My Weekend Playdate

20150301_152106This weekend with Ryan gone I had some extra time so I decided to help out a cute friend.  This little one needed an extra friend to stay and play because her mother is currently pregnant and on bedrest.

20150301_151947We had lots of fun, played games, did puzzles, threw balls, played with letters and much much more.  She’s a super active, sweet and precocious 17 month old.

20150301_152031I’m thankful that I could redeem this weekend, help out a friend and have some company so that I wouldn’t be alone.

20150301_152011Please pray for this family, for lots of other helpers to entertain the little one and keep the mama sane while she has to rest and minimize getting up and down.  Please pray for the contractions to stop and that the newest little one would stay put for the next three months.  Thank you!

Adventures in Substituting  

I normally substitute for ESL at an adult school.  A classroom full of motivated adults is a far cry from a classroom full of wiggly elementary students or hormonal middle schoolers.  But there is a school just a stones throw from our house so last year I had submitted my paperwork just in case they ever needed a sub.  I was never called and had no intention of subbing there this year so assumed that I was off the list.  But Monday morning I was called because they needed a substitute for PE.  Sweatpants at work?  Yup, I’ll be there.

IMG_0520This is what the school looks like from our front door.

I arrived at campus on Monday and braved three periods of junior highers who were definitely not excited about soccer drills and running laps.  The day got a little longer when I was asked to stay after PE to fill in for a teacher who had chipped a tooth.  So sweaty and still in sweatpants, I found myself in a 4th grade classroom teaching a math lesson.  Means, medians, modes, etc.  Not my strong suite.  And the students also had to teach me how to use the interactive white board.  This is a far cry from the overhead projectors used when I was in elementary school.  After lunch things went pretty smoothly when we switched over to social studies and the kids just needed to be kept occupied until their teacher returned numbed and swollen from the dentist.

I really don’t mind subbing for elementary and middle school and there is a lot for me to learn and engage with.  This is a formative time for kids so it’s special to be a part of that if only for a random day here and there.  But with that said, I definitely prefer the adult ESL classes.  I not only get paid more at the adult school but I actually get to teach subjects I connect with and am passionate about.  And best of all I get to engage with and get to know students who want to be there and want to learn.

But whether at one school or another, substitute teaching is always an adventure.

Wisconsin Reception Pictures

140902_RyanJoy_Reception_412What fun memories!  Let’s go back a bit to Wisconsin.  Each of our three receptions were so different but so much fun.  It’s great to be welcomed into another crazy family.  This picture was taken the day after the reception and it’s brought to you by the color plaid.

Ryan has two older brothers.  Steve, his wife Elizabeth and their two boys.  And Neal, the one who took all the subsequent pictures during our 3rd and last reception in Pardeeville.  Thanks Neal:-)  We love the black and white!


























140902_RyanJoy_Reception_312This is my favorite picture of just the two of us:-)


Throw Back Thursday- June 2010

IMG_3430In 2010, I was living in Papua New Guinea.  And at the end of June, I was out in the village hosting some Discovery students along with my friend Sara.  We did scripture recordings and at least one teacher’s course.  The memories of the work details are now a bit fuzzy but the kid’s faces are still fresh in my mind.  Nevermind that these little ones are now 4 years older and probably growing up too fast.  On this particular day we didn’t work because the whole village had gathered to hear their area president speak.

IMG_5032It was a hot day and people used the umbrellas to shade themselves and you can see the stage and cover in the background.  It was built with wood from the area and decorated with grass, leaves and flowers for the guest of honor.  I don’t remember what the occasion was and i’m not sure I ever really knew then either.  This was just an opportunity to be out with the community.

IMG_3432Enterprising women brought out food and other things to sell while everyone was just sitting around.  A whole bundle of cooked, slimy, greens cost just 20 toea (or about 10 cents).  Little Liz sat on my lap and happily munched away, devouring the entire thing except for a few random strands that she shoved in my mouth.  The whole bundle was wet and my skirt was slimy from the mess but it was worth it.  I’d love to have another day in Walagu.  This was just 4 years ago but it’s now a world away.


Waltzing Matilda and the Library

When a friend of mine gave me the opportunity to substitute in a school library for the next two weeks, I jumped at the chance.  Not only is it an excuse to head up to Santa Barbara a couple days a week but it’s fun to get to spend time with some cool kids and share some more about Australia and Papua New Guinea.  This week we will be talking about poetry and Banjo Paterson.  This interesting guy wrote the lyrics to Waltzing Matilda as well as lots of other poetry.


Waltzing Matilda is Australia’s unofficial national anthem.  And I’m pretty sure just about every Australian knows the chorus if not most of the verses too.

Check out this YouTube video (Waltzing Matilda) for an explanation of some of the lyrics and to hear this tune.  Be warned, it’s catchy so you might be singing it for the rest of the day.

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong.
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred.
Down came the troopers, one, two, and three.
“Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
“Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong.
“You’ll never take me alive!” said he
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?”

Reception #1- Camarillo

A week from tomorrow is the first of three receptions.  Ryan and I are excited to celebrate our marriage with lots of lovely people.  If you’re in the area you should definitely come.  All the information, when, where, etc. can be found by clicking here: Wedding Reception Information.  Or click the link under the wedding tab at the top of the page.

It’s going to be a good time.  Ryan and I will be wearing what we wore to the wedding and if you want to participate (since everyone at the wedding wore blue) you can wear BLUE too.  No need to dress too fancy but this might be the excuse you need to go shopping or really dress up.  Go ahead and just wear jeans or dress to the nines!  Ryan will be wearing his dapper grey suit with blue accessories.  I will, of course, be wearing white but my shoes are blue:-)

FP_RJR Weddingprep-36

I just got back from the store with some ingredients for the dessert bar, just some things to munch on like fruit, brownies, rice crispy treats and I have it on good authority that there will also be pie and cupcakes along with other yummy snacks.  Of course Ryan loves Pizza so we put in an order at Tony’s Pizzeria and there will be giant pizzas for everyone to enjoy as well.

It’s not just about the food but there will also be a photo booth, dancing, the Director’s cut of the wedding video with never before seen footage, a crossword puzzle to test your Ryan and Joy knowledge, wedding pictures, a coloring table and general fun for everyone.  We are super excited to just get to visit with and enjoy our guests.  We have people coming from as far as Georgia for this event!  And we thank all of you who are making it a point to travel, fly and drive to see us on this special day.

The coloring table will even have pictures of Ryan and I like this:

FP_RJR Wedding - Drawings-1

And if you color it in and leave it on the table we might pick our favorite to hang up in our home.  If that isn’t incentive to come to our party, I don’t know what is.

So basically you should come and celebrate with us.  We are looking forward to a day of festivities and fun with our friends and family from near and far.  This is the most mixed reception with people from my side and Ryan’s side so if you are attending make it a point to meet someone new.

P.S. If you’re planning on coming to the Sacramento or Pardeeville reception, we are excited to celebrate with you too!

A Season of Giving

The news coverage of Typhoon Haiyan has died down but the work and the needs in the Philippines continue.  This is a pretty typical disaster situation where the giving starts to dry up after a surge of donations.  Unless you are directly effected by the disastrous event, it is easy to forget about the ongoing rebuilding of homes and lives once the incessant news coverage has ceased.

GDR_Philippines1020206But there is still work to be done.  The grieving and recovery is a long process that takes time and energy.  MTW is still on the ground.  They are not leaving once the first wave of needs have been met.  MTW is committed to their ongoing ministry in the Philippines.  There is also a construction and a medical team now in Bogo, Cebu.  You can find the latest updates from these teams at: MTW Philippines Disaster Response.

Besides reading the updates there are other ways to get involved.

1. Give a onetime donation to the ongoing typhoon relief.  Details can be found on the MTW disaster relief page.

2. Become an MTW minuteman and be a part of the first response for future events.

MINUTEMEN FOR MISSIONS is a ministry of compassionate response to urgent human suffering. The Minutemen make up a group of people who commit themselves to the support of this need or opportunity by prayer and by giving of resources.
The Minutemen stand ready to send $5.00 or more up to four times a year, as they are notified. Gifts sent to MTW from the Minutemen are used most often by MTW missionaries to minister God’s compassion to suffering people around the world.
You can become a MINUTEMAN FOR MISSIONS by signing the form (found here) and returning it to Mission to the World.

3. Sponsor a Child.

MTW has child sponsorships in places where they are working.  The children sponsored in the Philippines are all accounted for and safe.  $35 a month can transform a child’s life.  There are children ready and waiting for someone to become a part of their lives.  Find out more on the at MTW OneChild.  Sponsoring a child could be a great family Christmas gift with life changing returns.

Thank you for taking time during this season of giving to consider the broader needs of our world.