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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids. The top photo of our family is the day we met the twins, just before their 4th birthday. We were granted custody of them on their 5th birthday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God's provision!

Well, here is an update on the stolen wallet saga! It got worse before it got better but praise God it did get better. We found out the guy charged $2600 on our credit card after the company reinstated it without talking to us. Then Baron suddenly remember he had another credit card in there that he didn't cancel. He called American Express and they said someone had tried to charge $1000 but it was denied. He had also taken $500 out of our checking account. The credit card we are not responsible for but I thought for sure the $500 was gone. Baron just found out this morning that we only will have to pay $50 of that...they will reimburse us $450 back into our account! Isn't God good? He takes care of us. Pray now that we will not be the victims of identity theft since his social security was also in there. His Romanian card was also in there, our visa so to speak. He will have to get another which will cost about $150 but compared to yesterday when we were looking at all these losses $150 seems like nothing! Overall I have bittersweet memories about Rome. I don't think we will be going back there any time soon though. I had resolved yesterday to not fret over this...afterall it is just money and my Father owns everything and has always provided for our every need. I can't say I was joyful with the situation but I was at peace and no longer fretting. I want to thank God for his care of us and thank him for his undeserving mercy!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Collosium

This is one of my favorite photos. There are artist everywhere. We actually bought a smaller painting of an Italian street...very pretty. This man was sitting outside the Colloseum painting. The Colloseum was quite impressive. It is amazing and it was built I belive in 72 A.D. Many slaves put their lives into building this. It was used for Christian killings for many years and for gladiator fights for many years. We also went to the catacombs. We couldn't take pictures there but it is outside of Rome and it was the cemetery for 300,000 Christians that were martyrd. It is many feet below the ground and the Christians also met there to worship. Most of the bones have been removed and are housed at Catholic churches. It was very interesting to see.

The Pantheon

This is the Pantheon. It was a temple built to the gods sometime before Christ. The Catholics converted it into a "Christian" church years later. The inside is not as impressive to me as the outside. The inside is newer and ornate like Catholic churches. The outside looks more like what the Romans built. Then this is my good ice cream that I ate right in front of the Pantheon. We also ate really good Italian pizza at a restaurant just a little ways from the Pantheon.

Rome, Italy

Our trip to Rome was fun, interesting and it also had some bad moments. It was interesting to see the old Roman sites. It was fun to eat real Italian food which was delicious and it was fun to eat a lot of ice cream. We were quite disappointed one day to be charged 27 euro for 2 ice cream cones (that is like $35). We had bought ice cream before so we were expecting like 5 euro...didn't look at the menu b/c it is just a walk in ice cream shop and when we get to the counter I just couldn't believe the price. I tried to hand the ice cream cone back to the lady but of course she refused to take it back. I just didn't know what to do I was going to be ill knowing that we were paying $35 for 2 ice cream cones. I must say it was not a Spirit filled moment, I wanted to throw the ice cream in the lady's face. I believe that the young man that waited on us just took the liberty to put all this stuff on our cone and then we were charged 13 euro per cone. Then they had the nerve to tell us we couldn't sit at their tables b/c we didn't receive table service, we went to the counter and ordered ourselves. We did not enjoy the ice cream at all!
Our next sad moment was on the public transportation...Baron's wallet was stolen. We were glad that I was carrying most of the money and thought that we had only lost $100 and Baron cancelled all our cards but today we looked at our checking account and found that the thief had managed to get out $500 before we cancelled the cards. Other then that our vacation was great :). These 2 pictures are in front of the first delicious restaurant we ate at and the Trevi Fountain.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

God made dirt.

God made dirt and dirt don't hurt...The day I took these pictures the boys actually look relatively clean. Later in the week they discovered they could get even dirtier. They gave themselves a dirt bath throwing the dirt on each other. I had to wash their hair several times to get all the dirt out. Zach told me that they were made from dirt so he thought they would add a little more. Spencer told me they wanted to be Africans so they were trying to change their skin color. Whatever the reason, we are looking at a long dirt filled summer ahead!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Romanian funeral

I thought this would interest you to hear about a Romanian funeral. Ramona has been part of our family for 5 years now and her grandmother died on Saturday morning. She was a Christian and was very ill and is in a better place. She was 83 years old and had 4 sons and 4 daughters and I don't know how many grandkids. As is tradition, they kept the body in the home for two nights. The family brings the coffin to the home and prepares the body and puts it in the coffin. Then the open coffin stays in the house for two nights. The funeral was Monday at 1 pm. We had beautiful weather. One daughter who is dying of cancer was not able to come. She came Sunday for a few minutes to see her mom one last time. They held a service up in the room with as many people as can fit. Then they brought the body outside and had some music. The choir sang It Is Well. Then they put the coffin in the truck (at about 2:20) and we walk behind it to the cemetery. The family had gone the day before to the burial plot and prepared it and dug the grave. Then each family member at the grave site goes and kisses the dead and says their last goodbye. The grandsons lowered her down and then they stayed and buried her too. It was a very unkept cemetery but I know Ramona will go back and fix up her grandmas site with flowers. There were a bunch of kids begging along the way and a bunch of gypsies hanging around the grave site knowing they would receive a free meal after the funeral. I guess an Orthodox tradition is to feed the poor as a good work to help your loved one enter in heaven. Ramona's family is not orthodox but many of the brothers and sisters are. There was a table full of families just there for the food and so inconsiderate of the family who lost a loved one. Then the dinner was almost over and more gypsies came in and were demanding food and we had already taken most of the food away. I can't tell you how brazen they were, I was shocked. One man came over to the table where I was standing and was demanding food for his little child at home. While he was standing there I told him if he had little kids at home he should go to work so he can feed them. He just acted like I hadn't said anything at all. Let me tell you too, these "poor" families are not starving. This one man was very well fed. Yes, they are poor but they are not lacking for food. The gypsies are a completely different culture then the Romanians.
After the dinner there were 150 plates and utensils and platters to be washed. So, we toated them with cars over to Ramona's house and they were washed while squatting down over big basins. Their sink in the kitchen was just too small to wash them all. They had warm water for washing by boiling it on the stove. At 7 pm everything was done and returned to the place where the dinner was. It was a very interesting day. I hope you will pray for Ramona and her family and their many unsaved loved ones.