Thursday, December 23, 2010
Every year I say "This year is different, I'm going to send cards/newsletter/pictures for Christmas. I am going to be that organized!!!" And every year I don't actually seem to get them out. There have been years when I write the cards and even address them but just don't put them in the mail. Then about February I find them on my desk and figure its really too late to send them after all. One year I even wrote the newsletter. Put pictures in and was so proud of myself, but never did anything else with it. I found it on the computer the other day.................
Please don't feel slighted that I don't send cards to you. This is my problem not yours. You are great friends, I'm the disorganized crazy one!
So instead of messing with the cards,(which for some reason I still fill this need to do) I am blogging my Christmas. Lazy? Maybe............
So 2010 was a crazy year for the Bartel's. We lived 4 different places since November of 2009. This is the longest we have lived anywhere in the last year. Yipeee! I think that means we might be settled :)
Caleb starts college in January of 2011. Technically he is still a high school senior, but he will finish his senior year with all college classes at Johnson County Community College. He is enrolled at K-State next fall, though it doesn't seem to have quite the draw as when it was 2 hours away from us. He is busy right now getting scholarship applications in. He has one awarded and under his belt (yea!!) We are hoping for many more:)
Emma is enjoying Manhattan High School for the most part. She is a sophmore this year and likes the friends and the fun stuff. She isn't exactly fond of the Chemistry part, not that I blame her. She revisited her role from 7th grade as an Oompa Loompa in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory this fall as a part of the MHS musical. She was the best Oompa Loompa up there.
Ethan skipped football this fall which was devastating to Randy, but played in a tournament with friends from KC for a weekend, which I think he enjoyed as ,much as his dad did. He has already started baseball practice, though its only once a week and indoor! Seventh grade is going well, he still likes math the best and is taking Algebra I. Thank goodness he didn't get my math skills!
Randy is enjoying his work at the Ebert Mayo Design Group. He missed coaching football this fall but made up for lost time coaching for the tournament. He is working hard on several projects around town. A couple of elementary schools and some other multi use buildings.
I'm working part time as an assistant for a local broker. Learning the Manhattan market and just enjoying no home improvement projects at the moment!
As a family we have joined New Hope Church and gotten involved in a small group of really great people. The kids like the youth program and are planning a mission trip for summer.
We are so blessed! We are not anywhere we would have expected to be this time last year, but God has been so good to us. We have jobs, health, family and friends and we are grateful for all. Especially you!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I know there are worse things to deal with, and to bring it up again is so whiny, but I can't help myself. Don't you feel sorry for me?
So really things are good. I don't have any camp pictures to post because I'm too busy working on the team and family pictures I've been paid to work on and I am woefully behind on those.
I promise good updates and fun pictures this week. Em and Ethan go back to school. Caleb hits Chemistry HARD :/ and I have a list of home improvements a mile long. Maybe when we get the Internet thing figured out I will post EVERYDAY like some of my super organized friends.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
One of the reasons I don't have pictures of my own to upload is that we have yet to figure out how to get Internet at home. Everything I do online has to be done at the public library. Taking the time at home to load everything to a thumb drive then down load onto the computer at the library is more organization than this little brain can handle!
This is just one of the fun "get to know your new home" quirks we are experiencing. Another is that our cell phones don't work in the house. I set my phone by the front door and it if rings I run to the front porch to answer. If I'm lucky, by the time the other person responds I am in the front yard where the signal is strong enough for a conversation! It's all fine now, even though it's a bit hot. When winter comes I might need a new plan. Needless to say.....we now have a land line again!
We have things mostly put away. No decorating has occurred, but I'm thinking I have some time for that.
We had our first friends from out of town in to see our home and hang out with us for the day. It was so nice to see them! The fact that they are Jayhawks at heart should really shame some of our Wildcat friends into getting here! They even SAID they enjoyed touring Manhattan!!
Anyway, time is short, I just wanted to say "HEY!" and let you know we are still here!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Last night the mission team shared the dramas and music they will be performing in parks, schools, and streets. (What an amazing group of kids!) I sat there in the audience holding back tears, kind of like I'm doing now. Silly I know, but its just the joy of seeing my child start out on this amazing journey in life, finding himself I suppose. He looked like a stranger on stage. Bass player extraordinaire standing in the back corner. Who is this man/boy? Is he really the kid who ran naked around the backyard when he was three? Really?!
I am so proud of the man he is becoming!
Monday, June 28, 2010
In my last post we were getting ready to close on the house. The movers were coming on the seventh and all was plugging along nicely. Sadly while I watched the movers cart all our stuff out of the house I got a call telling us we weren't going to close. Actually that was the beginning of a pretty bad week. The bank just turned down the house and wouldn't loan anything for it. Short explanation is that it is a unique rural property that just didn't fit any set criteria to judge value. Banks don't like things that don't fit the prescribed mould and we were toast. The buyers went to another bank and after several circus like hoops to jump through the house is due to close this afternoon. In one hour and 15 minutes to be exact. I won't be calm until I get the word that all is signed and DONE!!!
I will say this process has certainly been a growing experience. I know that God has planned this move for us. It is solely in His very cape able hands. I guess my humanness just jumps out and expects that when God is in control things will go smoothly and we won't struggle. God has certainly taught us in all that. I KNOW He is in control with every part of me. But this has been HARD, and to be completely honest I am so tired of things being hard. I'm ready for some easy:) God didn't promise us easy though, I'm sure Paul was wishing for some easy when he sat in his prison cell. At least I hope he was. That would make me feel better!
Spending time in scripture has been my lifesaver. Every time I feel myself starting to stress I would just focus on getting back into the word. Even when I was running to ballgames and the grocery store etc. I was thinking about when I was going to next get a chance to be back reading my Bible. Not doing in depth study on the faithfulness of God or anything, just reading. I started to read Job. Bad idea. If I wasn't stressed before that about pushed me over the edge. My friend Nancy sent me to Psalm 107. That was such a great chapter to read through. I used Psalm 106:48 for a status on Facebook the other day. It brought me great joy and a few "Amens" from friends. I hope it does the same for you.
"Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, Amen!Praise the LORD" Psalms 106:48
Monday, May 31, 2010
You wouldn't recognize me if you saw me. Sadly I look like I've been dragged backwards through a hedge......twice. I would post pictures for your entertainment, but the thought of those out there in the never land of the Internet doesn't bear thinking about!
We are drawing closer to what looks like the end of our time in Kansas City. The movers come on Monday to load up. (When I talked to the moving company the woman commented on how much stuff we had. I kept thinking "You should have seen me 6 months ago!") We have gotten rid of so much! Most of our belongings are actually still packed. I haven't seen a box of my shoes since October!!
This time really is bittersweet though. Randy and I have lived here for the majority of our lives with friends that are very precious. We are so happy that God has provided a job that Randy loves and has made the path to that job fairly smooth and simple, But the thought of starting over in a new area is a bit daunting. I'm trusting God knows what He is doing. I'm just along for the ride :)
We have a contract on a house in Manhattan. Randy and I went house hunting a couple weeks ago and found three that we loved/disliked. They all had at least one major drawback and we couldn't decide which way to go. Finally we took the kids up last week and told them to decide. One house sold before we got there, which just told us that wasn't in God's plan. The other two were complete opposites. One was almost brand new, 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath, beautiful house with an unfinished basement that had great potential. It was on 3.2 acres in the country with a view of the countryside. It's drawback was the lot. On a corner, house smack dab in the middle with no trees but some scrub cedar.
The other was 20 years old in a valley right in the middle of the Flint Hills tucked in a large lot subdivision on 3 acres. Wooded with open spaces, a big front porch and 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 baths. It's drawback was it's partial basement and Manhattan schools. (largest 6A high-school in the state of Kansas).
We saw the new house first and I could see the disappointment on Em's face. The boys were ambivalent. When we got to the second house all that changed. They all loved it and started fighting over bedrooms. Their excitement was contagious :) After some negotiating, it is ours(ish). Inspections are tomorrow morning.
I will post pictures when we are closer to truly owning it! There is some work that needs to be done and updating (rubbermaid blue counter tops). But the potential is fantastic. God is so good to us.
Please continue to pray for the Bartel's. Many of you know what the past year has been like for us. The thought of some stability and financial security feels a little like a dream. I know we are going where God is planting us, we are just learning to trust and lean on Him. Please pray that the kids transition well into schools and make friends. That we find a great church home. And that our finances allow us to get the house!!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
First: We have a contract on the house! We have had it for about a week. Tomorrow are inspections and after we are through the renegotiation process I will feel more comfortable saying we have "SOLD" the house. We have actually had the contract for 6 days, but things have been so crazy I haven't had time to update. I have to say since I posted the last time God has just completely been in control of this process. I have done nothing. Everything that has happened, from the contract, to loan approval on our next house. God has opened doors and smoothed paths. I have started to stress a dozen times and God just whispers into my heart "BE STILL AND LET ME" and he has taken the stress and worry right away. Any doubt that Manhattan is where God intends us falters against that evidence!
Now we get to look for houses. Normally I love to look at houses but in this situation I'm not sure about where I'm going. God has opened doors wide up to now though, I'm sure He has this figured out too!
Second: Randy loves his job. That is a HUGE blessing! I know he would do it even if he didn't like it just to provide for us, but God is again blessing in His abundant way.
I'm trying not to be the puppy running in circles around God!
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom ans revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints , and His incomparably great power for us who believe." Eph 1:17-19
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Today I woke up at 5am unable to go back to sleep. Maybe I could have if I really tried, but Good Friday is on my mind. It's so quiet and dark out now, it makes it easy to picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, or the early hours in the morning before His crucifixion. There had to be in all the craziness of the trial and activity, moments of silence like this where it feels like the earth is waiting.
"The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge."I picture that quiet before the earth can't contain itself in silence any longer. The waiting for an event that literally changed to world in far greater ways than we can ever imagine. The quiet before pain, blood, suffering, and loss. All because of me, or rather, all because God loves me.
Psalms 19:1-2 NAS
I often wonder what people who aren't Believers think of Good Friday and then of Easter. Do they really only see the chocolate bunnies and the baskets of eggs? Can't they feel the earths silence? The waiting quiet before that moment of celebration of resurection? To me the silence seems deafening!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Friday, February 26, 2010
What am I doing to reach out and Love them the way Jesus would? I'm not sure. I know that there is a reason God has put those people in my path. He doesn't do anything by accident. For me it always helped when someone acknowledged my pain. Mentioned the elephant in the room so to speak :) Love speaks volumes. One thing I will try to do is to pray that I show love the way God models it to us. Sometimes I think we try to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Show love.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love , I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Understand that is said realizing the HOLY and AMAZING GRACE of MY LORD and SAVIOR. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has held us in his mighty hands the entire time we have struggled. It is only by an act of God that Randy ever got an interview let alone a job offer. We are so grateful to be blessed in this way.
I guess putting Feet to my Faith takes on a whole new meaning. God is so good!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"There are days when I really feel sorry for myself. Days when I feel like I have had to suffer.....because I was SO hot in church and the bench was uncomfortable, or I was sick with a virus, or because I live so far away from my family and we miss getting to celebrate together, or because our water is off again for several hours and we had to haul in buckets of water to flush the toilets and I couldn't shower when I wanted to, or they were out of lunch meat at Shoprite and my kids will have to take pbj sandwiches in their lunch this week.
Then I hear stories of Mozambicans. Stories of real suffering.
And I am shamed and humbled.
Eugenia, age 41 year, died of AIDs on Saturday. She had 5 children. She was so weak and ill in the days leading up to her death that she would cry out in pain when her friends tried to move her. Her eyes appeared to bulge out of her head. She begged for Jesus to take her. She knew Jesus and assured her friends that she would see Him soon.
She is not from this province, so besides her alcoholic husband, she had no one. Her church family had been caring for her. Her oldest child has a child of her own. Her youngest child is about 2 1/2 and is probably HIV positive.
After her funeral, church family came to bring food and other items for the family. Some brought a few coins, others a bag of sugar or some tea, others some fruit. There was no family to come and take her children. Her church family members aren't in much better shape, financially, than she was. So there was no roster going around at church to sign up to bring a hot meal to them for the next week. No one bringing frozen casseroles to stick in the freezer.
Here, if you have HIV you are known as "positivo". Some people will shun you. Eugenia was very involved in her church, where she was loved and accepted. The family of God was her only family here. Sometimes she would come to church and quietly ask a friend for money because she had nothing to feed her children. When she looked thin, her friends would ask if she was eating. "If there's food there, I eat," she would answer.
Her church family has taken care of her as well as they could. Sat with her, prayed with her, and given from their meager means. They gave when it looks like to these American eyes that they had nothing themselves to give.
Another young woman, Lily, just had twins last week. She had been hospitalized because of high blood pressure and the babies were finally delivered by c-section. She and the babies left the hospital to return to a tiny house that was filthy and full of mosquitoes. There was no family waiting with welcome signs and a hot meal. No clean bassinets and sweet little baby clothes. No running water with baby bathtubs and sweet smelling baby soaps and shampoos.
We get upset when we lose the remote control to the TV or someone ate the last cookie and we didn't get one or we run out of toilet paper, or I'm tired and don't feel like cooking but I have to because going out to eat is not a viable option tonight.
Our houseworker, Lucilia, goes through our garbage on the days she comes to work. If I have thrown away a package of half-eaten, stale cookies, she takes it out. A half -a loaf of moldy bread, goes in her bag. Not for her family to eat - she and her husband have good, steady jobs - she gives it to her neighbors who have nothing. I have a package of cookies in my pantry right now that my kids don't like. So it sits there going stale. Lucilia's neighbors don't have the luxury of turning down food. They'll eat anything and be glad to get it.
So the next time I feel like I'm suffering, I hope the Lord kicks me in the tail again, like He did this morning when I heard these stories, so that I can stop and count my many, many blessings."Borrowed with permission from Angie
Sunday, February 14, 2010
And no, I havent found anything amazing in the jungle. I'd love to be there right now, it has to be warmer than here!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Randy is supposed to start the kitchen this week which be fantastic as only the necessities are unpacked. The pots and pans we must have and 6 plates with assorted plastic cups from restaurants round out our gourmet eating utensils.
On a different note, the sun came out for a short while this morning Yippee!! Probably to celebrate Emma's 15th birthday which is today. I know, let the cliche's start, but I can't believe she is 15!She is a beautiful, funny fantastic girl, and I am blessed to be her mom.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
This year I learned what it was like to have an empty cupboard and nothing to fill it with.
This year I learned that God is sovereign and doesn't have to explain why.
This year I learned that people disappoint but God never does.
This year I learned what it was like to humble myself and ask for help.
This year I learned what it was like to really feel blessed in the middle of crisis.
This year my concept of church changed.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
Compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have
received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our
lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
This is the view of the property from the deck. Our property line is in front of the trees you see along the back of the pictures.
This is what I see out the front door. Looking west over the field across the street. I'm hoping for no houses anytime soon. I LOVE the tree in the front yard. I can't stop taking pictures of it:)
This is the picnic table on the deck. Not a property shot, but it shows how much snow we had! Randy had to take the glass out of the screen door so he could put the snow shovel out and clear a path just to open the door.
This is the sad pool. It hasn't had a liner in three years we just hope it can be salvaged. It's so close to the road though that we are going to have to invest in a privacy fence before I will even think about swimming!
And this is the shed. You cant see the fantastic, blacktopped second drive and parking area under all the snow. Just made for parking when all our friends come over.