Sunday, April 27, 2008

MAYBE THE EARTH IS FLAT


Many who know us back home may have begun to question if the world really is in fact...flat... If so it must drop into space just beyond the pacific. We would not be surprised or offended if that is what you think, and we know that true friends will still love and accept us despite our terrible absence... from our blog, email, phone, even birthday calls, and other wonderful things, etc. (That was not totally meant to manipulate you but remind you that you still love us even when we are completely distant ;) And we are thankful for that)

CONGRATS!
Before I give the boring update or excuses why... I must share the most exciting news in our lives... We are finally going to be an auntie and uncle!!!!! That's right if you haven't checked out Russ and Amy's blog they are going to expand the Miller family even more!!!! We are soooo excited! On top of keeping in touch over here, this is going to by far be the hardest part of being so far away!!!! Who knows when I will be able to hold and smell and kiss this little ones cheeks! I don't even want to think about that right now (I already miss my friends little ones like crazy... I can't imagine how much I will miss this one!) Happy thoughts... I need to think happy thoughts!... I am back... phew... OK, so, I will be able to see Amy pregnant in a couple months which I am stoked about... I love seeing my girls about to pop.

VISITORS
So that brings me into my next highlight in our lives... visitors! Here is the line-up... I have a friend who was here last weekend, Heaths brother and his wife will be here the end of may and my family (right now 6 1/2... I am hoping all 8 1/2) come in June, and my little bro will stay all summer! It will be so nice to have people around that know and love us!

FAMILY HERE
I know I have mentioned our Chamorro family here on our blog and have shared more specifically with those of you we have talked to. I would like to share a little more here how wonderful it is to be adopted by a local family. They keep us very busy! And extremely well fed! We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary as part of the family last Month. Can you believe it? We have been on Guam 1 year and almost 3 months already. It has gone so fast.

Anyway, every weekend we have family dinner, and from November on we were so busy with holidays and then in January, our "brother" Joel got married so that kept us very busy for a while. It was great to be a part of a Chamorro wedding! The family did everything including all the food and there were thousands of people, the reception was held in a gym which was packed and people were even crowded around the outside of the building! Two bands played taking turns all evening and then after everyone left it was clean up time, which again the whole family was there helping. It was a beautiful day!

(February disappeared)
MARCH AND APRIL
For Heath's birthday we had our first big big gathering here at our place... I was so nervous to host that many people, (and we pulled if off very last minute) but the beautiful thing about family gatherings is everyone brings a dish (or a few) and the aunties took over helping and putting it together. Which they said they loved watching me in the middle of it all in my indoor kitchen, with out the "necessary" utensils for this size gathering. I think I know what I am getting next year for Christmas :) It turned out wonderful and we had tons of food left over, even after everyone "balutoned" (that we learned is required when you eat at any gathering... you must pack plates of food to go- baluton)

HEATH
Heath has had his evaluation and for a while was studying constantly for his advancement test. He also took placement tests and is getting set up to take classes online to finish his degree.
His newest project is to build a surf board out of a light local wood. So, he harvested a bunch of wood during the last new moon and it has been drying out. Just today he has begun to strip its bark and prep it. We will have to document along the way. Right now I need to go snap some pics. He is so excited about this!

RHIANON
I have been swamped with school and am way more stressed than I imagined this job to be! Our school just had an accreditation team from the states come out, and we are now prepping the school for the attorney general to check us for health and safety issues. They come unannounced and have already shut down many schools on island. I desperately want to finish out the year and get out on time so I can have my summer. So we are busing our tails in hopes we pass. Because of this, maintenance is jumping on my requests to take care of the rat problem and the 1st day we caught 3 rats in my room/storage. Next, we have to figure out what to do with old chemicals and very old specimens from the 70's... like, starfish, squid, some kind of hearts and other buckets-o-fun for dissecting. I already cleaned the science storage room, organizing and trashing things from way back when it was a high school... Big job!

My air con went out February 1st so I have been teaching in the 80 degree heat with loud fans to yell over and distractions galore with the windows wide open... We have been miserable, but there is no money to repair them... I am looking into what it would take to pay it myself, just for my own comfort. There have been many other struggles to overcome... lately, I have been begging God for grace and have learned a lot about what I can and can not handle.

On a much more positive note... the island has major trash issues and have begun to implement recycling aluminum at the schools... as a science teacher this has been a great avenue to educate and share my passion about caring for the environment. So, as a science project, I required students to work together with their family's and recycle 500 cans per quarter. In about 6 months worth of time we have filled the bin 11 times! The island just filled the limit for sending it to the recycling plant in CA and will be bringing in something like $18,000 for the schools... so we should be getting our $1600 soon. I am so proud of my students! We have filled the bin more than any of the middle schools! Go IMS! Now if we could just make it easier and possible as well as teach the value of recycling more items. I have seen people fighting the concept and on the flip, have been so proud of those who are embracing this and are open to changing. I will continue to cheer even if only one hears... "Go Green Guam!"

We are busy, life has been heavy and I often find myself living for the next thing... the days end... air condition... the weekend... the summer... the next adventure... But my dad reminded me today that Grandpa Miller always used to say, "Don't wish your life away." Thanks for that wisdom.

Please excuse my grammar and wordy-ness. This is a rough sketch of our life, I just wanted to get this out and haven't the time or mind power to review it. Thanks!

We love and miss you all terribly!


2 comments:

Russ and Amy said...

Thanks so much for the update! We are looking forward to our visit in about a month! We can't wait!!! Little Caleb can't wait to hear his Auntie's voice :)

We love you!
Amy and Russ

Dan, Tracy & Gracie said...

I just knew you were alive and well out there in the vast big world! Great update Rhi- I feel like I haven't missed out on as much of your life as I actually have. I DO love you no matter how much you update but I feel better when I know that my prayers for your safety and happiness are REALLY being answered. Your sweetie Gracie misses her "Auntie" and we can't wait to see you again someday......