23 April 2015

Thursday Night Icecream

Fun fact: every Thursday night (pretty much) we have a Community Meeting at 7:30...and every Thursday night (pretty much) we have icecream after the previously mentioned Community Meeting.  Honestly, we're not sure how long this tradition has been going on...maybe we should ask. (and have we really never written a blog post about icecream on Thursday nights?!?!)

For a while we didn't let our kids go down and get icecream.  It just made the evening too complicated and prolonged bedtime farther than we were willing to go.  But before you start thinking anything about us depriving our children of icecream (how dare we?!), you must know that we would very often go get their icecream for them, put it in the freezer and then let them have it for breakfast on Friday morning.  (score one for the parents - and the kids!!)

Lately we've been letting them have their icecream on Thursday nights (IF their behavior warrants it)(nothing like dangling icecream in front of a kid...it's quite the incentive).   

Emma's favorite spot to enjoy her icecream seems to be on the steps - right in the middle of everything.  The other night the stars aligned just right - she was on the steps looking cute in her pajamas (and freshly washed hair!) - and the camera was present (because of the Academy Health Fair that was going on during icecream)(just slightly ironic).  Thus, a few pictures for your viewing enjoyment.  She's too cute not to share.  

 Emma's friend, Isabella - aka Izzy! - joined her for a while.

Fun Thursday Night Icecream Facts: 

  • the icecream serving responsibilities rotate among the departments (there are about 35 departments...so you really only get to serve once every 6 months or so...)
  • sometimes the departments "dress up" to serve (in their uniforms or some part of their work garb) or put their own twist on the icecream toppings/accessories). 
  • there are generally 4 flavors to choose from:  vanilla, strawberry, chocolate & coffee
  • chocolate syrup, caramel syrup & sprinkles are offered as toppings
  • the containers that the icecream comes in fit perfectly into the cabinets in the cabins - 2 fit side by side and are perfect for socks, undies, small toys, craft supplies, etc. (we currently don't have any in our cabin...but it's nice to know we could get them if we needed them!!)

Icecream on Thursday nights: just one of the many AFM traditions that help to make this community what it is -- this special...unique...beautiful...challenging...refreshing...rewarding...frustrating...lovely community.  We're glad to be a part of it...and glad to have the chance to enjoy icecream each week! (whether we take the chance or not, it's nice to know we could if we wanted to!)

Maybe sometime we'll take some snapshots of the lines (there are 2 usually very long - but quick moving! - icecream lines) and the fellowship that happens in the cafe and mid-ships as the vast majority of the crew connect over icecream.  It's a delightful picture of the body of Christ coming together over a super sweet treat.  

Surely there will be more to come.

16 April 2015

AFM Signs

Part of living in community means lots of people need to know lots of things -- and in this community, that happens to have a revolving door (meaning lots of new people in and lots of people out, pretty much constantly), one of the main ways to communicate information is through signs.  

There are lots of signs all over the place.  

Here's a random sampling of some favorites: 

Gives you some interesting glimpses into our world, doesn't it?!  Even the salon has rules (though calling them "policies" seems a bit easier to handle).

We love this place...and we appreciate the efforts that are made to keep the peace and to have clear expectations and communication.

Surely there will be more to come.

13 April 2015

12 March * Birthday * Part 2 - on the dock * 13 March

A month and a day ago Eli turned 10! A month ago he had a party - a party that he planned, organized and orchestrated!  His plan:  

"Invite all the boys in the elementary to our cabin after school on Friday at 3:30. We'll let everyone arrive and then we'll go down to the warehouse on the dock at 3:40.  We'll play some games until about 4:00 and then have some snacks.  At 4:15 we'll go to the other end of the dock and play frisbee and some football (soccer for you Americans) and then we'll come back up to the cabin for blueberry muffins - instead of cake - and to open gifts."

And that, our friends, is exactly how it all went down.  The boy knew what he wanted and he made it happen.  

What a cool kid.  Eli Cash is a leader with a kind and compassionate heart.  He cares for justice and is determined for things to be right and fair.  He is smart and generous...considerate and consistent.

He's also fully ten and fully boy and loves bodily noises...and we're working hard to teach him that teasing his sisters isn't ok.

Turning 10 is a pretty big deal on the ship.  Eli can now fix his own food at meals in the dining room and has more freedom to be on his own in various places on the ship.  Please pray for him as he embraces and explores these new responsibilities and  as he continues to become the man God wants him to be.  Pray for him as his character and integrity are shaped and formed.  Pray that he'll be a good friend - and that he will have good friends.  Pray that he will connect with God and learn to hear His voice clearer and louder than any other.

We're so glad Eli is a Cash.  He makes our family better and stronger.

Surely there will be more to come.

12 March * Birthday * Part 1 - on the beach

A month and a day ago Nick turned 35!  Here are some pictures from our dinner on the beach...complete with cherry coke, cupcakes, candles (that weren't very cooperative in staying lit...that wind is tricky!), frisbee throwing, special birthday stick messages and a super special father-son bonding moment at the water's edge. 

Who would have thought Nick would be celebrating his 35th birthday on a beach in Madagascar?

What a joy and privilege to celebrate this man!  Nick loves and serves and gives and leads.  He is thoughtful, generous, smart, talented, wise, temperate, considerate - and a whole host of other things - those are just the words that immediately come to mind.  We are beyond blessed to have him as husband/father/leader of the Cash Crew.

Surely there will be more to come!