Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple Hill

"The Apple Hill Growers Association, located in Camino, Placerville and Pollock Pines, CA, was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, a micro-brewery, Spa and vineyards."

That's where my friend Mindy, her daughter Kelsey, Madison and I went on Tuesday. It was a BLAST!!! It was 103 degrees, but that didn't stop us from going to quite a few orchards, picking our own apples off the tree, eating freshly made apple cider donuts, eating a caramel apple, drinking apple cider, and buying an apple/cherry pie to take home and have for dinner. Fun times indeed!

Madison eyed this apple, and went in for the "kill"

Kelsey hanging out on the tire swing

Mindy wanting to dive right in to that freshly picked Fuji apple!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fun Things I Miss

Our super mission teammates doing a wonderful job in Honduras. But, we sure miss them and the work. This past week they put on two events that I would normally have helped at. While I wish I was there I know they are doing wonderful work.

Vitamin Distribution - vitamins given to 70 people
Girls Day Out - 8 girls to the Clow's house to make homemade pizza

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Amazing Stuff Going On In Honduras

We never questioned if God's great work would continue in Honduras while we were in the U.S. We knew that we were leaving our ministry in the amazing hands of four great missionaries and one amazing God.

Since we left our team closed the deal on purchasing the parcel of property in the downtown area of La Ceiba that will serve as our downtown ministry center.

And, they've already started working on it. Here are some pictures of our team and Honduran workers cleaning the new property to begin construction on the downtown ministry center.
We are happy to be in the US, but we wish we coud be in Honduras.

clearing the rocks
picking up the trash

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interview and Orientation

Enjoying time in the South. Last weekend we had a fantastic time at Faith Presbyterian where they treated us like royalty! Sweet friends put us up in their home, we had an incredible brunch with some great folks, an AWESOME Southern BBQ meal with some more folks, then a great church service the following day. After that we had a luncheon, and I'm feeling that I'm going to gain 10 pounds while I'm here in the South :-) But loving every minute of it!

This week we are at some training with Mission to the World, with the final few days being interviewed by Mission to the World folks, and finishing up on Friday. We are driving down to Alabama Friday afternoon to spend some time there, then Monday flying back to Sacramento.

Busy indeed...but what's new with the Pettengills :-)

pulled pork, ribs, sweet tea, a lake and friends...oh baby

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Driving From Honduras To California

September 5 - 12, 2010 we drove from La Ceiba, Honduras to Elk Grove, California to begin our six-month furlough in the U.S.

We spent 97 hours 20 minutes behind the wheel. The entire trip was 4063 miles. Our average daily distance was 580 miles.

Take a look at this 4 minute video to see the great drive:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We've arrived!

So, after 7 days of solid traveling, 4,100 miles, 3 border crossings, 800+ mile a day driving, we arrived in Elk Grove just in time for church service last Sunday. It was an awesome surprise to our church and friends! We LOVED spending time with our home church and friends. We stayed 2 days at my mother-in-law's house, now we are staying at a friend's house. Friday we leave to go to Georgia for some mandatory training, so although we've arrived, it's short lived in a "semi-permanent" home.

Yesterday we purchased Air Cards from Verizon so we can have internet - and Madison will start school today. Homeschool first day of school looks very different from other schools :-) She is actually in 9th grade, which typically is Freshman year, but in Honduras, since they graduate at 11th grade, she has already been in High School for one year. We are doing a mainly on-line Christian homeschooling program so we can be mobile. Most of her studies, books, homework, exams, etc, are all on-line. It's pretty cool! So she is starting her Sophomore year. Here's her first day of school picture :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

On the move

Wow has it been a LONG 6 days. We have driven on the worst roads I have ever been on in my life - and that's saying a lot! Everything from 1 1/2 hour border crossing to the 5 minutes to cross into the U.S. - hmmm...don't know what I think about that. Anyway - we still have a couple of more days to make it up to Sacramento. So far we are doing well although physically exhausted - Max (our dog) is finally settling into a routine, and can find himself crashing out in the car without a problem. We managed to beg and plead out way into hotels with him (SO glad we can speak Spanish :-), and today we had our first Starbucks, Sonic hamburger, and a quick stop in Wal Mart! Oh my gosh - I had to contain myself because for the first time in SO LONG I had more choices then I knew what to do with. I walked into the Super Wal Mart and stopped, stunned at all the fruit and vegetables! I couldn't even decide what to choose! It was wild! I can't even IMAGINE the first trip to the grocery store to buy things for our stay in the States. Once again, I don't know when/if we will have internet access, but will promise to keep everyone updated as we do. We CHERISH and COVET your prayers!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm leaving on a.... I'm not....we're driving...sigh...

Starting the drive - in two days. Our internet will be unplugged tomorrow, so this will be my last post for probably 5-8 days (depending on if we get some wi-fi while in route).

We are packed. The house is in order. Sheets cover almost everything - it's SO dusty here, that I can't imagine what 6 months of dust is going to look like as it is - this is my attempt of trying to save things :-)

So - prayers our way....the adventure begins!!!

Our life possessions for 6 months (duffel bags wrapped in plastic bags for the inevitable rain that we will encounter)

The house enshrouded in sheets.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sad Goodbye's and Bittersweet moments

Five years ago, Mike, Madison and I walked along the streets of Armenia Bonito, dreaming about what God would have us do while we are here. We dreamed and prayed and asked God for a vision of what that meant.

When we came here almost 2 1/2 years ago and started the ministry in Armenia with a few soccer balls, a small bag of meds, and servants hearts, that vision started to become more solidified. We started looking for some property to purchase, and to start envisioning what would go on it. Mike started the aggressive pursuit of funds to purchase the land. Within a week the funds arrived.

The "dream" - the property as it appeared when we were looking to purchase it:

It was clear that God had big plans. He partnered us up with the McCann's, then new potential team mates came to Honduras as a vision trip, and to see if there was "something" that a construction guy could do (insert John Clow here), He sent the Clow's to partner with us, and to be the foreman and overseer for the construction. After the land was purchased, Mike again began aggressive support raising, and more money came in. The wall was built. Once again, Mike continued with support raising, more building, more support raising, more building, until here we are. A guard shack, storage area, and most of a multi-purpose building/soccer field has been built.

The multi-purpose building/soccer field that will be finished while we are gone:

The guard shack and storage area:

Here is my bittersweet moment. This has been a dream of ours, and of following God's plans for Armenia Bonito. Because of timing, and the teams decision, the building will be dedicated, celebrated, and ministry started while we are in The States. I must confess - my heart is celebrating, and yet sad at the same time. To share in the joy that will go on, to be there when it is be at the first event ever held on the property that started as just a dream so long ago - and we won't be there to join in the festivities. I rejoice with all, even with a saddened heart.

We have a lot more funds to raise, as we still want to construct the High School, medical clinic, church, bathroom facilities and eventually even more. So prayerfully consider how you may be involved - to pray for the facility and the lives that will be touched - to financially contribute so it can be built - to come and work on the property and get your hands dirty in raising a wall :-)