Wednesday, December 17, 2014


A Few Snapshots Of What's Kept Me
From Blogging For Two Months


Birthdays!
We've got three birthdays in our house between Oct. 29 and Dec. 18!
Lang kicked it off with her 19th b-day!

For Halloween Ally organized and prepared a sugary feast!

The kids' school hosted 'International Day', with each
country represented doing a dance!

Thanksgiving came next, shared with some
local missionary friends.
 
Then, it was
already time to put up the tree!
 
In the middle of the holiday flurry, we were able to host
some guests. Some came to play (woohoo, the beach!), and
some came to relax (recovering from surgery).

Our oldest princess attended her first formal banquet!

And our baby princess become an official teenager.


Neo's elementary school performed some beautiful
Christmas music for us.


And we even snuck in a ministry-related trip
to a neighboring island!
 
Up next, Daisy turns 15, Christmas bells ring, friends come to visit, and we head off for our annual conference. It's not the most relaxing time of the year, but it is a good reminder than God has blessed us with a lot of LIFE to live!!
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Road Trip!
 
Never been to the Philippines?! That's o.k., come along and I'll take you on a road trip. Grab your umbrella, hankie and cellphone and let's go!
 
We'll travel through the mountains, some farms, an orchard or two, and a few provincial towns.
 
Our first stop....thankfulness. I know this photo is blurry, but it should inspire waves of gratitude for your indoor plumbing! This is a common sight in the Philippines- fetching water. This family is filling up their containers from the communal hose, and will haul them back home again. So many Filipino virtues represented in this photo; teamwork, hardworking, family-centered, adaptability....
 


The views are breath-taking! God does some of his best 'paintings' in this country!


Filipinos work hard, but aren't afraid to pace themselves. It's hot in the afternoons, which makes it a perfect time to stop and shoot some pool in the shade! For missionaries in language study, these are perfect hang-outs!


Who needs 7-11 when you have little 'stores' like this! The perfect spot to grab a coke and a snack on our journey across the island. I guarantee that you'll be served with a smile and probably asked question or two about where you're coming from and where you're headed!


Our driver (aka- 'Josh') has discovered a 'short cut'. The road's about to get a lot bumpier, but we're also going to see some farms and orchards. My favorite- the rubber tree orchard. They strip off some of the bark, and catch the rubber drips in tiny little coconut 'cups'. Amazing, huh!



This particular road cuts through 'sugar country'. Farm after farm of sugar cane, and of course a big sugar mill in the middle of it all.


Starting to feel cramped? Well, sights like this usually cure my grumbling! It could always be worse. I wonder how long that guy in the middle will ride like that? He probably doesn't mind, he's just happy to catch a ride! Another beautiful Pinoy virtue- 'A willingness to choose happiness'.


Well, we've made it to a town. There's lots to see! It's almost too much to take in all at once. Trucks and bikes and cars and people and signs and wires.... And a nice young man helping granny cross the street! Ahhhh, don't you just love a 'drive-by-respect-sighting'!


This man hit the jackpot! A water buffalo AND a cow?!?! I wonder what brings them to town today....


In a few weeks these rice fields will turn into 'amber waves of grain'- yep, we've got them here too. I have to say, this is one of God's most beautiful masterpieces; fields in the foreground, blending into majestic mountains in the back, and all of it meeting the big, breathtaking sky! Well done, Creator!


Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed our road trip! Maybe next time we'll take a city tour, but until then, I think I'm gonna stop at the pineapple stand ahead and buy some fruit.....


Monday, October 27, 2014

Rachel
 
Over the years, God has sent along a lot of help for us as we homeschooled. Our very first teacher was 'Ms. Rachel'. She came to live with us in 2008. The 'freshly-graduated' Aussie daughter of one of the other missionary families on the island.

Because she grew up in the Philippines, she fit in quickly with the teenagers in the village. She also taught our American daughters to say things like 'pass the buttah' and taught them to recite their alphabet from A-Zed. :)

Well, now she's all grown up, married, and working as a nurse!

Last weekend she was in the country visiting her parents, and dropped by to see us. Of course, I had to take a 'now' picture!
 
'Ms. Rachel' and the Moffits kids, then and now:
 
 
 
 
Rachel represents a long list of people who God has used over the years to help us as we've worked overseas. I'm so thankful for people willing to give up a year or so of their lives to make a BIG difference in the lives of a few missionary kids. If you are reading this and thinking that you'd like to do something like this, check out our mission's website for more details! http://usa.ntm.org/go


Thursday, October 02, 2014

 A Decade!

Hard to believe we've been in the Philippines for 
TEN YEARS!

 2004

 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Belonging

We have been living in a new place now for about 4 months. 

We really like this city, and we love our neighbors, and the kids are thriving in their new school. 

But.....

It's another transition. Another change. Another adjustment. A season of loneliness.

But....

God doesn't EVER leave us alone. He is always with us. Sometimes being alone in his presence is enough.

But....

Sometimes we need other people. Which is why last Saturday made my heart almost burst. 

One of the blessings of living in this big city is the variety of missionaries and mission organizations. It's been amazing to see how God is spreading the message of his love through so many different people and so many different ways.

One of the organizations here is VERY hospitable. When they plan an event, they include ALL of us. That has been just what my lonely heart has needed. So, last Saturday I headed out with this group of ladies to spend a day in a BEAUTIFUL garden full of orchids, shade trees, tropical flowers and even a creek.

We sang, we ate, we shared, but most of all, we spent time alone with God. 


Besides spending an entire day with my God, my favorite part of this wonderful day was the diversity represented in this small group. Ten nationalities! All of us from different places, different cultures, different backgrounds, but our hearts woven together by the same God. 

In the family of God, loneliness is short-lived!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Crowds

The Philippines does a LOT of things well. 

Bamboo shoots for example. I mean look at these things!
 

Really, America, you're embarrassing yourself with these pitiful little canned shoots!


The Philippines also does 'diversity' well. So many people groups, so many cultures! Amazing.


 The Philippines also does a pretty, darn, good job of making beautiful children!
 

One thing, though, that still stresses me out about living here....crowd control! 


Of course, I'm one of those personalities that thinks three people is a crowd. So, my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. But still, all the pushing and shoving. It's an area I have not grown to love in the last ten years.

 But, in an effort to grow, I took Neo-boy to a parade today. I was feeling pretty confident about all the police who were reminding people to watch their wallets and stay behind the barricade. 

It didn't last. Before long, we were the only ones staying behind the barricade, as we got swallowed up in a 'school' of humanity. 

However, in the midst of the chaos, a few things happened that reminded me why I fell in love with this country

First, these ladies let Neo sit with them. And before I knew it, they were feeding him snacks. Filipinos can't stop being hospitable...even in the middle of a parade! 


 Then, when the crowd got too overwhelming, I decided 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'

That's when the second lovely thing happened. This nice volunteer really did do his best to keep the crowd under control, but that's a big task for one guy. So, when he saw us 'give in', he took on the responsibility of making sure Neo could see the floats!

Filipinos are so amazing with kids!
 

So, after a lot of jostling, and bustling, and pushing, and being pushed, we finally saw some amazing floats. I mean, take a look at this guy. He's pretty awesome! I'd give him two thumbs up for representing the Philippines' Eagle very well!
 

But, my favorites were the floats decorated with flowers. Man, people must have been up late last night getting every last, little petal in the right spot and ready for display today!


So, now we're home. We survived the parade. And even the things in this culture that I still haven't adjusted very well to, simply reminded me that the good always outweighs the difficult!

Thank you, Philippines, for a lovely parade, nice mommies with snacks, helpful volunteers, and lots of police to make us feel safe!

And thank you for being so gracious and kind to us foreigners....even when crowds make us grumpy. :)

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Girls
 
It's felt like the girls' summer has been nothing but playing Minecraft and laying around the house looking bored. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I was looking through pictures the other day and realized, 'These girls have been a big help!' Especially when it comes to looking after little guys.
 
Daisy hosting 'craft time' for Neo the other day.

 
Heading off to the orphanage down the street to
hug babies and drop off their old clothes.
(how cool is it to live a few doors down from
an orphanage! I would've loved to have this
kind of opportunity when I was their age!)

 
Entertaining some little MKs, while their parents
unpack boxes at their new house. 

 
One of my favorite things about MKs (at least
here in the Philippines), they don't mind getting
cozy. A whole different view of 'personal space'.

 
Ally 'baby whispering'. This little dude usually doesn't
let anyone but Mom and Dad hold him....which is why
this moment had to be captured on camera!

A friend posted a really cool article on MKs (TCKs) the other day. To read more about the unique-ness that is a 'Third Culture Kid' look here: http://underthebigtopp.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/purple-people-im-suddenly-the-mum-of-a-tck/

Saturday, August 02, 2014

 Resilient Rose
 
I think I've mentioned this flower before. I've had it for probably six years...but I just named her today, 'Resilient Rose'. And I want to be like her.
 
She was a gift from a friend. Purchased in the city, hauled to our foggy village home. She took awhile to adjust to a new climate, but after a few years had grown as tall as me!
 
Then we left that village home, hacked off one of her branches and replanted her in our new rainy town home. Once again she started to grow and did even better than she had in our village home. She trailed all along our fence and kept blooming and blooming.
 
Then we left that home in town and moved to a big humid city. Once again, another branch cut off and replanted in our new city home.
 
That was two months ago. Look at her blooming again today!
 

 
 
But she doesn't just bloom, look closely....she has flowers blooming on flowers. Now THAT'S blooming where you're planted.
 


I want to be like my resilient little rose. No matter how many times God 'cuts' things out of my life, or transplants me, to just keep bouncing back and blooming again.

I want to bloom no matter what 'weather' God sends my way. To bloom in the fog of ministry, the rain of loss, and the humidity of transition. No matter my environment, to simply trust the one who sends the fog and rain and sun.

I'm so thankful for a God who loves us enough to give us frivolity, like roses. And I'm thankful for a God who loves us enough to teach us through something as small as a flower.

Lord make me a 'Resilient Rose'.

My mom bought me a little book of poetry when I was a girl, and I memorized one poem about flowers. I think it holds the secret to becoming a 'resilient rose':

"I asked that God might tell me, in the language of the flowers
How I like they might bless the world and brave life's stormy hours
Around the garden all was still, then from a secret spot
Where violets blue so gently grew, God said, 'Forget-me-not'"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In Pairs
 
Josh and his 'mini-me'

Me and my 'mini-me'
 
Neo and his love-bird

Monday, July 21, 2014

Regional Conference
 
Each year the missionaries from our organization, who serve on this island all get together for a regional conference. We share stories of what God is doing in the places we serve, and we eat good food, and the kids get to play together!
 
This year, I wasn't able to attend, but my family brought back great photos and stories.
 
Josh was able to share what God has been teaching him
 
There was an awesome mix of nationalities represented;
Europeans, Americans, Filipinos, Aussies, and Kiwis!
 
The moms put together a program for the kids,
they painted, and played, and sang, and ate.....
 
Aren't these beautiful! They made lanterns and sang
a song for the adults on the last evening

No trip to Malaybalay would be complete without seeing our
old neighbors, and Neo's favorite friend CHRISTIAN! 
 
And the kids just had to stop and take a dip
in their favorite swimming spot....the cold springs!
Our friend, Boris, got some amazing photos of the
Moffits DEFYING GRAVITY!!



Missionary kids are so spiritual, they can
WALK ON WATER! :)
Ha!
 
Just floatin'

We love you, Bukidnon!