Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stateside Update

What have we been up to? Where are we? Really still in the States? Then when are we going back to Guyana? ...keep reading to find out...

Yes, we've been gently reprimanded as to our inconsistent blogging practices...and we have no excuse except that we haven't prioritized it highly enough. But a gentle nudge goes a long way :)

So here it goes.  We came back to the U.S. this summer for our dear sister Emily's (and now brother-in-law's) wedding. The picture isn't the greatest for smiles sake, but it's a picture!  We first spent a few weeks in VT getting ready for the wedding and picking up afterwards. It's always nice to be with family for special occasions!
We found ourselves hiking as often as we ourselves, with friends, and with family.  I think we hiked about 15 peaks in the White Mountains and around the area in a couple weeks.
 Hiking camel's hump before the wedding.

DJ and his dad even pulled out the sailing canoe and took it for a whirl.
We spent a week at "camp" with DJ's parents mowing the fields and cleaning out the camp.  It was nice to enjoy the clean cabin and warmth from the wood stove again in late October when we visited over Grandpa Knott's memorial service weekend. 
After the few weeks in the Northeast we headed west in Emily's pickup truck, where we met her and Jacob in Wisconsin after their honeymoon.  We handed over the truck keys and then flew out from there to Washington State.  Jodi's family was spending the summer at Rosario Beach (Walla Walla's marine station) in the puget sound and she couldn't bear the thought of missing the chance to visit.

The time there was refreshing with many more hikes, tidepool play, crab hunting, and whale spotting.  The Olympic Penninsula with all its wonders and a trip to the cascades filled much of our time there.

At last we made it to Collegedale, TN where many needy airplanes awaited us.  DJ began with the annual for the Aerostar, N803GA, that Jeff flies for GMI.

A side trip took DJ and a GMI flight student, Sean, on a cross country to Virginia to check out the experimental "Bearhawk," considering its possibilities for bush flying.
God blessed us very much in the car department these last few months as well.  We felt like it was time to let go of our little Chevy Metro and get something else to use while in the States.  Jeff's dad, Rich Sutton, who used to own a car maintenance business, helped us buy an auction car.  God gave us with one that didn't have much wrong with it, and it has turned out to be just what we needed.  So welcome, Mr. Pebbles, our "new to us" Ford Focus wagon :)
Among weddings and things... Jodi took a trip out to Colorado for her cousin Sara's wedding.  Pictured are the girl cousins, Jodi, Noelle (sister), Sara (cousin), Marisa (cousin).
And more weddings :) Our friends, Matt & Andrea Barclay enjoy their beautiful day in Cades Cove, TN.
(P.S. Matt did the photography at our wedding and Andrea did Jodi's hair...)
Back to airplanes... We've worked a LOT on airplanes.  But I guess that's what we do.

Here Jodi has help from Pris (flight student Sean's wife) buffing the plane.

 We've buffed/polished/waxed three airplanes and are working on a 4th.  The airplanes were needing some polishing up as we're trying to sell a few of them to better upgrade the GMI fleet.
 Here are two of the ones that we polished to sell.  And they're still up for sale, so if you know anyone who wants a Mooney...!!  The blue one belongs to the Philippines project and the red one's sale will go towards better aircraft for South America.
We are blessed to have been able to work with several other missionaries/families this fall.  The Suttons were here in TN for nearly 3 months and Jeff & Fawna's kids got lots of swimming lessons from Jodi.  Since the Suttons moved to Belize, there are many more lakes and places to swim than in Bolivia so it was really great for the kids to learn how to swim!  And Jodi had a lot of fun being back teaching swimming at the pool.
We helped Jeff and his crew load a container for Belize with lots of equipment, including a huge generator, a tractor, a skidsteer and lots of boxes.  It should be coming off the wharf in Belize this week!

DJ took two trips down to Florida: one to drop off the twin comanche to get extra tanks put in before it is flown to the Philippines, and one to pick up the comanche when it was finished (and check out a few more airplanes).
Jodi has been collecting a bunch of things to send down to Guyana in a barrel - mostly to equip the house down there, but also other random things.  Here is a picture of some of the Tupperware that someone sold for a really low price, knowing that it was going to missions.  ...SO thankful for God's blessings in this area.

Jodi is also working on sewing curtains for the 13 windows in the small house at the Bethany airbase.

DJ has been taking a day a week and flying the towplanes at the glider port in Chilhowee, about 45 minutes from Collegedale.  It's great landing practice and fun to be back in "gliderville."
The long anticipated first glider flight for Jodi finally happened!!!

So back to the first questions: What's happening now?
Well, we're still in Collegedale preparing a 182 (pictured on the left) to take down to Guyana. The plane is in the shop for an annual inspection and FAA is processing paperwork for a field approval for bigger tires. We don't know exactly how long things will take for us to be ready (and there is still a decent sized list), but we're leaving that in God's hands.

Please keep the pending FAA approval on the tire paperwork in your prayers.

Here is a picture of the tires on the 182 that's in Guyana right now.  The airstrips are sandy and sometimes rough and bigger tires are essential for safety.

We'll give you an update BEFORE we leave for Guyana to let you know when we're headed out.