Uh, No, Emmiko… Wrong Mary
I got an email this morning from our missionary friends. It is just incredible to me how easy it is to sweep away the periphery knowledge of the (truly) suffering church in
This morning a request for urgent prayer arrived from N** in Alaba. N** is our [adopted] son and an evangelist in Alaba. Below is the email. Besheno is a town in the northern section of the Alaba district. The leaders have never allowed us to visit because the persecution is so strong. We have received funds from people here to build a meeting house for the believers in Besheno, the town authorities initially granted permission for the building, but then retracted that permission. The oppression has gotten more pronounced in the past months…now the people will not even allow the Christians to meet in a hut, so they are meeting somewhat secretly, in small groups, in private homes, at various times in the week. We were first introduced to B*** thru T**, the founder of the church there. The Muslims murdered his 8-yr-old daughter in July 05 when Dave was in Alaba; we were able to help with the burial expenses then. Please be aware that in this email N** does NOT say that the Muslims killed the 4-yr-old; he only says that they refused burial to the child.
To be called by our Lord is to suffer for Him. We cannot be granted salvation and given His Name without also being given the privilege of suffering for Him. The two issues (salvation & suffering) go hand-in-hand. So we do not pray that the persecution will stop….rather, we pray that the believers in Beshano will avail themselves of the comfort, peace, joy & strength that is in the Saviour with whom they suffer. Our Lord is more than able to meet our needs, even those needs that arise from persecution. Let us pray that these dear, precious brothers & sisters will be comforted by our Lord, and that no root of bitterness or hostility will settle in their hearts because of what they are suffering. Let us pray that His glory will shine thru their lives in the midst of the persecution!
Here’s N** email….
Dear Mama, how are you doing all of you there? We
M** A** and his family greet you. Also
For His Kingdom,
I blocked out the names in the email because I am not sure if they would want to be made public. You can keep up with the progress and the prayer requests (and also get involved) on Dr Black’s page. I am thankful for their family and for the tireless (and perilous) work they do on behalf of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world. May God continue to bless them in their endeavors.
In other news, my daughter, Ryann, made up a brilliantly fun game. During our family time this morning each kid picked a place to read in the New Testament and the rest of us had to guess where it was from. She started by reading the Beatitudes. Where’s that found, eh? It was a fun. Bobo read from the first chapter of Luke and royally confused one of his siblings. I would not have connected the Mary and Elizabeth from the "Christmas story" to Mary and Elizabeth the daughters of King Henry VIII in the 1500s. One of my kids cried out in horror, “JESUS WAS BORN TO BLOODY MARY!!!????” “um, no, Emmiko; but I’m glad to see that you’re almost sort of partially paying a little bit of attention when I teach you stuff” yep, I can always count on her. She is the same one who defined “Scapegoat” as, “a goat that always gets out of his fence: Escape Goat”
She thinks outside the box. Way outside.
Lastly, I don’t know why — and I don’t *want* to know why – but all of a sudden my mint dental floss smells like pickles.
November 29th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
A Beautiful Hope
A colossal congratulations (as well as every ounce of my love) to my sister, Gena, and brother, Paul, on their new little one, Susanna Hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a future”
I praise our Lord who is eternal. I praise Him for all of His ways. In His sovereignty all things are planned – every single thing. He is eternal and is trustworthy and He is so good to give such beautiful gifts as we wait for Him to return and restore all things unto Himself. He is our great hope and always worthy of our praise.
May your Hope always be held tightly in His merciful, gracious and loving arms
November 27th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Whew! Now *that's* The Way to Do Thanksgiving
This may have been the best Thanksgiving week *ever*. Having Geoff’s family down was entirely perfect. And they brought his 24 year old sister who almost killed me – I nearly laughed myself into asphyxiation Good heavens that girl is funny. I have the best – the absolute best – in laws in the entire world — although I think Jess might almost have me tied because her husband’s family is pretty incredible, too. It makes me sad that our mom never got to meet jess’s excellent husband, but she must be so pleased and thankful from heaven. She prayed hard for her daughters’ husbands and God truly answered her prayers. What lucky girls we are.
This year, Thanksgiving was perfect — it was entirely non stressful, and Geoff bar-B-qued our turkey with wood chips and it was the best turkey we ever had. We had our annual Pinochle Punch Down, and this year was even better because A) Ryann was old enough to play and B) Ryann wins at any and all card game she plays and C) Ryann was on my team for the first two games. It was grand. However, it was not so grand when she betrayed us and went to play on the Dad / Grampa team. We got punched.
We also got to show up and harass Coie at work on Friday (all ten of us tromped thru the store and mobbed her). And guess what? holy cow, just guess…. My mom in law brought me my Christmas present early. A NEW KITCHEN AID – it is gorgeous and shiny and blue. I’m going to use it today to make bread. I have been dying for a Kitchen Aid for the last four years. I am beside myself. They left late Saturday afternoon. I love them so much; they are just so fun and so warm and genuine.
Sunday was also an unqualified event. We went to church and saw a very dear family of redheads who were staying in
That night, we topped everything off by going to our church small group Christmas party. I honestly laughed myself silly. Have you guys ever played the White Elephant Gift Exchange? Where you pick a gift and then the next person has the option to steal your gift or pick another? Oh my heavens, the whole night was just impossibly funny. Me and Coie almost got stuck with a box full of empty plastic Easter eggs. We ended up with two huge frames with ‘not too bad’ paintings in them. We’re going to ditch the originals and pick up some cool prints. The frames are actually really nice — they are nearly as big as I am.
I hope your Thanksgiving week was also fun and relaxing. Oh, and guess what? We also got a Christmas tree — the day before Thanksgiving. That is, without a doubt, the earliest we have ever gotten a Christmas tree in the history of our existence. I’m thinking there’s no way it’s going to hold out until the 25th.
See? You can almost see it here, hiding behind us. What’s the point of taking a Christmas picture in front of a Christmas tree if your big family blocks the whole thing?
I’ve pretty much given up hope on ever getting a decent family picture. Without fail, half of us always looks ridiculous. Sadly, this was the best picture in the litter. I look like I’m about to spank somebody (which I was) Emmiko (behind me, far right) looks like a muderous yet maniacally happy chinese woman and ryann just looks completely nothing like herself. Good grief. We’d probably have better luck if we took eight separate picture and then photoshopped them together. I’ll have to remember that the next time we think about doing a group picture.
November 26th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
The Holidays Have Officially Begun
I totally forgot about Noxema. I stole this liquid foundation from Coie – well, technically, I didn’t steal it because she was throwing it away – and it had the smell and the slight tingly sensation of Noxema. I love that stuff. I wonder what else I’ve forgotten about that I like.
So today we are cleaning and cleaning and baking stuff, like pies, which I would not have thought to do early, except I read that’s what Julie Austin is doing and by gum, that’s just smart. We have two turkeys thawing, plus Geoff’s mom said she was bringing a turkey when she comes. So that makes three turkeys. Incredible math skills, I know. We’re going to be eating turkey until 2008.
And last night Coie brought me two Fall smelling candles plus a Frank Sinatra Christmas cd. So it officially feels like “the holidays” around the Igarashi Farm. We may even get a tree this weekend. I figure this year has gone by SO fast that I’d better start the Christmas season a tad early otherwise it will fly past before I even realize that we’re in it. I also found our Chocolate Advent Calendar and loaded it with candies. We’re all set.
I probably won’t blog again for the rest of the week, so I just wanted to wish everyone a cozy, happy, memorable, jolly, Thanksgiving. May our Lord bless you this year and in the years to come. Enjoy the loved ones in your life!
PS remember how i said it was snowing last week? It’s been in the low 70′s for the last couple of days. What’s up with that???
November 20th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
May Thankfulness Be a Way of Life — An Every Day Habit
This has been one of those satisfying weeks. Nothing in particular, I’m just thankful – which is appropriate, I suppose, on account of the upcoming holiday – can you believe it is already the middle of November??? Over the last year or so I’ve finally, truly understood that *anything* in life is bearable as long as you are thankful. It’s true. Which also reminds me — I finished the book, Miss Miles by Mary Taylor. One of the ongoing quotes that was used by one of the characters was (paraphrase) “if your troubles are overwhelming, very likely it’s because you are too focused on them; the remedy is to find somebody else in need and set about helping them” I love that. It’s so true. And there is *always* somebody within our sphere that is in need of help.
So anyways, yesterday we spent the day with several of our favorite friends (one of our party was sadly absent) playing chess. On the way home, it started snowing. What a scene *that* caused. And then we got home and Geoff chainsawed firewood and all the kids hauled it to the porch. I wish autumn could last about four more months.
In other news, in case you saw Coie’s recent post where she’s sporting her average “this is comfy so I’m wearing it” garb, I’d like to submit the following corroborating evidence — and yes, she’s knitting.
Is that not just plum odd? That’s Bobo’s barn hat
For good measure, here are my other quirky daughters.
and see? That’s the cozy fire we had just made to stave off the below freezing temps.
Lastly, there is still time to get in on Ruth’s contest. She is drawing a winner on Saturday; i hope I win!
November 16th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Sniff Sniff …. uh, What's That Smell?
Good Golly, yesterday morning I stumbled out of bed to start the coffee pot (I have miraculously reacquired a hankerin for coffee) and when I moseyed back into my room I was about thrown against the wall by a blast of foul, repugnant, dry-heave inducing Odor. Where could such a smell have come from? From Me? Was this smell my own personal breath build-up? My mind reeled. It seemed humanly impossible for a mere mortal to produce such a toxic gaseous pocket. So I turned on the overhead fan and started wondering if this sort of thing could get me into the Guinness Book of World Records. When I went into my bathroom, the smell got even stronger – this gave me hope. I thought, “maybe it’s just the water”. I made haste and retreated back to try the kitchen water, but no such smell penetrated the kitchen. I was stumped. Could it be my bathroom garbage? Or did my breath just naturally gravitate to the bathroom — ‘sewer smells stick together’? I was really getting nervous. I took out the bathroom trash; I took out my boys blankets (my little boys had slept on my floor); yet the foul fog would not dissipate. I went back into the bathroom and suddenly eyed the vent – when Ryann the Huntress was wiping out the mice colony, at one point she remarked that a rodent somehow squeezed itself into the vent to escape. Had something died in there? And then I remembered that Ryann had also pulled out one of my bathroom drawers and hid a trap against the wall. So with great optimism, I bellowed for the huntress, and sure enough, there was a decomposing mouse wedged underneath the bathroom vanity. What. A. Relief. My bad breath is not nearly as bad as I thought it might have become.
In other news, remember my garden square? It is now doubling as a Work Station. You would not believe how many hours my little boys have spent pushing their dump trucks around and building roads for their city.
Lastly, I am enormously excited because Geoff’s mom, dad and sister are coming for Thanksgiving. We would not have been able to make it up to their place because A) their house is still being put back together after being eaten by a Tornado and B) well, really… do we even need a b? …their house was eaten by a Tornado. I was really hoping they would come down; it’s just not Thanksgiving without them. I’m already preparing myself to get slaughtered at pinochle
Lastly last, I’m also excited because guess what this Tuesday is? Not today, I mean next Tuesday the 20th. Me and Geoff will be married for 14 years. We were talking the other day about what a ridiculously adventurous life we’ve had. There has never been anything ‘stable’ about our circumstances. Something crazy is always coming up. I think we’ve lived in 11 different places over the last 14 years. But despite our ‘unstable’ circumstances, our foundation – built on Christ – has caused us to grow closer and more ‘stable’ than I could have ever imagined possible fourteen years ago. We both agreed that we would not trade our topsy-turvy adventurous life for anything. We know that we can face absolutely anything … as long as we’re together. I ferociously love my husband and I am glad that God has used our non-boring life to continuously shape and mold us closer to Him and closer to one another.
November 13th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Happy New Car Day
Thanks skdenfeld , for the Happy New Car Day wishes, and a happy day it has been.
You know that scene at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life, where Jimmy Stewart looks like he’s going to grin himself into a coma on account of the miraculous overflow of generosity from friends? That’s how I’ve felt over this last week or so.
A few posts back, many of you said that you were praying for our car situation, and that you were looking forward to hearing what our Lord would do. Well, He used His people in different ways that have just brought us to our knees in gratitude, in amazement and really – even tho we should know better – in disbelief.
We are happy to welcome the arrival of a brand new bouncing baby Saturn to the Ig household. Isn’t he cute? This little guy was originally priced at $4,900 – but because of a set of different circumstance, the dealer gave it to us for $1,000 UNDER Kelly blue book value. I actually was afraid to get it because the whole thing was just too good to be true. Happily for me, my husband is a certified genius and was able to inspect the car from rubber to roof (plus the carfax info helped) and he is convinced that this lovely little guy is a dependable, sturdy, dream come true. Even with the mark down we were still about $300 to $400 short of what we felt comfortable spending but then later today guess what literally came out of the blue? $500. Holy Moly, I know I shouldn’t be surprised but it just stuns me at how our Lord provides ‘above and beyond’ what we need.
We had an impromptu Welcome to the Family party…
Maria Roy was on hand, and here she is looking warily into the enormous trunk. No dead
Here is Sami … there is nothing sweeter than helpful big sisters. I love that girl!
Anyways, sorry for such an abundance of sap – but seriously, this was a very awesome day
November 9th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
Good Thing Grease Doesn't Freeze
Yesterday my husband said those dreaded words that make every wife cringe and every child cry. “Sorry, my love, but I can’t fix the washing machine, you’re going to have to bag up all the clothes and go to …. The Laundromat”
Oh horror of horrors, oh gloomy deathblow that (smelly) blankets the hearer with sorrow and anguish! So I put it off on Monday. And then I put it off on Tuesday, and then I couldn’t take a shower on Wednesday for the want of a clean towel and fresh underoos. And then guess what? My brilliant, industrious, hard-working, husband fixed the *edit… WASHER (not the dryer which wasn’t broken)* on Wednesday night. Which just goes to show that it *does* pay to procrastinate.
Earlier on Wednesday – the same Wednesday which I did not shower – my husband took me car shopping. All Day. Ok, I don’t want to go so far as to say that I hate car salesmen, but I totally ‘opposite-of-love’ them. And yes I’ve read 1st John chapter 2. Fine, I take it back. I don’t ‘opposite-of-love’ them, but it would suit me just fine to never ever ever have to spend another full day on a lot (or a series of lots) with them. Think Uncle Rico … but sweatier. Plus, to top it off, it was FREEZING out there!
Alas, despite the charmers that they tried to match us up with, we have not yet purchased the next IgTransporter. Did I mention I hate to shop for cars? Did I mention that it’s even worse when your greasy hair is slicked against your head and your clammy armpits smell like burning tires? The whole day was grimey.
In other news, it finally has become down-right cold. Cold enough, in fact, to fire up the woodstove. There is nothing more cozy than a woodstove. My sons (and emmiko) have been diligently dragging dead trees to the deck and then chopping them up with their hatchets. That is HARD work. I have been surprised with their perseverance and productivity. Although, really, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Little boys and a tomboy with hatchets? I guess I should be more surprised that they bother to come in at all. Hopefully we will not have to turn the heater on at all this winter.
Lastly, and this will probably interest about four of you, I made a great discovery at the library. It is a book called Miss Miles, written by Mary Taylor in 1870, who was a life long friend of Charlotte Bronte. I had never even heard of her! I am in book nerd heaven. It is really really good so far. Ok, wake up. I’m done.
November 8th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments
The Funny Thing About Mice…
Yep, the funny thing about mice is they actually do like cheese. A couple weeks ago a gaggle of mice moved in downstairs. This didn’t bother me too much because 1) mice don’t bother me 2) they’re sort of cute 3) I don’t ever go downstairs. However, things crossed the line when this one particular little brown fella decided to make himself cozy in my kitchen. If that wasn’t bad enough, he didn’t confine himself to the kitchen — he took up residence in my bedroom. Under my bed. This little guy was clever, too. Ryann and Geoff took care of his brethren by setting up mouse traps. The week before last, Ryann the Huntress, triumphed over a total of 12 mice. The downstairs mice were dumb. But my little room mate wouldn’t fall for the peanut butter bait.
Annoying? Yes. But I didn’t start getting *really* annoyed until I realized my little mouse friend was traipsing thru my kitchen drawers. How did I know this? Because he was leaving little mouse “presents”. Plus, he got into the taco bell drawer… you know, the drawer in the kitchen where you dump all of the extra fast food packets like hot sauce, ketchup, or red pepper and parmesan cheese packets. Anyways, this furry little guy literally opened all of the parmesan packets and helped himself. And furthermore, I caught him in the act. I heard rustling and bustling when I went into the kitchen late at night, so I yanked open the drawer and saw his chubby little rodent bumsie plunk over the back of it. So we (and by ‘we’ I mean Geoff the Great) dumped some open parmesan cheese into the drawer and for a special treat, we also included a partially hidden mousetrap. Sure enough, Emmiko brought me the trap the next morning, complete with Fat Little Monsieur Rodent snapped within its iron jaws. I think that officially makes the House of Igarashi free of all pesterlies.
Okay, the grand winner of the Most Excellent Maggie Hogan Physics Book is the lovely and gracious Christy, who won me over by saying she really needed the fabulous Physics book. Originally I was all set to give the prize to Jennifer Golimbinksy – seven syllables – but I figured (knowing generous Jen) that she would want the book to go to Christy. So congrats to Christy for winning the book, and congrats to Jennifer who almost won but generously gave the book up before she even knew she had it. Sort of makes me feel like Hillary Clinton.
Speaking of winners… *I* actually won something over the weekend, too. My friend Tiany gifted me with a subscription to Victoria Magazine , which, in case you were wondering, has no relation to the Victoria Secret Catalog. Thanks Tiany! And as Winner, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I will use this position to bring good to our human brothers and sisters around the world. As your Victoria Magazine winner I will work hard to bring peace to all of the nations; and to give every child in the whole world a brand new little puppy. I actually am excited. It looks like a very cool publication. Yippeeee! Thanks Tiany!
Lastly, you’ll be happy to know that I was sick over the weekend. It was the ‘perfect’ sick… bad enough to keep me in bed for two days, but well enough to snuggle up in my quilt and read for 48 hours straight. Lucky for me, I have big kids who can run the house– and some of them even sort of acted like they felt sorry for me and brought me tea and made me soup. Being sick at my house is like a little mini vacation. Unfortunately, I am feeling much better today.
November 5th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments