Friday, December 08, 2006

we have been spending a lot of suitcase time together as we pack up for our trip to the US for Abi's (my sister) wedding. I need to stop by Malachai's school tomorrow morning to write down the address; I promised Malachai we would send his class a letter. I am hoping that we will even get two off - - maybe one from texas and one from California. I am trying to think of what a class full of three year olds would like to see pictures of . . . maybe some things that would be unique to Cristmas in the United States and with a Christian family . Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I ran out of the house this week to do some errands. I could only find one of Josu's shoes but I was running late and decided it would be best to leave - - even if that meant errands with a half-shoed baby; well, I must have had 7 lovely Spanish ladies stop me to ask me if I knew that Josu's shoe was missing (experienced mamas! they know how much those suckers cost!) I almost took his other shoe off too so that I wouldn't have any one else stop me!
It was very nice, actually, to have so many people watch out for me . . .

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Malachai told us today that he loves Josu. Why?
apparently it's "because he is so, so, so little, and so sweet!"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

we've been having cold, rainy days. this is what my kitchen has been looking like lately; makes cooking and cleaning a bear.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I talked with Malachai in Spanish about Thanksgiving on the way to school this morning; I want him to have the concepts and words given to him in Spanish so that he could repeat them to anyone who asked (or didn't . . . ) It's a funny thing - - learning in another language . . . . I find that if I want to communicate an idea in Spanish, it is much easier to do so if I have read or talked about it first in Spanish. Having to take an idea that was first formed or introduced to my mind in English and then try and translate it to Spanish can be a bit cumbersome.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I found pecans at my local grocery store; they never have pecans! of course, to make the pecan pie I'm also supposed to have corn syrup, and they didn't have any of that . . . but we will substitute honey (maybe it will turn out better that way!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

yeah! a care package!
we love flaming hot cheetos! we love craisins! we love friendly, encouraging little notes!
most of all we love the people who sent it all; thank you Pace Setters bible study!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thursday we had family day and went downtown to get some roasted chestnuts . . . it's one of our favorite cold-weather-customs here in Pamplona.
On our way home I remembered that Malachai had is first school outing - - taking a bus to "observe the fall" in a nearby town the next day, and that I was supposed to pack a lunch for him; it was late when I remembered this but I had peanut butter and jelly at home, and I could send him with that . . . after a family pow-wow, however, we decided we should send him with chorizo on a baguette - - like all the other kids would have, so we swung by the grocery store, and went a bit over the grocery budget . . .

we're still working on fitting in!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

we had dinner with Carlos and Hebe (plus their former pastor who was visiting from Argentina) earlier this week; we love this family! They are warm, funny, hospitable, have a tender heart for unbelievers, and are excited to understand and apply the Scriptures to their lives. Take a good look at their friendly faces, and pray for them as they are increasing involved with our our church planting team.

Friday, November 03, 2006

according to an article I read in the newspaper yesterday, Spanish women are the most perfumed in all Europe (they apply twice a day!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I picked Malachai up from school this morning and was singing with him a song he had learned in his English class - -"Hello children, hello Robby". . .
"no, Mama," he corrected me, "it's not children, it's cheemrem!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I had an interesting conversation yesterday while I was waiting to pick Malachai up from class; the two ladies I was chatting with were lamenting the new gang activity in our city. "it didn't used to be this way" they sighed - - "what is happening to our society?"

Reflecting over our conversation, I realized that often, violence becomes the predominant "virtuous vs. gone to pot" societal gauge that blinds us to other more subtle evils; what about selfishness and greed? what about the pride and envy that dominate our lives, families, and communities?

I think that this conversation will pop up again; I think I will try to turn the conversation towards the need to reflect on the evils that characterize us (the "non-violent")

Monday, October 23, 2006

a French basket, on a French bicycle, in a French alley-way

Joshua had to go to Marseille last week for a conference; he took me to France with him and dropped me and the boys off in Toulouse with Emilie Gibbons - - a fantastic, fun, creative, wise, veteran missionary; I had a tremendous time with her! I kept her busy answering every question I could conjure up about life, kids, ministry, recipes, etc . . .

Malachai came home saying "oh -la-la! . . ."

veteran missionary + novice missionary

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rachel took this picture of Malachai and his friend Raquel under the ping-pong table at our church retreat last weekend; it makes me happy.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

at our park

at our park
Originally uploaded by naomi in spain.
malachai looks like he´s posing to be painted

Friday, October 13, 2006

I have been thinking a lot about community lately - - about what exactly the church is, and how it should function, about how we, I should fulfil what Christ intends for his body - - his family, about how the relationships we have within the church are so delightful and good and attractive even to the unbelieving world around us.

anyways, the conversations we have had about this with our Pamplona city team, the dialogue I have had with Joshua, and the time I have spent thinking and praying have all been rich and challenging and stimulating, and can't really be communicated in a small paragraph. Two things I will share, though
1. I feel excited about examining what I do and evaluating whether I am fostering a home that is a pure, vibrant venue that will help to fulfill Christ's desires for his community. Is my home a small picture of what God wants his church to be? am I loving my husband and children? am I speaking kindly to them? are we patient and forgiving? Do we encourage those things in those who come into our home?
2. I am challenged to be creative in thinking of ways to expose unbelievers to the beautiful, exciting community of Christ. What ways will the world see our love for one another and therefore know we are Christians? How do I invite them in?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

don't you wish you had this much fun at your bathtime?
Rachel and I were making oatmeal raisin cookies this afternoon and talking about how she had been able to eat her absolute favorite oatmeal raisin cookie at La Madeline's when she visited the US this past summer . . . and I realized that one really fantastic thing about being a missionary is that you have two homes to go back to; whenever you have the sadness of leaving one, there is the comfort of the familiar in going to the other. . .

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Yesterday at the park

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Malachai's first day of school! The entire month of September is "adaptation period" - - so he goes to school only 1.5 hours every morning. he did great! (ok, his teacher did say that he had a hard time sharing the play-dough . . .)
here is a picture of Joshua and Malachai with the school building in the background (on the left)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well, I went down to the school yesterday and signed Malachai up without a glitch! Joshua and I took Malachai this morning to "orientation" - - met his teacher, the other kids & parents, and explored the classroom. I saw several of the women I know from the neighborhood with their three year olds too. I am beginning to wonder how this might change our lives . . .

Monday, September 04, 2006

because we were in the US in the spring we missed the time period for the pre-registration in the Spanish education system, and we were told that Malachai would probably not get a spot in the school that is just a three minute walk from our place (kids here in Spain start school at age three). The principal told us that it would be highly unlikely that Malachai be admitted into the School - - and that if we did want to "educate" our son, he would have to have to be sent to the school on the other side of Baranain. The truth is, Joshua and I aren't really, really convinced that we want to stick our boy into the public education system at age three anyway, so we have been praying all summer long that if it would be best for Malachai (and us) to be in school, that the Lord would make that clear to us by opening all the doors to make it happen. (Malachai's prayer, however has been "God, please, please, please let me go to school!"

all my Spanish friends are scandalized when I tell them that I might keep Malachai home for another year. "How will he learn to socialize?" they ask. I just laugh. I tell them that our God is the God of the world, and that if he created the universe, he can certainly open up a spot for my boy if that is what he wants for Malachai! we will trust God to do what is best!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Alli's memorial service was last night; it was a sweet time of remembering Alli and of being with the Veldt family as they remembered her.

Luke had wondered if maybe we could make some bookmarks with Alli's picture and a bible verse to pass out at the service; Rachel and I did that - - and I was so glad to - - I know it was just a very, very small detail, but I was glad to know that we were doing something that Luke wanted.

What a blessing it has been to live a bit of it along side of the Veldt family this past week; they have lived the tremendous tension of truly rejoicing that Alli is better (fully and perfectly better!) in heaven, and at the same time feeling and expressing the immense pain brought on by death.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

When we put Malachai down to bed at night, we try to have him thank God for at least one good thing He has given us or done for us during the day. Sunday night I said to Malachai - - "Malachai, let's thank God for . . . " and he finished my sentence . . . "that Alli is in heaven with Jesus!"

we are thankful that Allison is in heaven with Jesus - - our hope and joy is REAL! we are grappling, though, with the reality of the pain of death. I hurt so much for their loss! Luke, Jodi, and the rest of the family have blessed us as they "trust in the Lord with all their heart"; I am thankful for them; they are amazing! As I try to think of ways to bless them these days, I feel a bit like an umpa- lumpa offering to help Goliath reach the dishes in the top cupboard . . .

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

we had a wonderful time studying the gospel of Mark this afternoon with Javi and Maite. After Mark we all went to the park for a walk together; I was reminded of how much I enjoy the Spanish evening "paseo"; our park was filled with families - - moms pushing baby prams, the grandparents sitting on benches, fathers kicking soccer balls to their boys in the grass - - everyone was out!

One of Maite and Javi's boys, Sergio, (almost 4 years old) brought his bicycle, and had Malachai put his feet on the training wheel bars and his arms around Sergio's waist as Sergio peddled; what a pair! they were so cute; I wish I had thought to bring my camera! next time . . .

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rachel is back (yay!) from her trip to the US; she came back bearing gifts - - flaming hot cheetos, chocolate chips, a puzzle for Malachai . . . it is good to have her back - - reading books to Malachai (the long ones!), sharing her hummus with Josu, helping clean the kitchen the frantic five minutes before my guests arrive, provoking good conversation at the dinner table . . .

pictures of Josu, wearing some of those gifts (thanks Caroline!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

we spent yesterday at a nearby castle with our friends Jesus and Marian. it was a wonderfully typical Spanish outing - - we left here at about 10am, drove an hour to the castle of Javier (Navarra's patron saint), spent an hour or two exploring the castle, and then ate our bocadillos (sandwiches - - but on baguettes) . . . and then just sat and talked, and then laid down on the grass and talked, and took a cat nap, and then ate and talked some more, and them we walked around a bit and found a place for our afternoon coffee . . . and talked. I think we made it back home at about 8pm - - well pleased with our day.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

this morning when Joshua was praying with Malachai, Malachai thanked God for Josu - - "the best baby ever!"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm waiting for Maite (my upstairs neighbor) to come by. we made plans to go running together this morning. We ran together a bit last year - - before I got pregnant with Josu, and I found that it was a great time to chat with her; we never jog too fast so we can talk, and we end up hanging out and talking after a bit too. Joshua and I (and - - go ahead - -you too!) are praying that both Maite and her husband Javi will commit to doing a 4 week bible study with us in the fall. the nice thing about running with Maite is that it puts us in regular contact with them (it's amazing how we can literally live within 15 feet of each other and never see each other unless we make plans to!) and almost every time we interact with them it is good.

one really great thing about Pamplona, by the way, is that it is a wonderful city to jog in - - the sidewalks are very large and there are crosswalks (pedestrian has the right-away!) everywhere - - tremendously pedestrian/jogger friendly. this is particularly helpful with a jogging stroller. . .

Monday, July 24, 2006

for those of you who have been asking for pictures of Josu . . .

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Malachai saw a little girl in the park recently and said "hello" - - and then "hola". After the little girl didn't reply he said to me "she doesn't speak English or Spanish!

I made turtles (hmmm . . . you know, pecans covered with caramel and then chocolate?) this week -- with some variations; the caramel recipe called for light corn syrup (none of that here!) so I used honey instead, and I used walnuts instead of pecans. We had a sort of book club tonight with some people in the church, and so I took some turtles to share; I didn't know how they would go over; I thought they may be too sweet, but they got rave reviews. I'll add that to my (short) "hit with the Spaniards" recipe list. good!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's hot today, and so I am doing the only real reasonable thing to do on a day like this - - loads and loads of laundry. My clothes are drying on the line as quickly as I can pump them in and out of the washing machine; I can deal more graciously Spain's anti-dryer bendt on a day like this! 5 loads down, 3 to go.

we are beginning to think that Josu is part hovercraft. He still is not crawling, but if we sit him on one side of the room, he mysteriously shows up un the opposite side of the room five minutes later - - in the same sitting position; how he got there, we know not; we think he just levitates and maneuvers.

we picked up our residency cards today (no line this time! we just showed up with the "magical papers" that were given to us last month, and we got ushered to the front of the line and given our cards) It is a relief to have this taken care of. we were expecting to be able to pick them up, but have learned to hold loosely to our expectations. we are thankful for all the ways God has worked in this process - - from applying for visas to having our residency cards in hand, He has certainly had His gracious hand in it all

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Joshua preached today (man! God has certainly gifted my husband!) ; he is doing Hebrews in five weeks - - today was the second. We invited Dioni and Charo to come over after the service for lunch; I have decided that we need to do this more often; it seems to be a particularly good setting for meaningful conversation. It's tricky (probably there in the states just as just as much as it is here in Spain!) - - figuring out what meals can be prepared ahead of time or quickly AND that will fit within the Spanish tastes! It is worth it though. We had a good time with Dioni and Charo; Charo gave me high marks on the meal, and she is always my pickiest audience . . .

Monday, July 10, 2006

I have been running a bit; every year at the EFCAIM's West Europe family conference there is a 10K walk/run - - something they do to encourage us missionaries to be fit and healthy; I think it's nice.

So Malachai and I came in from a run and Joshua said to Malachai - - "look at you riding in that jogging stroller - - you are like the king of the world!" and Malachai said - - "oh papa! I'm not the king of the world, Jesus is the king of the world!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

so after coming to the conclusion that maybe God is gently bringing by friendship with Berta to a close . . . I keep seeing her! I have run into her several times at the coffee shop where she has taken the initiative to "invite" (a very Spanish concept) - - sat at my table, encouraged her little girl Clara to do Malachai's puzzle with him, and paid for my coffee. she has asked for my telephone number to call me, and tells me that her Clara asks for Malachai every day. I don't know! I will keep interacting with her and enjoying her. I was encouraged by Jodi Veldt in our last team meeting to be praying that God would clearly direct me to the woman in whose heart He is working. I struggle with knowing how to trust God to do this while at the same time still being purposeful and intentional about pursuing individuals. however it works out, I am praying more, and that is good.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I have spent my morning cleaning. As I scrub my kitchen counter I find myself chanting over and over- - like a mantra - - the little sayings that the Spanish women have gently shared with me - - "as soon as we make a mess, we clean the mess" or "the woman who makes less of a mess is a woman who has less of a mess to clean" . . . .
We invited Higinio and Loly to come over tonight to watch the soccer game and eat some chocolate cake, and I want to be ready for them. we haven't had them over since we have been back, and I enjoy them so much; If I get everything ready now I can interact more fully with them when they are here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

it is fun to see Malachai picking up Spanish again; sometimes he will say to me "will you please not say, 'sit down', will you please say 'sientate'" . . . or he'll say to me "mama! there goes a coche! (car) " . . or "to say water in Spanish, you say agua!" It is fascinating to watch his little mind at work - - sorting through two languages.

We went for a Cafe con leche this morning and saw my friend Berta; I wonder if she will gradually phase out of my life; I had quite a bit of purposeful interaction with her before we left Spain last year, but was seemed really indifferent to meaningful conversation - -not just blatantly, obvious bible talk, but anything that involved life/world/self (even when it was MYself) evauation/critique. I will keep being friendly, of course, but I think that our trip to the states has functioned as a natural relational break.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


A week ago Sunday we celebrated baptisms with the church of Pamplona.. this was huge; this was exciting! Marian and Jesus were two of the six to get baptized. our home group had been meeting in their home for a year before we left for the States; So it was good to see them, having both made a clear profession of faith over the past few months, take this next step of obedience. Marian is such a dear, dear friend; she is so warm and sincere and transparent and fun; it was touching and wonderful to see her be baptized.

The church makes the baptism service a big pick-nic, potluck event; with this in mind, I went out and finally purchased an insulated tupperware type food container (all the Spanish ladies have them) so that I could keep meal warm until lunch (you can only do pasta salad so many times . . . ) I felt
very Spanish, to whip out my insulated tupperware and line it up along with the rest of them on the pick-nick table!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


we went again this morning to the police station; just to get information about how to apply for residency, we have to go to the police station where they give out appointment numbers every morning so that you can come back later on that day . . . and ask your question. the numbers are given out at 8:15 am, but I talked to a police officer last week who told me to get there by 7:30 because a line forms early; apparently these numbers are hot items. we went yesterday at 7:30, but the allotted numbers ran out before they got to us, so we went again this morning at 7:00 . . . and there were still at least 10 people in front of us when they ran out of numbers to distribute. SO we will presume on aunt Rachel one more time and have her watch the boys again tomorrow morning so that we can be there at 6:00 am . . . to wait in line . . . to get a number . . . to come back later . . . to ask a question . . . so that they can tell us what we papers we need to apply for Spanish residency . . . so that we can wait in line again when we have all our papers together. . . to get a number . . . etc . . .

So I am tired, but it was good to be with Joshua this morning, and we did meet a Venazuelan girl in front of us, and a Moldovian guy behind us in line who were both from our neighborhood - - Baranain; that was nice; we will keep an eye out for them as we are out in our community. Also, Joshua and I had a coffee together after we were turned away, and that was lovely . . .

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

first month back

sitting in front of the computer

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