Friday, October 26, 2012

Keepin' It Casual

After a few days of feeling so-so, my headache, sinus, cough, fatigue yuckiness finally got the best of me today and I opted for a day resting in the cabin.  Xavier decided that I looked like a comfortable mattress.

One of the advantages of working from home is a casual dress code.  Our new personal assistant seems to have taken it to the extreme.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We're Alive!

What have we been up to lately?

Dara is homeschooling Xavier this year.  It has been a rewarding experience but also with many challenges.  He can spell his first and last name out loud, can count to 46, and can read a number of small words.  While Dara is thrilled with the privilege of teaching him those things, it is tough to do on the ship.  She can't really take him on field trips or just pop over to the library.  It also means that she spends her days until 3:20 with Xavier and then helps the other three kids with homework while trying to entertain a 4-year-old who has already spent the whole day in the cabin.  We knew that this would be a challenge but decided that it is well worth it, and Dara is an awesome teacher.

Grace is still planning on going to France for the next school year.  She has begun babysitting and selling cookies to try to earn money.  She is still filling out the application for the organization that she would like to use for her year abroad and is also working on scholarship applications. 

Elijah has started a business taking out peoples' trash.  He is plugging away in school and doing very well considering the challenge of moving up to Junior High this year and doing two online classes because the Academy is short of teachers this year.  The online classes are out of his comfort zone but he has maintained a great attitude about school. 

Malachi went into business with Elijah taking out the trash.  He is still a clown at heart and can't sit still for more than about five minutes.  He is constantly doing cartwheels in the cabin, which is interesting considering the fact that we have 6 1/2 foot ceilings and only about a 4'x4' section of open floor space for him to do them in. 

Xavier is growing up so fast it is incredible.  He can swim on his own now and is fairly intent on being independent.  He holds his own as the youngest and can often be heard hollering at his older brothers and his perceptions of their injustice toward him (which is sometimes accurate and often exaggerated). 

I'm staying plenty busy with my roles of Dad, husband, Chief Steward, and student; taking two university courses per semester.  I am working toward a BA in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.   The Stewards Department have had a particularly busy season with the President of Guinea showing up on two hours notice, a luncheon for the US Ambassador, the first Lady of Guinea onboard last week, several Ambassadors' wives coming Monday as well as the Papal Nuncio, and a number of other smaller events and functions.  Not to mention the usual daily tasks of daily cleaning all public spaces of the vessel, preparing meals for around 600 people 3 times a day, maintenance of guest cabins and preparation of crew cabins, etc., etc., etc.   The managers of the five areas of the Stewards Department, whom I directly oversee, are doing a great job pushing forward in our mission of bringing hope and healing to the poor.  It is a privilege to lead them.  School is going well but requires a lot of time.  I made the Dean's List and continue to do well in courses. 

We are plugging along and grateful to the Lord for His continued blessings in our lives. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

God's Travelling Mercies and Grace

This is a crew announcement...

This is Grace, I am just writing this post in order to notify you that I have started my own blog. If you are interested in seeing it, please click here.