Recently several of you mentioned that you have trouble keeping track of which of my kids is which. I suggested I could put something up on the sidebar, for easy reference, but that isn't going to happen any time soon. I'm in the process of making some decisions about changing our main website (not the blog, but the sowers4pastors.com website) over to a different web hosting service, and dealing with questions like: "can I keep the same address in a different location," and "can I keep the same email address if I switch locations?" There is absolutely no room in my head for figuring out how to put another item on my sidebar, so you're receiving this info in a post, instead. I already know how to post posts, you know.
Kirstin is the oldest. At 24, she no longer lives at home (and we miss her). She's in the process of training to be an EMT, and she also works part time. Kirstin lives with my parents in Florida, and I hear she's a big help to them. I imagine that's true, because Kirstin wouldn't want to be a mooch. That's just who she is. We get to see her about once a year, for about a month, when she comes down for a visit.
Russell is next. You hear about him quite a bit on the blog, since he works alongside us in the ministry. He and his wife, Iris, live in the city of Gracias, which is nice for the people who need to meet with us for one reason or another - they can go to his house, rather than coming all the way out to our property. It's also extremely helpful that Russell is fluent in Spanish, as he assists us when our less-than-perfect Spanish impedes communication (which is embarassingly often). Russell and Iris are both 22.
Iris, of course, just joined our kids last year, when she married Russell. She's become a great help to the ministry, as she deals with lots of the visits of pastors, who come to Gracias to pick up food for feeding centers and to purchase Bibles from our supply. She and Rachel cook and serve the food for the Pastor Training School, as well. Iris is continuing to work on her English, as we work on our Spanish, and we're enjoying getting to know her better as we sort of meet in the middle - Spanglish, I guess!
Rachel is our middle child. She just turned 20, and we don't know what we'd do without her around the house! She's great at organizing, cleaning, cooking (for 5 people or 50, she doesn't care), baking, and coming up with creative solutions and then actually making the needed items to implement her solution. My house would look really different (NOT better) if Rachel weren't still living here. She is in a serious relationship, so I don't know exactly how much longer we'll have her at home, though. Rachel's ready to be a wife - she has major domestic skills!
Christopher is almost 18 - man that sounds strange to me! Seems like only yesterday he was 8! He's working on finishing up his high school studies (history is his favorite subject), and he plans to head to college in the states after that, although he may have to work a while first, to have money for this. He and Kirstin hope to share an apartment when he moves north. Chris is also known, completely interchangeably, as 'Gus.' When David was a baby, his version of 'Chris' sounded like 'Gus', and the name just stuck. I'm sure I say Chris sometimes, and Gus sometimes, on the blog. Just what you needed, an extra name to keep track of! Gus is a ferocious worker, and very responsible. He doesn't love to work, like his father does, but he wants to dig in, get it done, and get back to the things he enjoys. He likes reading, watching movies, and playing XBox. Chris is a bit of an enigma. He'll be seriously discussing history, theology, and philosophy one minute, and the next minute he's shooting dart guns or engaging in swordplay with his little brother.
(Boo's our regular photographer, and I'm having trouble finding a recent picture of her, other than this tricky shot she took of her own shadow. I'll keep looking.)
(Ahhh, here's a picture a recent visiting team member took. It seems to be the best recent photo of Boo we have. I need to make sure the camera gets into someone else's hands some of the time.)
Bethany (aka 'Boo') is now 15 - another amazing thing for me to try to grasp! She's scary-pretty, and she doesn't know it, which is quite endearing. She's a super worker, too, and has almost single-handedly kept our small garden going the past few months. Like her sister Kirstin (those two share the same birthday, by the way), Bethany is a worrier and a planner. It's hard for me, as the ultimate non-worrier, to really "get" my worrier kids. Sometimes I want to say, "Just don't think about that," because that's what I'd do in the same circumstance. The worriers can't do that, however. Boo is thinking of a career in medical missions.
Somehow, everyone seems to be able to remember which child is David. By the way, David has decided to change his name from the name he was given at birth to a name which is more clearly part of our family. He now goes by Ben (which happens to be my father's name, and also my brother's name). He chose that name because he knew that if I'd had another birth child, I would have given it a name starting with a "B", because we have a sort-of naming pattern. Kirstin goes with Christopher (think phonics), Russell goes with Rachel, and now Ben goes with Bethany.
And now I'm sure you won't have any trouble remembering which kid is which in my future posts. Or, you could bookmark this post and refer back to it when you forget - just don't go looking for this info on the sidebar, 'cause that's just not going to happen!