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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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Living Large with A-Rod in NYC

Hey, it's Tim! Picture this! Imagine sitting on a park bench just 5 or 6 tables away from A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez, 3rd baseman for the Yankees) in NYC. It was amazing! The paparazzi converged on the location from every angle. We were the only ones around with kids, and so we encouraged Noah to go over and ask him for an autograph. One of the paparazzi came over to me and handed a pen and pad to Noah and said he would be shooting pictures while Noah was having it signed. That's all of the encouragement that Noah needed! He was off to visit with A-Rod and his buddies. Noah said he was extremely friendly, and even commented on Georgia being the "peach" state to his friends after asking Noah where he was from. Can you say "living large" big time? Overall, it was an amazing day. We went to Ground Zero (WTC), the Statue of Liberty, and Chinatown. Fabulous! Tomorrow were off to church here in NYC! Hope that you have a great day of worship as well!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Look out NYC......

the Louderback's are here!! WOW, we had a great day!! We left the hotel at 6AM and returned (very tired I might add) at 9PM. We saw and experienced so much today. Here are a few highlights of our first day in NYC:
We have ridden a bus, a monorail, a train and a subway
We have walked MILES :)
Central Park Carousel
Time Square
5th Avenue Shopping
Rockefeller Center
Met some of those famous NYPD :) (no, Tim was not in trouble but they were kind enough to let us take a picture with the squad car)
Empire State Building
FAO Swartz
Museum of Natural History
Trump Tower
We even made a casting call at GAP kids. Who knows maybe one of us will be the next face of the GAP :)
As you can see, we are good and tired tonight. We will all sleep well!
By the way, we are possible the only Republicans that are in NYC. I have never seen so many Obama shirts in one place!!!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Waking up to NYC

Trinity and Jessie Lyric enjoy eating the chocolate covered strawberries.

We made it to our hotel and are settled in. We are actually staying in New Jersey. We had an early dinner and are going to get a good night's rest. First thing in the morning, we are going to NYC and will spend the day there. The kids are SO EXCITED! I hope it meets all of their expectations. :) Sweet dreams.

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Sleeping in Virginia

We left Nashville this morning headed towards New York City. We plan for the drive to take us 2 full days. Since there is not much fun to show you while driving in a very loaded down mini van, I thought I would catch you up on some fun we have had along the way. While in Nashville, Tim took Noah, Gracie Lynn and Eden to Opry Mills mall. According to Noah, it one of the most fun days of his life. Usually the case when you spend the day with Dad. :) They played Glow Golf in the mall and ate inside a huge aquarium. They even got to hang out and play games at Chuck E Cheese.
I ruined all the fun because I got an email from the mission board asking us to get flu shots before our arrival at the learning center. So, we all met up at the Minute Clinic at CVS and got some shots!
This is a perfect example as to why my kids think that dad is much more fun than mom. :)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I could be famous soon.......

Well, not really but I got your attention. :)
Most of you know my friend Bethany always has some fun and crazy thing going on in her life. Well, one of her current projects is an article in the upcoming February edition of First Magazine. The article is about her truffles and how she names them after her friends. Well, since I am one of the friends who have a namesake truffle, I got to join her in a photo shoot for the magazine. It was so fun!! We had make up and hair stylist to make us look like we actually get sleep and don't spend our days running after lots of children. There was a wonderful prop stylist who made Bethany's kitchen look like it belonged in a magazine. The camera crew came and we spent several hours trying to get the perfect shot. We will see when the article comes out. :) Trinity and Jessie Lyric had lots of fun watching the entire thing unfold. It seems like just yesterday that Bethany and I were their age. Wow, time flies. It has been a very memorable, fun day! I will be sure and let you know when to pick up the magazine.
I am also enjoying lots of snuggle time with 8 week old Baby Manhattan :)

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Georgia on our mind.....

We've got Georgia on our mind! Goodness, it was hard to leave home on Friday. We have had some pretty emotional days this weekend but we seem to be settling down some. I guess that I had not really processed through how hard it would really be to leave Thomasville. We have been so busy just getting everything wrapped up to go that I guess we had not had to time to really process through goodbye.
We have spent the weekend in Alabama at Tim's brother's home. It has been a wonderful time of much needed rest and relaxation. The kids have been having tons of fun playing football with Uncle Scotty and playing with their cousins. It has done them a lot of good to run, laugh and play!
We attended church this morning at Meadowbrook Baptist. What a welcoming church! They were so kind to us and made us feel right at home. They have agreed to be one of our prayer partners churches so we are looking forward to getting to know them better. They are also going to send a team to work with us in Panama when we get there. It was a good day of worship. I especially enjoyed some great praise and worship music. :)
Tomorrow morning we are heading to Nashville. I can not wait to see Bethany and her crew. I am especially excited to meet Baby Manhattan. We will be in Nashville several days so i will post more from there.
We miss and love you all!!!

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ready To Head Out

The van is packed and we are set to pull out tomorrow. The past few days have been a whirlwind but we have managed to get out of the house, put some things in storage, pack for Virginia and Costa Rica and most importantly spend some quality time with good friends. It has been a difficult week but there have been so many blessings along the way. So many of you have pitched in to help us get everything done the past few days. Many others of you have prayed diligently for us. Thank you all! We will update from the road.

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