Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hollywood Stars!

Please forgive this "mind candy" post! Some of my favorite people recently received Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Munchkins from "The Wizard of Oz" received their Star on November 20, 2007, after a 68 year wait. We met three of the "little people" at a festival two years ago. It was great fun to hear their memories of making movie magic. They received less pay for their work than Toto!

Speaking of magic, Elizabeth Montgomery received her posthumous Star on January 4, 2008. Although most famous for her role as Samantha on "Bewitched," she enjoyed a wide range of parts during her career, which was cut short by her death from colon cancer in May 1995.

Sewing 101

Marisol is teaching Amelia the fine art of sewing. Grandma will be so proud!!! (Notice the matching pink seamstress uniforms.)

Hard at Work

Marisol is taking the second part of Freshmen English this semester. It involves much reading and writing summaries of "The Chronicles of Narnia." Right now the class is finishing up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before they split up into groups and read one more of the books in the series. Then they will prepare a presentation for the rest of the class. In this way all the students receive an introduction to the rest of the books that their group did not read.

I am very proud of Marisol for her hard work. She works very hard during the day as a mother and housewife and spends her nights reading and completing assignments. Please pray for her.

Two days ago she received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly INS. They have scheduled her for her citizenship interview, English test, and U.S. history test on Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at 10:30 am. This is an exciting, and nervous, time for her as she studies her civics questions. I tease her that she will know more than I do about U.S. history by the time she takes this test. Please pray for her preparation and for God's will.

We had read in The New York Times that due to an unusually high amount of applications last year the processing time was at least 18 months. Since we applied in June, that means the time will be 10 months. Praise the Lord for his expediting matters without an additional fee!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Castles in the Sand

This evening we went to one of our favorite places, Ypao Beach. Most of the time we spent building castles in the sand, but we did manage to get in a little bit of swimming before Amelia started trembling from the cold. Then we ate some sandwiches in the car before heading home. Tomorrow marks the beginning of another busy week of activities at the college, so we need to fit it these family times when we can.

Sunday Best

Our two little "cutie petuties" looked so cute in their Sunday clothes today that we wanted to share a picture with you. Please forgive our lack of humility!

Tropical Welcome

When the students returned from Yap for the new semester, they arrived decked out in beautiful floral crowns and necklaces. They shared with Joel and me, who went to meet them at the airport. Talk about a royal welcome!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Superheroes to the Rescue!

Here are our favorite Superheroes, Wolverine and Flash. They like to save their Mamá from "certain danger," like when she has sofa pillows piled on top of her!!!!

Welcome Back, PIBC Students!

On Saturday PIBC hosted a welcome back barbecue for the students. Mark and Keiny (newly elected student council president) helped to cook the meat: ribs and chicken.

Joe and Marsa chatted while waiting for the food to be ready.

Mamu, Mei (from China), and volunteer English teacher Kathy enjoyed going through the buffet line together.

Everyone had a nice time. Special thanks to student council for their help in organizing this activity.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Crown of Righteousness

I finally finished installing the last part of the swingset last week. That was a project for the semester break, and it barely got done. Joel and I also went to see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: a Veggie Tales Movie." Although cute, there are some parts that frightened Joel so we "cuddled" in those parts. Some of it was a spoof of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" series and unintellible on one level for kids. I enjoyed having time to do something alone with Joel, just the Farnsworth men.

At the college now we're back to work; registration and the first day of classes was Monday. My new position has me frazzled some of the time. That's probably normal for a new job. Each day I'm learning that I am responsible for things that I didn't realize I was responsible for. Any way I look at it, this job, and the two classes I am teaching, are TOO BIG for me! Every day I'm reminded that I need the Lord's wisdom and strength. Please continue to pray for me, that I can honor God and help PIBC as I serve in this new way. I am blessed to have a wonderful team to assist me in student affairs: Dean of Women Melissa, Assistant Dean of Women Ethel, Dean of Men Hiob, and Student Discipler Evelyn. Pray that we can display godly unity as we work together for the good of our campus.

Along with Paul I want to be able to say one day: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

The picture above shows Joel and Amelia with "crowns" on their heads. The "crown" that Paul mentioned was a reference back to "finishing the race." In ancient times the winners of races were adorned with crowns of laurel leaves. May we all be found faithful in the things He calls us to do for His kingdom!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fun on the Court

During this break we have enjoyed playing on the PIBC basketball court with Joel's new scooter and Amelia's baby carriage. Last night we laughed as we watched Amelia's carriage blow away in the wind, and she, always the diligent mother, would run after it. Once the students return, it is harder to have these private moments on the court, but we enjoy spending time with them at our house and on campus.

Ant City, USA

When mowing, or walking, one must look out for these enormous anthills that the red or "fire" ants call home. Otherwise, one will receive an unpleasant surprise. The worst time was when Amelia sat on an ant city, and the ants quickly found their way into her diaper. Thank goodness she is doing well with her potty training!

Prayer Alert

Classes at Pacific Islands Bible College begin on Monday, January 21, 2008. Please pray for the students as they travel and for the faculty and staff as they make final preparations. Please pray for the six students who graduated in December and are looking for jobs and ministries to be involved in.

Pray for Steve and Anne Stinnette. Steve and Anne left Guam in September for Steve to receive treatment for his eye in Philadelphia. So far the latest contact he was fit with is working well, and they plan to move to Schooley's Mountain, NJ, while they will assist Bill Shuit who has accepted the position of Director of Global Ministries for Liebenzell Mission USA. Please pray for a smooth transition for these men and their wives.

Jens and Karin Schulz need your prayers as well. They are currently in Germany trying to work out some visa difficulties so they can return to Guam to continue their work as Campus Director/Financial Director and Office Manager/Registrar of PIBC. In their absence many of us have taken on additional responsibilities. I will be teaching two courses this semester (English for Academic Purposes 2 and Ministry Introduction), will continue serving as Assistant Dean of Men and I will begin working as Interim Director of Student Affairs. I humbly ask you to pray for me in this new position. Thank you.

Marisol will be taking part two of Freshmen English which will involve reading and reporting on The Chronicles of Narnia. She will also be writing a research paper. Although these assignments will be good experiences for her, it is not easy to balance the responsibilities of mother, homemaker and student.

Joel will be entering kindergarten this September. Please pray as we look at various options for his education (public school, Christian school, home school).

Amelia is cute, but sometimes she struggles with obeying her parents and being kind and gentle to Joel and others. Pray that we have wisdom in dealing with this.

We really appreciate all of your prayers for our family and for the ministry of Liebenzell USA and Pacific Islands Bible College.

Retro Moment

The other night I got this Mash pajama on clearance at KMart. It reminded me of something funny. During my senior year in high school I played Friedrich in The Sound of Music. We had a dress rehearsal on the night of the Mash series finale. Some of the stage crew guys had a black and white TV set up backstage, and we were watching during our offstage moments. (This particular episode remains a classic even today, 25 years later.) The director did not catch on to this "secret" until some of us missed our cues; then the TV was banished from the rest of the rehearsal. Fun memories!

Day at the Beach

Joel and Amelia have been asking to go see the Mermaid Statue. The mermaid, or sirena, plays an important role in Guam's legendary past. The legend tells how a young girl would disobey her mother to go swimming in the ocean. The mother became angry and turned her daughter into a fish. Hearing of this, the girl's godmother came and reversed part of the spell. Now the girl would remain part girl and part fish. Hence, the concept of mermaid was born.

The statue, and the site where it rests, underneath a bridge built in 1800 during the Spanish occupation, is in disarray. The statue is corroding, and the grass really needs a mowing. Too bad that Guam does not realize the importance of preserving these historic sites and tourist attractions.

This stained glass window is part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Building. Marisol was fingerprinted here; we continue to await word regarding her citizenship application. We turned in the paperwork in June, and it usually takes a year or more to be processed. Please pray with us about this!

We stopped by Asan Beach (picture above) on our way to Agat Beach. These are the two beaches when the U.S. soldiers on July 21, 1944 made an amphibious entry to Guam to begin a three-week campaign to take Guam back from the Japanese Imperial Army. Every year July 21 is celebrated as Liberation Day.
At Agat Beach Joel and Amelia enjoyed exploring the caves where the Japanese hid waiting for the American advance. Alas, our camera battery "died" so we will post pictures of the caves after a future visit. We also built sandcastles and went swimming and didn't get too sunburned!
It feels wonderful to visit these places with such rich historical value in United States history! Come and visit us and we will give you the "Grand Tour."

One King from Orient!!!!


A very creative teacher, Marisol dressed up as one of the Wise Men for our Sunday School class on January 6, 2008, which is Epiphany on the Church calendar or the traditional date for the arrival of the Magi to visit the baby Jesus. We talked about their visit and the gifts they gave Him, and we shared some small treats with the children.
Amelia seemed to enjoy the visit from the Wise Man (Lady?) during class. At least she didn't cry as she does when I dress up in my clown outfit.
Joel even got into the act on Sunday night by posing for this picture in a costume that his friend Joyce loaned him. Now our Christmas season is officially over. We took down our Christmas tree and packed away our Christmas music. Next Christmas will be here soon, though. Time certainly does seem to fly!

Sunflower Surprise

Yesterday we awoke to find that the sunflower that Joel planted two months ago is blooming. He was so pleased; we couldn't even grow sunflowers in Pennsylvania! (He is squinting in the picture due to intense heat and sun).

View from High

Hi all!
We finally have internet access at the house. Last week a man from Mariana's Cable Vision came to install. I asked him to tell me if he needed help with anything. He looked surprised that I offered, but he did ask me to help him run cables. Just call me "Ned the Cable Guy." I didn't get to go up on the roof that day.


Two days ago I did to retrieve one of Joel's balls that I accidentally threw up on the roof.

Here is the pseudo view of the ocean from our roof. Too many trees in the way! I'll have to get our friend Joyce over here with her power saw.

This is a view of our neighbors' garden. They sell local produce at the flea market on Saturday mornings.

Amelia, Joel and Marisol pose for a birds' eye view picture. Such adventures we Farnsworths have.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings

Hello again. I am enjoying reading during this semester break, especially now that grades are ready, as of Monday at noon. This has been the biggest post-semester hurdle ever for me, including my seven years of teaching secondary Spanish. I think the move took its toll in terms of exhaustion. After the move, I was not afforded the luxury of rest and recovery due to my teaching load of three classes. I think Marisol felt the same way with the writing demands of Freshman English.

This past month I finished reading My Life Before God byWilliam Murray, the oldest son of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who did away with prayer and Bible reading in the U.S. public school system. This book read like a cheap thriller with much negative information shared about his mother and left the reader feeling empty because it did not show how his life changed after his conversion to Christianity. Quite a contrast to the other autobiography that I finished: Rebel with a Cause:Finally Comfortable Being Graham byFranklin Graham. Franklin showed how drastically his life changed after he found personal faith, explaining how the pressures of growing up in Billy's shadow became more manageable. Franklin also shares many experiences of his relief work at Samaritan's Purse in war-torn countries.

CurrentlyI am rereading The Chronicles of Narnia, something that I have wanted to do for some time. This time I am looking for specific places where spiritual symbolism can be found, even if C.S. Lewis claims that was not his purpose in writing the books.

When I was grading the curriculum final project for my Youth and Children class, I came across some humorous typographical errors. I assigned this project as a practical help for my students, who are often called upon to serve at their churches during breaks. They needed to plan a series of four lessons either for children or youth with activities and teaching points with their message with application, including how they would introduce their lesson and how they would finish. Overall, I was pleased with their on this assignment and hope that it serves them in the future. One student typed the following heading on one section for all four of his lessons: "Massage with application." That sounds like something I could enjoy after a stressful day of teaching. Another students typed this word before the last paragraph of each lesson: "Concussion." OUCH! I hope she is not planning to conclude by hitting her students over the head with a baseball bat.

After grading more than 20 final projects, it is good to have something to chuckle about. With a spirit of altruism I pass these along to you for your enjoyment. Have a fun day!

We are being hooked up to the internet today. Hopefully we can check in with you all on a more regular basis. We're looking forward to that.

Ned

Friday, January 4, 2008

BIG Boy and BIG girl!

Two nights ago we were eating and Amelia was trying to eat by herself and got food all over herself and the floor. In a moment of frustration I told her, "You still need help eating. You think you're a big girl, but you're not a big girl yet." To which she replied, "No? Okay!" How Marisol and I laughed. Then yesterday we took Joel and Amelia to the doctor for a rash which ended up being impetigo. I think I spelled that correctly. Our doctor, Dr. Perez, asked Joel how old he was, and he answered, "I'm four now." Neither he nor Amelia cried at all. Even Amelia stepped on the scale to be weighed, the first time for her. And on the way home we stopped and had to get a routine blood test for Amelia. To our surprise and delight she did not cry even a little bit. We were so thankful and proud of them that we treated them to Wendy's, although Amelia wanted a hot dog, which they don't serve there. Nonetheless, we bought her some fries to go with the hot dog we prepared at home. Oh, I forgot to tell you. Dr. Perez, a fine Christian doctor, did not charge us for the double patient visit. We feel so blessed and humbled by the PC he wrote on our bill, "professional courtesy." God is so good!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ready, 2008! Here We Come!

As you can see, Joel and Amelia are ready for action in 2008! They certainly keep their parents hopping!

The only problem is this: their feet don't reach the pedals!!! I guess they'll find a way as they always do! Please pray for us to be good parents in 2008! It is a big responsibility, and we need the Lord's help.

"Best Ribs Ever!"

Yesterday we invited some students (Mamu, Judson, Merong, and Ken--and Leeman, not pictured) to lunch. We were glad to have some time with them even during the semester break. Some of them have been volunteering to help with some maintenance projects on campus. Marisol made ribs in the crock pot with BBQ sauce following our friend Melissa's recipe. One of the students said that they were the best ribs he had ever tasted, tender and tasty. As the proud husband I agree: SLAM DUNK, Marisol!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

DECEMBER REVIEW

This is a quick December recap since we were not able to post too much during the last month. December began with two fine youth programs that my Youth and Children class presented in two churches in Guam. I was very pleased with their work.

One group presented a program to the Chuukese youth at the Mariana's Baptist Church complete with fun icebreaker games.

At the beginning of their program my students introduced themselves to the youth at the Palauan Evangelical Church in Guam.

Joel and Amelia love to play in the mud. What kid doesn't???

Joel and I went with Hiob and Micah to see the Harlem Ambassadors, who are similar to the Harlem Globetrotters. Great fun for all!

We met Lisa at Harvest Baptist Church during their annual Christmas cantata, for which she played the piano. Lisa is the daughter of longtime missionaries in Spain. Her parents led Gustavo's parents to the Lord years ago, and Gustavo grew up and became the Liebenzell director of Ecuador and Marisol's employer; she worked in their home for 7 years before we got married. Marisol became a Christian through the witness of Gustavo and his wife Barbara and even met Lisa's parents during a furlough trip with Gustavo and Barbara and their kids in Spain. It is wonderful to see how God works in people's lives and brings them together to serve him. We were thrilled to meet Lisa and spent some time celebrating New Year's Eve with her and her roommate Julie.

Joel Okada spent some time reading children's books to our Joel as part of his Elementary Methods class. As you can see, Amelia was not as interested in the book as Joel was.

Sonny and Elilai pose in their Santa hats, worn during the Student Council Christmas Party.

Joel and even Amelia were a big help this year making Christmas cupcakes and cookies.

The men students had a Christmas cookout this year. Some of the Chuukese men performed a bamboo stick dance that is traditional to their island. I don't think they usually wear curtains, though, when they do it!!!

A group of the Chuukese men, and Mac (from Yap) sang a lovely song!

We decided to have a Christmas Open House at our new place for the students and staff. As always, Marisol did a splendid job of preparing the food. All of us got into the action with cooking and cleaning and baking and preparing door prizes. It was great fun!

The students enjoyed the couch almost as much as the food.

Some others enjoyed the fresh air and fellowship.

Some of our students graduated in December. We will really miss Jonathan, who I call a "Gentle Giant." Here he posed with his friend Charity, who will graduate in May.

At the end of each semester the students need to fill out an evaluation form for their classes. My students oblige, somewhat grudgingly, but I always use their comments to improve my teaching.

Mac is another of our exiting students. He plans to be in Yap for a few months and then return to Thailand, where he spent the summer, to work with Campus Crusade for Christ. Please pray for him. I will miss my friend and personal guitarist. He often accompanied me for special music. Perhaps Joel or Amelia can take his place!!!

On December 19, our little princess turned two-years-old. We spent a delightful day together with our friends and attended the children's Christmas program that evening at our church.

One night two special friends, Stella and Ethel, joined us for pizza and corn on the cob. Then we looked at photo albums. It appears that Amelia was more entertaining than the pictures.

Currently we are teaching the two and three year old class at our church. Amelia has now joined that class. All of the boys and girls keep us very busy, but they certainly fill our hour with joy!

Darius, whose parents are from Pohnpei, had the job to take care of the Baby Jesus during class.

On Christmas morning Joel and Amelia opened some of their presents. Joel helped Amelia tuck her baby into a new bed with mattress, blanket and pillow that Marisol made for her. I have such a talented wife. Amelia was so pleased.

Then our former neighbor Melissa joined us for breakfast and treated us to waffles made with her new waffle iron. The next day Melissa took a trip to Palau with our friend Laura.

Joel asked for a white shirt, tie and belt for Christmas and Grandma and Grandpa came to the rescue. Ties are not popular in Guam. Joel insisted on wearing his new clothes to Christmas dinner at Auntie May's house, and Daddy had to dress up, too.

Our friends Tony and May invited us for Christmas and made quite a feast. Look at this beautiful spread! We made taco salad to share along with the enchiladas, tamales, ham and other goodies.

We are enjoying our down time together as a family.

At a pool party we were invited to, both Amelia and Joel learned how to jump into the pool. We hope that soon they can learn to swim.

Joel really showed himself to be a brave jumper.

After swimming and before the food our friend Wanda told a Christmas story to the children. She is the "Story Lady" on radio station 800 AM here on Guam.

We also held our annual Christmas cookout, a few days late this year due to other invitations. Joel helped to collect and cut the wood. The wood burned very well in the firepit behind our house.

Simple hotdogs when made with love taste delicious and fill big and little stomachs.

After the cookout we went to catch the trolley to go around and see the Christmas lights. As you can see, palm trees with lights are popular in Guam.

"Somewhere over the rainbow" during break I mowed the grass for the first time. We had been paying students to do it as part of their fundraisers for missions trips. Mowing can be quite therapeutic and a good break from grading English papers. If only the mower didn't stall so much. . . .

Another one of our December graduates, Merong, prepared this coconut for me to drink. I love coconut milk. Please pray for him as he returns to Palau next week to begin his ministry as pastor on one of the outer islands of Palau.

That's it for our December review. Thanks for being our faithful blog readers. We hope to be better posters in the new year.