Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Caching Challenge

So Mark presented me with this challenge. To find at least 1 cache yesterday, so it could count toward our Christmas find. You see what had happened was...we went caching on Christmas (to torment our sweet kids who were dying to get home and play their new BOX!) We didn't realize you could change the time on the geocaching clock! Meaning, we found about 3 caches on December 25, but it registered as Christmas Eve. Our clock wasn't set right; who knew? Now Mark really wanted one on our file for Christmas day.
So being the obedient wife that I am (excuse me while I clear my throat), on my way to pick up Seth from swim team I thought I'd find at least one! Drove to the first one.. NOPE couldn't find the stupid thing. Went to another one... NOPE couldn't find that one either. Now I was late to pick up Seth. Frustrated I gave up!
Fast forward a few hours, Mark gets home from work early and we drag all the kids away from their Xbox out to find these caches! I drive straight to the first one, Mark found it in about 5 minutes! Drove to the second one from my wildly unsuccessful morning trip. Caleb got out of the car walked right up to it and put his hand on it. In less than 5 seconds that stinkin' kid found it. (He wasn't allowed to eat dinner last night!)
We were on a roll, so off we went. We found a total of 6 last night in less than 75 minutes. Each of us found 1, but I ...YES... I found 2! They were all fast find and it was a very successful fun evening. I didn't want to quit but someone, I won't mention any names (Mr. Sexy Pants) got hungry. And if you know him at all when he's hungry he's whiny. So home we went!
All in all a GREAT caching day, but apparently I'm only effective when my family is with me!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

This is a picture of my 3 beautiful children on Christmas Eve opening up their traditional pajamas. I love Christmas, I love the HOLYdays! I love family time and everything Christmas. The shopping, the decorating, the baking, the wrapping, the smells of Christmas, the friends, family, trips and shows... seriously I love it all. I won't lie. This Christmas season has been different. I don't ever recall in my life a year that I was baa humbug, until this year. I miss my mom, the states, and all sorts of Christmas traditions that we can't find or do here. It's just different. I'm 41 years old and I miss my family. I'm looking forward to holidays stateside. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, even the Marine Corps Birthday has a different feel in the states. This time next year I'll be in a different house, on a different continent, eating at a different table, with different friends and prayerfully our stateside family!

I've enjoyed my time here in Okinawa. We are blessed to have met some amazing families and developed life long friends here. We've experienced more here that I ever dreamt of, and will see and experience many more new and exciting things before we leave. There are many things I will miss about Okinawa... CoCo Curry (which was introduced to me by a favorite Buckeye Amy Krieg), Arashi (also introduced to us by amazing friends the Peters), Koza Baptist, Geo caching (something tells me it's totally different when you aren't driving on teeny tiny goat roads having to pull your mirrors in because you will knock them off as you turn the tight corners!). We will also miss curfews, crappy TV reception, so looking forward to high speed internet and cell phones that work everywhere! I will personally miss the schools within walking distance of the house and of course the kids friends.

So in my tiny rant, I just miss 'home' at Christmas. I wish I was rich and could fly my family home for the HOLYdays or even fly my family out to spend the time with us. Then I feel guilty, because this season isn't about me and my family. It's about Christ, it's HIS birthday. And as I reflect I realize I'm doing exactly what HE wants me to do, serve HIS Marines, love on the people of Okinawa, and spread HIS joy and love to others. I'm also doing it with a smile on my face and peace in my heart for I know the God I serve and I know the future I hold in him.
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alaska Mission Trip 2013

Alaska Mission Trip 2013

K80 & I will be going on a jet plane in March for our very first Mother/Daughter Mission Trip (March 11-23). Iditarod Outreach: Finish Line Nome Alaska. We both fell in love with Alaska in the summer of 2011. K80’s youth group leader, Gretchen, shared this trip with us, & of course we had to go! We will be ministering to the mushers of the Iditarod, caring for the race dogs, working the Bible-in-a-Bucket campaign & loving on village elders. We seriously cannot contain our excitement for this trip! K80 & I have been working very hard for the last couple of months raising money this trip. Junior has saved well over $325 from babysitting. I have almost $500 from working the Japanese students.  K80 and I have also started a Parent’s Night Out (PNO) event at our church, Koza Baptist. In November we watched over 65 kids with the help of 20+ volunteers earning approximately $980.    We have another PNO scheduled for December, January and tentatively for February. Our goal is to earn $6,000 to cover our airfare, mission fees, and a love offering to Alaska Missions.


We are almost a third of our way to our goal! We would like for you to join us by praying for a successful outreach in Alaska. K80 & I would also like for you to prayerfully consider supporting us financially.


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and considering being part of the work God is doing in our lives as we prepare for this experience. Please contact us if you have any questions. We are extremely excited to see what all God has planned for us on the “Adventure of a Lifetime!”


In His Grip,

Colleen & K80 Francis

Page 1 of The Francis 5 2012 Newsletter

2012 has proven yet again if you feed your kids vegetables
and 3 squares with approximately 5 snacks a day they will
grow and grow and grow. The boys are like bean stocks and
K80 is not far behind. I’m telling you I had to get a part
time job just to keep clothes on these teenagers! Yeppers,
I said teenagers, can you believe it? Mark and I are frightfully
proud parents of teenagers, typing this makes my heart weak!
I can’t even think about high school yet, I’m still enjoying 7th
& 8th grade right now. As of Thanksgiving the boys are taller
than Colleen but seem to be mere millimeters away from
surpassing Mark! (that’s over 6 foot!)
Seth & Junior learned to surf. Caleb digs golfing. Junior loves volleyball. Seth is definitely a back-stroker like his dad. Colleen is still cancer free. Caleb hates texting. K80 & Seth text in their sleep.  Mark misses shooting. The kids think their parents are weird. Caleb & Seth are now Life Scouts. K80 is in NJHS. Colleen lives with 4 gamers. We all miss the States. Mark never answers his cell phone. We are getting a dog when we get home & we shall name him Brutus. We believe we have the best kids in the world.

I certainly do not want to rehash the last year for you.
Most info is on my blog or Facebook. So you are well
aware of the wild crazy and amazing life we lead! We are
blissfully happy and blessed by God. We just want to say
thank you. Thank you for being part of our family; thru
photos, prayers, emails and Facebook updates.
We love sharing life with you!

Thank you very much!

Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita!