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Monthly Archives: December 2012

…Wow! Only TWO weeks to go!

(posted by Mindy)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

We hope you all have had a blessed time with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of our Savior and ring in the new year.  We had 2 wonderful weeks of visiting with family and friends, and now we are home and back at the task of packing, sorting and inventorying everything.  We left my parent’s house Christmas morning and arrived home in Westby around 4pm that afternoon. We are road weary and glad to be home.

It just hit me this morning:  TWO WEEKS!  In 2 weeks we will be leaving Westby.  In 3 weeks we will be leaving America.  That is not a whole lot of time.  I am a tad bit overwhelmed and feel like my head is spinning.  Tim seems to be taking everything in stride and is more relaxed.   Although I am not anxious (by God’s grace I am at peace), my “remember to do” list is filling my brain, and I am concerned that I am going to forget to do everything that needs to be done Please pray for clarity of mind, discernment, stamina and strength, and plenty of time to get everything done.  Please also pray for Logan and Zachary right now as they face the challenges of school work as well as packing and moving issues.  My mother-heart wants to protect them from this hustle and bustle, but I know this transition is an educational opportunity in and of itself and will build character in them.

I will probably not be posting much over the next two weeks because of all that is going to have to be done, so I am going to quickly give you a recap of our schedule for the next two weeks:

December 27-30: Winterama/Winter Recharge at LWBC: Zach and Logan are dish washing, and Garrett is counseling.

December 30:  our last Sunday at our church

January 4-6:  Tim, Mindy, Logan and Zachary representing Adventure Learning Centre in Greenbay, WI for Districts (E-Free church youth conference)

January 8: Pick-up moving truck, load truck with things being stored in Minnesota

January 9: Tim and Logan to take moving truck to Minnesota, drop off things in Minnesota, return to Westby, load truck with things being shipped to Nassau (and other places south of here)

January 10: leave Westby for Covington, IN by 10am (Garrett will be going with us); send-off party with Mindy’s family that evening

January 11: leave Covington for Corbin, KY

January 12: leave Corbin for Charleston, SC

January 13: attend church with Mindy’s sister and present the ministry to the assembly there

January 14:  load shipping container at Charleston Port

January 15:  trip to Florence, SC

January 16: Tim, Mindy, Garrett, Logan and Zachary fly out of Charleston for Nassau via Atlanta, GA at about 10am

January 24:  Garrett flies from Nassau to Charleston, SC

January 25: Garrett flies to Minnesota from South Carolina

January 27:  Garrett returns to La Crosse, WI from Minneapolis via Amtrak

Please pray that the weather cooperates.  There is not a lot of leeway in the schedule for bad driving weather.  We know that God is in control and His ways are perfect.  He will work things out according to His plan.

Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  Drop us a line if you get a chance.  We enjoy hearing from you!

Have a great week everyone.  We look forward to communicating with you again.  May God richly bless you!

…there is peace in the journey!

(posted by Mindy)

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

This verse has been on my mind.  As the busyness of life continues, there is a peace and contentment that I know can only be coming to me from God Himself.  Humanly speaking there is too much going on and too much to be done in our little world to offer any sort of peace.  Thanks be to God for His little blessings to us!

This week someone point blank asked us how we are/were doing as we continue in our preparations and journey to the Bahamas and the new ministry.  As we reflected back over the last 3 months in preparing a response, we are amazed at how smooth this journey has been and how God has been so good to us.  There has really been no major bumps.  We are almost reluctant to say it, but since it is a testament to the awesome work of our awesome Lord, we say that our road to the Adventure Learning Centre has been a smooth one.  That is not saying it has been easy.  It has been a lot of hard work.  God has just been gracious and has paved the way for us.  Hallelujah!

We have been thoroughly enjoying our time with family and friends, knowing that this is the last time we will be seeing many of these dear people for quite a while.  We are trying to treasure each and every moment.  This weekend we are at my parent’s house in Covington, Indiana and are enjoying some quiet time together.  Tomorrow we will be worshiping with some fellow believers at the church I grew up attending, Edgewood Baptist Church of Danville, IL.  Monday (Christmas Eve) we will be getting together for dinner at an aunt’s house.  Tuesday (Christmas Day) we will be heading home.

Until our next post, enjoy our week in picture review…

After leaving Michigan, we spent our first night in Chicago at the home of my best friend from high school.  Charles cooked us a gourmet meal.

After leaving Michigan last Monday morning, we spent our first night in Chicago at the home of my best friend from high school. Charles cooked us a gourmet meal.

After dinner we took a walk over to see Lake Michigan (he lives just off Lake Shore Drive near the north side of  Downtown Chicago.

After dinner we took a walk over to see Lake Michigan (he lives just off Lake Shore Drive near the north side of Downtown Chicago) and to get some much needed exercise.

On Tuesday morning, we said good-bye to Charles.

On Tuesday morning, we said good-bye to Charles…

...and boarded the El train to go in to downtown Chicago for some sightseeing.

…and boarded the El train to go in to downtown Chicago for some sightseeing.

Once downtown we rode to the top of the Willis Tower (used to be called Sears Tower) to see Chicago from above.

Once downtown we rode to the top of the Willis Tower (used to be called Sears Tower) to see Chicago from above.

More from on top of Chicago.

More from on top of Chicago.

After the Willis Tower (Zachary's choice), we walked several blocks to the Chicago Institute of Art (Logan's choice).

After the Willis Tower (Zachary’s choice), we walked several blocks to the Chicago Institute of Art (Logan’s choice).

Zachary enjoyed the medieval art

Zachary enjoyed the medieval art

Logan enjoyed the modern art. (The far painting happened to be my favorite painting).

Logan enjoyed the modern art. (The far painting happened to be my favorite painting).

After a quick lunch of cheese and crackers in Centennial Park, we headed down Michigan Avenue.  We stopped at the "Bean" to pose for a picture.

After a quick lunch of cheese and crackers in Millennium Park, we headed down Michigan Avenue. We stopped at the “Bean” to pose for a picture.

Michigan Ave. bridge crossing the canal between the busine.ss and shopping districts

Michigan Ave. bridge crossing the canal between the business and shopping districts

Tuesday night until Thursday morning we staid with the Goin family in Warrenville ( a suburb of Chicago).  We met these dear people at homeschool family camp.

Tuesday night until Thursday morning we staid with the Goin family in Warrenville ( a suburb of Chicago). We met these dear people at homeschool family camp.

Zach with 3 of the Goin children and a friend.

Zach with 3 of the Goin children and a friend.

On Wednesday evening, we picked Garrett up at the train station (he had taken a train from La Crosse to Chicago).  He joined us at the Goin's house and participated in a game of Mafia with everyone.

On Wednesday evening, we picked Garrett up at the train station (he had taken a train from La Crosse to Chicago). He joined us at the Goin’s house and participated in a game of Mafia with everyone.

The Burtelson family.   Lee and Stacie are ALC board members and we met with them on Wednedsday to discuss a few business matters.

The Burtelson family. Lee and Stacie are ALC board members, and we met with them on Wednedsday to discuss a few business matters.

After leaving the Goin's house Thursday morning, we stopped in for brunch at the Del Boccio family's house.  This is another family we met through LWBC.  We enjoyed our visit with them before heading south to my parent's house.

After leaving the Goin’s house Thursday morning, we stopped in for brunch at the Del Boccio family’s house. This is another family we met through LWBC. We enjoyed our visit with them before heading south to my parent’s house.

We had dinner and exchanged Christmas gifts at Jane's house Friday evening.  Jane was my grandfather's companion during the last 3 years since the death of my grandma.  She misses Grandpa so much and enjoys having us all in.

We had dinner and exchanged Christmas gifts at Jane’s house Friday evening. Jane was my grandfather’s companion these last 3 years since the death of my grandma. She misses Grandpa so much and enjoys having us all around.

Uncle Raymond and Aunt Carol (my mom's brother and his wife)

Uncle Raymond and Aunt Carol (my mom’s brother and his wife) were with us at Jane’s.

Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Garry (my mom's sister and her husband) also joined us at Jane's house.

Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Garry (my mom’s sister and her husband) also joined us at Jane’s house.

Jane and her nephew Greg Holliman.

Jane and her nephew Greg Holliman.

Mom and I iced Christmas cookies together this morning.

Mom and I iced Christmas cookies together this morning.

Thanks for the time and interest in our lives and our ministry work.  We are very encouraged and blessed with your attention. We hope and pray you all have a Merry Christmas!

…good-bye Michigan, hello Chicago!

(posted by Mindy)

We had a great weekend with our friends in Michigan.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

We arrived at Brent and Shari Felten's house in Vicksburg, Michigan on Thursday evening (December 13) and visited with them until Friday afternoon.

We arrived at Brent and Shari Felten’s house in Vicksburg, Michigan on Thursday evening (December 13) and visited with them until Friday afternoon.  (Their daughter is Brianna.)

Our awesome host and hostess for the weekend, Dan and Lynne Glardon from Owasso, Michigan.  We arrived at their house Friday evening (December 14).

Our awesome host and hostess for the weekend, Dan and Lynne Glardon from Owasso, Michigan. We arrived at their house Friday evening (December 14).

Lynne with daughter Hannah!

Lynne with daughter Hannah!

Joel (left) and Seth (right) Glardon

Joel (left) and Seth (right) Glardon

On Saturday evening, we went caroling with Dan and Lynne's youth group and joined them for their Christmas party afterwards.

On Saturday evening, we went caroling with Dan and Lynne’s youth group and joined them for their Christmas party afterwards.

Caroling with the youth group.

Caroling with the youth group.

Attended church at Countryside with the Glardons and Verniers on Sunday.  They had a Christmas program and dinner that we got to enjoy with them.  We also were able to share our ministry with the assembly.

We attended church at Countryside with the Glardons and Verniers on Sunday. We were able to enjoy their Christmas program and dinner with them.  They even let us share our plans for our ministry work with their assembly.

Tearful reunion with my girl-  Erica Vernier!

Sunday’s tearful reunion with Erica Vernier!

Sunday evening time together with the Glardons and Erica.

Sunday evening time together with the Glardons and Verniers.

Andrew and Diana Vernier with us at the Glardon's house.

Andrew and Diana Vernier with us at the Glardon’s house.

Us with our host and hostess, Dan and Lynne Glardon.

Us with our host and hostess, Dan and Lynne Glardon.

After a very long good-bye and a couple of shed tears, we said good-bye to Erica and the Glardons this morning.  We are currently in Chicago.  We arrived here around 2pm and visited the Lincoln Park Zoo for about an hour before heading over to a Starbucks about a block from the zoo to catch-up on email and wait for my high school friend Charles to get off of work.  We are staying at Charles’ house tonight and may even come back downtown tonight after dinner to see Christmas lights.  They say the city is beautiful at night.

Chicago's free zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo.  I remember visiting here as a child.  The zoo is located across the street from the school where my friend works.

Chicago’s free zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo. I remember visiting here as a child. The zoo is located across the street from the school where my friend works.

Chicago skyline

Chicago skyline

Hanging out at Starbucks while we wait for Charles to get done with work.

Hanging out at Starbucks while we wait for Charles to get done with work.

Tomorrow we will be going to some other friends’ house here in Chicago to stay with them for a couple of nights.  We will be meeting with Lee and Stacie Burtelson (ALC board members) on Wednesday afternoon, picking Garrett up at Chicago’s Union Station Wednesday evening, meeting with some more friends on Thursday for brunch, and then heading for my parent’s house in Covington, IN on Thursday afternoon.  We plan on leaving my parent’s house sometime Christmas day.

I am sure I will find some time to write more over the weekend.  Until then, have a great week!

…departure update, weekend with our family and commissioning service at church, plans for the next couple of weeks!

Before we share the events of this past weekend… you will notice that we now have a count down to departure on the right side of this blog page.  It is hard to believe that we are nearing the one month mark.  Soon the count down will be measuring days instead of months.  Yesterday was the one month to go mark for our departure from Westby.  We will flying out of Charleston, SC on January 16th.

Our earthly possessions continue to dwindle and packing is coming together nicely.  The big job left to do (besides the actual move) is the inventory lists.  This is the part that is going to take a lot of time.  Thankfully God has given me an organizational mind.  Please pray for me that I exercise wisdom and discernment.  It is imperative that our paper work is correct and in order so as not to cause any red flags for US or Bahamas custom agents.

We signed the service agreement with our shipping company today.  Please pray that all goes according to plan.

This past weekend’s time together as a family was absolutely wonderful!  My (Mindy) parents arrived on Friday, Andrew and Katie  and Garrett arrived early afternoon on Saturday, Tim’s parents arrived late afternoon on Saturday, and Abby (Garrett’s girlfriend) joined us around 7pm.

Our weekend in pictures:

Traditionally the oldest-at- home child gets to put the tree top angel on the tree.  Logan has waited a long time to get to do this.  (This was the best we could do since our tree was sold in the garage sale  a couple months ago.)

Traditionally the oldest-at- home child gets to put the tree top angel on the tree. Logan has waited a long time to get to do this. (This was the best we could do since our tree was sold in the garage sale a couple months ago.)

The extent of our Christmas decorating!

The extent of our Christmas decorating!

My parents helped me sort through a box of sewing "junk" on Saturday morning while we waited for the kids to arrive.

My parents helped me sort through a box of sewing “junk” on Saturday morning while we waited for the kids to arrive.

We spent a little time in the afternoon watching and laughing at old home videos of the boys from when they were little. I had had the old vhs tapes transferred to dvd format this past summer, and then last week I downloaded the dvds to my computer and a back-up hard drive. The boys enjoyed watching the videos and I enjoyed watching them react to them, a moment I will cherish for a long time that is for sure!

We spent a little time in the afternoon watching and laughing at old home videos of the boys from when they were little. I had had the old vhs tapes transferred to dvd format this past summer, and then last week I downloaded the dvds to my computer and a back-up hard drive. The boys enjoyed watching the videos and I enjoyed watching them react to them, a moment I will cherish for a long time that is for sure!

At about 6pm we had dinner together

At about 6pm we had dinner together

before gathering in the living room to watch the video of John Piper reading his poem, "The Innkeeper."  After the video, we exchanged gifts and had dessert.  It was so much fun spending this special time together as a family.  Those of you who know me know how much I treasure time together with my boys.

After dinner we gathered in the living room to watch the video of John Piper reading his poem, “The Innkeeper.” After the video, we exchanged gifts and had dessert. It was so much fun spending this special time together as a family. Those of you who know me know how much I treasure time together with my family.

Logan, Andrew, Katie, Abby, Garrett and Zachary...I love having all these kids together!

Logan, Andrew, Katie, Abby, Garrett and Zachary…I love having all these kids together!

Sunday morning at Grace Church in Viroqua.  Our family and friends joined us for our commissioning service.

Sunday morning at Grace Church in Viroqua. Our family and friends joined us for our commissioning service.

Family, church friends, our pastor and others joined together to pray for us.  We realize that prayer is the most important thing we need as we move forward in our ministry work.

Family, church friends, our pastor and others joined together to pray for us during the commissioning service. We realize that prayer is the most important thing we need as we move forward in our ministry work.  We are encouraged by the support of prayer we are receiving.

Our last family picture for a while.

Our last family picture for a while.

Sunday afternoon we said good-bye to Tim’s parents and Andrew and Katie.  Tim and Logan will see them when they go to Minnesota to drop off the US storage items in January, but Zachary and I will not be seeing them again before we leave for the Bahamas.  It was difficult for me, but I know that God will sustain.

What we will be missing in a month!

What we will be missing in a month!

Christmas party with LWBC staff and our going away party

Monday we had a Christmas party/going away party with LWBC staff

We leave Thursday for our trip to Michigan, Chicago and Indiana.  We will be connecting with friends, supporters and family on this trip.  We will be returning home on Christmas day.  Please pray for travel safety.

We will keep you posted on our trip.  Until then, have a great week.

…celebrations, travel plans, update!

Commissioning Service

 If you are able, you are welcome to join us at Grace Church in Viroqua this Sunday for our Commissioning Service.  The worship service begins at 10:00am.  For information and directions, our church website is www.grace-efca.org.

A Week of Family Celebrations 

Logan's surprise party by Katy, Andrea, Garrett and Abby

Logan’s surprise party by Katy, Andrea, Garrett and Abby

Katy, Logan and Andrea with the mugs the girls had made for him.

Katy, Logan and Andrea with the mugs the girls had made for him.

The traditional picture with Mom and Dad

The traditional picture with Mom and Dad

Our week began with a celebration- Logan’s birthday, and it will be ending with another celebration- “Christmas” with our children and our parents.  Because of the Commissioning service scheduled for this weekend, our children and our parents are joining us for the weekend.  We thought we would take the opportunity to  celebrate Christmas together as a family on Saturday.  It may be a long time before we are all together again.

Speaking of separation…This past summer, right after I realized another move away from family and friends was imminent, God brought Matthew 10:37 to my mind, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  I also realized that when compared with the expanse of eternity, our time on this earth is so very short, a speck or blip in the screen of eternity really.  We must be doing what we can to “bring others” to Christ while we are able.  After all, we have all eternity to enjoy fellowship with those we love (provided our loved ones know the Lord as their Savior).   We are well aware that we are being called away from our friends, family and loved ones to do a work that will impact the kingdom of God and will bring glory to our Lord.  The eternal benefits of the work we will be doing will assuage the pain of separation.  The glory of God and the prospect of reaching lost souls for Christ make this momentary “suffering” worth it. Please pray that we are able to keep our focus on the job God has called us to do and not on homesickness and longings for visits from family and friends!

Visiting Schedule

 This past Sunday we were able to share our ministry with the assembly at Living Faith in Viroqua.  The congregation was warm and welcoming.  The time of prayer they had with us during the service was very encouraging.  We are reminded all the time of the importance of prayer, and knowing others are praying for us is such a blessing.

Presentation at Living Faith in Viroqua, WI

Presentation at Living Faith in Viroqua, WI

Next Thursday we leave for our trip to Michigan, Chicago and Indiana to visit friends and family.  We will be returning to Westby on Christmas day.  Winterama/WinterRecharge starts two days after Christmas and Tim, Zachary and Logan will be working in the kitchen for the camps.  Please pray for our time with friends and family and for safety in travel.

Moving Update

It has been a long hard process, but we believe we have found a freight forwarder who will be handling the shipping of our household items to the Bahamas.  We originally had thought we would load the 20 foot container ourselves and save some money, but we have found this company’s price to professionally load the shipping container to be quite reasonable and have decided to pay the extra money to have them load it for us.  We believe it is money well spent.  Please pray that everything goes according to what has been promised by the shipping company.  We realize it is all in God’s hands and are trusting Him to work things out for the best (whatever that looks like).

I will try to post again next week before we take off for Michigan.  I am sure we will have plenty of  Christmas pictures to share.

Have a great weekend everyone!

…Happy 17th Birthday, Logan!

Logan

Logan

At 3:04pm on December 3, 1995, the Seeley family welcomed into this world a bright, feisty, strong-willed, persistent, fun loving little boy.  Little did we know that our parenting skills were about to be challenged and take on a whole new dimension.

Logan, December 3, 1995

Logan, December 3, 1995

My men December 3, 1995!

My men December 3, 1995!

My kids then

My kids then

My kids now!

My kids now!

Logan, despite the challenges you brought into our lives, we are so thankful God gave you to us.  We have enjoyed watching you blossom into a godly young man and look forward to seeing what God has planned for you in your life.  We love you, Logey!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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