Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Little Celica That Could

One of my favorite parts of being a newlywed is the “resourceful life”.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to stay home when our little munchkin comes along, but that doesn’t mean Nick and I live without a budget.  We actually are very strict about saving for large purchases throughout the year.  This, however, creates a very resourceful lifestyle! For example, we have a lot of hand-me-down furniture (Futon, baby!), very little home d├ęcor, and our cars are, by no mean, “top of the line”.  On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Nick’s pride and joy: the Celica. 

If you’ve ever met an engineer, you might be able to empathize with me on this one.  This 1995 Toyota Celica has no internal issues, and runs “better than most cars during its time (quote from the spouse)”.  In fact, my 2001 Chevy Malibu has the most issues, and has earned the title: “piece of crap (also…Nick’s words)”.  We are currently looking for a newer car for me, but Nick has requested we wait to purchase one for him when his is on its last breath.  I personally, think the car needs a respirator to make that last breath, but I will let you be the judge.

On the day we got engaged (December ice storm!), we got into a car accident.  We were not hurt, but the ditch we were in managed to devour the left rearview mirror.  This photo was taken on our wedding day (note the missing mirror!).  Nick finally went to a junk yard and found a perfectly good WHITE mirror to replace the missing black one.  Cla-ssy!  (oh! Please pardon all my photos... I didn't think this was worthy of the Cannon, so my phone will have to do)


I questioned Nick about the hubcaps, and he informed me that when he purchased the car, they were all present, but had since “blown away”.  Nice.  The speakers had been blown out by the incessant hardcore music phase (phase?? Is that appropriate since it’s still his music of choice?) during his high school years.  My sweet engineer found a remedy for this! Styrofoam-encased speakers, secured with electrical tape, sit on the floor boards on either side to promote the best sound quality. 

When Nick was living in Clifton and attending UC, his car (along with his home…twice), got broken into, and the passenger window was shattered.  He replaced the window himself (why would you pay someone to do something you clearly could do alone), and it will not roll down.  The sun roof stopped working a few months back---oh, don’t worry---it’s nothing a little rubber caulk won’t permanently fix! (Who needs a sun roof anyway? It’s clearly too luxurious for us!).  OH! Did I mention that the air conditioning hasn’t worked for years? So now, this coupe has one functioning window and no AC. 

The lack of air conditioning has nearly melted Nick in this 100 plus degree weather.  After doing internet research, he found a cure (going to get the AC fixed professionally would cost more than the car is worth).  The latest Celica quirk is the make shift cooling system installed by Mr. Resourceful, himself.  This quality air unit is comprised of a cooler, a fan, a large PVC pipe, and a lot of ice packs! Hahaha! I watched him create this masterpiece and couldn’t wrap my mind around the level of “white trash” we were stooping to.  It was a wonderful moment.  

So, are we in agreement? The Celica is on its last breath? Nick refuses to give up a car that still runs just fine.  I have already informed him that our child will exclusively be a passenger in my car.  I know this will be one of those things we look back on with laughter and fond memories.  I love my precious husband, and I vowed to love all of him…Celica included.

PLEASE feel free to share your “junk car” stories, or any resourceful newlywed moments.  I love knowing we’re not the only ones. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Renotta King Peru Memorial Project

 ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.“  Jeremiah 1: 5-8

I have heard this verse more times than I can count over the last 24 years of my life.  This has been my parents “life verse” that has carried them through pastoral ministries, and on to cross-cultural ministries.  Most people don’t know this, but my mom was called to be a missionary when she was in college.  God spent years molding her and preparing her for the work he had for my parents overseas.  God then called my dad when I was just 12 years old.  The rest is history!

My mom loved the Peruvians, and recognized that this calling was not just for her marriage, but for her individual growth in the Lord.  She took her job there very seriously.  She developed a deep love for the people and the culture of Peru.  In her final days, mom made it clear that she wanted to carry on her ministry to the Peruvians, even after death.  My dad promised her he would make this happen.  This brought the birth of the Renotta King Peru Memorial Project.

Thanks to hundreds of generous donations, we were able to contact a dear family friend, Oscar Medina, to develop a much-needed project in the area of Trujilo, Peru.  Oscar and my parents shared the same passion for discipleship and leadership within the church community.  He and my dad, both, have been called to train ordinary men to do extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God.  This passion allowed the church of the Nazarene purchased a retreat center through the funds provided by the Renotta King Memorial fund.  This retreat center will be used for so many things!! Pastor and wives will be able to come and reconnect with God, growing in their own personal relationship with him so they can further benefit their surrounding communities.  This will also be a place of fellowship and discipleship for local Peruvians to build up their relationship with the Lord.

Three weeks ago, 16 of us went to Trujillo, Peru to start the building process for this retreat center.  We laid bricks, painted (oh man! Did we paint!!), and spent time with the Peruvian people within the community.  We also had a day that we were able to go to a nearby church in the area, and lay bricks for a second floor in their church to share the love of Christ with the children in the community, along with teaching them how to read and write.  On the last day, we invited the surrounding churches to join us in dedicating this center to Renotta, and the Christ like life she chose to live.  This particular evening was so important to my family, and we are grateful for those who chose to come and work to support this ministry. 

Lord willing, we will be taking two more teams down within the next few years to finish the work we started.  We want to express our gratitude to everyone who has and will contribute to the Renotta King Peru Memorial fund.  We could not even begin this project without those who chose to honor Renotta in this way.  We also want to thank the group who sacrificed their time and money to come and do physical labor for a week!! Gods light shined through everyone involved, and reached many lives in the process. 

 Andy, David, and Nick showed the Peruvians how to play "American football".  They really loved tackling and were shocked by the concept.

  Allison was a master at catching bricks!

 Rebekah and Amber priming one of many walls in the retreat center. 

  This tarantula was found dead outside the men's dormitory! yikes!

  Oscar Medina and Marlon are lifelong friends!

 Nick and Alex found a little friend

  David and Nick demonstrated the precise art of bricklaying. 

 The group:

We all fell in love with the grounds keeper, Tio! He always wore that big hat and whistled joyfully!
Below: Allison made friends with every child in which she came in contact. It proves that you don't need to speak the language to show Christ's love.

The King family was overwhelmed with emotion when Oscar presented a plaque that will be placed the the chapel of the retreat center, dedicating it to the life and ministry of Renotta King.  (we missed Ashley!!!!)
I want to say a special thank you to Rebekah Gernhard, Allison Simmons, and Samantha Meinerding.  You each showed a tremendous amount of love and sacrifice by spending part of your summer to be with me during such a monumental time in my life.  I am so appreciative for friends who loved my mom, and chose to support me in this endeavor.  I love you each very much and will never forget what a huge blessing you are in my life. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Preggo In Peru

This last month has been a roller coaster! Some of the craziness includes: one year anniversary, Peru Work and Witness trip, Family vacation to Lima and Machu Picchu, moving out of Ottawa, moving INTO Evansville, Nick started a new rotation for work, etc.   The upside to all of this exhaustion is that my pregnancy has been FLYING by.  I was freaking out that I was already 6 months! When did that happen?  Needless to say, there will be many blog updates within the next two weeks.   I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak of our Peru trip and update you on baby boy George.

(That's right! This Mamma hiked Machu Picchu!) 

How far along: 25 weeks
Total weight gain:  …I was up 13 pounds up before our Peru trip—I haven’t unpacked our scale quite yet…but I’m certain I’ve gained! I blame the delicious food! 
Food cravings: steak!!! Our baby is going to be a mini version of his daddy in terms of his love for red meat. Thanks to MY dad-I’ve eaten steak like a KING (ha!) this last week.
What I miss: fitting into my non-maternity clothes.  I have had a lot of trouble finding cute, affordable, maternity clothes.  I’m glad Nick still loves me even when I exclusively wear his sweat pants.
Best moments of this week:  There have been SO many great moments, but one sticks out above the rest.  My family was hiking Machu Picchu with the world’s worst tour guide, and Baby started kicking pretty consistently.  I waved Amber over, and he gave her a huge Chuck Norris roundhouse kick! We both started to squeal (disturbing the guide), and it was one of the highlights of our day. Baby loves his Aunt Ambie.
Milestones:  moving into our newly rented HOUSE, and visualizing that sweet little boy crawling around his new nursery.   

Stay tuned for updates on the Renotta King Memorial project, and on our family vacation.