year has been a riot as he’s shown he absolutely must keep up with big brother and big sister, so he started crawling, walking, and eating solid food months earlier than expected! He knows he’s funny and takes great pride in that fact. He’s also super stubborn. If something is in his way or he can’t get something right, his go-to is to just chuck it across the room (may have to work with him on that!). But, he’s super cuddly and so very sweet.

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he loves soft things, so has started dragging blankets around the house with him

We are so very glad God thought to bless us with LittleJ. He rounds out our family so perfectly. Our deepest desire is for him to come to know Jesus as His Savior very young and to grow to be a man who loves His Lord above all else – like his namesakes, James in the New Testament and my father (LittleJ shares his middle name). I can’t begin to comprehend life without this little guy even though he’s only been with us for a year. Even though I’ve taken him to the E.R. once, emergency doctor visits twice, pulled countless ants out of his mouth (and off his finger after one latched on and wouldn’t let go), rescued toys, dirt, cat food, and who knows what else from that same mouth, caught him as he’s tumbled off furniture, and listened to him scream bloody murder because he’s being “forced” to sleep alone — I wouldn’t trade one single moment of it.

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Happy birthday, Little Man! You are loved.

Oh, and it was also Mother’s Day. So thankful for all three of my crazies who keep me running!

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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.*