Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back in the States...

There are so many great pictures to show and stories to tell of our last week or so in Chile...but that will have to wait until after we get back from our trip to San Francisco!! We are heading out to S.F. from the 28th of June until July 1 to look for a place to live. Please keep us in your prayers. The market moves really fast out there, and we have some things we are keeping an eye on, but no real way to be sure we'll get something until we're out there. We have only planned this one trip out to find a place to live, so if we don't...

As far as our last few days, here's a little run down of our final hours in Chile. We were picked up to go the the airport (mostly ready) at about 5 (our flight was at 8:40) by our pastor and his wife. We loaded up all 8 of our HEAVY, checked bags and our 6 carry-ons (who said you can only have 1??? ;-) including our cat. We dropped off our car at a church family's home and headed to the airport. We had 4 bags over and above our checked bag limit so we were expecting to pay about $400 for those 4 bags. The church had offered to pay for $300 to help us get home so Matt and I were ready with our $100 to pay the overage on the last bag. BUT, the good Lord stepped in. We were informed there was a tax with DELTA for our cat (we had finished all his shots and paperwork and thought he was good to go, this was completely new information) of $50. Bummer!! We told the guy at the check-in counter that we didn't know about it and hadn't seen it on the website and he said since we already had to pay the baggage overage to "see if we could make a deal" with the woman we were paying. Viva Chile! He suggested we only pay for some of the bags and the cat. When we told the baggage-money-collecting-lady his idea, she said that was fine, we could pay for 3 extra checked bags and the cat instead of 4 extra bags and the cat. SO...... the total cost came to $350 instead of $450. Since the church was already paying $300, we only had to pay $50 instead of the original $100 we were sure we'd have to pay for our extra bag. So really DELTA paid us $50 to take our cat home. I don't know if that made any sense, but we found it extremely funny and definitely an unexpected blessing!!

Unfortunately that unexpected blessing ended up taking us until about 8:10, still needing to go through customs and get to the gate and board, so we had a slightly rushed goodbye with Sam and Lois (who are wonderful and we'll miss like crazy!) and then got to the plane as quickly as we could. The plane...of course, sat on the tarmac for 1 hour while they fixed some light or something and after 9 1/2 hours of flying we missed our connecting flight from Atlanta to Asheville by 15 minutes. After Matt got us on the next flight we had a little while to relax before we flew back to Asheville, and were greatly surprised by ALL of our bags arriving, even after all of the craziness and changing of flights.

So after much fun relaxing with Matt's family (and a little peeking at real estate in CA) we are off to do some shopping and get some Burritos for lunch!! The last 48 hours were a very wild ride (not to mention how our drugged cat handled everything) but the adventure is over, we have moved internationally and we are still in love!! I don't think you can ask for more than that.

We'll have more up later about our last week or so in Chile and leaving the beloved country that has given so much to Matt and to us both. And many many new adventures to come. As for now, we are in action in North Carolina, soon to be in California...with many many fond farewells to Chile!
And by the can successfully travel (for 2 people) with 2 large carry-on duffel bags, a cat in carrier, an electric guitar, a computer case, and a huge backpack with 2 computers inside and NEVER be stopped or questioned about the number of carry-ons you have. Not that I would recommend trying to do that. :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

To the Snow!

Santiago in the winter... smoggy, rain.... cold and dark... it can be so darn nasty. But then, on a clear day, the snow-covered peaks of the Andes stand like frozen castles in every direction. It's awesome to see, especially as the majestic background to the city's frenzy around sky scrapers, cell phone towers, and palm trees.

From our apartment, it's 45 minutes with snow chains, up the switchbacks towards Farallones to arrive at some seriously nice skiing. Here I am, this past weekend, taking in what may sadly be my last time up at the snow. Also a picture of Laurie and I together during a late spring snow last October and a sunset view of the smoggy city far below. And finally, a shot of one of my youth-groupers going for a little hang time. I'll miss having the wild "cordillera" of the Andes in our back yard!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Best Friend had a BABY!! (no this is not a repeat post)

How blessed I am that my 2 best friends have both had babies in the past 3 weeks. CRAZY!! And I am having one in another 12 weeks. Even CRAZIER. I couldn't be more excited and thrilled. Tonight I'd like to annouce the arrival (on the 12th) of my friends, Becky and Tyler Rider's new little girl Eve Elaine. Please keep her mommy in your prayers as it was a tough birth and she will be recovering for a while. BUT, Becky's wonderful and caring mother and little sister are in town with her and Tyler and will be helping for some time. And wait until you see this baby!!! (Pictures are courtesy of Becky's blog until I get some others ;-)Can you believe all that hair?? And doesn't she look peaceful?? I think it is an amazing gift of God that a woman can go through all she does to give birth and then take so long to recover but the baby can be peaceful so soon, with no memory of the birth. What a testimony to the Lord's great love for us and His desire to show us the importance of His sacrifice for us, something that we will never feel quite as He did. Sleep peacefully Eve! I know your Mommy and Daddy can't wait to share His great love with you!
I really think you can see in this picture how much Eve looks like her Dad! Especially in her mouth! She looks great Tyler!! Congratulations!

This is a picture of Becky and I from my wedding last summer. She and Tyler came all the way from Kansas to be there, and Matt and I couldn't have been more thrilled. What great friends!

And lastly here are some adventures that Matt and I had with Becky and Tyler 2 summers ago. We (Matt and I) took a road trip and among lots of other great things, we got to visit them in Kansas, see their house, and farm, and jobs and even go to a rodeo in Dodge City. (Matt got some great shots there!) Here we all are 4-wheelin' out on the farm.

We even started a stampede... of sorts.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And baby makes....4

Here are some pictures of our little Beardsley family, which now includes 1 member in-utero and 1 covered in fur. Enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Last Week's Fun

Last week we had a LOT of things going on! Most importantly, we had youth sunday, an endeavor which had been in the works for a few weeks. Matt worked so hard organizing the kids, and the band, and his sermon!! Here are some pictures of Sunday:

And... the Friday before youth sunday we went to the Buin Zoo (the big zoo here in Santiago). We went with our friends Jamie and Lexie, Dawn and Christian and their kids Kailah and Dante. It was really interesting seeing the difference in zoos in the states, and here. We had alot more freedom to get close to the animals and fences than we would find at home. I even fed a hippo!!

We all had a great time, but by the end of the afternoon, some of us were a little tired.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Just a Nibble...

Per the requests of many, here a few pictures of pregnant Laurie with her sweet husband. We took some more pictures today so we should have some to share tomorrow or the next day, but for now...

Our Future Dog...

Since we are in no position, moving internationally and then cross-country and all, to get a dog, we have been contemplating breeds lately (just for fun). We have been looking up dogs we like, like golden retrievers and then looking up pictures of what they look like when crossed with other pretty dogs. One cross we really like is a Golden Retriever/St. Bernard. Of course, that would be HUGE but since we aren't getting a dog... it's fun to look. Matt's favorite so far is a Bernese Mt. Dog and mine is an English Golden. Apparently there is even something called a Golden Mountain, an almost mix of the two. Well as we were enjoying looking at these breeds Matt kept encountering one dog in the images. I've never laughed so hard in my life as when he showed me the one he kept coming across. Here is a picture of what might be fated to be our first dog:

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Little Forshey's

A few more pictures...

More Ministry!!

More exciting ministry news and events in this post!! We just have so much fun and cool stuff going on that it wasn't possible to fit it into one blog :-)

Here is a picture of one of our coolest ministry tools, our cat Mocha. People love to come over and play with him and enjoy cuddling with him. We are planning on bringing this little bundle of joy home with us on the 25th of June so please join us in our prayers to get him through the embassy and airport here and safely onto the plane. Let's hope his drugs work too!!!

Here are some pictures of the kids in our youth group from a retreat that we took them on in February. We went to a nearby beach and had a great time swimming in the freezing water, horseback riding, singing, and studying the Bible!

The theme of our retreat weekend was team-building so the kids worked on lots of different team projects and trust games. In the activity shown in the picture the youth had to pick one person to cross about 50 yards of sand without touching her teammates or the sand.
So those are some of the things that we do here in Santiago. In the last few weeks, we'll be mostly keeping to our normal schedule which is:

Tuesday: BLAST, 3rd - 5th graders at the International school, Nido, Bible activities, games and singing. Girl's senior high Bible Study led by Laurie on Tuesday night. Boy's senior high Bible Study, led by Matt, on Tuesday night.
Wednesday: Breakfast prayer meeting for church leadership
Friday night: FNO, (Friday Night Out) middle school youth group
Sunday: church (Matt plays on worship team), youth band practice, 2 hours in afternoon and Sunday night, senior high youth group.

We have a great time with all these activities and we will be so sorry to say goodbye. We also do some private teaching/tutoring during the weekdays. Matt teaches 5 guitar lessons a week (he is a much sought-after teacher!!!) and Laurie tutors elementary-schoolers for 6 hours each week.

So that's some of our life here. Hope you enjoyed!! We'll miss it, but we are looking forward to seeing all of our American friends and family again soon! Here are some pictures of us, just because....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Wrapping Things Up.....

As we our finishing our time in Chile I realize how little I've actually posted about our work here. We leave Santiago, where we've lived since mid-September, on June 25th in the evening. It will be so sad to leave all our friends and church family here. We are coming home shortly before we orginally planned to (our tickets were for July 10th) but our doctor recommended trying to go a few weeks earlier for the baby. Mmmmmm 11 hour overnight flight. *sigh*

So a little bit of info on our lives here and a few pictures:

Shortly after we arrived the international school that most of the kids in our youth group attend, Nido de Aguilas, hosted a sort of international food festival called Kermess. Many of the families and communities join together to represent their nation and cook food and decorate a booth. It is a really fun time. Well this year Matt was asked to head up the American booth (because he is such a fantastic cook!!) and he decided, keeping true to his roots, to make a Cajun feast, so we all had jumbalaya (and root beer floats, how American!). It was so much fun. Matt is being recognized here with some of the other booth CEO's.

Here Matt is working with some of the youth group kids and parents during the event. The decorations for the American booth were great. We had a swampy Louisiana-ish atmosphere with plastic gators and Mardi Gras beads.

In this photo we were having a suprise goodbye for a guy who had been involved in helping Matt with the youth group. At the party Matt made coffee drinks for everyone and even had a list of all the coffee, espresso, and other misc caffeinated drinks that could be "ordered". It was fun having lots of the youth and their parents over to our apartment.

Here Matt and the youth band Hope's Hero is playing in front of the church (they are off to the right). A couple months ago we had a church service outside on a Sunday morning. It was a great time of fun and fellowship enjoying a pot-luck with all the families after the service. It was also a time that the band was able to share their progress with the church!! Matt has been working very hard with them for a couple of years, some even began their instruments with his instruction. They have all worked very hard and come a long way and Matt loves playing music with them!
Here's one of Matt playing with the band. I know it's a little sideways but, frankly, I was too lazy to fix it after waiting like 5 MINUTES for it to post to the blog!!! (That's what we get for living in a country that has to have all cement walls because of the earthquakes. Our poor little router gets a little winded trying to spread the internet through our apartment. Some days it positively creeps!)