Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Ireland had a vaguely familiar feel to it.  I only had to contemplate for a few minutes to discern that it so reminds me of Sao Miguel, Ilha Verde!  It gave me a longing to go for a visit, but I know that Sao Miguel will never be "home" to me again.  God has moved my life along and while the Azores was part of my journey, it is only ONE part.

Our friends the Eberlys picked us up at the airport and we were blessed to stay in their lovely home with a beautiful view of the rolling green hills.  The first day was dry and filled with sun.  Actually, we had a few days like that.  However, we did see our fair share of Irish rain, rain, and more rain. You will most likely be disappointed in the pictures of this post as we did not play "sightseers", but rather respite needers!!  It was a perfect stopping place on our return from India to the United States.

Views from the Eberly's front yard

Early morning
Beautiful sun shining on a random house

On Saturday, the Eberlys had some friends from church over for an early Thanksgiving.  It was so much fun eating and visiting with these folks.  They were all from South Africa, which made it doubly interesting to hear about another country, culture, and language, I was unfamiliar with.  We were blessed to spend Sunday with Pastor Ledbetter and Ballincolig Bible Baptist Church.

These young adults are from South Korea.  This church is VERY
multicultural!  Made for such an enjoyable visit!
Mrs. Eberly, on the right, with a couple of her friends.  
This gentleman is from Lisbon!!!!  Loved meeting him and
getting to speak some Portuguese with him!  The little
boy is Irish.  He wanted to be in the picture so badly!!
The famous tourist shop in Cork!  It really is your one stop shop!!!
Found this cemetery in the middle of downtown Cork.
Monday found us flying back to London for one night due to a morning flight back to Boston on Tuesday.

Cork Airport waiting for our flight to London
My first Peppermint Mocha of the season in London!!
Fortnum & Mason at Heathrow

So about 18 months ago, our dear friend Autumn took us near Picadilly to have tea in the Jubilee Tea Room at the famous Fortnum & Mason (it's where the Queen shops).  I fell in love with a tea blend there named 'Countess Grey'.  I was just telling Randy as we departed the hotel that I wished that we had had time to run into London to buy some tea, but that was not to be.  As we headed for our gate at Heathrow, I spotted a construction area with a big sign and an arrow that said, "Fortnum & Mason this way".  I followed those signs right to this spot!!!  They had only been open 1 week!!!  I was able to buy my tea, sample some goodies, and still catch our flight home!!

Our trip to India and the stop in Ireland was pretty amazing.  We are so blessed to have the job we do. The bitter sweet part is leaving our friends, new and old, in the different countries we travel to. Sometimes I long to be in my home much longer than a couple weeks at a time.  It would be wonderful not to go home just to go to doctor appointments.  However, that is not my journey. EVERY journey has a cost.  Mine is spending it on the road, living out of suitcases, and being far away from friends and family most of the time.  Let's be thankful for the journey the Lord has given us and ask what He wants us to accomplish along the way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


We have just enough time to grab a Starbucks! Waiting at the gate for the Siekberts and praying they make it in time! Praise the Lord Randy is NOT on crutches this year!!! Hi, Christa!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Where Has the Time Gone!

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

I have no excuse.  Busyness got the best of me.  We were home for a few weeks in June and July and then off to New England.  We will be leaving soon for New England again and then on to India!  I am so excited for our trip this year.  We arrive back in the States the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and will spend that with Christa in Connecticut.  Then finally home we will go in time for Randy to have a bunch of medical tests (some really extensive ones) and then Christmas!!  We are praying that Christa will get to come home for the Christmas break.  Please be praying that someone will be able to watch her dog and she will be able to fly to Ohio.

During our time home I got to see my dear friend, Debbie Black.  She has had a severe illness for over a year and yet we still managed to do a lot of laughing!  Of course, pain meds always help.
Debbie Black and Me
On our way through Wisconsin in June, we stopped by our good friends the Dingmans.  We always have a wonderful time and this year they introduced us to good bikes and an app for the phone that helps track calories and exercise.  Randy has lost a whopping 15 pounds, Christa 10, and I am bringing up the rear with 9.6 pounds lost.  Randy and I have started cycling and we LOVE it.  My Dad and Madrasta always told us that good bikes were important, but I never realized how much more I would ride with a good bike.  On  the morning of Labor day, I fell and broke a rib on my right side.  I laid in the street making quite a lot of noise (who knew how bad a broken rib could hurt) and trying to catch my breath.  No one even came out of their homes to check on why I was making so much racket.  We tried to drive the 47 miles into Cleveland to the VA hospital, but there was no way that was happening. After 15 miles, we pulled into the nearest hospital emergency room.  They were fast at getting me in and out.  Praise the Lord for pain meds!!


Randy riding and trying to answer his phone!
Would this be considered "Texting while driving?"
Randy and Bo getting a rest on the porch.
The end of July found us journeying to Connecticut.  We had so much fun reuniting with our dear friends at White Oak Baptist Church.  I love living in Ohio, but I wish we could transplant the church here also!!  Of course, a trip to Connecticut is not complete without spending time with Christa!  We took our friends, Steve and Shirley, out for their birthdays at our favorite seafood stop in West Haven, Stowes!!!  They have been such a blessing to Christa, especially since Randy and I moved back to Ohio in March.  I also got to spend some time with my friend Val on her little farm.  I really did enjoy seeing her kissing the goat (not really - just dramatic emphasis!)

Shirley and Me
Dad and daughter!  Aren't they cute?!

Steve and Shirley
My wonderful friend Val - the goat woman!!

Paula Seavey and Me! (always me)
In August, we made our way up to Maine.  We were with our college friends, Pastor and Mrs. Seavey, in Palermo, Maine, and had a great time remenicsing about the "old days".  

Have you ever had a friend or friends that you might not see for many years and then one day you reconnect and it seems as though you never parted?  That sums up our friendship with Chet and Martha Garrison!  We haven't seen them really since we left Maine for college in 1992.  One morning they decided to take us to Boothbay Harbor.  It is a beautiful place.  Martha knew there was a little country store where we could get fresh haddock sandwiches for lunch.  Off we went.  Note to anyone reading this that knows Martha:  You might want to take along a map and a SAT phone if Martha suggests going for lunch.  We didn't eat until 3:00 PM.  Not because we weren't hungry, but because it took us that long to find it!  However, in the end it was well worth the wait.  She was right; it was delicious!!
Chet & Maaaatha
My Handsome Young Evangelist!

Great sign!
View from our lunch table

Mill Cove Lobster - They will ship you lobster!
Thank you for taking the time to share our journey this summer.  It has been full of ups and downs, but the Lord has never forsaken us or left us alone.  I am off to bed.

I will be working hard to keep this more up to date, especially during our trip to India.  Keep checking back! Until next time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Terrific Tuesday - Perspective


Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Philippians 4:11  

 I was thinking this morning, life is a matter of perspective.  We all know people that live their lives very much the same way we do.  God allows the same kinds of situations in their lives as in yours, yet somehow they think your life is easier, happier, more fun.  The verse above is key for Randy and I.  We literally have learned to be content in "whatsoever STATE" we are in; Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Connecticut, Florida..... you get the idea.  Do I miss my home?  Of course, especially my bed!!  However, I wouldn't trade my wonderfully comfy bed for the time I get to spend seeing friends and family, and making new friendships.  I really do have a WONDERFUL LIFE!!

Today we are in the UP and it was forecast to rain all day today, but this morning we woke up to sunshine!!  Whoo Hoo!!  I love when the Lord overrides the weather forecaster!  We had a nice relaxing and productive time at our week off in Cable, Wisconsin.  No phone service, but wifi and that works for us.  Our room had a screened porch on the back, praise the Lord or else the mosquitoes would have carried us off!  They were the size of bats!!  In the mornings and evenings, we would watch deer graze through the field.  On our drives we saw a bunch of woodpeckers.  I love just watching God's creation being busy in the wild.
Woodpecker on the left tree

Our dueling computers!!!
Next we headed to Racine for the weekend to be with our very special friends, the Dingmans and Lighthouse Baptist Church.  We always have a wonderful time of fellowship and it always includes much laughter!  Sunday afternoon, we took a 7 mile bike ride along Lake Michigan and back.  It was beautiful.

Debbie & John Dingman and my Hubby

Glad we weren't trying to swim in this!

Today we are in Ishpeming, Michigan.  We absolutely LOVE the UP and we are privileged to have dear friends to visit.  The window is open in our room, the birds are singing, and work is on the agenda. It doesn't get much better.

Enjoy the journey this week!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Filled - Fidgety - Frugal - Friday

I've decided that I don't have to stick with the original Friday tags!  After all, it's my blog!  There are no blog police to tell me I can't do it that way (well, not yet anyway).  So sticking with my womanly wiles, I am using my prerogative to change my mind!  Today though, I can't decide on a word that begins with "F", so I am using several.  They have absolutely nothing to do with my Friday, but maybe they will fit one of yours!

Dad Walking Tall
Wishing my niece, Happy Birthday
After we left South Dakota, we headed back to Minnesota to spend a week in Minneapolis with my family. I was able to spend time with Annetta, my madrasta, and my father.  Tuesday morning we arrived in time to see my Dad walking at the bars.  It brought me to tears as I haven't seen my Dad walking since his stroke in July 2010.  He had to have help from the therapist who would help him drag his bad leg forward.  I realized from watching my father, just how stubborn and determined we Wagners are!!!  He stands tall and works hard.  I am proud and honored to be his daughter.

My friend, Melissa
We were able to meet up with one of our couples from Okinawa on Thursday!  They are from Minnesota and returned here after they got out of the Army.  What a wonderful reunion!  They have three beautiful boys and it was so enjoyable to have dinner with them.  I love when the Lord allows our paths to cross those that we have met through the years and grew to love.

Caribou Coffee and Chick-fil-a
It doesn't get much better!
Friday night of our visit found us at my brother's house in Chaska for dinner.  Two of his children, their partners, and his grandchildren were over along with my Madrasta.  We were enjoying our time so much that we forgot to get pictures, something I really try to remember.  Maybe when we return in January we will remember.

During our visit in Minnesota, we were able to go over to my mother's grave and Randy cut the grass out around it.  I learned much from her and miss her greatly.  There are days when my grief is still great.   Heaven will be wonderful!

We got ready to leave the cemetery and Bo didn't want
to get up off the nice cool grass!
Randy ended up with my dreaded cold, though not nearly as bad.  He took to the bed and I was able to have dinner with Annetta.  I always enjoy spending time with her and hate saying goodbye.

Sunday we were with Rochester Baptist Church and the Noonan Family.  They are very special to us.  The Lord seems to put them in our paths when we need friends the most.  They have been by our side in some very dark days.  Sunday evening we were in Prairie Du Chein, Wisconsin, where they spoiled us rotten.

It is Friday and we are headed to Racine after spending this week in Cable where there is no cell service.  We spent our time working on our curriculum for India.  It was quiet and beautiful.  Our back screened in porch allowed us to watch deer grazing through the field in the mornings.  God gives us what we need and rest sometimes is very necessary.  

Well, I guess that sums up our travels lately.  I saw a post by the Christian comedian, Anita Renfroe.  It was a quote from a Dr. Robert Holden and it is great advice for our "journey":

Beware of Destination Addiction -
a preoccupation with the idea that happiness
is in the next place, the next job, 
and with the next partner.  Until you give
up the idea that happiness is somewhere
else, it will never be where you are.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

WOW! What a week!!

Mountain Bluebird

“Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.” (Me neither)

I really wanted to write on Tuesday night, but I was just too sick.  If I had written a post, it would have been titled: "Terrifically Terrible Tuesday".  To help you understand Tuesday, I need to take you all the way back to the previous Wednesday.  We had a wonderful service that evening with our dear friends in Waukegan, Illinois.  I noticed as I prepared for bed that I was coming down with a cold.  Thursday I was a little worse, but we were able to have breakfast with the Dingmans.  They have been there with us through some very difficult times.  Friday I was a little stuffier and my cough was not good.  It didn't stop us from having a wonderful dinner with the Petricks.  Saturday we packed up and headed to Minnesota to visit Rochester Baptist Church, another group of people that have encouraged us to keep going during dark days.  By Sunday night, I was in bed and didn't make it to the evening service.  Monday dawned and we headed toward Custer, South Dakota, determined to camp no matter what.  After 10 hours of driving, we finally set up camp and headed to bed.  The air was cold and damp.  I think the snow must have melted the day before.  

Now we arrive to ....... Tuesday!  I woke up sneezing, coughing, and with a terrible headache.  This was NOT good timing to be sick!  We had friends from the U.P. of Michigan that were passing through Custer on their way back home from Montana.  Both of us had planned to spend that Tuesday seeing the sights and were excited about doing it together.  The campground host gave us wrong directions to Mount Rushmore and what should have taken 40 minutes, took us almost 90!  In the end it didn't matter, our friends waited for us and we had a wonderful reunion!  After seeing the Presidents, we headed to Crazy Horse.  It just happened that that day they were having the sculptors wife's memorial service so they weren't charging an entrance fee. It is usually $11 per person which we didn't know until we arrived at the parking booth.  To be honest, we just didn't have the money and were thinking of turning around when the attendant told us it was free!  We got parked and then watched as they set off a blast to take some of the stone off the monument they are sculpting.  They don't do it every day, but again it was in honor of the sculptors wife.  We really enjoyed walking around the museum.  I was starting to get hungry and remembered that the parking attendant told us there would be food today.  Sure enough, we all ate free.  That was such a blessing.  I was happy to be with our friends, but my head hurt so bad.  

We said our goodbyes after lunch and headed back to the campground.  Randy knew how sick I was and had decided that we had to go to a hotel for the night.  We stopped at a one to check on the cost.  When Randy came back to the car he told me that we were under a tornado and severe thunderstorm warning.  We hurried to the tent site to try and get it down before the storm came.  Sorry to say we didn't make it.  About a half a mile away the hail started.  It came down for 30 minutes and looked like someone had thrown large white stones all over the road.  We limped to the campsite in the car and sat watching as the hail stones pelted the tent.  An hour passed and we were able to hurriedly take the tent down and throw it into the car before the storm started up again.  By this time, I knew I had to see a doctor.  Randy called a hotel and made a reservation and then we drove south 25 miles to a VA hospital.  Only an hour after we arrived, we left with antibiotics in hand.  It was still a 50 minute drive back to the hotel.  I was never so happy to shower and crawl into a dry bed.  India was easier.  I am NOT joking!

I spent the next day tucked in bed.  Late Wednesday night I was feeling a little better and so at 10 pm we drove the three miles to Mount Rushmore.  Everyone was leaving, but they stay open until 11.  It was a beautiful evening and there was only one other couple viewing the monument.  I was so glad that the Lord was restoring my health.  Thursday we drove around Custer State Park.  If you ever get the chance, go to this park!!  It is one of the best state parks we have ever been to.  We took the wildlife loop and got to see bison, pronghorns, prairie dogs (and yes they bark!), burros, and my favorite - mountain bluebirds!  We stopped at Stockade Lake for lunch and roasted hot dogs over a campfire.  It was wonderful to just sit in the shade listening to the wind in the trees and enjoying the beautiful sunny day.  After lunch, we leisurely drove back to the hotel.  Friday morning we woke up early, packed the car, and headed for Wall, SD, to see Wall Drugs and have a 5 cent cup of  coffee.  (I'm glad it didn't cost more than that! It wasn't my favorite).  We are now in Aberdeen for a meeting at one of our supporting churches and I am feeling 350% better!

Photo-Bombed by the Presidents!
I guess that about covers the week.  Looking back, Tuesday wasn't really that terrible.............just a little. We did enjoy the journey, but are glad that some of the road bumps are behind us.  Monday we head for Minneapolis to see my Dad and my Madrasta. 

"Don't say it's a fine morning..."

They actually bark!

Stockade Lake


The Grill Master!
The "Fifth" President

We made it!

I got to ride a Jackalope!!!!!!
Our Dove saying the day at Stockade Lake!  Great advice for any journey!