Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Week in the Life of the CTS Manager

As the manager of CTS (Communications and Technical Services), Tim is very busy.  CTS is more than just IT.  The department has the typical IT services, including programming, networking, computer repair, help desk, and a sales counter for all your electronic needs.  In addition, CTS also includes telephone service, purchasing, installing solar systems for village teams, and repairing electronics from small appliances to radios used in the village for communication.  There is a blend of expatriates from four different countries and Papua New Guineans.  They come together to help all of us in our jobs.  This is Tim's story

A Week in the Life of the CTS Manager
By Tim Ellis

This week has been quite eventful.  It is not quite typical but there is always something happening in “the land of the unexpected.”  Back in December the air conditioning unit in the Help Desk area blew a compressor.  I had a spare unit and was working on getting it swapped out, but it had not made it to the top of my to-do list.

On Monday I sent my lead Network Engineer to Port Moresby to help one of our regional centers.  When I got up, Andrew tells me that my cat has left me a present on my door step, a dead mouse.  We do appreciate this because it means mice are not in the house.  I arrive at work to find out that sometime during the night the main air conditioning unit in the network room had gone out and the temperatures were getting very warm in there.  The secondary unit in there is struggling to keep up.   A network switch in our Construction Department had gone down, which my other Network Engineer was able to restore fairly quickly.  Later in the morning a switch at the Primary School campus went down.  This took him most of the day to get back up but only stayed up for a couple of hours.  I was scolded by my kids for it being down because they were not able to log onto the network and do their computer classes. 

On Tuesday, Andrew tells me that my cat has left me another mouse on my door step.  I arrive at work to find that both a/c units are down.  The main one was fairly quickly restored, but temps have gotten high and it can only get them out of the critical range.  The secondary unit has blown a compressor motor; not good.  Praise God we have a spare.  I guess that’s why God didn’t let it get to the top of my to-do list.  It takes about three hours for the spare to be installed, and it is working great.  Around 11am our network monitoring program stops working.  We are blind to the status of our network without it.  Praise God I was able to call in help and they got it back up in an hour. 

Wednesday there is no mouse on my doorstep.  I arrive at work to find that all is well. 

Today is Thursday and Andrew tells me that there is another mouse on our doorstep.  I am taking the day off.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I hesitated to post about our upcoming vacation because it goes against what some people think missionaries do. I decided to throw caution to the wind and continue the truthfulness about our lives. We have had a very full and stressful year, which is why my blog has been so quiet.  Our winter (summer for those in the Northern Hemisphere) school break was spent working in overdrive, while making sure the kids were cared for.  At one point Tim was doing three different managerial jobs within the IT department.  At the same time Tara was helping debrief the first Discovery team, while making new arrangements after flight cancellations and delays for the second team that was coming in.  We not only need a break for ourselves to prevent burn-out, but we need time to just be a family. I'm so grateful for a gift that was sent to us from one of our supporting Sunday School classes.  It was designated as "vacation money."  It removed any bit of hesitancy we had regarding our vacation.  Our God is so faithful in every area.

In a week, we board a plane for our much needed family vacation!  This will be the first time the rest of the family been out of PNG since we arrived in January 2012.  When we lived in the States, we'd usually spend our vacation time in Florida visiting our friends and family.  We'd throw in a couple of days to do something special while down there.  Vacations had a different meaning for us because our family did not live close by. After joining Wycliffe, every vacation also involved some sort of work while we were raising our initial support to come to PNG. Don't get me wrong, this was our choice, and we enjoyed it.  We managed to be able to mix things together to make the most of our time.  That was life.  Tim & I have an upcoming work trip that will allow us some time together, but that's for a different post.

We have all sorts of expectations for this upcoming vacation. There is one activity we all agree on- SHOPPING!  (Yes, my Granny would be proud!)  Our first full day in Cairns (pronounced "cans"), Australia, will be spent at one of the malls.  Actually quite a bit of our time will be spent shopping.  We'll visit exotic places like Target and Grocery stores (yes, in the mall!) and Crazy Clark's (think dollar store on steroids).  Not only will we not have to prepare our own lunch, but we will have multiple choices for lunch.  Each one of us could choose something different. PARADISE!!!  I know, some of you, are thinking I've lost my mind.  The rest of you know me too well, but you are wondering if I've brainwashed the rest of my family to willingly spend a day at the mall.  The extent of any shopping my kids have done in the last 21 months is yard sales and our store.  Neither present a lot of options. Tim and I have had a little more experience- a few second hand shops in the nearest town and some bulk grocery shopping in Goroka and Lae.  None of this compares to what we will have available on our vacation.  There was no brainwashing involved!

I have been downright giddy making my grocery list.  I can put things on it like cereal, milk (in a jug), yogurt, bagels, BACON, frozen dinners, grapes, bacon, cantaloupe, sandwich meat, fancy bread, and did I mention bacon?  These are things I can't get here in PNG.  Well, I could buy cereal, but at $10 or more a box, I choose NOT to buy.  The best part of this list isn't what is on it.  Nope, it's the fact that I'll be able to get every single item on the list!  In PNG, if we get more than half of the items on our list, it is considered a successful and rewarding trip.

We plan on doing some of the "normal" vacation stuff, too- going to the beach, enjoying the free touristy stuff (you'd expect anything else from an Ellis?), and even a day trip to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef. We have our lists- Christmas and birthday presents to buy, treats for ourselves, things we've run out of, and items our friends need us to bring back for them.  The kids have money they've been earning.  We've discussed what each of us would like to do.  Each child has plans for their own date with mom and dad.  And like a good Type A person, I have my spreadsheet of stores to visit and what to purchase at each store; a calendar of dates showing what we are doing each day; and Google directions and maps with everything marked.  I also have given myself and my family the permission to change plans and "go with the flow".  The only things that HAVE to happen are the eye appointments and grocery shopping on our first day.  Shhh, we haven't told the kids, but we, also, plan to hit McDonald's our first night.  The last time they enjoyed a greasy hamburger was on our way to PNG.

Yes, we have an incredible opportunity to enjoy another part of God's creation- the Land Down Under. We will get to experience the beach, mountains, amazing snorkeling, and, of course, the malls.  I thank God for this opportunity.  We realize that this might be the only trip outside of PNG until we head home for furlough in just over 2 years.  We pray God will help us to make it an incredible memory for all of us!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Celebration

Recently Tim had the opportunity to travel to Wabag to participate in the Kickoff Celebration of the Enga Bible Translation Project.  You can read more about here.  We wanted to share with you more pictures of his time in Wabag.

The Enga Province of Papua New Guinea is located in the Highlands at an altitude of over 6,000 feet. 
Enga is the largest language group in Papua New Guinea with over 300,000 speakers and nine different dialects. While there is an existing translation of the New Testament in Enga, it is not widely used. There are four main reasons why the current translation is not used. First, it was the work of only one denomination and so the other denominations don't feel like the Enga New Testament is for them. Second, it uses a mixture of dialects, which makes it difficult for various dialect groups to accept. Third, the Enga language has changed rapidly over the last 25 years and so the current translation is outdated. Fourth, literacy levels are very low in Enga, and most Engans cannot read (especially in their own language). The result is that very few Engans have ever heard a good translation of the Word of God in their own language.

The celebration began with a drum corp.  The boys used old plastic fuel containers as their drums. 

When I saw the boy climb the tree to get a better look at the parade I thought “Zaccheus"

Every drum had a message on it.  It was either about Jesus’ love for them or their love for Jesus.

There was a reporter from the “National” newspaper (striped shirt) and other local and Provincial officials (camo vest)

Women from the local Catholic church take the lead from the boys with their traditional Kundu drums. 

Luke, the videographer, captured the event 

Looking ahead

The crowd kept growing until it was over a thousand people.

Looking out from the Grandstand at the crowd

We all were presented with a gift of a traditional woven cap

Dan and Luke from Newbreak Church were presented with gifts of sand art for the generous sponsorship of the Engan men

Several local Pastors from around Wabag

This is the largest primary school in PNG.  Even the local school with its meager budget pledged money to the translation project. 

Every celebration has food.  We celebrated with a traditional mumu- kind of like a barbecue. First out of the fire was the pig

Separating the layers of food from the leaves.

A Tree Kangaroo, who will one day become a meal

Many of the local church leaders stayed for a meal of pig, chicken, kau-kau (sweet potato), bread, vegetables and a Coke.

Everywhere in the market the people were friendly and wanted to have their picture taken.  These men wanted to show off their bags of peanuts.

This was one local flavor we tried.  Each one of the pods in the bunch has a nut inside about the size of a hazel nut and had a similar flavor.  They were selling them for 70 toa or about 35 cents.

This girl, who is the daughter of the guesthouse owner, helped us by opening the gate.  Despite her obvious physical challenges, she was always smiling.

We stopped for a while to visit the village of Immi, which is where Adam and his family lived on a recent trip.  This is outside the local church

Inside the church- no hard pews to complain about here!

The people Immi were captivated by Adam’s picture book chronicling his family’s 5 week stay in their village.

This is the house that Adam and his family stayed in on their visit.  

The black roof is from the smoke; it helps to seal and preserve the roof. The building on the left is the kitchen. Papua New Guineans generally do not cook inside their house.

Andrew gave me some toys to give to the local Enga boys.  He has a very generous heart.

The boys were very excited to receive the gifts.

Just one of the many Kau-Kau (sweet potato) gardens

Playing with the toy soldier from Andrew

Smoke rising from a Kunai grass roof.  This style house is the type most Papua New Guineans in the Highlands live in.

One of several rivers that flow down from the mountains

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Culture Stress

Several weeks ago someone asked how we would describe culture stress to someone who has never experienced it.  This produces a lot of different responses.  Someone said it was like being in a snow globe that had just been shaken, but once things were about to settle, it was picked up and shaken again.  I have related it to starting a new job in a new place.  But, like in the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray, you repeat that first day over and over and over.  You come into the job thinking you know so much only to find out you don’t know much at all when it comes to the basics of surviving.  You don’t know where anything is, who anyone is, or exactly where your place is.  Eventually you settle in and start learning and start feeling confident.  With culture stress, it is that same feeling but exaggerated and every time you think you have it figured out, you realize you don’t have a clue.  Very humbling!

A few months back we experienced probably one of my most stressful days living in Papua New Guinea. We had to take Andrew to Goroka, the province capital city, to have his eyes examined.  Just getting an eye doctor appointment is an adventure.  We emailed the doctor to schedule the appointment.  Unfortunately he would be unable to take any appointments during our school break, so we had to schedule for the following Friday.  Tim was in Enga to participate in the Bible Translation kick-off celebration for Engan translation, so I had to make an executive decision and hope and pray he could take Friday off, too.  We planned to go with the father and son of another family that also needed to see the eye doctor.  We had appointment for after 2:00pm.  This presented a problem because it’s a two to three hour drive, one-way to Goroka.  We do not want to be driving after dark, so we needed to arrange a place to stay.  Two days before we leave we learn that the other family we are going with really needs to be back in Ukarumpa because their son is performing in his final band concert.  So, the plan changes for we will definitely spend the night to we’ll keep the reservations just in case.  We decide to leave at 8:00am to give us some time to do some shopping and eat lunch before going to the appointment.

The morning of the appointment, I check my email a little after 6am.  There was an email from the eye doctor.  He couldn’t see Andrew at the scheduled time because he had to leave that morning on a 10am flight.  Could we make it between 8:00 and 9:00- the closer to 8:00 the better.  (Stress meter starting to rise)  I wake Tim up; we call the other family, and make a quick decision to throw everything in the car and go.  Fortunately we had rented the 4wd Land Cruiser to make the trip.  The roads are rough, which makes driving difficult and slow.

As we leave Ukarumpa, I receive a phone call from a local airline.  I had booked a ticket for one of the Discovery interns, and his ticket was suspended.  They never got my email with the information confirming I booked the ticket.  All they needed was for me to send them the information.  The computer with the information and the internet connection is at home.  We’re racing to get to see the closest eye doctor before he takes off on a flight.  I tried to explain this information, but it wasn’t working.  After spending at least half the trip talking with various people (and using all the money & minutes I had on my phone), I finally was able to get his ticket released.  Unfortunately, he missed the flight and had to go on the next flight. 

We finally found the haus sik (hospital), which the doctor was located.  He had gone to the airport to check in and leave his baggage, so we had to wait.  While waiting the boys decided to pretty much memorize the eye chart.  The doctor did a quick examination of Andrew and was able to write him a prescription.  Fortunately, he did not appear to be as bad as we expected.  The next stop was the place to get glasses.  It wasn’t an easy place to find, but we found it.  They had about 20 or so different frames to choose from.  We were very grateful that he had the lenses Andrew needed in stock and was able to grind them and put them in the glasses that day. 

Finally, time for shopping!  As we are leaving the first stop and going to pick up the glasses, I get a text saying the above mentioned Discovery intern did not make it to his final destination.  Uh-oh.  I have no money on my phone to text or call back.  We find a place to purchase a card to add money to my phone.  We head to lunch, and I’m back on the phone trying to track down the missing intern.  While talking with the leader that is in Ukarumpa, my phone runs out of money, again.  By this time, we are at the restaurant, and I’m sitting in the waiting area talking.  The leader calls me back.  As we are talking, Tim runs out of the restaurant after the employees alert them that our vehicle was being broken into.  The rest of the time while in the restaurant, the guys take turns going out to check on the vehicle during lunch.  In the meantime the intern is finally located, and I begin to breathe easier.

When we go to get back in the car, someone comes to tell us that a bag was taken out of the vehicle.  Andrew’s backpack was stolen.  Fortunately it was pretty much empty.  It was a small price to pay, and we were grateful because much more could have been taken!

The drama isn’t over.  After we finish our meal, we have a couple of more stops to make.  Our final stop was at New Tribes Missions to pick up some equipment.  We get out of the car.  The only time during the day that we didn’t have to check to make sure the doors were locked, all the doors locked with the keys inside.  It took 4 missionaries and 2 missionary kids 30 minutes to get the car opened.  They don’t have much of a future as car thieves! 

We finally make our way home.  We arrive home exhausted and ready to collapse.  Unfortunately I still have to make some sort of dinner.  There is no drive-thru or ready-made meal for us. Boy do I miss Chick-fil-A and Publix!

As I'm putting away our purchases, I realize the case of tuna we purchased at the store was not the one we wanted.  Anyone want a case of 48 cans of hot & spicy tuna?  Yes, I was ready to cry!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The House Saga, Part 2

Back in July, we shared with you the saga of our house in Lawrenceville.  You can read the complete story here.

We spoke with our bank about doing a loan modification, so we could avoid adding to the debt by doing a refinance.  Before beginning all the work, we were assured by the bank that they wouldn't just look at our income and mortgage amount.  They would take into consideration our entire situation.  We began the process of the modification.  It was painful.  We couldn't do anything via email, which makes things difficult when you are dealing with a 14 hour time difference and located on the other side of the world with limited internet.  This left most of the work on Tara's dad.  Our first hurdle was having the bank actually recognize his Power of Attorney and talking with him.  That took a while.  The second hurdle was getting our information to them.  It seemed that no matter how many times Dad would upload or fax the information, they would still need stuff again and again.

The third hurdle was convincing them why we needed a modification.  This was tricky because if you just strictly looked at the mortgage payment and our year-to-date income, we should have no problems making our payment.  The one-time gifts we received to help cover our costs for plane tickets, moving expenses, and training were all lumped into our year-to-date income.  We also had to explain the much higher cost of living in Papua New Guinea in addition to the decreased rents in the neighborhood.

We drew up a budget and a letter of hardship for the bank explaining all of these details. We explained the reasons for needing a modification.  It took months of going back and forth between my dad and our "representative" from the bank.  Finally it made it to the review panel.  Unfortunately they looked at our income on the our pay stubs and looked at our payment amount and said 'denied'.  We were so frustrated and angry and unable to understand what happened.  We felt like we were lied to and deceived.  Our "representative" told me that our reasons didn't matter because they said we could make the payment according to their "charts" because we weren't living in the house.  I wanted to shout "if you knew this, why didn't you tell us to begin with?  The information we have is that you do NOT have to be living in the house to qualify."

The week before we received the word our modification was denied, we learned that we had someone who was willing to rent our house. (happy dance!)  It meant almost $400 less per month than we were getting with our previous renter, but we figured it was better than no income. We know that somehow God would take care of it.  We thought for sure that modification would come through, but it didn't.

It was tempting to just quit paying our mortgage and tell the bank they could have the house.  But we didn't.  We couldn't do that to the people that had just signed a rental agreement, especially since they had to move because the owner of their last rental was being foreclosed on.  We know that had we not had these wonderful people making our house their home, we would have just thrown in the towel.  We know that God has a plan for us in all of this.  He has a plan for this house.  Oh, how I wish I knew the plan, but I don't.  Instead I just have to rest in His sovereignty.

We are now back to trying to refinance the house.  Lots of fun to try to do during the holidays.  We are trusting in God to provide for the difference in the rent and the current expenses of the house.  How?  I don't know, but God knows.  So grateful that He is still in control and on the throne!

Please pray for continued wisdom as we deal with the situation and finances back home.  Pray for God's continued provision for our family and for Him to be glorified in all of this!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spiritual Lessons from My Child

I have this child that tends to be strong-willed.  I just don’t know where it comes from, although my parents always mention something about paybacks. 

This child was told to wash the dishes after dinner last night.  Instead this child decides she is too tired and has to go to bed- at 7:00pm during Christmas break.  She would do them in the morning.  I have a sneaking suspicion the child expected the dishwashing fairy to come along and take care of the mess.  Needless to say the pile was still there this morning when she awoke, actually it grew as breakfast dishes were added.  This afternoon, she thought she would barter.  She offered to wash clothes for a week instead of doing the dishes. She even drew up a contract. I told her I was happy to have her do the laundry, too, but it didn't change the original command to wash the dishes. She pulled the clothes out of the washer and did her best to hang them on the line.  Of course the line is a stretch for me to reach, so you can imagine for someone a bit smaller than me!  

As I was resisting the urge to lose my cool or even to start cleaning up, I felt God speaking to me.  He said “My Child, how many times have you tried to do something else instead of obeying and doing what I’ve told you to do?”  Wow.  I thought back to the times I would do something that appeared “good”, but it wasn’t God’s best.  It wasn’t what He told me to do.  I ended up wasting my time and energy doing something I was not to do.  I did it because I really didn’t want to do what I was told.  I wonder how many blessings I missed out because I didn’t obey.  How much grief did I endure because of my disobedience?
It’s easy to see how my child has missed out on a beautiful day playing outside with her friends and is now suffering the consequences of double the work.  Has she learned her lesson?  I hope so.  

It was hard to leave our families in January to follow God here.  No one would have faulted us if we had stayed and done what we wanted to do back home because we wouldn't have shared the truth of where God wanted us.  We would have still had a great appearance to others.  It wouldn't be where God had called us.  God doesn't force us to obey.  He allows us to choose, but as I continue to grow and learn, I've learned that the best choice is to do as He directs.    

Friday, October 5, 2012

Life in PNG- Daily Routine

I'm beginning a series of blog posts about our life here in PNG.  I thought it was only appropriate that I begin with our daily routine.

After months of unsettledness, moving, and just insanity, we have finally settled into a routine and home here in Ukarumpa.
Our home!
What a blessing to finally have some sort of routine, even if it isn’t completely normal!  I thought we’d give you a glimpse into our daily life.

Every morning, I’m up with the sun at 6:00am.  The first order is to get this cutie pie outside, so he doesn’t think it is time to play.
Timbit- the newest member of our family
Andrew, the early bird, has been very gracious the last few days to get the dog outside before I get up!  This has given me a few precious minutes of sleep, but here in PNG the son is up and shining at 6:00am, so it is time to get the day started.

Then it is on to making coffee and starting my morning off in the Word before the day begins.  Some things never change!

The morning swings into full action around 7am when everyone else comes out to join the fun.  The kids get ready for school while Tim is either getting ready for work or doing our morning trip to the market.  Yes, I could make it sound like we are all about eating healthy, supporting the local economy, and eating only the freshest fruits and veggies around, but that would be a lie.  We go because that is the only way we can eat cheap and get fresh fruits and veggies.  Trust me, I think Tim would much rather have those extra minutes of sleep!
You'll have to use some imagination. Picture people around these tables selling their fresh fruits and veggies.  C'mon, you didn't expect me to actually walk down there just to get a picture????
Quick info on the role of the bell in life in Ukarumpa.  We live and die, or so it seems, by the bell.  The bell rings at 7:45 to signify 15 minutes to work, then again at 8:00 to signal work begins.  It rings at 10:00am and 3:00pm for tea time begin and 10:15am and 3:15pm for end of tea time.  It rings at 12:00 for lunch, 12:45pm to head back from lunch, and then at 1:00 to start work.  The best bell of all is the 5:00pm bell.  (That’s the one to go home).  So, yes, that bell rings 10 times a day, and I’ve come to rely on it to tell the kids when to come home, etc.

Tim has to be at work at 8:00am.  Because we don’t have a car, he must walk to work.  In order for him to be on time without rushing, he leaves no later than 7:55am. He timed his walk home the other day.  It was 2 minutes, 45 seconds.  Of course that is downhill to get home. 
Tim's office is in the back left corner.
The kids are rushed out of here between 8:10 and 8:15 to be at school.  They are a bit more spoiled and get to use their own personal vehicles- their bikes. 
Bekah outside of school on her bike.

Andrew was being silly and pretending to park his bike in a car parking space.   
Finally after they are gone, I rush around and am out by 8:29 to be at work by 8:30.  Yes, it is a hard commute.  I can see the door to the office from my dining room table. 
I'm standing at the edge of our driveway.  See that blue building? Yep, that is where I go to work.  
Are you tired?  I’m tired and the day is just beginning.

Tim & I work “ordinary” jobs.  Tim is working in the Communication and Technical Services department (CTS), and I work in the Director’s Assistant to Personnel (DAP) office.  Right now Tim goes into the office and assists with the telecom (telephone) side of CTS.  I really don’t understand what he does. I just know that I like to talk on the phone, therefore his job is important!  My job involves working with people that are here, are coming here, or are leaving our group in PNG.  I’m still not sure what I’m all doing, but I learn something new every day! 

Tim & I come home for an hour lunch break.  Many days that is about the only time we have together without the kids.

Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00, I leave work to come home to meet the kids.  They are usually home by 3:30pm for a brief snack and then outside to play until 5:00. For some reason it takes them a lot longer to get home from school than it does to get to school.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with waiting for every single friend to get out of school. I hear them LONG before I actually see them coming over the hill. So, it looks like I just get the afternoon of quiet.  Not hardly.  I’m scrambling around trying to get ready for dinner, cleaning up, and just getting the house back in order.

Confession- typically, I only work 3 days a week- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  So, that must mean I sit around the rest of the time, eating bon-bons and watching tv.  HAHA!  The beauty of life in Ukarumpa is anything that has to be done, is done between the hours of 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.  So, on Tuesday and Thursday, if we have work that needs to be done at the house, I can be here.  I do my store shopping on those days.  I do pretty much anything, including cleaning on those days.  My favorite mornings are Thursdays.  I am in a Ladies’ Bible Study that reminds me it is not all about living and surviving.  It is all about thriving in Him!

The sun goes down a little after 6pm, so most outdoor activities and traveling around usually ends by this time.  The kids come home at the 5:00 bell to begin homework before dinner.  I like to think that most evenings are peaceful and relaxing, but most are just crazy.  At least 2-3 times a month (sometimes more), we have a family over for dinner.  Then on Tuesday nights, Tim & I are in a couples’ Bible study.  We have the kids in bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm.  Some nights we do watch a movie together, but most often we are trying to catch up on email and handling things back home while trying to stay awake past 9:00pm. 

Many Friday nights during school, there is Hamburger Night at the Teen Centre.  This is the highlight of my week because it means I don’t have to cook!  Many of the high school kids make money by working Hamburger Night.  We have hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs (not your American hot dogs), and sometimes chicken sandwiches and salads.  It is so nice to be able to have a break from cooking, to enjoy a meal with friends while the kids play together. 
We all line up under that covered shelter.  People begin lining up before 5:00pm most Friday nights.  

You must read the board to know what changes there are.  This is PNG, Land of the Unexpected, so you  learn to expect the unexpected. 
Our weekends do tend to be a little bit more relaxing.  Usually Tim is working on some project around the house, while I work on other things, or just read a book and relax.  We have plenty of neighbors with kids, so frequently I’ll have different kids in and out of my house.  Sometimes my kids aren’t even in the mix.
On Sunday we have our church service with many of the other missionaries.  The kids go to Sunday School, and we all go to service together as a family.   Our Sunday evening tradition has become eating popcorn for dinner and watching a movie together.  It is a nice way to end our weekend.

This is the Meeting house, which is where we have our church services.
That is our basic daily routine.  Just remember, it rarely happens just like this.