Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Retreat

The staff at ICS had a wonderful weekend at Bintan, Indonesia. This is an island located about an hour ferry ride away from Singapore. Each new school year, ICS teachers and administrators take a weekend to prioritize and focus as a team. We have been going to Bintan, which gets us out of the hectic grind of our lives, for the past three years. The staff participate in seminar classes, and families enjoy each other, the beach, and the pools at Bintan Lagoon Resort.

Danny found the seminar classes very helpful. The retreat was "Focused Living" by Terry B. Walling. There were five sessions dedicated to look at the calling God has placed upon our lives. God used the retreat to point Danny to the work He has done in his life. God gave Danny a vision for the future impact He will have through us, this is the vision as Danny wrote it:
  • I see a man named Aaron with a heart following after God.
  • I see a happy couple still in love after decades of marriage.
  • I see myself opening my life to my students, allowing them to see God's working in my life.
  • I see generations of children learning about the wonderful order of the creation we live in.
  • I see the world covered with young men and women following the God of all Creation. They serve Him, and the people He has created, in love.
  • I see an old man who enjoys pointing kids toward God, wherever God leads him.
  • I see each of these people worshipping God with all they do.
It is a humbling thought to think of how God wants to use Us!

Aaron was such a good traveler this weekend. He really enjoyed being with all the teachers on the ferry. He kept a pretty good routine over the weekend. And he was the "star" of the resort with the workers at Bintan Lagoon.

Betsy found herself relaxing into a restful, stress-free weekend. The beach was beautiful, and she even found some lovely paths around the resort.

We thank God for His work in our lives this weekend.
Going on a ferry ride.
Aaron's first moments in Indonesia. This eagle is the national bird.
Family fun on the beach..."What is this stuff on my toes?"
Stepping in the sand...hmm, feels strange.
Stepping in the ocean...ahhh, feels nice!!
Splashing BIG!!!
Chasing the water down the drain
What's Up?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Out to Dinner

I (Betsy) think last Friday was the first time I have ever exited one country, entered another country, went to dinner, and came back.

Yes, Singapore is a tiny country. We enjoy this wonderful country so very much. However, every once in a while we get a "hankering" for something American. Several of the staff at ICS were craving an American restaurant called TGI Fridays. Singapore doesn't have one. Malaysia does. And it is located right across the causeway (bridge linking Singapore with Malaysia across the Straits of Johor). So, we gathered our passports, green cards and Ringit (Malaysian money) and went on an adventure.

There is a bus that goes from Singapore to Malaysia. Of course we had to go through customs on both sides of the border. That was a small price to pay for a great American meal. Oh, then there were the cab drivers who wanted way more money for driving us to TGI Fridays than we were willing to pay. So we ended up "hoofing" it about 4 blocks to the restaurant.

Boy was that terrific food!! I had a great hamburger, fries, and non-sweet iced tea. Many of the others in our group also had desserts. I finished off a tasty sundae that Valerie couldn't finish.

After dinner, we called cabs and went back to customs. Over the causeway, an MRT ride, and another bus ride and viola! Home by 11.

Does any other Americans find this as amazing as I do? I mean, I spent about 3 or 4 hours in another country for food. I guess coming from such a huge country makes me forget how packed the countries are here in Asia. What fun! I loved it!!

Of Squash and Peas

The only thing constant about babies is their inconsistency. My mother gave me this valuable information when Aaron was born. It still holds true now!

Aaron had three meals today:
Breakfast: Rice cereal and formula
Lunch: Squash and formula
Dinner: Peas and formula

This was our first 3 meal day. He had peas for the first time yesterday. He likes them very much! However, he didn't do as well today. I think there may be several factors. He isn't used to that much food. He also was upset that I wouldn't let him go from spoon to thumb almost instantaneously. Teething may also play a part. I was a little discouraged, but I know tomorrow will be....well....different. He is, after all, a baby! We are enjoying his growth and exploration immensely.

ICS adventures

While Betsy and friends were traveling to another country last Friday, I was at the school playing games with the high school students. As my sister will confirm, this is one of my favorite activities. I really enjoyed the chance to just hang out with a lot of the students from 5 til 11.

My classes are going well. I'm enjoying the opportunity to improve upon my lesson plans from last year. The biggest improvement I've been making is with my elementary computers class. It is fun to see these 7-10 year old students learning.

Please pray for me that I have wisdom to continue improving each of my lessons.
Is it bed time yet?
Mmmmm
I want to stand (But something keeps getting in the way!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Aaron Video!

I've just completed uploading some videos to Google. Two different video clips in two different sizes, small for dial-up connections and large for high speed.

Aaron Laughing August 18 Small (379 Kb)
Aaron Laughing August 18 High Speed (4.5 Mb)
Aaron Standing September 17 Small
Aaron Standing September 17 High Speed

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fun Weekend!

A most unusual event took place on Sunday, Sept 10th, the Singapore Open Ultimate Frisbee tournament. All the top teams in Asia fought for the title of best team in Asia. We watched a few minutes of the final game. It was most exciting.

However, we went to the tournament for other reasons. The guy in charge is from Louisiana, and knows about Frisbee disc golf (our favorite sport). He purchased 9 baskets that can be moved from place to place. For those of you not familiar with this game, the objective is the same as golf, lowest score wins. Instead of hitting balls, though, we throw frisbees and the "hole" is a large basket. Lance, the man in charge, is teaching Singaporeans how to play. He invited us to join them; we readily agreed.

Heidi and Katie babysat for us, and Sunday afternoon we went to Marina Park and played two rounds of disc golf with Lance and some beginners. The baskets were set at close distances to give the beginners a chance to learn the game. We had so much fun!! We met about 10 new people and really enjoyed throwing on an actual course again. Lance said he would try to set a course up somewhere in Singapore each month. We are excited to be back in this sport and praying for new opportunities to share the love of Christ.

Another new opportunity God has blessed Danny with is the opportunity to play Bridge. The last two weeks he has joined the Singapore Contract Bridge Association for a set of games. These have been fun times, as well as an opportunity to meet more locals.

Isn't it wonderful when God blesses us in the small matters of life? We are so thankful!
Mommy washed my favorite blanket...makes me sleepy!
I like helping Mommy with laundry.
Finally getting some hair!
Lets go swimming
Relaxing with Daddy!
We're all done...but the kids in the "big pool" are still playing.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Horsey ride for George
Look, I can crawl! (ok, not really, but I'm trying!)
7 months old!
What's this?
New campus dedication
Aaron's first student babysitter

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Campus Dedication

Last Saturday ICS had our dedication ceremony. Dr. Joe Hale, the president of the Network of International Christian Schools, flew in from Tennessee to be the keynote speaker. It was a wonderful time to look back at the great things God has done for ICS. The school opened in 1993 with 22 students. Thirteen years later we are in our third campus and our enrollment is nearing 300! God is good!

7 Months Already

It is so hard to believe that our little boy is seven months old today. We have been having trouble getting our pictures to post. So, if you are reading this and no 7 month pics follow, please be patient. Aaron just keeps growing and changing every day. Thank you always for your prayers for all of us.

Betsy started assisting in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class offered at the International Baptist Church (IBC). This is a unique opportunity to minister to women of all different walks of life here in Singapore. Most of the women are not Christians. However, they know that there will be about a half-hour Bible lesson included in each English lesson. Betsy is an assistant in a level 2 class. Today, the head of the ESL program told us that 401 women have registered for the classes. However, we are vastly short of teachers. You can imagine the waiting list. Please be praying that God will call more women to be a part of this amazing ministry. Betsy is richly blessed to be a part of it.

While Betsy is helping in the ESL program, Aaron is getting a chance to broaden his world. He was in an incredibly full nursery today for the first time. The nursery workers said that he did very well and only cried when he was hungry. However, he didn't get a good nap because some of the other babies were crying and waking him up. "Happy 7 months!" Betsy is grateful for this time when Aaron can be exposed to other infants.