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Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s a girl (or so you say)

      Ok, I guess you have settled it. Girl won! Now we just need to come up with a girl name. We won’t even worry about a boy one.
    Since you were all so helpful with determining the sex we have another task for you.We want to know how big the baby is going to be. We want you to vote again.
     But first let me give you a little information to help with the decision. Here are the weights of the rest of our children:   7lb 10oz, 9lb 5oz, 8lb 15oz, 8lb 13oz, 8lb 8oz. I am also giving you a picture of the belly at 39 weeks (below). Tiffany is due in 3 days. Ok, that’s it, cast your vote on the right.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It Is A Choice!

{i read this article years ago, written by Serene Allison, beautiful and vibrant mother to 8. i have since met Serene, her mother and 2 sisters personally a couple of times and know they practice what they preach! Are you ready to shift your perspective for the better?... this is for all you mamas out there who need an encouraging word today :) - BIG LOVE to you! xotiff}

Moanhood Or Motherhood?

“Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
I am often drawn to this text as I pray for God to mold me into the woman He desires me to be, no matter how much against the stream of normalcy it seems.
My Interlinear Bible, which is translated directly from the Hebrew, inspires me when I read, “Who can find an able woman? For her value is far above jewels.” The word “able” hit me with a giant thud. I wasn’t as pricked by the word “virtuous” as virtues seem to abound in the feminine sex! I’m only being slightly sarcastic! But “able”! “Able”?

As mothers and wives we often spend wasted brain space mulling over just the opposite. Do these words sound familiar? “I can’t do it anymore!” “I don’t have the energy!” “I’m drained! I have nothing more to give.” “I’m too tired! I’m completely exhausted and wasted. I can’t do one more thing!” We talk ourselves out of any last vestige of energy, and by the power of our minds we feel even more tired than we really are!
“Honey, not tonight! Actually I’ve got a headache. No, it’s a migraine.” “Oh, I just need some time for myself.” “I feel so used. Nobody appreciates what I do around here.” “I’ve got to get out. I’ve got cabin fever.” “I didn’t get a good sleep last night. Come to think of it, I never get a good sleep. It’s all making me old before my time. I found a new wrinkle this morning.”
Ugh! This is putting me in the doldrums just writing about it!

How can our husband value us more than jewels when our lives are one big complaint?

It is true that we talk ourselves into more than half of our problems. How can we be “able” women and how can our husbands and children truly value us above jewels when our lives are one big complaint? I think the key to being “able” is more about being positive than it is about all the talent and intellect we can possess. There are many gifted people who never accomplish half of what the mere motivated and persevering achieve.

How can we be positive mothers when we have made a career of being professional moaners?

Have we embraced moanhood instead of motherhood? Just as negativity is a habit, so is a positive and happy heart. The more we think on the good things, the more they become naturally part of our nature. The negative muscles become floppy, weak and slowly deteriorate when we don’t use them. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are pure and lovely. If we make a habit of thinking about the lovely things, in turn, our lives will be a lot lovelier.
We can become negative by worrying about the future. We may dwell today on all the work we have to do tomorrow or even in the months to come. Again, the wisdom of the Bible frees our minds and makes for a happy mother when it says, Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)
God is very interested in our thought-life and in the confessions of our lips. Here are just a few quotes:
A merry heart does good like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)
Gird up the loins of your mind.” (1 Peter 1:13)
A positive attitude breathes life into our soul and body and actually gives us energy.

A positive attitude breathes life into our souls and bodies and actually gives us energy. Satan is all to eager to plant seeds of negativity into our minds because he knows they are seeds of death and make us unable. Negativity is based upon fear, which chokes the very life out of its victims and renders them practically immobile. Negativity holds us captive in a prison of gloom. Being positive frees us to succeed and thrive. Some people see their negative outlook as being realistic. This is another trap of the enemy; a smoke screen to blind us to the truth that will set us free to really live and enjoy life.
There are always two ways to look at things. I exercise everyday as part of my job description as a fit, healthy and happy wife and mother. Many times while on the treadmill in my kitchen I start thinking, “I feel awful. My legs are burning. I can hardly breath. I feel like pulling the plug.” With every second I grow more tired and soon feel completely drained. The fact is everything I’m feeling is truth. However, when I “gird up my mind” I remember how good I’ll feel afterwards and that 30 minutes isn’t that long. “I’ve only got 15 more minutes to go. I’m breathing really well now, and hey, this is easy. I feel great. I’ll race anyone. I’m going to pick up my pace. Wow, look at me go!” There is as much truth in this second thought process and I injected myself with a bunch of energy and ended up with a full tank.
You may get up in the morning, sigh and drag yourself to the coffee pot confessing, “I was up with the baby for four solid hours last night. I can’t make it through today.” This may be true, but the other side of the story is that you had four good hours of sleep. We can feel just as good as we can feel bad.
Thinking negatively involves the “me” word. It makes one too introspective. My mother always says, “If you are feeling depressed, go and do something for someone else. You’ll soon forget about your own problems.”
The negative “so called” facts are not truth at all. They are the enemy’s poisonous darts. To contemplate them digs their venom deeper into your mind. The truth is: we are new creatures in Christ. We are to crucify the “flesh man” and live by the Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit such as patience and longsuffering are now our new character traits. In Christ we can bear way more than the level the devil deceives us into thinking we can handle.
The second line of Proverbs 31:10 reads, The heart of her husband trusts in her so that he has no lack of gain.” The New Living Translation reads, She will greatly enrich his life.” How can we enrich our husbands when our own lives are anything but enriched? We can’t give from a drained pot. Often we feel empty and exhausted, not because of our tedious workload so much as the state of our mental reflections.

How can a husband feel enriched if his wife is not contended and happy?

How can a husband have “no need of gain” if his wife isn’t happy and contented? If we greet him at the door with a tired expression, a list of complaints, and quickly pass off all the children to him, his welcome home will not be very enriching. It may make him want to retreat! Home should be a solace from the worry and stress with which the world assails him. It should be a place of enriching, a gas station to fill his tank before venturing back into his world of business and stress. Our homes should be an oasis where our husband can take a cool drink of the water of peace, love and laughter. We should meet him at the door with a bright smile, a warm welcome, and with a cheery atmosphere pervading the home.
If he asks how our day was, and we remember how Suzie cut off her little sister’s hair, how Johnny peed on the clean folded clothes, or how the baby spread the surprise in his diaper like peanut butter around the crib, we might feel compelled to say it was a “bad day”. But wait a second! Let’s get out of our negative tunnel vision and see the big picture. There were no major accidents. We are all still alive and breathing. Suzie did really well at her reading lesson and Johnny picked some weeds from the garden and said I was a “beaubibul laby.” It was a lovely day. Come to think of it, it was a great day!
When the atmosphere of our home is filled with optimism, our husband and children will feel they can do anything.
The Proverbs 31 woman “opens her mouth with wisdom and the law of kindness is on her tongue.” As hormonal creatures, we women can sometimes become so emotionally pent up that when our husbands come home we vomit our feelings all over them before they have a chance to take off their coats. We were made to be our husbands’ helpmeets. We were made to complete them and enrich their lives. God did not create man to be the woman’s emotional counselor or hormonal dartboard. The more we press into God and become positive-thinking women, the less we will be inclined to emotionally regurgitate. Spurting out a bunch of negative goo gah is not opening our mouths in wisdom. Nor is it kind. It is like serving our husbands a glass of gravel instead of giving them a refreshing drink of happiness.
Men are not emotional sorts and just don’t get the problem. My friend told me how she told her husband that she was feeling “out of sorts.” He replied, “Don’t feel out of sorts.” This reply was the right answer but not the one she wanted to hear. Men are wired differently so when our skies look gray we need to go to God first and then maybe call a close girlfriend who will lend a listening ear.
Proverbs 31 continues with its description of the able woman. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms… she extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy…strength and dignity are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come… she watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
A hardworking woman doesn’t have time to waste in negative contemplation. She has more important things pressing on her mind. If we are truly busy we won’t have time to stop and moan. I can’t picture Mother Theresa complaining about how tired she was or turning away another child.
I love the way the curtains draw on the “able” woman. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” The Hebrew word for “praises” is “halal”. It means “to shine, to make a show, to boast, to rave, to glorify, to make renown. The root of this word has the idea of radiance.” Are we worthy of such acclamation?
Let us take on a spirit of rejoicing and do away with negative gloom. We will then be free to be ‘able’ women whose value is above jewels.


Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When it rains it pours!!

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     I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Before we left the States we all went to see a dentist in Spartanburg. He said that I had a molar that needed some work. However, there wasn’t enough time for him to do it. So he said that when we reached PNG we needed to find someone to work on it. After we finished our training we went to Ukarumpa (the largest mission center in the world). There was a Papua New Guinean dentist there. I went to see him and he started the work but we left to go be on staff at POC. He said when we were able to come back he would finish. But while we were in Madang I got an email from him saying that he was leaving to go to school and he would not be able to finish. I didn’t have much option but to wait.

     Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems with it until we got here. A couple of days ago it started getting really painful. It kept me up last night for a while so I decided that I’d go see the dentist today.

     She gave me the bad news. I needed a root canal and a crown or I could get the tooth pulled. Seems like a no brainer right, who would get their tooth pulled out? Well, the root canal is a little over $2000 Australian dollars while the extraction is just over $200 Australian dollars.

     This is a tough one. We are already in a tight place with the upcoming birth so we are weighing what to do. I really don’t want to loose my tooth but if that is what we can afford then that is what we will be doing. Please, pray that God will make it obvious what we should do and that the pain will subside until I can get the work done. Also, she found two other cavities that I will have to get taken care of.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


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       {this morning}                                  {2 days ago}

     Yesterday, Isaac was complaining about his cheek and jaw hurting. I didn’t think much about it because the rest of them have been passing around a cold (nothing major). But this morning he woke up with a swollen face (pictured above). Tiffany insisted that we go to the doctor immediately so Isaac and I walked to the doctor down the hill. I thought it might be a tooth infection or something but much to my surprise the doctor said he had the mumps. I was pretty confused by this because  he has been vaccinated. The doctor said you can still get mumps after being vaccinated. He also said that he contracted them here in Australia not in PNG. The way he talked there are still people here who get it.

     He said there wasn’t much that we could do for him. Just give him Tylenol to ease the discomfort and watch him. He also said that it was very contagious and we should keep him away from other kids. When he said that I just laughed and said there are 4 others at home. He just shook his head and laughed too.

     Please pray that it will pass quickly and that the others will not get it. Also, pray for protection for Tiffany and the baby.



(this is not funny. tiff)

Monday, September 19, 2011

It’s a …

     We really don’t know what sex the baby is. But that doesn’t mean that I (matt) don’t want to know. So maybe you can help me curb my curiosity. I have heard it said that you can tell what sex the baby is by how mom is carrying. Well, I just took a picture of her have a good look and see what you think. When you have decided cast your vote in the poll to the right. If you have your own wives tale about how to tell and you need some more information to cast your vote. Post a question and I will do my best to answer it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

God’s protection from disease

( not the actual snake)
     I suspect that this will hit home with many of you that have kids, or at least those of you with multiple boys. Our boys have the uncanny ability to find the nastiest thing, wherever they are, and make it into a toy. Yesterday, we were walking to the playground, 3 blocks from where we are staying, and on the way the boys found a dead snake that had been dried in the sun. Its looked like it died in mid strike and was eternally preserved that way (snake jerkey). What else would make a suitable  toy for the walk? They grabbed it and started pretending it was biting the other brothers.  I finally convinced them that this was not a very sanitary toy and that they needed to put it down. We walked on but on the way back it tempted them again. I caught them before they could pick it up.

   Once we got to the playground what did they find to play with? The slide (no), swings (no), empty beer bottles thrown in the bushes (of course). I think I told them to leave them alone at least 5 times. So what did they do? They found some used straws to play with. I’m telling you they are going to take me to an early grave.
      Thankfully that was all in that walk, but they regularly play with cigarette butts, beetle nut shells (always removed with the teeth), every manner of bug (and there are some wild ones in PNG) including spiders, and much much more.
     I think that they ( the boys especially) have some sort of magnetic connection to all things gross. I know that I was this way too, I can remember it, but I am still baffled by it. I guess the old adage is true, “if it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger” because they aren’t dead yet and they just keep getting bigger. (what am I going to do when they are all teens?). Maybe I‘ll just take another oldie to heart: “if you can’t beat them join them.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A day at the splash pad

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There is a free splash pad ( little kids water park) here in Cairns so as part of Silas’ birthday we went and had some fun. Here are some pictures.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Language in PNG


Communicating in PNG can be an interesting experience. There are about 820 languages in PNG. Basically, every area has its own language. Some are more related than others. Some language groups have thousands of people in them and other may only have a couple hundred.

     Fortunately, there is one language that most people understand, Tok Pisin. It is a really interesting mixture of English, German, some local languages, and little bit from everywhere else. The great thing about tok pisin is that most people know it and you can talk to lost of people. The bad thing about it is it is pretty general so sometimes you have to say whole lot to say very little.

      we are starting to become pretty proficient in tok pisin and it has been great to talk about whatever people want, and there are some crazy questions that come up. But, all of our national employees are from the same language area. They all speak a language called Nobnob. They use it all day during work. Sometimes they forget that  I’m there and they have to backup and tell me in tok pisin. Because of this they have decided that I need to know Nobnob and they have started teaching me.

     I am not the most gifted language learner but I am starting to pickup a little. Now, they speak to me in a mix of tok pisin and tok ples ( local language).

     Anyway I thought you might find it interesting to hear some tok pisin so here is a link to an audio tok pisin New Testament. One thing you should know is that Like American English tok pisin has several different regional accents. The one in this recording is quite different from ours so it sounds a little funny to me but at least you can get the idea. Take a little time and find your favorite Bible verse, see if you can hear what they are saying. The arrows offer dropdown menus where you can choose different books, chapters and verses. Have fun.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Second Chance Winner!

Our original winner of the bilum never claimed her prize... and Matt wouldn't let me keep it...
SOOOOOooo, the rest of you are getting a second chance!

You are our new winner!
contact me with your mailing address at 
 tiffanycrosland@hotmail.com   to claim your bilum...

xo tiffany

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Silas

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(Silas a couple of days old)

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(Silas’ first Birthday party)

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(Silas with Grandma and Grandpa at Navy Pier)


(2 year old Silas with the brothers)


(Silas with Evie)


(Silas turns 3 at POC)


(Happy 4th Birthday Silas!!!!)

Selena You Won!!!!

Selena, you won the bilum please email Tiffany your mailing information. her email address is tiffanycrosland@hotmail.com.

this is the second notice, if we have not heard from you by 5pm Friday (PNG time) we will have to draw another name.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fight for you right to potty



    What? What makes you think that this isn’t a good time to start potty training? The fact that we just moved to a new country. Or maybe the fact that Tiffany is going to have a baby in less than a month. Or the fact that we are going to have to move into another apartment in a couple of weeks.

   Maybe we are just gluttons for punishment. But we started potty training Evie a couple of days ago. I feel like we have a pretty good system. The first step is to wait until the kid is about two and a half. Then we take them to the store and buy them a potty and a bunch of undies. While we are there we buy some M&M’s or something similar and a bigger individually wrapped candy.


      We then put them strait into the undies and tell them how big they are and how they have to keep their undies clean. We take them to the potty every hour. Every time they pee in the potty they get 2 m&m’s and when they poop in the potty they get the bigger candy.

     The first day or two is usually rough and you go through 8 or 10 pairs of undies in a day. But it gets better really quick. The second day with Evie she didn’t have any accidents and she only had one today. She still wears pull-ups at night. She has been napping in her undies though.

    We have done this with every child and they have all potty trained within a week. You just have to make sure you take them plenty. But when they know they are getting m&m’s they start trying to go all the time and that’s ok too.

     The real reason we did it now was that I hate diapers with a passion and I only want to have one in them if we can help it. Tiff changes 97% of them but that 3% is enough for me to do potty training.


Friday, September 2, 2011

how’s the house? part 2

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     I know I did the kitchen yesterday but I just found this picture of me hanging cabinets. Again, I need to apologize for the following pictures ( I am not the best photographer in the family).

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     This is the closet in the master bedroom. The area to the left will be where the bed will go. The closet and the space for the bed beside it were part of the veranda before. I closed it in and added the closet. Storage is something that all the houses at POC are lacking. You can kinda see the shelving system that I built inside. When you have a family the size of ours you have to have a place to put everything or you will be buried in a matter of minutes.


     This is the closet for the boys room. Their room was a little more complete before we left. It definitely had the most work left to do. It will be a bright blue color. The name of the color is “commander blue” I can’t think of a much better name for the color of a boys room.


     This is the outside of the section that we just added. The new section starts on the right of the window on the front and runs out to the end. Again we finished a good bit more before we came to Cairns. There is now a covered front porch, the gutters and painting are finished, the power is connected to the house,& there is a concrete slab at the end of the house where an outside sink and the gas bottle will sit.

    I have left a list of stuff that needs to be finished. The guys will be working on it while we are here. I can’t wait to see what it will look like when we get back.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

How’s the house?


     As you might imagine it was pretty crazy just before we left POC.  We had to pack 8 of us for 3 months, the course was in full swing, I was trying to train the guy who is taking my place, we had visits from several different directors (bosses bosses), and we were trying to fix all the stuff that continues to break on center. But I managed to snap a few pictures of the house. Sorry for the quality of the pictures Tiffany is the photographer in the family.

     The picture above is of the kitchen. It is finished. We made all the cabinets in our workshop (thanks Gene). The counter tops are tile. Laminate is actually more expensive than tile in PNG. We have had some problems with the laminate that has been used in the past so I wanted to try something different.


     This is a picture of the living/ dining room. Its hard to see but we painted the walls light blue. It is a pretty small area but most of our lives are spent outside. I will make us a little more seating when we get back.

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     This is Mae and Evie’s room. It looks a lot bluer in the picture than in real life. It’s actually a dark teal. Mae picked out the color herself. She also picked out some fabric for curtains since we took the picture.

This is getting kinda long so I’ll put some more tomorrow.