Monday, October 30, 2006


Joel got a letter from the US Army today informing him that he is officially OUT of the military! After we left Hawaii he still had to serve two years in the inactive ready reserves (IRR)--that has just been completed. Hurray! While we are breathing a big sigh of relief, it did make me think back to our military years and all of the memories. What a HUGE time in our life. Amazingly, as most of you know, we spent his whole enlistment in Hawaii. What I think of most, even more than the beauty of Hawaii,are our adventures together, the friendships God blessed us with, how we grew together through tough times (like when we first got there and had no friends, no family and were parched for fellowship or when he was deployed for 8 months-YUCK), how we grew individually with me finishing college and getting my ESL training and Joelie in his career and leadership skills, and our spiritual growth as we teamed with our closest friends in ministry with the youth at our church. So many sweet memories. In so many ways that whole time period seems like a dream and yet there were so many raw, real life moments that I wouldn't trade for anything. Thanks be to God for that time in our life, for keeping Joel safe, for providing for us, for abundantly blessing us with friendships and adventure and love for each other. The journey continues....

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Cat and the Vacuum Cleaner

...Not a good combination!!

Saturdays are cleaning days at the Hunt household and Joel's duty is the vacuuming. He likes it.

So Willow and I were in the bedroom watching Pollyanna(the new version, really cute) and Joel opens the door and starts to enter. Well, lets just say that we are all scarred from what followed. Willow literally started jumping up and down until I yelled for Joel to turn the vacuum off. Then she went into a catatonic state where she was frozen on the side of the bed. I then tried to pick her up and she freaked out again, leaving marks on my wrist that looks like I made an attempt on my life.

She then proceeded to jump off the bed and head towards the door to get outside. She had to pass the vacuum cleaner, and as she did she looked at it in horror, jumped in the air one more time, and scooted out.

It was so funny, sad, and painful for us all (Well, the kitty probably wouldn't agree on the funny part). Anyway, we are all recovering fine. Just thought I'd share our excitement for the day. Nothing much going on....just more life. Cleaning, reading, studying, tutoring, teaching, talking, writing, eating. Speaking of eating, I'm off to the store to get some eggs and avocados...yuuuum!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A relaxing week...

Well, last week was wonderful. I had the week off as the English Language Institute was in between sessions, and I just had a really laid back week. At the same time, I was amazed how much not working increased my people contact! I mean I guess not technically because I see so many students every day, but in one week I:

* Ate dinner with our new friends Ann and Ben. They have the CUTEST brick bungalow house across the park from us and we had such a great time with them.She made a gourmet meal that was deliciouso and we had great conversation.
* Had my friend Eliza and her mom drop by one morning as they were on a walk, which was so much fun because she had not been to our house yet.
* Went to visit an older lady named Miriam with three of my students, which was a precious time.
* Went and had coffee with my friend Sarah and her cutie patootie baby girl Stella
* Last but not least, we went to a baptism celebration for Eliza's daughter Oakley!

I realize that some people work full time jobs and do things such as these every week, but I just don't have that kind of energy!! So it was a real treat for me. I also did things like wander through natural food stores and look at all of the healthy yumminess, and then left and went directly to Taco Bell (oh my).

So, sorry for the lack of updates. We are now back to regular scheduled programming:) Hope you all are well, Jen

Monday, October 16, 2006


I was sitting in our Honduran hammock today and it made me think of swinging with these precious ones, and that made me miss them. I wish I could will myself back there, swinging on the porch with one or two in my arms, watching the rest of the kids playing in the front yard. It was exhausting spending two weeks at Destino, and frustrating because of the language barrier, but our hearts were full. Our hearts were full of love for these kids and joy at seeing God's provision for them. You can read more about the ministry at

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Things I love:Teaching international students

Here are some pictures of the cutest hand made card EVER that my students gave me at the end of the session. What joy it gave me to read the words in this card,as, for the most part, I had no idea of whether they were enjoying or understanding my classes, especially grammar which I wasn't sure if I was understanding or not! Well, it all came out through this card and actually through their words on the last day of class. Music to the soul for this teacher whose love language is encouraging words:) I guess I got so used to to my super expressive Hispanic students, that I went into a bit of shock when I came to ELI and have almost all Asian students. I really enjoyed this group and look forward to next session when I'll be tutoring a few of these same students.

Anyway, here is the card. The two chickies are Joel and I:) Sooooo cute!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Things I love: Books

I love books of all kinds. To curl up and read a good book on a cold, winter day is my idea of heaven on earth. I think this stack of books is a good representation of my favorites, so i thought I'd share with you a little about why I love them so and why they really represent who I am in a lot of ways.

Stepping Heavenward-- Ladies, if you have not read this one, run out to your local internet bookstore and buy it:) It is written in the late 1800's by Elizabeth Prentiss. It is the fictional diary of a girl from her 16th birthday to her later years that describes her spiritual journey is such raw and realistic ways. It is a sweet book--pure and truthful and inspiring.

Woman After God's Own Heart-- Another book that really influenced my walk with the Lord and my marriage. It is full of good, solid principals followed really practical applications of those principals. I don't make it through a lot of "Christian self-help" books, but I have made it through this one many a time!By the way, guys, Joelie really enjoyed and recommends "Man after God's own Heart."

Taking Charge of Your Fertility--I'm sorry if this is too much information, but I do love women's' reproductive health. If I were to choose another profession, I think I would choose to be a midwife.For any of you who have questions about fertility or want to know more about natural family planning-- I heartily recommend this book--it's very empowering.

The Baby Book--I admit to being a bit obsessed with Dr. Sears and his "Attachment Parenting" books(not 100% of his ideas do I agree with, of course). For the most part,I love them--they echo many of my heart's desires in raising children. Once we actually have children who knows what will happen, it may all go out the window:) But I am a researcher at heart, and so in this waiting period before we have babies I have read and will continue to read a lot about birth, babies, and child rearing philosophy. I love children and I love books and so I guess it kinda goes hand and hand.

Classic Classroom Activities-- I looooooove ESL curriculum. If the staff at work needs to find me, they always look in the curriculum library first. I hide in there sometimes in the afternoons just devouring all of the yummy choices. They didn't know what they were asking for when they asked the instructors to review some of the curriculum we used this session-- I had to ask for more sheets because I ran out of room:) I think my love for curriculum comes from my need for structure. I like to be creative, but I need some guidelines and organization. Okay, I admit it, I like to have some lines to border my drawings!! I guess choosing the curriculum is choosing the most beautiful and rich colors to use inside those lines:)

Material World--This is such a great book. A photographer from the United Nations went to all of these different countries and compared the socioeconomic status of an average family from each country. He had each family bring ALL of their belongings out of their house into their yard and he photographed them. Beautiful pictures and the provocative truth of disparity. I use the photos as discussion starters in my ESL classes often. I love learning about cultures and people.

Oh, and for all of you cat haters out there who agreed with Joelie's post (which, may I remind you, was written only one day after I wrote about how cute I think he is?!), I will have to rebut your thoughts about cats with a post titled "Things I love: Cats" , starting with the fact that a good book becomes even better if you have a purring cat curled up next to you! Jen

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Cat

This is Joel. I have to make a note about the cat. I have not been known to be a cat person and I do not think I am turning into a cat person, not at all. However, I will say that I have become a bit more accepting, at least toward this one particular cat that we have taken in. I think I am the one who actually initiated the "adoption process" of this cat. It all stemmed from the fact that Jenny wanted a cat so bad. I am normally allergic or sensitive to cats and did not think I could handle a cat in the house, and if we bought one I thought the local stray cats would rip it apart, but I wanted Jenny to have a little pet to keep her company, especially since I spend so much time studying. So when this cat kept hanging around I thought it could be a solution to the problem, we would not have to adopt one and keep it inside or worry about its existence when outside. Perfect. So I started luring the cat and feeding it and even petting it. I even allowed it to lay in the bed, our bed, in my presence and welcomed it when I saw the joy it brought Jenny. Again, I fed it and called it by name. I still do all this. But let me tell you something......

I think cats have to be one of the dummest animals on Earth. I cannot emphasize enough that I am the one who feeds this otherwise outcast animal, I helped take it in off the streets and now it is fat because of me, truly fat I tell you. I let it in in the middle of the night. I let it out in the middle of the night. And the repayment I get for all this is hissing and clawing and shear horror emmitted from this bizarre animal whenever my presence is thought to be near. Somehow I terrify this feline into hysteria and all I do is be kind to it. I cannot figure it out. There must be some kind of lesson here and I am patiently trying to find it, but for the time being I think the lesson is that cats are generally dumb.

This is a rebuttle to Jenny's post that "Willow" is a smart cat, I think not. But then again, maybe it's a genius, although I do not see how that could be when it literally bites the hand that feeds it. However, I still welcome this little creature, more like a monster, into our home because Jenny does so enjoy its company and I kind of get a kick out of it.

Matter of fact, my hero Johnny Cash has a song something similar to my plight called “Mean Eyed Cat” and the last line in the song is “…And now we're curled up on the sofa, me and her....and that mean eyed cat.” An apt and fitting lyric.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So lovely is he...

Tonight Joel was leaving to go meet with some church guys and I thought he looked soooo cute in his newish Earth shoes and thrift store shirt. So I told him I wanted to take a picture and he went into model mode. This made me laugh...he makes me laugh. I was deep in the trenches of grading essays when he walked in, and it just brightened my evening. Maybe it'll brighten yours too:) Jen