Friday, December 28, 2012

Family Photo Shoot

We were able to spend a few days with some old friends. I mean, the friendship is old, not the friends. In the eight years since we had last seen them, one of them has become a photographer. Well, with my ability to highlight hair, and her ability to take good pictures, we just did ourselves a little 'swap of skills'. We've got BEAUTIFUL family pictures, and she's rockin' some blonde!

Thank you, Jen!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Maayong Pasko

Merry Christmas.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, the Philippines kicks some serious hiney! They spend days setting up elaborately beautiful Christmas scenes in their town plazas. Even beautiful nativities, which of course thrill our hearts! 

We were able to 'soroy' (stroll) the plaza about 12 hours before Typhoon Pablo knocked over most of the decorations and ripped a big hole in the tree. 

There are still carols being played at the malls, and most of the Christmas decorations have been repaired and rehung. But it's a very sad Pasko for those who are burying their dead and grieving the loss of homes and belongings. Please pray for the Philippines this Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Nothing like having family for the holidays! We were born into beautiful families, and then God doubled the blessing by giving us 'family' here in the Philippines as well! So, having the 'U' family come down from the village and spend 4 days with us was WONDERFUL!!! 

We ate good food, laughed a lot, took turns holding the baby, played, worked, visited, went to the park, and Neo's Uncle even built him a tree house!!

 Planning out how to make a few school desks
 Mmmmm, sweet potato and mango ice cream at the park!

 Enjoying the new tree house and hammock!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Moving to a new town is no small undertaking. Doing it in a country that is not your home country makes it even more of an adventure. However, slowly but surely, we are settling in and feeling more at home. 

Our new house has a lack of storage (cabinets, closets, shelves). So, in desperation to get some boxes unpacked, Josh put together this beauty of a shelf

Although it was functional, man was it ugly. So, although he claims he doesn't know how to build, he whipped together these beauties! I'd say it's a huge improvement...and, I'd say he CAN build!

Another exciting milestone was moving the kitchen inside! This was our 'dirty kitchen' (as they call outside kitchens in the Philippines). It is great for scrubbing pots and frying fish, but having a kitchen sink inside is a bit more practical for our family. 
So this week we had this little beauty installed! Three cheers for indoor plumbing! Well, everyone's cheering except Ally, who apparently liked the outside sink better. I think my kids adapt a bit better to their environment than I do!

 Another exciting addition to our family, is a new house helper, who happens to be an AMAZING cook! She's cooked meals like this every day this week for lunch! I feel like I'm in a restaurant every day! Hallelujah I don't have to cook AND I'm getting better meals! Pretty sweet deal.

Homeschooling is no easy task, made harder by a lack of routine and a house constantly under renovation. But, we are slowly getting into 'the groove'. If we can actually finish an entire day of school in one day, now that will be a Moffit miracle!

Although almost everything in our life is new/different/changing, one thing remains the same...our heavenly Father. So thankful for Christmas and the reminder that we are deeply loved by an awesome God, no matter what our circumstances may be.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chapter 1 'Pan'

No, I don't mean that thing you cook eggs in, I mean 'pahn'....bread. 

Language learning is a funny process. You think of an English word, then you learn how to say that word in a new language, then you use it for 8 years, then you realize you've been using it wrong the whole time!!

That's what happened to me (a few times) last week. 

I've always called bread 'pan'. So, last week when I couldn't find the bread, I said to Lindy (the wonderful woman who helps me keep my house running), "Where's the pan??" She said she didn't know. But - I KNEW she had put it away that morning. So I said, "The pan was in the green bowl." Still nothing. 

Finally, I found the 'pan'. I held it up and said, "Here it is!" She said, "Oh" and went back to her work. 

Well thankfully, our friend and language EXPERT, 'W', was in the living room watching this whole drama unfold. He snickered and said, "That's not 'pan'". 

What??? I've been calling this 'pan' for 8 years now!! 

"That's 'sliced bread'," he says with a snicker. Well, my American brain is really spinning now. 'Sliced bread', 'Pan', what's the difference?? Well, it turns out the difference is quite extensive. 

Sliced bread, is well, bread that's sliced. 

Pan is sweet, snacky bread that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Pandesal is plain, round breakfast bread.

So, there you have it. Bread is not pan, it's sliced bread.   

Chapter 2 'Slang'

When my children speak English in this town, people snicker and say, 'Slang kaayo' - 'That's really slang'. Josh and I then exchange knowing glances, that, yes they do use a lot of English slang. They use a lot of words that someone who speaks English as a second language might not use.

After all, that's what 'slang' means, right??

Wrong. Once again, Josh and I learned recently, that a word (another English word, no less) that we always thought we understood, we do not, in fact, understand.

As it turns out, when Filipinos in this community use the word 'slang' it means 'to speak quickly, and easily, without any choppy-ness'. Or, to put it another way, "Belinda does not speak Filipino languages 'slang'.

But, that is my goal. And so, I WILL press on to greater understanding of the languages spoken in this country...even if it means re-learning English!

Chapter 3 'Tea'

Lest you think miscommunication only happens between Americans and Filipinos, here is another example of an English word I've had to re-learn.


You know, Lipton. It's brown. Can be served hot or cold. 


In a missionary community with people from the lands 'down under', we have had to learn that 'tea' can be a beverage, or an evening meal, or a morning snack, or...well, to be honest, I haven't quite sorted out all the ways to use 'tea.' 

However, I do know, that if an Aussie invites me over for 'tea', I will say 'YES!' and hope its lamb followed by pavlova!   

Oh English, you're a slippery snake! But, you're beautiful, and versatile, and I'm so privileged to call you my 'mother tongue'! 

Saturday, November 03, 2012


A few things that make me chuckle.....

Meet my favorite candy, 'Chubby.' Not only are Chubbies delicious, 
but they are called 'Chubby' - what's not to love??

The back of the Chubby wrapper says, 
"My Chubby World, Big Adventure"
Love it.  

Everyone loves a good donut! But, sometimes you just
need a little something else to go along with your pastry... spaghetti!

I'm tempted to get my hair cut here, just so I can say,
"Mr. Bean did my hair". 

 In case you can't read the sticker above the gas tank, it says,
EVERY DROP COUNTS- with gas over $4.00 a gallon, every drop
does indeed count!!  

Best name of snack shop....ever!