Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Disney Dreams

We did it! We pulled off a magical Disney dream! As you know, the Louderback gang is spending a few days with Mickey. What you did not know was that the Barwick gang was joining us. The best thing is that our kids did not know either!
Noah and Ben have been best friends since they were 4 years old and this separation has been hard for both of them. I have to tell you that their reunion was priceless! We were in the room and Ben knocked on the door. We told Noah it was someone from the hotel bringing us something and he went to answer it. He was totally shocked to see Ben when the door opened! Noah was in total shock for the next several hours. In fact, I think all the kids were.

We have had a blast so far. We played miniature golf this afternoon. The weather is perfect! This evening we all dined with Cinderella and Prince Charming. The boys spent most of the time taunting the wicked step sisters. The girls were of course mesmerized by the beauty of Cinderella. We will be spending a full day tomorrow at the Magic Kingdom. Tim says we are going to stay till the park closes at 2AM. Fun! Happy New Year!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Texas

We have really enjoyed the last week in TX! All of the Louderback clan and my mom have been staying at my brother's new home in Kingwood. We have had a blast! My brother is an excellent cook so on top of great fellowship, we have had tons of great food! Yummy! The cousins have had so much fun playing together. Of course, Santa brought lots of new things to amuse them with. We have enjoyed some wonderful family time together and made some precious memories. I am so grateful to have been able to have this time with them. We were also able to see some of our dearest friends The Berg family. :)

We are flying to Orlando tomorrow where we are going to enjoy a few days at Disney!! Grandma gave us passes to the park for Christmas so we are going to enjoy one last party vacation before we head to Costa Rica. The kids are beside themselves with excitement. Grandma is the coolest. :)

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May you have
the gift of faith,
the blessing of hope, and
the peace of His love
at Christmas and always.
Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scared and Sad

I am just going to be honest, the past 24 hours have been pretty difficult for me emotionally. We left Virginia on Thursday and were able to hang in Nashville for a couple of days celebrating with Bethany. It was her birthday Friday. We had an awesome day. There are 9 children between us so actually getting to spend one on one time together is a rare treat. However, Tim was wonderful and entertained the troupes for us so we were able to have most of the day just hanging out together. We had so much fun! In fact, it was a perfect day. We ended the day at The Cocoa Tree where I had THE BEST chocolate brownie cookie that was ever made. AMAZING! If you are ever near Nashville, you must make it a priority to get one. Anyway, I digress.....We left Nashville this morning and it was a hard goodbye. To be honest, I was not expecting it to be. Bethany and I have not lived in the same state for years and our friendship is well acquainted with long distances. I did not really think this goodbye would be much different from the hundreds of others I have had with her. I was wrong. It was awful! We were both a wreck and honestly I have not been much better the entire day.
I am scared. I know that God has got this whole thing under control and I trust Him, I really do. But I am still scared. In 2 weeks my family and I are going to be in a place where they do not speak English and the world as we know it does not exist. It is all a bit overwhelming. I am certain that everything I am feeling is normal and part of the process and I am trusting God to give us all the grace to handle it. It just feels pretty yucky right now.
Just so that I can close on a lighter note, here is a picture of Bethany and her birthday present to herself. A nose ring :) I told you we had a fun day!! :)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Open House for Kids

Today we had an open house at the kids school. They have had such a wonderful experience here. The teachers have been so attentive and helped them transition so well. They are very excited about how God is going to use them in Costa Rica and Panama. They have made some special friendships and have really had a great experience. Here are some pictures of some of the projects they have done.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brain Overload

Wow, I just looked at the calendar and saw that Christmas is 2 weeks from today! I am telling you that I have lost all track of days, time, weeks, months while we have been here. I just look at the schedule they gave us and show up in the class I am supposed to show up in. We have no tv and basically no connection with the outside world so it was a bit of a shock to check out the calender this evening. Good thing I did all of my shopping early!
We have had yet another fast paced week. To be honest I do not think that my brain can hold one more piece of information at this point. Information overload!!! Thankfully, we have a half day tomorrow. We get out at noon so we can get some more shots. Won't the kids be so happy. :)
We will leave VA one week from today and head to Texas to celebrate Christmas. We are looking forward to a little time of rest and spending time with my family. We have our plane tickets and are set to fly to Costa Rica on January 2nd. We are getting excited!!
Well, I am going to dash back to my sleeping quarters in the pouring rain and try to get some rest.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

Our family received the neatest gift this week. One of our prayer partner churches sent us a 12 days of Christmas care package. I have never seen anything like it but we have had so much fun! Each day for 12 days, we open a new present. Inside we find a "themed" gift that coincides with the song. For example, today was day 4 and we opened the gift to find not 4 "calling birds" but a "calling card" to use while we are traveling around. On day three we found not 3 "french hens" but gift certificates for "french fries" and some "french cocoa"....anyway you get the idea. I am telling you, it is the cutest thing ever and the kids are loving it! They can hardly wait for each new day to open their gift!
A huge thanks to this sweet church family!!! Your thoughtfulness and support have truly blessed us! It is so amazing to me that these sweet folks have never even met our family but have been such a support to us. Isn't God good!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Missions Week Thank You!!!

During this time of year many Southern Baptist Churches focus on international missions. It is the time of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which funds the work of Southern Baptist missionaries. I want to personally thank you for giving. We have been so impressed with the many ways that your money is being used. I can tell you without reservation that your money is well spent! The training we are receiving here is amazing. They really have thought of everything and we feel so well prepared for what lies ahead. What a privilege to be able to come here and focus on learning how to go and tell! We have also had the opportunity to hear many stories about exciting things that God is doing around the world! Your missionaries are making a real difference in the kingdom of God and your PRAYERS and GIVING are a HUGE part of that!
I have also been reminded this week of how many years I sat in church this time of year hearing all the talk of missions and feeling so guilty because I knew that God had spoken to my heart and I was not being obedient. There is no peace like that of being in the center of God's will. I have to remind myself of that when it does not feel very peaceful in my heart.
I want to say a special thank you to our home church in Thomasville. Thank you for loving us and supporting us. We are proud to go as a part of your body. We miss you and can not wait until we get set up so that you can come and serve alongside us with mission teams. We want you to know that we could not do this without your support. This is a group effort and we are glad to be part of your team!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Noah!!!!

Happy Birthday Noah! It was 11 years ago that God blessed us with a handsome, healthy amazing son. Noah, we love you and are so proud of the young man that you are . We love watching you take care of your sisters. We love how sweet and tender you are at times and how ALL boy you are at other times. We love watching you play all the different sports you enjoy and how hard you work to be good at them! We are so proud of how you have been so outgoing and met lots of new friends while we are here at training. You make us very proud.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! This is certainly a different holiday for us. We are planning to sleep in and have worship time with our house church late tomorrow morning. I have a special Thanksgiving lesson planned that should be fun. The kids are going to help me and we are going to make a Thanksgiving chain representing all we have to be thankful for. At lunch we will have a special Thanksgiving meal with our fellow missionaries. As I have mentioned before we do not have TV's here but Tim has managed to borrow one for tomorrow and we are going to spend the afternoon playing the Wii. The kids are so excited! It is a big treat for them. We are looking forward to having a day of rest and enjoying each other.
We hope that your day is filled with lots of sweet family time and tons of yummy food too. :)

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Van and MAC

This weekend we participated in a regional volleyball tournament. Our region is called MAC for short. So, our group made tee shirts with the MACdonald's theme. :) We did not win but we sure were cute!

A car update. It was not the battery so Tim is thinking it might be the starter. We had it towed to a local body shop so we should hear something today. As you see, Tim made friends with the tow truck man.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Hair, Car, and Chocolate Update

For those of you who have been worried about the news in my haircut update, fear no more! All is well! Our friend Jana went with us to the haircutting workshop and it turns out that she missed her calling! She was awesome. She did such a great job that I let her do both of the girls. The best news is that she will be in Costa Rica studying language with us so we have a haircutting expert for the next year. :) By the way, if it looks like GL is asleep in the picture, she is. It has been a long week!
It has been quite an interesting day around here. We had shots this afternoon and this evening Noah had some weird reaction to the Typhoid shot. He seems to be getting better so I think all is well. I took a fast trip to town late this afternoon and when I came out of the store, my car would not start. Irritating. Thankfully, I was able to call one of my room mates who was also in town and she picked me up. Not sure what the deal is with the car but Tim says it is to cold to deal with it tonight. I guess that will be his Saturday project. (Josh and Steph, do not stress we will make the car all better :) )
On a happier not, my sweet friend Jess brought me a BIG soft peanut butter fudge brownie from her dinner out and I am going to enjoy it tonight! They do not have any kind of dessert here so it is a rare treat. It will make all the stress go away. :)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cultural Mail

One of the things they try to stress to us while living here is that other cultures are not like America. Things do not always run as efficiently as they do here. So, as a learning experience today, we had Cultural Mail Day. Off Tim went with the kids to get the mail. He arrived at the mail room and stood in a LONG line only to find out that he had to have his passport in order to get his mail. So, they walked across campus, gathered the passport and went back to the long line. Tim got to the front of the line only to discover that he had MY passport. The 'government officials" hassled him for awhile and then he had a brilliant idea. He pulled out some American cash and began bribing the government officials. Guess what! It worked! They gave him our mail and two letters stating that we had other packages on other areas of campus. At this point, Tim was tired of dealing with the cultural mail so he sent Trinity to get the packages. Nope. When she got there, they told her that it had to be an adult with a passport. By the time she found us, mail time was over. So, I guess we will hope that our packages are back in the American mail room tomorrow. I told Tim that at least these "government officials" spoke English which is more than we will get next time. :)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bible Storying

We are halfway through week 5! We actually had snowfall yesterday and more is coming Friday. I am freezing and the Tim and the kids are delighted about the snow. They are hoping for enough for sledding! I think they have lost their minds!
This week we have been learning tools to use once we get to the field. We have trained in a concept called T4T. Training for trainers. In essence we learned how to go into our people group and train locals to lead in their own churches. We have also learned a great tool called Bible Storying. It is my favorite tool so far because you use a situation that you are in and share in conversation a bible story that relates to the situation. For example, if I was talking to another busy mom and we are discussing how much work it is to keep us with our family, I could share with her the story about Martha and Mary. Jesus teaches Martha that all of her busy work does not matter in the end, he encourages her to do is be more like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus. I need to be reminded of this story quite often!

They offer many different extracurricular classes here everyday. Tonight Trinity is going to Taekwondo and Friday I am taking a basic haircutting class. Don't worry I am not going to cut my own but I do have to take a “hair model” with me. I am going to have the kids draw straws! :)

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


In the spirit of physical health I let Noah talk me into running a 5K with him this morning. Actually running it “with him” is not very accurate. Running it about 15 minutes behind him would be closer to the truth. What was I thinking? Clearly, I was not. I did manage to finish and I was not even the last one. Impressive, I know. While we have been here I have been working out most afternoons and have built up what I thought was a pretty good endurance. I was mistaken. I think I better train a bit harder next week. Tim and Gracie Lynn ran also. Our friends told Tim to be sure and wear his nametag so that when he passed out, the paramedics would know who he was. :)

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Friday, November 14, 2008


We had our first immunization clinic today. We will have a couple more clinics before we leave. Have to get lots of shots to be healthy in Central America! Can you tell who did not have to get any shots? You guessed it, EDEN got to be the lucky girl today! :) Tim and I each had 2 shots but the kids only had to get 1. Dr. Cooper gave them several before we left Thomasville so hopefully, they will not have to get stuck to many times here.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Housewarming Gift

When we got to our quad today there was a surprise waiting for us! Gene Lord and our friends over at Flower's Bakery had delivered an AMAZING Thanksgiving meal! Look at all of that food! There is a ham with ALL of the trimmings and a Turkey cake for dessert. We are going to have our house church over Sunday night and share our treat with them. Thank you so much, we feel very loved!! Yummy!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FULL head and heart

We have had a very FULL week and it is only Wednesday! Here are a few highlights of our
week so far:
Middle Eastern meal,eaten with our fingers
Study of Anthropology: the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind.
Contextualization:To place (a word or idea, for example) in a particular context.
*I give you the definitions although most of you know what these words mean, I did not till this week :)
Pacific Rim meal,yet again, eaten with our fingers
Panel of adults who were raised as kids on the mission field
World view workshop: Roman Catholicism
Post Modernism

and there is plenty more planned for the rest of the week!
As you can tell we are making very good use of our time here. I am continually impressed with how well planned out this time of training is. Our leaders are so passionate about making sure that we get the best training possible before we leave here. Their passion is contagious! Our heads and our hearts are both FULL! :)

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

African Worship

We have had a fun weekend here at what we lovingly refer to as “The Compound”. :) We have decorated our quad for Christmas. We all got together and made it very fun and festive. We now have a winter wonderland in our living area.
Each Sunday night we have a worship service in the custom of another country. This week, we worshiped like they do in Africa. All of the women had to wear long skirts and head coverings. The children and women sat on one side of the room while the men sat on another. I have to tell you that Gracie Lynn now thinks that we need to go be missionaries in Africa. There was lots of music and dancing. She was very happy. :) It was lots of fun!
Here is a picture of me and my friend Jess. She and her hubby Adam are going to serve in the jungles of Peru. Silly girl. :)

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Friday, November 7, 2008


We have completed week 3 of our training. It has been another busy week for us. Tim and I had sessions on working with a team on the field. We are already getting to know the folks in Panama through emails. We also had the opportunity to hear about 4 different church plants that have begun recently in different areas of the world. There are missionaries who are on stateside that are here with us and they were able to share their real life experiences with us. It is exciting to hear real stories from real people. It makes us very excited to see what God is going to do with us as we go to serve.

Here is just a funny for you. Most of the men here on campus are participating in No Shave November. Tim is doing his part. :)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Family Members

We would like to introduce 2 new members of our family. Meet Peter Panda and Jeremiah Pig. :) The girls are learning to take care of their new friends this week. They have to eat and brush their teeth. You even have to find time to play and read to them. They are both having lots of fun!
We are having a busy but good week so far. One of our quad mates is having a birthday today so we are having a little party for her tonight. She is 23. We are old. :)

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Colors

Happy Monday! I have been so busy telling you how cold it is here that I have forgotten to mention that it is SO BEAUTIFUL! This is the view from my home. :) Every week the leaves are more colorful.
Gracie Lynn went on a field trip to the Zoo today. She said there were lots of neat animals and they showed her all of the ones that live in Central and South America so she is going to help us find them when we get there. :)
We have conferences with the kids teachers this week. We had Trinity's this afternoon. Her teacher is such a nice lady. She was a MK (missionary kid) and she took her own kids to the field as well. So, she has lots of good insight to offer all of us. She really has a heart for working with these kids and you can sure tell! Trinity LOVES her and has really grown so much just in the past few weeks. We are so grateful for the incredible support system that is provided here.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008


Palin Power!!! We joined THOUSANDS of other Palin People at the football stadium last night and cheered Sarah on! It was so cool!!!!! It was like a big pep rally, lots of music and cheering. Sarah and Todd came out at the end and she gave a great speech. She seems (just like on tv) like such a great normal down to earth smart momma. Of course, she looked super cute on top of all that. :)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Pumpkin Day!

We hope that you all have a fun and safe Pumpkin Day!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

A day in the life of us

Have I mentioned that it is FREEZING COLD here?!?! Tim assures me that it is going to be warmer this weekend. I sure do hope that he is right. Just so you will know that my whining is justified, we are outside a lot. We have to walk everywhere and it is a large campus. There, now don't you feel sorry for me. :)
Many of you have asked what our typical day looks like here. We get up early each morning and have breakfast as a family. After breakfast I have a class on personal discipleship while Tim has devotions with the kids and takes them to school. Tim and I meet up at this point for whatever class they have set up for us. There are new topics each day. This morning we had a session on connecting with local churches. We took good notes because we are very excited about you all partnering with us and being able to pray with us and to visit us in Panama! We had another session on Transition and Grief. We took good notes at that one too because we miss home A LOT! :( Tim and I get to have lunch with our peers. Many days , like today, we have working lunches. Our lunch and afternoon meetings were with our Region. The IMB divides us into regions by areas of the world. We work with the Middle American and Caribbean region, know as MAC. At lunch and for the first part of the afternoon, we gained lots of information about going to Costa Rica and Panama. We found out some fun stuff about the year we will live in Costa Rica! I will write about that later.... We pick the kids up at 3 and then one of us usually has a meeting of some kind while the other one hangs with the kids. Today, Tim gets to attend a meeting on setting up a retirement plan. He is very excited. Weirdo. :) We hang out with the kids and then have supper together. In the evenings we have recreation time and other fun family activities that they have planned. Sometimes, one of us might have a training session of some kind also. After we get the kids settled into bed, Tim and I do homework. So, our days are full but I have to say that they have everything set up so well. The food is great, the kids are so well taken care of and the classes are so helpful. This is a beautiful place, even if it is cold! We feel blessed to be able to spend our training time here.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Talk

We have hit the ground running this week! Dr. Jerry Rankin, the president of the IMB, has been doing training for us on Spiritual Warfare. While it has been a heavy deep subject, we have learned a lot and feel like we have several new bits of knowledge that will be very useful while on the field.
After much research and prayer, Tim has also begun seminary classes. This is something that he has thought about for a long time. There is a program here on campus where he can actually get credit for the training we are in. It does mean a bit more homework and papers for him but he feels like it will be worth it in the end. Say an extra prayer for him that he can get everything done.
The kids are all doing so well. They really seem to be enjoying school and they do a great job of providing them with extra curricular activities on campus when school is out. The have all kinds of fun games and sporting events for them to take part in. Their days are full and they fall asleep when their heads hit the pillow. It is also really neat because in the school day they are being taught on the same topics as we are (on their level) so we can relate to each other in the evenings. They all have such sweet spirits and are really excited about being able to serve on the field.
I have to say that I will be very glad to be in Costa Rica and enjoy some warmer weather! It is COLD here. :(
We never grow tired of hearing from home so please keep the emails coming. They are such an encouragement to us. :)

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Recap

We have had a great weekend! It rained most of the day Saturday so we decided to find some indoor creative fun. We painted pumpkins with some other families which was a big hit with the kids. We played cards and just enjoyed hanging out with new friends. This morning we met with our small group for house church. There are 12 adults and 6 kids. It was our first house church experience. We all enjoyed it. The kids were extra excited to not have to “dress up” One of the members of our group brought his guitar so we had some sweet praise and worship. Two of our members shared how God had led them here and we read some scripture and had prayer time. It is going to be great to get to know these folks over the next few weeks as we worship weekly with them. It is a beautiful fall day so we are going to spend some time enjoying the outdoors this afternoon. We have gotten some relaxation in this weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yesterday morning our leaders here gave us an amazing gift! It was called a personal spiritual retreat. The rules were simple. We had 3 uninterrupted hours to be alone with God. We could use our time in any manner that we felt led. I needed this time more than I can even tell you! I decided to take a walk and listen to my ipod. I walked for about an hour just enjoying the beautiful area that we are in and listening to praise and worship music. I went back to my room and just sat with my music and my bible and began to read and pray. I just tried to be still and listen. I began to reflect on my life for the past several months. It has been such a whirlwind! I have been so busy trying to get everything in order to move and keep my family together. I honestly had to admit that my time with the Lord had been rather sparse. I was convicted of something that I already know but had not been living. I can not do this by myself and in my own power! It is VITAL that I take time each day to sit and read and pray and let the Lord guide me. I must rest in Him and allow Him to give me strength.
At the end of the retreat our entire group got together and shared what God had done for them in this time. It was my favorite time here so far. It was great to hear people's hearts and struggles. It certainly made me feel like I was not the only one struggling. There are some amazing stories in the group and I am looking forward to getting to know these folks better.
So, I feel like a new women. :) I am no longer going to try to do all of this on my own! Please pray for me that I would continue to rest in Him.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Adam and Jess

I have added a link this morning of some friends who are here training with us. Adam and Jessica are heading to the jungles of Peru. Check out their blog if you have a chance.
Have a great day!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday...I think :)

It is kind of easy to lose track of what day it is around here! :) We have had another great day. We are getting more and more into a routine and settled in. The kids had another great day at school and Tim and I had another full day of learning.
I mentioned before that Tim and I were small group leaders. Well, we had our first meeting with our small group tonight. There are 12 people total and we will meet each day to pray and worship together. We are going to have the opportunity to get to know them really well. In our group there are several young college age kids. They are going on a 2 year term to serve in various places. What struck me about these kids was how excited they are about what God has called them to do. It just did my heart good to be around them and listen to them talk about their passion for going to the nations. I love it that my kids get to hang out with them too, what great role models.
I can already tell that we are going to be challenged a lot in the next 8 weeks. One of our classes today was on personal evangelism. I will be honest and tell you that this is not my strong suit. Our teacher said something today that really hit home with me. We could go to Panama and live among these people and encourage them and get to know them and love on them like they have never been loved on before, but unless we take the time and tell them about the saving power of Jesus Christ, we will have failed in our mission. Challenging. I am praying for boldness and opportunities to share! I challenge you to do the same. :)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Great School Update

We have had a great day! The kids were very excited this morning. Gracie Lynn actually woke up at 5AM got dressed and fell back asleep waiting for the rest of us to wake up. :) Tim and I were in classes all day also. They basically gave us an overview of what to expect the next 8 weeks. Suffice it to say that we will be plenty busy. It feels good to have a plan and know what is expected of us. We picked the kids up from school and they were SO HAPPY. They had such great days! They were full of stories of what they did and how much the liked it. I am so thankful! Another huge blessing is that they all met new friends! They have been outside playing all afternoon with new kids from school and they even sat with some of them at dinner time. It is so good for them to build these relationships with other Missionary Kids! It is a huge answer to many prayers.
I have had a much better day as I am sure you can tell from the tone of my post. :) I know that there are going to be good days and not so good ones along the way. It is going to be a process. Thank you so much for all of your encouraging words and prayers that you send our way. We do not always have time to respond to each email but we are so appreciative of each one. We could not do this without your prayers and love.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday at ILC

Well, the Louderback family slept so well that we almost missed breakfast! Tim set the alarm but apparently not correctly. So, we ran to the cafeteria in our pj's (well the kids did) and got there just in time. This morning we made a final Wal-mart run and after lunch, we got the kids all signed up in school. The school here is beautiful! It is so inviting and fun. They were all so excited to meet their teachers and see where they would be going. In the morning time, they will have "cultural learning" and then in the afternoon, they will have "academic learning"
This afternoon, we had to do a campus scavenger hunt to orient us to where everything is. Now, Tim and the kids are fishing and I am catching up on emails. Our official schedule begins tomorrow. Tim and I will drop the kids off at class and then head to our own training. We found out that we are team leaders so we have to attend a meeting about that first thing in the morning. I am not sure what we will be leading and I am thinking they are hard up for leaders if we are the best they have! We are totally clueless at this point.
I have attempted to make a picture gallery of our new home. You can check it out if you are interested here.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Madness

We are here at the learning center. We are unpacked. I am sitting in the middle of campus in a room they call the global center which is the only place that I can find a wireless signal at the moment. I am going to have to check into this in the morning. My cell phone signal is sketchy at best. There is no tv anywhere to be seen, it is very cold and I am thinking that I am just to tired to have anything positive to say. So.......I am going to bed and plan to have a more upbeat post and nice things to say in the morning. Just wanted you to know that we are safe and settled.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Sightseeing

Thankfully, Tim was much better today so we could resume our sightseeing. This morning we went to the Arlington National Cemetery. We were able to see the changing of the guard and a wreath ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier. It was an awe inspiring thing to watch. So respectful and reverent. We also went to the Iwo Jima Memorial.
After grabbing some lunch we headed off for lots of fun at the Zoo. The highlight was the 3 giant pandas! So cute.
We will attend church in the morning with the congregation who is hosting us in our missionary home. It will be our last full day in DC. We will leave on Monday morning and head for the learning center in Richmond, Virginia. We begin our training and the kids begin their classes on Wednesday so we will have Monday afternoon and Tuesday to get our home set up. we are looking forward to getting there and to beginning our training.
We have had such good family time the past few weeks. After the stress of getting out of town, we really needed it. God has been so good to us along the way and we have had so many little treats that we did not plan for. We feel very blessed to have been able to have this time to rest and get ready for the next step in our journey.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Yuck

Not much to report today. Tim woke up sick so he has been in bed all day. Fever, chills, stomach issues. Just yuck. The kids and I have just chilled around the house. We have played, updated Ipods, done laundry and all sorts of other exciting home events. Actually, I did not mind having a few hours of at home time and I do not think they did either. Hopefully, Tim will be all better tomorrow and we can finish up our DC tour. We plan to head to Arlington and the Zoo.
Say a little prayer for Tim and me too. He hates being sick and he is not the best patient. :)

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

George W. from Tim

The White House has been the scene of many events in the history of our nation. Moreover, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the most famous address in the United States. For the Louderbacks, it was indeed the scene of one more event. We slept in today and began our day with a nine room tour of the White House. Our tour began at 11:00 so we assumed that "W" was probably upstairs finishing up some work in the Oval Office before lunch. Little did we know that he actually went out for an early adventure and would be returning very soon. We finished up our amazing tour and stepped out on to the front porch and proceeded to leave the grounds, so we thought. As we approached the street, a Secret Service Agent said "please stop and stand right there." Thus, we did! About 15 minutes later, the Presidential motorcade began to approach. There were probably 20 black vehicles followed by an ambulance. Here's the best part though! As the limo that George W. was riding in arrived at our location beside the gate, he waived out the window to the Louderback family. Tina had on her Sarah Palin t-shirt on, and I had on my McCain/Palin t-shirt. The kids were in red, white, and blue. It couldn't have been a better way to end our White House tour! We were "living large" indeed! Hope your day has been fantastic!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Just 3 days after her oh so grown up sister's birthday, Gracie Lynn is turning 8. Why do these children of mine all have to grow up!!
Gracie Lynn, thank you for making us laugh so much and bringing so much happiness to our family. We love your carefree, easy going and kind spirit. You bring so many smiles to us every day. I pray that you would always have a heart full of confidence and joy!


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We visited the memorials on the Mall today. It was a somber day. It was especially meaningful to see many veterans stand proudly in front of their memorials and take pictures with their families. We owe so many so much. We also went to the top of the Washington Monument. There were lots of teachable moments along the way.
I want to go home now. Little problem I know. I am just feeling very unsettled. I am hopeful that once we get to the Learning Center in Richmond I will be able to make our space feel more "homey" and then I will feel better. I know that this is just going to be a process and I can not expect for it to feel ok right now. Sigh.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Washington Fun

We had a really fun day in DC. First we went on a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Who knew there was so much that went into making all of our money? It was very interesting. We explored the Library of Congress. Tim went on one of those boring preplanned tours :) while the kids and I opted for a hands on scavenger hunt through the library. Very fun. Every once in a while I get to be the cool parent. We had lunch at a Senate building and then we had a wonderful tour of the Capital building courtesy of Johnny Isakson's office. It was a great tour! We learned so much. Trinity and Noah were especially impressed.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday In DC

We enjoyed a rather lazy day in DC. We did get out late this afternoon and checked out a local bakery. We did our part to support the Republicans. :) They need all the help they can get in this neck of the woods. We walked along the Potomac River and ate at a Japanese Steak House tonight. We are looking forward to the week ahead here in our nations capital.

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Trinity is 12 years old today! We can not imagine where the time has gone, it seems just like yesterday that we were parents for the first time.
Trinity, we are so proud of the young lady that you have become. God has such special plans for you. We love watching you grow and become who He has made you to be. You are such a strong, talented, wise young lady. It is our honor to be your mommy and daddy.
The kids got up this morning and decorated the house with birthday decorations for Trinity. Trinity requested to sleep in for her birthday. :)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

From NYC to DC

We have wrapped up our time in NYC and are now in Washington. Before leaving this morning, we worshiped at The Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was an awesome experience. The music was AMAZING!! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it.
We are staying in a lovely missionary house here in DC. It is really nice to be in a home and not a hotel for a few days. Mission housing is something new to us since we began with the IMB. Many churches offer homes to missionaries who are visiting in their area. It is a neat ministry. This home used to be a parsonage, but in 1985 the church made it a missionary home. The home is filled with mementos from all over the world. Many families who have stayed here have left items from their countries. The kids are having fun checking them all out. The kids are glad to have some room to spread out and I am glad to have a washing machine. :) We plan to rest tomorrow and just enjoy some down time. We will begin our official DC experience on Tuesday. I hope that our weather here will be as beautiful as it was in New York. It was picture perfect every day we were there.
Speaking of New York, here are a few more pictures from our adventure.

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