Thursday February 14, 2019

Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Happy Valentines Day (for those who celebrate–I am not one of them)! Today we spent the day getting organized and packed up to leave. The kids did a bit of school work and then helped me pack up. We ended up going to the beach one last time this afternoon, but only for about an hour. I am so glad we purchased that boogie board, it has given us many hours of fun at the beach. Today, while David was using it he caught a really big wave (the waves today were HUGE) and took the boogie board to his face. Thankfully it was nothing too serious, just a sore nose and a fat lip. He did a great job just shrugging it off, but it did end his desire to use the board any longer.



After packing everything up we had dinner and a couple games of Mastermind before we sent the kids of to bed. Tomorrow will be a very long day and we start really early. We have a 6:50 am flight, which means that we have to be at the airport by 3:50 at the latest and leaving the house by 3:00 so we have time to return our rental car and still get checked in for our flight. I debated not going to bed at all because by the time I was ready to go to bed it was already midnight. Part of me wanted to just stay up, but I also knew that we had a long day ahead of us and any sleep would be better than none.


Wednesday February 13, 2019

Matthew 26:6-13 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Happy early birthday to Lucia! We had another easy start to the day. We had lunch and then headed to the beach for some boogie boarding and playing in the sand. We had so much fun until the kids got a little too excited (I asked them at least 4 times to not throw sand at each other, but they kept on doing it), so we left. Both Jeff and I were pretty frustrated and the kids were angry that we left, but we all came around and enjoyed Lucia’s birthday party. We had hot dogs and chicken with Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner. We ordered an ice cream cake to celebrate and David and I found a couple small gifts for her to open. Our decision to celebrate early was because we didn’t know what to expect in Sri Lanka. We all had a lot of fun at the party and we all played a fun game called Mastermind before the kids went to bed without much fuss; I think they are all pretty tired.


Jeff and I stayed up quite a while and enjoyed some adult time with wine and great conversation. We have been talking a lot about what we want to do when we are done with this year. I feel quite lost, not knowing what I want and it felt good to hear that Jeff was feeling the same way. We prayed and put this in God’s hands. He will continue to be our guide and we will put our faith and trust in Him. He has never failed us and I know that He won’t start now. This is not the first time having this conversation, nor will it be the last. While we still have another 6 months to go, we only have 6 months to go and there are occasional moments when I start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of what to do next. I love these conversations with Jeff because we end up discussing that we need to continue to be in the moment. Looking for jobs right now isn’t a viable option anyway because we can’t start working for another 6 months, so looking now doesn’t make any sense. Furthermore, I want to make sure I listen attentively to His word and be open to going wherever it is I am called.

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Isaiah 28:29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.

Everyone was pretty tired today. We all woke up pretty late and enjoyed the slow pace of the day. We did decide to go into Perth for a bit. Jeff decided that he wanted to get some new sandals and when we were in Fremantle there were some that were 50% off. After the quick stop in Fremantle we decided to go for a walk through the botanical gardens. What a beautiful afternoon. I really enjoyed just taking in God’s creation. Though it made it a bit challenging at times because Anjali was in a bit of a mood today, most likely due to exhaustion.

We found a restaurant with a nice view of the ocean very close to home, so we left the city which had many options to choose and headed that way. We felt confident that we were going to have a nice dinner near the beach, but when we arrived 40 minutes later we found the restaurant to be closed for a staff party. After listening to the kids complain and argue in the car, poor Jeff curled up on the sidewalk feeling completely defeated. There was no way we were going to drive back into the city, but we had no idea where to go. Thankfully there was a liquor store adjacent to the restaurant and popped in there for some beer and more wine. The two guys that worked there sent us over to Hillary’s Harbor with the hope of finding a nice dinner. We were not disappointed, honestly I think the place we ended up enjoying was better than the first place. God took care of us, we just needed to be patient and trust in His ways.


Our dinner was absolutely fantastic. We sat outside and had a beautiful view of the harbor. This ended up being a 3 course meal with a couple drinks and a bottle of wine. The kids did a really good job and seemed to enjoy their fancy meal. This was just what Jeff wanted and I am so happy that we found this place. Lucia didn’t make it through dinner and passed out on me towards the end–thankfully all I had left was my wine to drink.


The unfortunate thing was that when we got home I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I swore I put it in my purse as we were getting ready to leave. Jeff and I headed back to the restaurant and thankfully found my phone on the floor directly under my seat, which means that I tried to put drop it into my purse, but missed.

Monday February 11, 2019

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast

It was an early day today. We had to be at the ferry in Fremantle for a 7:30 am departure, so everyone was up an moving by 5:45 so we could leave by 6:45. The kids did great and I suspect it was because this was something they really wanted to do. The hour ferry ride was very peaceful as we had a beautiful view of Fremantle harbor and the Indian Ocean.

I could feel the excitement building within the kids as we approached a Rottnest Island and as we got off the ferry I thought Anjali was going to explode. She was ready to just take off running, but first we had to get our bikes and snorkeling gear. Once we got the bikes Lucia was finding it difficult to remember how to get started. It took a few minutes of Jeff’s patient teaching before she took off. We decided that we would enjoy a bike ride first, so we headed towards was looked like a good ride on our map. However, about 10 minutes into it, Lucia really started to struggle and a frustrated Jeff decided that he would take her back to the settlement and the beach and wait for us. I was upset by this at first, but as we continued on our ride, I quickly realized that this was not for her–she would have never made it! As it was, David was really struggling towards the end. This was a long and hilly ride, I even had to get off my bike to walk it up some of the hills. But we did finish and meet up with Jeff and Lucia for an early lunch.


We met up at the settlement, which is like the main street of the islands with shops, restaurants, and a store. And since we came her to see quokkas we were blessed with seeing many of these cute marsupials while we were here. The kids were in heaven following these little guys around trying to get a photo with them or just of them.

We finally managed to pull the kids away and get them back on their bikes to head for lunch. We ended up getting more of a brunch because it was still too early for lunch, but the food was amazing and we all enjoyed the food, but the kids were especially thrilled that there were several quokkas who made our lunch even more special. Plus we got to FaceTime Grandma Wood, which was really fun.

After lunch we headed to the beach for some snorkeling, we were told this was some of the best snorkeling we will find in Perth and it did not disappoint. We saw so many fish of varying sizes and colors. The kids didn’t last long, but when they were finished the played on the beach. I was happy to let them play while we snorkeled because we were basically on a reef and the water only came up to their knees until they started o where we were. It was perfect. They were safe and we all got to do what we wanted.

After snorkeling and some playing on the beach, we hopped back on our bikes and headed for the settlement. We were going to grab some more food and hopefully some wine for me and Jeff. We found a nice little restaurant that had Seagull Cannons (aka: water bottles to spray them when they got too close) and the kids thought this was great (I found it very effective). Jeff and I enjoyed a bottle of wine while the kids took more pictures of the quokkas and finally ate some pizza. I think we sat here for almost 2 hours, just hanging out with the quokkas. We were all content to just hang out with the quokkas, drink some wine, and eat some pizza.

Today was a beautiful day. This was Anjali’s only activity she requested during our stay in Perth and she seemed very happy with today’s experience. She has been in such a good mood leading up to today and all day today. I think she really felt fulfilled with the activities today. She just had a permanent grin plastered on her face the whole ferry ride home.

Sunday February 10, 2019

Proverbs 22:6 Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.

We did nothing today. We spent the day at the beach, playing and being silly and then the rest of the day was relaxing at the house or running a few errands to the grocery store. The kids have enjoyed the beach more than I ever thought they would, especially since we got the boogie board. What is even more surprising is that there have been no fights over who gets to use it and they seem to be sharing it better than I have ever seen them share. When they aren’t using the boogie board they are playing in the surf or in the sand, building forts, castles, or burying each other. From what I can tell, they were really needing this vacation and again God’s plan is better than my plan!


Tonight the kids did really well going to bed, probably because they knew we had to get up really early in the morning to catch the ferry to Rottnest Island. I enjoyed some good Australian wine, while Jeff enjoyed his beer (of all things, he has really missed his craft IPA beer and there is plenty of that here, to which he has had no problem finding).

Saturday February 9, 2019

1 John 5:14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

No school today! Today we made the 30 minute trip to Yanchep National Park with the hopes of seeing kangaroos and koalas. We pulled into the national park and just after passing through the security gate we saw 3 kangaroos resting in the shade. We parked the car and enjoyed a nice picnic lunch by the river.

We then decided to take a walk though the national park headed for the koala bear boardwalk and on our way we saw several groups of kangaroos. One even came bounding towards Jeff and turned towards the river about 100 meters from him. They were everywhere we looked and it was so much fun seeing these marsupials.

We continued to see them on our walk towards the koalas, which was fun, and the koala boardwalk did not disappoint. Yanchep National Park is home to 8 koalas and they all resided in the specific section of the park. These cute and very lazy creatures were absolutely adorable and it was so fun to try to find them sleeping in the trees. These animals never move, as they are precariously sitting in the branches of trees. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen an animal be so incredibly stationary and so cute at the same time. We stayed to stare at these cute creatures a bit and then headed for some ice cream and beers to cool off on this hot day.

After we all got a bit recharged from the drinks, snacks, and AC we headed off a nature walk around the lake at Yanchep. It was so incredibly peaceful and smelled absolutely divine. I am not sure what the tree was that was emanating this odor, but is was heavenly and to walk along this tree-lined path, surrounded by nature was breathtaking and extremely relaxing. We all enjoyed this bit of quiet solitude as we did not see another person during our entire walk. We had an absolutely wonderful day, with peaceful and happy children. So far, this was the best day of our vacation, in my opinion.

I would have to say that visiting Yanchep National Park was so far a highlight of our time here in Perth and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Perth.

Friday February 8, 2019

Daniel 2:23 To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you, for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.”

We got up this morning and did a very small bit of school with the kids and then headed out to Fremantle about 35-40 minutes away. I was very much looking forward to seeing this old port town. We did some shopping and enjoyed walking up and down the beach and touristy shops. I found a new pair of sandals that I was desperately needing and we all found some fun souvenirs from Perth. We enjoyed a nice lunch right in the bay with a beautiful ocean view and then finished our day with a tour of the shipwreck museum and some ice cream. We headed home for some showers and dinner. It really was a wonderful afternoon with only a few arguments and tantrums. I thoroughly enjoyed the day today and loved the town of Fremantle, though I am still grateful that we are staying outside of the city in our quiet little town of Ocean Reef.

Driving home the kids were so wound up, yelling and playing loudly in the car, and after about 20 minutes I couldn’t take it any more and asked them to quiet down, but as soon as I did I could feel an immediate shift in the atmosphere. You could actually taste the tension in the car and I instantly regretted saying anything at all. They really were not doing anything bad, just being loud and obnoxious kids (basically they were being irritating). Had I just kept my irritation to myself, the mood of the car would have stayed the playful and happy atmosphere. I kicked myself for my lack of patience and vowed to try harder to allow my kids to just be kids.

My poor choice in the car was quickly forgotten when we arrived at the beach with the boogie board and this time we brought the phones for pictures!

Thursday February 7, 2019

1 Peter 5:2-5 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.  In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

We made an awesome purchase today. As we were walking around the mall picking up a few items that we needed and we wondered into a surf shop searching for a large-brimmed hat for David. (David had gotten a sunburn on his face during the fishing trip in Bali and sunblock was very uncomfortable to apply.) We ended up finding a hat for him, but also a boogie board. The kids were so excited to try out this new beach toy. We quickly made a run to Target to gather some swim shirts for everyone and after a quick bite to eat at home, we were beach bound for the afternoon. I didn’t get many pictures because I too was enjoying our new toy, plus bringing the phones out to the beach just seems like a bad idea.

Everyone had an absolute blast playing at the beach with the boogie board and playing in the sand. All three kids built sand castles while we took turns boogie boarding. Jeff even got into the fun by completely burying Lucia in the sand.

So far this vacation has been a total beach vacation, which has been great. We have been waking up and doing a small bit of school work before having lunch and then heading off to the beach. It really has been relaxing, but for the most part, at least one of the kids ends up off their rocker each day. It would just be really nice to have all them happy one day. But I will take what I can get. Anjali has been doing a great job going to bed and not getting involved in altercations with David and Lucia. She has been working so hard on improving her attitude and behavior and it is such a wonderful sight.

This evening Jeff and I also got to message back and forth with Cathy from the Farm, which was a lot of fun and we scheduled to call everyone this weekend. I am so excited to hear their voices again. We all miss them so very much.

Tuesday February 5, 2019

Psalm 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on.

Jeff and I woke up to the kids watching TV. They were totally engrossed in it so Jeff and I headed to the supermarket for some breakfast and groceries. We came home to the kids in the exact same place as they were. I wondered if they were still alive, but jumped right up when we got home with food. After a bit of food, we all decided that today we needed to run a few errands before spending the afternoon at the beach. So after a stop at the mall to get some new swimsuits for the kids and a few necessary items at the supermarket, we dropped our stuff off at home, changed into our suits and headed down to Hillary’s Harbor to find a nice boardwalk with shops and restaurants and just across the street a beautiful beach.

After about 2 hours at the beach, I was ready to go and I think everyone else felt the same way. We headed home for dinner. We had such a late breakfast that we skipped lunch and just had an ice cream snack at the harbor. Today really was nice, but the hard part is that we are having a difficult time planning the rest of our time here. After dinner we all discussed the things that we would like to do and the things that made the cut were: Rottnest Island (to see the quokkas), Yanchep National Park (to see the kangaroos and koalas), Serpentine National Park (hiking and natural swimming holes), Swan Valley Wineries, Fremantle (shops and restaurants), and of course as many days at the beach as possible. We went ahead and booked Rottnest Island for Monday and planned to do Swan Valley tomorrow, for the rest we will just wing it!

They plan all sounded great until we began putting the kids to bed. I guess they were just too excited or felt that because we were on vacation they didn’t want to go to bed at a reasonable hour. The problem with this, was that if we didn’t get them the rest they needed there was no way I was going to attempt to enjoy a winery. Both Jeff and I were in agreement that Swan Valley was just not going to be possible, so we went ahead and scrapped that idea. Tomorrow was going to be another beach day.

Monday February 4, 2019

Job 27:2-6 As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, as long as my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. Far be it from me to say that you are right; until I die I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

Today we headed down to Perth, Australia. We deviated from our original plan of utilizing public transportation and opted for a rental car (I am so glad we did because we were staying a bit out of the city and as it turned out it would have been quite difficult to get around without a car, not impossible, just more challenging). Outside of the flight and the drive to our new home for the next 12 days, we really did nothing. By the time we got to the house it was 7 pm, so we quickly dropped off our luggage and headed to dinner. We were surprised to find that most places in this area closed at 8 pm so we only had a few options and no option for a supermarket or a liquor store. Boo. The kids were exhausted and pretty much went right to bed with Jeff and I were not too far behind them.

Our house is absolutely perfect. We are minutes from the beach and have a beautiful view from the upstairs of the Indian Ocean. I am really grateful we are not in the heart of the city, this is going to be so much more chill for us, and for those that know us, outside the city is ideal for Jeff and I.