Saturday, July 19, 2008

Catching Up

Starting with Haiti/Mission stories:
  • The former school director that settled in court but reopened the case even though it was settled ... because TIH ... settled does not actually mean settled ... he wants a bunch more money and Troy got totally irritated with it all ... but the attorney advised that it is best to just pay and not try to get justice. That messes with our overdeveloped sense of justice.
  • A staff person at the mission made a bad choice and is now facing some major consequences. It has been heartbreaking to watch and we're feeling sad about it all. People are talking and the story has turned into entertainment for all - which stinks for the poor person who is being gossiped about.
  • Paige and Jeronne had a great heart to heart about gossip and how hurtful it is - this culture spends a lot of time talking ... Jeronne got teary and they agreed that it is not an easy thing to deal with when the false rumors are about you. Paige has dealt with this herself, we've been amazed at her poise when facing it.
  • Lumen's brother (Lumen has worked in and around the mission house for many years) was very ill yesterday. He looked on the verge of death. Troy offered all sorts of options but no one was biting -- literally they seemed not to care about getting the guy help. It turns out that he had done something wrong to his brother Maxo and the entire family just determined he was probably getting what he had coming to him - in the form of a curse or just karma or something. They did not want to get him more help for fear of getting in the middle of the problem and making Maxo mad. This was very hard for us to understand.
  • The new missionaries arrived about a week ago. Their names are Adam and Amber. They seem to be soaking it in and coping well. Prayers for them are appreciated.
  • A team of 16 arrive from Michigan this afternoon. I don't know how much blogging will be accomplished over the next week, but I will attempt to keep all interested parties informed.
  • Paige is giddy excited about this team, she has friends coming. :)
Kid things:
  • Annie met her Daddy and Grandma in early July. Most babies fear Matt and his large bald head. Annie seemed to find him lovable. We were pretty happy about that! Both Noah and Lyd screamed at Annie's age when they caught sight of their scary uncle. Here she is with her grandma.
  • Isaac and Hope and Noah are the three musketeers and have been counting the days until Britt arrives. Photo below shows one of their all-night jam sessions. Isaac is playing the part of Madonna - or Garth Brooks.
  • Hope's new thing - when asked to do something ("Hope can you go grab me a diaper?") she says, "Why of course mother - I'd love to." She is a gem of a little girl.
  • Britt arrives on Sunday for a month.
  • Last week Troy saw a house for rent and had the boys with him. It was a bit gaudy and overdone and Isaac said, "Dad, this house makes me feel like my brain is rattling around in my head."
  • Isaac would make a great President. Vote Livesay in '08. Sorry Barack, you just got upstaged by a far more handsome black man.
  • Phoebe is very two - even though she is not two. Do NOT, I repeat - do NOT make her mad. You will pay.
  • Britt and her best friend Chris (who she met in Haiti in 2006) are engaged to be married next year. Prayers for them as they prepare are also appreciated.
  • Paige is getting very excited about school. She got all of her uniforms and if all the plans fall into place she will start school in mid August already!
  • Lydie is army crawling all over the joint. If we wet down her shirt first she acts as a mop, picking up crumbs and dog hair along the way.
  • Photo of Lyd and Phoebe hitting the shower together. Lydie has reverted back to the startled look again.
Random Personal Things:
  • We officially sold all possessions from our USA life. Gone. No tools, no lawn mower, no couch or lamps or decorations. It felt good and bad all at once. Good because it was high time. Bad because when an entire storage area and ten years of marriage sells for two grand - there is a bit of "ouch" that goes with it. Thanks to all who helped make the garage sale happen. You people rock the house all the way down.
  • Recently we got a nasty comment on the blog that caused a little upset and hurt. It was in Creole and was generally rude and borderline threatening. The fact is, it probably should not matter to us. Who said this (or anything) is supposed to be about being liked? Of course it is not. The only thing we're realizing is that it is important not to give out so much information about our whereabouts and to just use more caution when sharing. Maybe the comment just served to help us be more cautious in the future.
  • The house hunt is a major stress right now. We thought we had one, then it fell through. Long story there, won't bore you with it - we are lucky that we did not hand over four months rent, we think we were getting scammed. Then yesterday we thought we might be ready to move on a different one, but right after seeing it a person we kind of consider in-the-know told us that he would NOT rent in that area.
  • Long story short, house hunting here is stressful. Rather than deciding between suburbs vs. urban and three car vs. two car garage -- we find ourselves evaluating the safety of the area and the previous record of kidnapping. We have not made a decision on any house. That feels uncomfortable and uncertain and we're trying hard to wait on the right thing at the right time. If it were Troy and I we would pitch a tent on the beach, but with seven others who tend to be high-maintenance, the beach plan lacks prudence.
  • We are also searching for a reliable used vehicle. This is easier said than done. Troy heard today about an auction opportunity that he hopes might bring the answer.
  • When you go with a realtor to a house here - you pay them $20 USD for their time and gas - even though you picked THEM up and gave them a ride. TIH.
  • Troy found a generator. He likes it, he thinks it is a deal - he is a big fan of electricity and plans to buy it soon - but it needs a house to go with it. I cannot really get on board with being excited about a generator. It is a guy thing.
  • God has provided for all of our start-up costs!!! (Between gifts and our house-sale proceeds.) That is super cool! Those things are: generator, batteries, vehicle, three month rent down payment, and internet installation.
  • The whole fundraising thing has always been very uncomfortable - maybe due to pride - maybe not - I don't know anyone who really loves it ... We are used to getting a second job or finding ways to earn it ourselves when the budget increases -- so to have to ask people for help now that our budget has increased has been humbling for us. But, here goes...
  • We are in need of monthly sponsors who might consider helping us serve in Haiti by committing to $30 - $50 or $100 per month of support. In order to cover rent and be able to send Paige and Isaac to the school they hope to go to we are trying to raise about $1,500 more per month. That is our current shortfall. Would you pray about this and pass it along to others as well?
  • We're moving forward and waiting for God to show up - that is all we can think to do.
  • If you're interested in joining our support team, please contact Pat Mortensen at
  • We're not playing the lotto to try to fill the budget gap. Super Top Bank has none of our money. Just saying.
  • Thanks to everyone who shared their education and job stories. If only there was a clause in the student-loan that said, "If you don't end up in a career that matches your education, your loan is forgiven. Have a good life." :)