The last three weeks

The last three weeks have been a mixture of excitement, dread, encouragement, fear, cultural adaptation, frustration, adventure, and growth.

Today and the next few days I will be posting pictures and thoughts on the main events.

Three weeks ago relatives arrived from England. We had spent time with them in their home near the Thames back in 2010, and now they got to visit us! It was a lot of fun to show them around, have Martin participate in Conversational English (our accents are a little different), and enjoy their company.

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Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to keep Elli, Tanzen’s stuffed elephant, from talking during nap time? Tanzen tells us that Elli keeps talking to her and keeping her up, even after Tanzen shushes her.

I have little to no experience with reasoning with stuffed elephants who refuse to stop talking, so any recommendations would be helpful.


Celebrate Life with us!

Today is the day that we celebrate life. We celebrate the life of Tanzen who is adding another year to her life. And we celebrate the life of Crystal, who has received one more good gift from the Father above, the gift of breath, thought, feeling, and smile.

It was three years ago today that Tanzen entered this unprotected world, and it was three years ago that Crystal almost left it. But she didn’t.

So we celebrate. We pray a prayer of thanksgiving to the Maker for he has seen fit to give our family another year.





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We forgot!

We have been packing up everything over the past week in order to move to Europe. Tanzen has been in the middle of it all, putting things in suitcases and taking things out. That is her way of helping, keeping our minds sharp by mixing up our sell and save piles.
Last night we got home from church and Tanzen looks up and says, “Oh no! We forgot to go to Spain!”
Yes…We must have forgotten to go to Spain while we ran errands.


Would Daddy Love Me More?

Here is a short board book written to relieve my daughter from the overwhelming burden of trying to earn her father’s love. That love cannot be earned. It is given.

I wrote the text and Andrew Nolan illustrated it for me. He did an excellent job, and it passed its ultimate review (Tanzen loved it).

Free PDF here:
Kindle book here:

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9 Years Today

Nine years ago today, Crystal and I were married. Nine years is a not-so-long/really-long time.

Looking back over the past nine years is like looking across a mountain gorge. The distance isn’t too far, but to arrive at the other side can be quite the journey! Our path has led us through some fairly dark valleys and before some incredible vistas. As I mentally retrace the steps of our marriage there is much time there, but it seems like such a short distance. In my mind I can walk through moments and events, school semesters and pregnancy trimesters, early months and first years.


In some ways I think I could have imagined standing where I am on this promontory. Our lives have followed a fairly defined path – school, marriage, international ministry, more school, ministry, child, international ministry. I could have guessed that. But as for the path we have walked, I saw no map before hand.

And that is good. God has graciously given us a vision for a general place he wants us to be, but he has given us himself and each other as we walk the sometimes steep path it takes to get there.

I am so thankful that I have had the not-so-long/really-long time with Crystal. God knew that I needed her for my good and his glory. This truth makes me even more excited for the coming years!

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