Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2008 Blog

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I forgot to tell you

If you want to track us on the usual day to day stuff (the real world we live in) I've moved my blog to www.pambuller.wordpress.com

Friday, January 26, 2007

Here We GO!

Ok, for all you who do really give a hoot about our Africa trip...you can see our ramblings and a few pictures at www.bullerfamily.wordpress.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another one a day late...

Yesterday was also Jody's birthday. Cassie made a beautiful spread including an elegant table setting and delicious gourmet chicken chili and salad. It was a great attempt at making Jody feel special. If only the kids would've thought so too...

While Brigg, Lani and Max were trashing Cassie's house Quincy slyly dug into the cake. See the joy on that kid's face?

The joy was quickly squelched when mommy decided she really did want to eat her cake.

And the cool thing was none of the kids were mine so it was very easy for me to laugh. :)

A Day Late


My first-born daughter...I love you so much!

Unfortunately, Alex had a rough birthday so we're having cake at 5 pm tonight. Birthday pictures will post later!

Pictures from Africa

I promise...coming soon.

Life AFTER Africa

I keep thinking I will post today. And then the day passes and I'm tired and I don't post. To be honest, I am having trouble blogging. The things I knew to be true three weeks ago seem to not be quite as important or the same as before. Nothing has changed here yet everything within me has changed. I am the same person I was three weeks ago and yet my heart is different. I am in a bit of limbo; still processing the amazing adventure we had the privilege to embark upon. Still wondering what on earth we are supposed to do when we finally grow up...if we ever truly do. One objective we sought going to Africa was clarity for us for our future. The truth is, it is clear that Africa needs us/others. It is clear that other countries need us/others. But the blurry part is how or when. The focus of where, how, when, who...those are the things we struggle with today. And, it was much more peaceful in Africa. Eric and I lived in a blissful world where he didn't have to go to work, our communication was on target 99.9% of the time, our kids were quiet (ok, so they weren't there but we missed them to death), and we never fought. Re-entering life as we know it has been difficult. Nothing around us has changed yet we have. Eric hit the ground running at work and we still haven't had an opportunity to reconnect with each other and process. Understandibly our kids are acting out a bit after feeling somewhat abandoned in recent months. There isn't enough of me to spread out over all of them yet they need me. We are addressing some of the most difficult attitudes and behaviors we've experienced thus far in parenting. And it seems as though all I want to do is cry out in frustration and say, "DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND??" The things we take for granted and hold of high importance are really truly meaningless. And yet I know this is a feeling I hold as a result of the emotional confusion I feel about life. How can they or anyone else understand? Now, do you see why I haven't posted in so long? I cannot narrow down my thoughts. I can't clearly articulate the passion, emotions or feelings that scream AFRICA.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Things I missed

- I almost cried at lunch when Lucy begged to pray. She could be a preacher as long as she prays. I just love her.

- Beth greeted me in full makeup and glitter. Grandpa warned me he overheard her telling Lucy she was "going to California with her boyfriend". I hope they were just playing.

- Believe it or not, I missed grounding Jake and Alex from books.

- Diet coke WITH ICE.

- Seriously, I realize we stayed on a beach but I had trouble focusing during my quiet time. I missed my chaise lounge. :)

- Email.


We left for the airport at 4 pm Sunday Liberia time...that translates to 10 am Iowa time. We flew the first leg from Monrovia to Brussells as planned except for a minor time delay for refueling (because in Liberia they use gallon jugs to fill the gas tank so it takes a LONG time to fill a big airplane). After a short delay in Brussells, we loaded the plane to head to Newark. The captain came on and said there was ANOTHER slight delay...the defribulator was not working and it is a "no go" item, meaning we don't go unless this works. So, we were to give them 5 minutes to locate the part and they'd report back how long we'd be waiting. So, 5 ++ minutes later the pilot came on and said they had to get the part from London. Seriously, no where in Belgium carries a battery part for this thing?? So, long story a little shorter we had to deboard the plane and wait 5 1/2 hours more. But, the story gets better. About 2 minutes before the pilot announced our possible delay I took my customary sleeping pills...a full dose. By the time we finished lunch my words were slurring and I thought I was going to fall over. I ended up laying on the floor asleep in the middle of Brussells airport. We missed all our connecting flights. We got to Newark in time to make some alternate flights but by the time we stood in line most of the flights had left. Decision: keep going to Chicago and sleep in O'Hare airport or get a courtesy hotel in Newark. There was only 3 seats left on the flight the next morning and we would get home by late afternoon. Tony and Jill opted for the Newark option while Mark, Eric and I were going as far as we could. We were seriosly thinking about renting a car to get home. I had a little mental breakdown in the airport at the realization I wasn't going to see my kids last night...and a few reports from home brought me back to the real world as well. Emotionally spent, longing to see my kids, and exhausted from the many hours in the flight, I took a back seat out of Newark while Mark and Eric wheeled and dealed to get us to Chicago. They were still working the "system" at the gate just before boarding the plane. Still thinking we were sleeping in the airport, we were glad to just get some food vouchers and grab a quick pizza and a long awaited diet coke with ICE before the last leg of the night. We got into Chicago around 11:15 pm just in time to check a few more flights out. One flight left: Cedar Rapids. But because of weather delays in Chicago many flights were cancelled and many people sleeping in the airport or re-routing their journies. The Cedar Rapids flight was full, although Eric plead a good case with the attendant who offered stand by seats (meaning the flight is full but I can give you a seat in case someone has a heart attack before they walk between this gate and the airplane). :) A little more of our soga shared with another gate attendant and Mark was able to get us rooms at a very nice hotel. About 38 hours after our journey began, we arrived at the hotel in time for a HOT shower (which we hadn't experienced in two weeks), freshly brushed teeth (which I think EVERYONE appreciated...we were starting to clear rooms when we breathed), and three hours of sleep. 5:15 am we met outside our rooms and headed back to the airport. A little more patience was needed as our tickets weren't entered correctly again but we finally got out of Chicago and flew into Moline around 9 am. Whew. So grateful to finally be home safely. The kids waited around for us this morning and just headed to school at lunchtime. Eric headed into work. I'm heading to bed. (this doesn't seem fair to Eric but seriously, someone has to be able to parent our children this evening!)

One last thing. I was really bummed at how the trip took a turn towards the end. We were really on a high about how God is working in Liberia. I won't give you all the details until I sleep a bit and have some organized and whole thoughts but I will share this. Our short 30 minute flight this morning was hosted by a beautiful young black woman who reminded me of the families we grew so fond of in Liberia over the last 15 days. She was so pleasant and reminded me of the welcoming and friendly Liberian people. I only had the duration of the flight to reflect on this but this flight attendant reminded me how much we all fell in love with the people we lived life with over the past weeks. I was reminded of how God brought us home safely and through this whole trip safely. This is the day the Lord has made. And so was yesterday. Let us rejoice and be glad. I'm glad to be home. But I left a part of my heart back in Africa.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Last Update before Pam Returns!

This will be the last update until the team returns to the states. I hope you all have found them informative and helped you feel connected to their trip. Yesterday the team went to the market. Pam found a sill she was unaware of, she is very good at bargaining. She even did better than Eric. They said “Look out Dave”. They were not able to go to another orphanage as they had a mix up with Robert. Pam also got a new hair do on this day. I can’t wait to see it. Tony was able to go on a date with a nephew, a niece, and his sister-in-law. On Saturday, they met with the lady that owns the house (for the library). Things did not go very well, so they will not be using this building. They then left to go to the Year End celebration. On the way there they had car trouble. It was fixed, but this put them back about 3 hours. They said everything worked out just fine. They had lunch at the party then went to Tony’s Mother’s house again. A brother and sister of his were there, so it was a good reunion. For dinner, they ate at Pastor Vaye’s house. He is the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. This evening they were able to spend at lot of time talking with Robert and Koligar. Tomorrow (Sunday), they will go to church around10:30. Tony will be speaking tomorrow. Then they will have time to pack and go to the airport. Their plane leaves at 9:40p.m. (their time), so they have to go to the airport around 4 or 5. Mark asked several times for prayer that all the flights go well and are on time. I ask that you pray that the weather will be good enough for them to be here at 5:40p.m. (and not a minute later). THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THESE LETTERS AND FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS! Love, Amy

Thursday, January 11, 2007

1/11 Update from Amy

Pam says “HI!” to Jake, Alex, Beth and Lucy. She misses you all very much. Only about 4 more days to go! As for the rest of the group, they are doing well. This morning Tony brought Koigar’s kids to the complex for a visit. They sang for the team. The kids are not able to get out much, so this was a treat for them. This afternoon Jill had a meeting with the minister of health. Then the team drove to Tony’s mother-in-laws house. They had lunch there. After this they drove to Victoria’s house. She is Tony’s sister. Her husband is a Representative in Liberia. They had dinner with them. They also meet with Reverend Wilfitoe, he pastor’s a church that the Ngwayah’s help support. They felt they had a very good day as they meet with more Liberians in their homes. Tony felt this is the best way to build relationships. Mark said today they got stopped at a check point for the first time. It took about 30 minutes. He said it was interesting. Mark will not call tomorrow so I will not send out an e-mail. He said they plan to go to a market and to an orphanage. They are hoping to go to look at the house for the library. They are also hoping to take Koligar’s kids with them. On Saturday they have been invited to a celebration for the New Year. They are looking forward to it. Please pray for Robert and Koligar as it is hard on them to get to know people and then have them leave. Thank you for the prayers for those of us back here (me). God has given me more patience than I thought I could possible have, plus fewer fighting boys than usual. This makes the time without Mark so much easier. Thanks again, Amy

from the team

Hi everyone, I didn’t get a chance to get the letter out yesterday, but Mark did call. Wednesday Jill had a meeting at 8:30 with other organizations that are working in Liberia. Pam spent the day with Robert’s wife. She helped make bread and also helped make dinner for the team. I am sure she really enjoyed this. Mark said she had a very good day. Tony took Mark, Eric, and Koligar to a village about 35 miles away from Monrovia. Tony stayed at this location for four months during the war. They went to visit Mr. Dixson (he let Tony stay there) and to see the school that he started. The building is made of mud bricks. They are in need of money to build a concrete school. Mr. Dixson asked that we pray about this. While at this village, there were some muslim men. Mark said he got to see Tony in action and that it was so cool. Tony is so smart and good with his words. Mark said Tony really made the men think. For dinner they went back to Robert’s house. They had some time before dinner so Mark played with the kids (which he loves to do-we miss him). Mark did not have any pressing prayer requests. He said Jill is feeling better and the computer turns on, but still has some kind of short. The money situation is growing tighter so he has decided not to call home anymore. I have to call him which is also expensive. So, I am not sure how much info I will be able to get for the next 4 to 5 days. They get home at 5:40p.m. in Moline on Monday the 15th. Please pray everything goes well for them and the families here, Amy