June News- Weathering the Changes

On Wednesday the 1st, if you’re on our mailing list, you received our June Newsletter in your inbox and the snail mail ones were mailed out on May 31st.  I almost never send out a newsletter right at the beginning of the month but we have some great news to share.  And no, I’m not pregnant.  I still feel like I need to make this disclaimer every time I talk about “having news to share” with someone.  So I guess the time I write…we have some news to share… and don’t make the disclaimer, you’ll all know the newsletter content already:-)2016 June-online.jpgBut anyway, for those of your who have not read our news already, you can read it by clicking on the picture above or on our website under the About tab.  We share the great and the not so great and there are some cute picture of us too, if I do say so myself.

I will almost always post our newsletters to the blog but if you want to receive them first, let me know and I will add you to our mailing list.  Happy reading!


The Warm

It finally feels a little like spring and less like winter.  After speaking at a Wesleyan Church yesterday (more on our ecumenical ministry opportunities later), Ryan and I headed up to the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota).  Since Sunday was beautiful we took advantage of the lovely day and visited Minnehaha Falls. Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.25.24 AMWe then walked along the Minnehaha Creek, down to the mighty Mississippi.  Well, it is the Mississippi River but since we could obviously (if you look at the picture) see across it, it isn’t the widest point.  Anyway, it was a beautiful day to be out enjoying the weather and getting to visit with Ryan’s brother.Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.25.42 AMAfter our walk, we had a delicious dinner at the 112 Eatery filled with new things to try and enjoy.  And we ended the evening with a fire in the backyard.  This was complete with good conversation, apple pie and ice cream.  It was a wonderfully warm day and now we’re looking forward to another couple of lovely days here in the Twin Cities.Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.25.57 AM

The Cold Part

snowdrivingIt’s the last day of April and I drove today through the snow.  Maybe I’ve done a little snow driving before in California but nothing that I can really remember and definitely not in April.  I can now say that I’ve driven through the Rockies in falling, blowing snow.  The coldest it got was 25 degrees according to the temperature gauge on our car.  But it was a beautiful drive (at least what I could see when I wasn’t needing to focus solely on seeing out the front windshield) and the light flocking of snow made everything look lovely.therockiesWe’re hoping that this is the coldest it will be on our road trip so it can only warm up from here.  There is snow on the ground in front of Ryan’s brother’s home but it didn’t stop us from having a great evening with some of Ryan’s old friends here in Colorado.  It was a night for Rook and catching up.  We’re thankful to have arrived safely and are looking forward to a lot of work this week mixed with good family time.

Enjoying Santa Barbara

IMG_20160319_162955We’ve truly enjoyed our week in Santa Barbara.  It’s been filled with lots of people time, great conversations, settling into a new work rhythm, plenty of laughter and long walks.  Tomorrow we head further south to enjoy a family Easter celebration before settling in Camarillo until the end of the month.IMG_20160319_163126After our time in the rainy north, we have enjoyed the southern California sun.  Today was a bit overcast but just like this sweet little seal, we soaked up the sun we did get.  Santa Barbara is always a beautiful, enjoyable stop and we’re privileged to have this as one of our homes during this season of traveling for work.IMG_20160319_165513

Let’s Do the Numbers- Sacramento Support Update

We’ve been back for a week in Sacramento and we’re watching the river as well as our support account rise.  Ryan and I have taken this week to catch up on paperwork and begin some of the planning for our May and June road trip across the country.  We both love the people part of our job but there are a lot of emails, phone calls, text messages and lists that have to happen in order to allow for and prepare for as well as make the most of our time with people.IMG_20160306_164532~2Last support update we reported that we were at 45% of our 50% goal but now we are at almost 49%!  Although we still have another 50% to go until we’re fully supported, it is encouraging to see people coming alongside us and joining our ministry.  God has been providing from generous and unexpected sources.  We’re so excited to be this close to our March goal.IMG_20160307_150657~2So what is still needed?  As of Friday night we need $150 a month in pledges to reach 50%.  This means that just two individuals or couples giving $75 a month could join our ministry and help us reach our goal.  Maybe for you a more realistic number is $20 a month and about 8 people at $20 a month can enable Ryan and I to attend the July training.  It’s easy to give by contacting MTW (Mission to the World) or using their online giving site: donations.mtw.org.IMG_20160312_164104~2Please continue to spread the word.  Thank you to everyone who has been advocating for us.  We love sharing our story and meeting new people.  Advocating is as easy as talking about Australia and encouraging others to find out about our ministry (Why Australia?) and give.IMG_20160313_093810~2Please keep praying for rain and for our support.  Please pray for more rain and for the rivers and lakes to continue to rise in California.  We have enjoyed watching the river rise as we continue to work towards our support for Australia.  Please pray that we would be above and beyond 50% by the end of March.  And finally please be praying how you can support us.  Thank you for helping us get to Australia!

Pacific Northwest Roadtrip Summary

We are now safely back in Sacramento.  Thank you everyone who prayed for our trip, everyone who hosted us, shared meals with us, treated us to meals and more, everyone who gave up their time to visit with us and hear more about our hearts for Australia.  We love and appreciate all of you.IMG_20160228_141131.jpgGod was definitely at work in our relationships and in so much of the trip’s timing.  We celebrated and prayed with people.  We worshipped and hiked.  We enjoyed learning about history and events that happened in places we stopped along the way.  We ate and visited, shared stories and made memories.  IMG_20160304_160945Ryan and I drove over 2000 miles.  We ate countless delicious calories.  We saw our support needs to reach 50% go from $1800 a month down to $450 a month.  We spent less than $100 on car repairs.  We experienced about 5 minutes of snow falling and at least a couple inches of rain although Ryan estimates at one point we were just shy of Noah’s flood.  We saw 2 state capitols and visited 5 museums.IMG_20160303_120724Please keep praying for us as we now reorganize for the next two months of California based travels and support raising.  Please pray for our car and the wisdom to know what to invest in and what to just keep driving through.  And please continue to pray that God provides above and beyond our 50% support goal by the end of March.


Tomorrow is the big day.  Ryan flies to Australia on his first solo international trip.  He’s almost done packing and we just decided on his hashtag (#ryantravelssolo) that will be used in order to document his travels.  He doesn’t have his own instagram…yet but you can follow him posting to my instagram: joycandee.  He’s going to try and post once a day as he travels to Perth, Brookton and beyond.20160111_160534Here’s Ryan getting his potassium intake up before the flight.  Notice the flannel shirt and zipper fleece?  He’ll be trading those in for shorts and a t-shirt because it’s currently summer in Australia.  Perth and Brookton are forecasting highs in the 80s and 90s.  And my weather loving husband is of course hoping for thunderstorms which out there is an actual possibility.

Please pray for safe travels for Ryan.  Please pray that the trip is productive.  And please pray for our marriage, this trip is a great opportunity but it’s also difficult to be apart.  Thank you for all your prayers!

Holiday Highlights Part 3

IMG_20151224_210736Mexican train and other games with the family.  Ryan’s mom seemed to win more than anyone else.  She’s got the touch.IMG_20151228_092312-2Another lake walk before the storm.  This was the day that we saw 5 inches of snow and sleet cover Pardeeville.  But that didn’t stop us from going out to have pizza that night.IMG_20151229_090220And the next morning with a covering of winter white.  It missed Christmas but better late than never.shovelsnowHowever snow also requires shoveling and so I helped out wearing these stylish blaze orange coveralls to keep me warm.  This was my first time shoveling snow so both Ryan and his mother were intent on capturing the memory.

Holiday Travels

Today we leave for Christmas.  I’m closing the door on all our packing, sorting and planning.  And I’m looking forward to the holidays with family and friends.  First up, Sacramento in rainy and cool northern California.  I don’t mind Christmas rain because we definitely need all the moisture we can get in California.  IMG_9988And then we’re off to Wisconsin.  Although it is cold in Wisconsin, it’s not cold enough.  We might not have snow, there might not be sledding (picture from sledding in 2013 when we were engaged) but I’ll get to experience this Wisconsin brown that I’ve been hearing so much about.  Christmas may not be white but it will still be wonderful.

I hope to be updating our adventures along the way but I’m usually better about using Instagram when we’re traveling so add me: joycandee and follow us through the season.  See you all in the New Year!

Thanksgiving in Sacramento

We are headed up to Sacramento today.  We’re hoping for some rain, colder weather and a nice Thanksgiving holiday.  There will be some relaxing but also a lot of time with family and friends.  Please forgive the blog silence for a few days if I don’t post every activity:-)  But you can follow me on Instagram: joycandee for more up to date happenings.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends both here in the US and overseas!  I wish everyone safe travels, lots of turkey and many memories.  May you not just be thankful but live thankfully.  “Thanksgiving, after all is a word of action.”  Thank you WJ Cameron for that wonderful insight.