Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Well, okay, not exactly, but bubbles on a cloudy day do give the feeling of snow in the air as long as you forget about the heat and humidity.  Christmas is just around the corner and we are busy decorating, making goodies, handcrafting presents, opening the advent calendar, listening to Christmas music and frequently saving the tree from untimely disaster.  Not that four kids could possibly do any damage to a small featherweight fake tree or anything! 

A new member has joined our family since Myla had her 8th birthday.  Her name is Cinzel Natasha Holmquist.  Flavia especially loves the bunny and tries to feed it blocks or open the bag of rabbit food to refill her bowl.  Needless to say, "bunny" is now among her newest vocabulary.

Myla keeps busy with school and being big sis to Flavia.  She can often be found curled up with a book!

Ellie lost her first tooth and is learning to read!  She loves learning Portuguese and sings the day away.

Daniel continues to be the comedian of the family and is very protective of his sisters.

And Flavia, well she is 18 months old and that says it all!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Place to Meet

Thank you to everybody who has supported us in prayer. As a tribute to God's goodness, here are some visual answers to prayer.

We prayed for the Lord to allow us to rent a building where we could begin to hold services. This building became available on the main commercial street of our neighborhood. (Yes, it's the pink graffitied one!) The second picture is from the roof giving you a view of part of the neighborhood.

Downstairs (top): It was a pizza restaurant. Way in the back you can just barely see the wood-burning pizza oven.
Upstairs (bottom): Needs some cleanup! This is where we envision having children's Sunday School and nursery.

The new wheels. It is a 2004 Fiat Doblo Minivan. Room for the family plus one (no that doesn't imply anything grandparents!).

Having fun at youth group playing Pit (pronounced "peachy").

Here the kids are chomping at the bit to try these delicious mini pies that the neighborhood pastry shop makes!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To Brazil!

On Thursday we are scheduled to leave for Brazil. This year in the US has been amazing and we will dearly miss everybody. But, we are thankful for the Christian family and friends God has given us in Brazil too and we look forward with great anticipation to our reunion with them there. Right now we are doing some last minute things concerning packing and preparing to go (you know, like eating Butterfingers for the last time). To highlight some family activities of the past few months we decided to post the following pictures.

Family pictures! Melissa's whole family was able to get together for
this occaision.

Baptist Mid-Missions Annual Conference in Ohio was a highlight
of our time in the US. We were able to fellowship with co-workers
and other friends and be challenged by great preaching.

Ellie turned 5!! The kids were able to spend a lot of time with
cousins and even go to a parade together.

We met with a supporting church in San Jose, California.
The same week BJ's sister Loa had a business meeting in
San Francisco and she brought BJ's mom with her. We had fun
seeing them and seeing starfish at the aquarium. On the drive
home we drove our full sized van through a living redwood
(parking in Rio is just as tricky), and Myla is standing in front
of an interesting bathroom made from a hollow redwood log.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oregon Summer

Besides being entrusted to proclaim the precious gospel, and enjoying
fellowship with believers in different parts of the world, another one of
the amazing graces of missionary life is to be able to see and enjoy God's
creation as we travel to churches across the country.

We are now enjoying living in central Oregon with Melissa's parents.
These are some of the mountain views we are blessed to see each morning
and evening from their house.

Since the last blog, our travels brought us by Niagara Falls and
Mt. Rushmore as we visited churches in New York and drove to
visit churches in the West.

Resurrection Sunday was one of the last services that we spent at our
home church with family. BJ's Dad (far right) has continued to recover
well from brain surgery. The kids are growing up and doing great. We
thank God continually for his kindnesses.

Monday, April 11, 2011

He is Risen Indeed!

This last Sunday brought temperatures in the high 70's to central Michigan. It reminded us of Rio de Janeiro weather . . . well . . . winter in Rio at least! We saw lines at the ice cream store and smelled barbecue grills being fired up for the first time this Spring. Lilies are pushing up through the frozen tundra and signs of new life are all around. So what if it might snow again, spring is here! It causes us to pause and think of Christ's resurrection and the promise of new life in Him. May the truth of Christ penetrate through the soil of many hearts in 2011.

One day when it warmed up a little, some deer came out and the kids
got to enjoy watching them up close for awhile. In March, we made it
out ice fishing. It was Myla's first time and as you can see, she's kind
of excited.

Daniel and Ellie are the chocolate lovers. Flavia is crawling now and
sporting one new tooth.

The kids got to meet Great Grandma Sheehan for the first time in
Lynchburg, VA. We also had the opportunity to visit the church of
BJ's former youth pastor, BJ Worley, in West Virginia and spend
some time with his family in April.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Our kids are enjoying this novelty called snow. They've thrown it, rolled in it, made snow-angels in it, sled on it and eaten it. We've shoveled it, gotten our van stuck it in (multiple times!), marvelled at it, and, yes, mumbled at it. But, in about a year when we are melting in the heat of Rio I'm sure we'll miss it again (oh, to be content!). On Sunday while the pastor spoke of Christ's sacrifice for us, through the windows we could see large, brilliant white snowflakes falling - timely reminders that, though our sins be as scarlet, in Christ we are cleansed and made white as snow. For that, we are eternally grateful.

Some Christmas and Birthday family fun.