Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas with the Eskimos

Ok, so we didn't really spend Christmas with the Eskimos. We actually have been privileged to spend Christmas in Alaska with Josh's whole family! I was able to meet Rachel's husband Todd, and Megaera and Timmy. We were able to re-introduce Ruth to Aunt Rachel, Uncle Aaron and her cousin Sam. Sam tried to teach Shalom how to walk, and believes he taught Ruth to walk backwards!

Ruth and Shalom are doing well up here in the Great White North. Ruth was able to play out in the snow yesterday with her Grandpa (his first day off since Sunday) and her Papa. It took her a bit to like the cold, though. Shalom decided to try out a growth spurt while in Alaska, and due to her tremendous chomping abilities, has everyone convinced that she has teeth coming in! Ruth is also picking up new phrases like "Thank You."
My sweet little baby girl, Shalom, has taken up a new exercise. It seems while we were all asleep, Shalom crept out into the living room, and was practing her new "Marine Crawl." Yes, you heard me, Shalom is scooting across the floor on her belly, elbows and knees. Not only that, Josh is actually ENCOURAGING her to crawl by putting things in front of her to scoot towards!!! With a husband like that who needs enemies!?!?!? (NOTE: For all you worried Mom's out there, Shalom did not actually get out of our room - I was adding that for effect!)
That's about it from The Larson's. Hope your Christmas was a fun one filled with memories of joy with family!
Josh, Rebekah, Ruth and Shalom

Friday, December 14, 2007

Doesn't it bug you?

Doesn't it bug you when people don't update their blogs? I know it bugs me! And I am SO guilty!

So much is happening! Ruth is becoming a talker! The other day, she and I were "talking" and she looked at me and said, "See, Birds." (Bird said like it does when Bambi said it on the Bambi movie.) I looked behind me out the window, and a flock of geese was flying away!

As of this writing, we are beginning a three week vacation in Alaska! Ruth and Shalom did REALLY well flying West! It was hard on Shalom always being held, she REALLY likes her tummy time! She also only falls asleep when laying down, she doesn't like to be held while going to sleep. Ruth would climb under her Papa's seat back to my seat to sit with me. It was kind of cute to see her little face peering at me from the floor!

Anyway, I am hoping to be able to send pictures of Ruth playing in the snow sooner or later!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Larson Update - for those of you without snail mail

Greetings from Pennsylvania! That’s right, I said Pennsylvania – but I will get to that in a minute.

What a super busy year this last year has been! First, we had Ruth on June 15th of 2006, and then sailed to Israel two and a half months later. That was a strange time for the Larson family. At first it was tough, because Josh worked the 12 to 4 watch – which meant he would come home at 4am and go right to bed, and Ruth would wake up two hours later and we would have to leave the room. I would start working (doing the laundry and watching Ruth) at 8am and finish just in time for Josh to go back to work at noon. Basically, we never really saw each other. Upon reaching Israel, we were welcomed with tours of the Holy Land! It was a lot of fun to watch Josh see all that I had seen a few years before when I went to Israel without him. We got to see Jerusalem several times, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and we traveled around Ashdod (where we were docked) quite a few times. On the way home, we stopped to float around the island of Malta for Thanksgiving. The seas were super-calm, yet the writer of this letter (me, Rebekah) was feeling quite seasick – or so I thought. When we stopped by Tenerife, in the Canary Islands we found out on December 10th that Ruth was going to be a big sister! We arrived back in the States on January 2nd.

We did some traveling after the Israel trip. Ruth got to take her first airplane ride, outside of Mama, to meet her Grandpa and Grandma Larson (and their dog, Kelly). She also met her Uncle Aaron, Aunt Rachel and her cousin Sam. I got to take my first-ever ride on a snow machine (a super-slow one, just for me!) with Josh. Ruth had her first experience in a bathtub, AND a hot tub…we were amazed at how buoyant her diaper became! From Alaska, we then flew to Ohio to meet Big Papa, Grammy, Great-Grama Taylor, Great-Grama Carr and Great-Grampa Carr. We also took a side trip to Pennsylvania and met Uncle Chris, Aunt Allison and her cousin Matthew – and don’t forget, Captain!

After those three weeks of travel and meeting new people, we went back to the “humdrum” of everyday life. Mama started working cleaning the office at Friend Ships everyday for two hours. Papa (Josh) started the fun job of making things with his welder and rebuilding some machinery. He then transferred to the Mechanic Shop.

In June, Ruth turned one. She didn’t even notice! Then, about a month later, Mama went to the hospital and at 1:35 in the morning, on the 17th of July, after 3 hours of intense work, she delivered Shalom Elkanah. We came home on the afternoon of the 18th.

While all of this had been taking place, there was something happening behind the scenes. Mama made a friend on a forum that she frequents called This friend told her about the ministry that she and her husband worked for called Christian Missionary Technical Services. When Mama told Papa about CMTS, neither really thought anything of it, until a couple days later when God told Papa we would be moving to Pennsylvania, and we would be leaving on the 11th of August! By the way, all of this took place in six (6) weeks. God was amazing. When Josh and I were talking about moving to PA, someone decided that they would lump all of their support for us into one payment…just when we were wondering how we would rent a vehicle. By the way, no one really knew we were even considering a move. Guess what, you can’t rent a vehicle without a credit card. Guess who happened to have a credit card sitting around, and decided to add us to their account? Mom and Dad Larson! Therefore we were able to rent a vehicle, and Josh packed almost ALL of our stuff into a Trailblazer!!!! Do you know how pathetic it sounds when two missionaries who own nothing keep telling each other they need to downsize?!?!?

So that is the story. Josh, Rebekah, Ruth and Shalom have begun life in Pennsylvania as of August 15th. At first we lived in a 3rd floor apartment, but within a month moved to a mobile home (that’s right, we are in a REAL house for the first time as a family!).

Just a quick preview of what CMTS does (I will write more on this later). First, they work on cars for missionaries to use when they come home on furlough. They also have a trade school in Mexico that does roughly the same thing, and they would like to start another school in Belize and one in Liberia too. They go on missions trips twice a year to Mexico to work on the property down there (around Thanksgiving and the week before Easter). CMTS also gives their services to missionaries who wish to send containers overseas, they serve as a place to collect stuff from and bring stuff to, and the staff will pack the container for free. This is what I know so far, since I get to be a STAY-AT-HOME MAMA (yes, that would be God’s answer to a dream of mine!) I don’t get to know the ministry as well as Josh. So I will get him to explain more in the next letter!


Josh, Rebekah, Ruth and Shalom

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Kids...They Love Each Other!

Ruth and Shalom. They are such wonderful gifts, I don't know what else to say. Ruth is starting to do more around the house. This past week, she helped me by putting her clothes away...yes, she actually took her clothes, walked them down the hall, and put the close hamper ...and THEN put them in their box! Did I mention that Ruth is becoming quite the character too? She likes to tease Josh, and tickle him. She has this look in her eye when she is playing with you - you know she wants you to chase her!

Just thought I would share my kids.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Papa's Day Off

Josh takes Wednesdays off. This usually happens the day after or the day before his long work day. This past Wednesday, we stayed home and did nothing - except to make cookies. They were the kind Josh can eat - and experiment really - cornmeal chocolate chip. Interesting taste. The texture wasn't bad, actually. Josh has found that if he super heat the water he softens the cornmeal in, he can do anything with it! The other day, he made muffins (Wednesday, to be exact) and they turned out really good and fluffy too, you can't get stuff like that from just any old cook. It takes a genius like Josh to figure this stuff out. Can you tell I like to brag on my man?
I love him dearly...He may call us his God-sent girls, but he is MY God-Sent Hero!

From a Woman in LOVE with her Husband!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blue Moons DO Happen

Also, I can count on my right hand how many times I have seen Josh wear a button down shirt - that wasn't a flannel. One was in May of 2004 at my cousins wedding, the second was on April 16, 2005 when we got married. The third took place this weekend. Some staff members of CMTS got married, and Josh worked as a server, and HAD to wear a button down shirt. I HAD to document it, because it rarely happens...on three times since I have known Josh to be exact. So I am sharing it with all of you.

Our window project

The first two pictures are our window project. The lower shelf part will hold all sorts of herbs, and we will be putting bean plants and squash on the trellis.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My kid is SO cute!!!

Here is a cute story from yesterday - Josh's day off. Josh went looking for Ruth yesterday. When he walked down the hall calling her name, she came out of the bathroom with the toilet bowl brush. When he went into the bathroom, he found water all over the floor, her little potty seat with water in it, and wet toilet paper in Ruth's hand and on the big toilet seat...she had apparently decided her toilet needed cleaned out!

Since Ruth was born, she has shared a room with Josh and me, where else could we put her in our RV?!?!? So, because of all the moving did, we have been hesitant to put her in her new room. However last night, Ruth spent her first night in her own room, alone - and she slept for TWELVE hours!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October Skies

Do you know how long it has been since I have experienced Fall? FIVE YEARS! Is that amazing, or what?!?!?!

My girls are
growing SO fast! Shalom is tipping the scales at 11 lbs! That just amazes me like crazy. To think last year at this time, Ruth was being put on formula because she wasn't gaining weight, and this year, Shalom is growing so very fast! God is SO good to me!

Josh and I are doing well too. Josh is building a garden INSIDE our home! We have this GIGANTIC window, that is perfect for putting a little garden in for the winter. On Sunday, Josh built the planter (out of a REALLY old, weatherworn ladder, and some old trellis), and soon we will be finishing it off and filling it with dirt. Josh wants to grow different kinds of lettuce, along with some garlic, lavender, oregano, basil, dill, savory, and some beans. I will add pictures to my blog ( as soon as I can.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, here we are. This is my home. Not in the best of shape yet, but shaping up quite nicely!

Our home is a mobile home, with an addition on the front (a sewing room - not pictured) and and Arctic Entry/Mud Room on the back. I was telling a friend about our home and I realized that the RY we lived in in Lake Charles was as long as the kitchen and living room...but half as wide! AMAZING!!!

Love the Larsons

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Together at Last

For the first time in four years, the Taylor daughters got together. It was different this time, though. SO many things have you can see by the picture of Grammy and Papa holding the little ones.

So much has changed! Allison and Chris have a two year old named Matthew. I got married, and had two kids. Joanna is figuring out what to do with her military carrier. Joe is in junior high - it seems like yesterday I was changing his diaper!!!

Ruth is developing more character, even since this weekend. She is emphasizing her "sss" when she tries to say yes, her "ppp" for when she wants up is more pronounced. She is doing very good with Shalom! The other day, while Shalom was eating, Ruth came over to me, and put her hand on Shalom and kept kissing her head over and over. SO CUTE!

Shalom weighs 10 lbs! She also is getting quite long. She fits VERY WELL in 6 to 9 month onsies! Scary, huh?

Josh and I are doing well here in PA. I am experiencing the highs and lows of being a stay-at-home Mama, and the juggle of housework vs. babies vs. time to myself to keep sane! Boy, do I appreciate having a friend here with two kids who knows what I am going through, who also appreciates having an adult to talk to! Josh is in charge of the ministry vehicles (the ones used around the property for work, and the ones that go to pick up more cars). Josh likes to tell people that it feels like we took a 20-hr road trip, and ended up back at FS - as far as the work goes!

The weather here is beautiful! Not Louisiana hot, nor Louisiana humid. It does get quite warm and humid, but nothing like Louisiana!

I shall go now, it had been a while and I wanted to let you know what was up with the Larsons.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Apple Sauce and Friends

Well, we are here - here is Bernville, PA. We are getting settled, and marveling at what God has done for us. God is amazing, and the way He takes care of us is absolutely MINDBOGGLING! We arrived safely. The girls traveled beautifully! Josh fit all of our necessary stuff into a Trail Blazer, and our extras (bottom wipes, etc.) - well let me start over.

The weekend before we left, former FS crew members, Matt Craven and Sara Stoner came down for the week. Well, they both live in Virginia, and Sara's family lives in Harrisburg, PA. They kindly offered to bring up our unnecessary things when she comes to PA for one of her family visits. So, we barely left anything behind in Louisiana!

OK, this is a picture from Saturday. Licia (the woman who introduced us to CMTS) and I had talked about making apple sauce. Saturday after lunch, all of the Larsons went to the Bajus (Bay-jus) home and the kids (except Shalom, of course) and our dear husbands went to pick the apples. They came home and we started cutting up apples at 3:30pm. We finished everything by 8:30pm, and have 40 quarts of apple sauce to split this winter! The kids are posing with the equipment... There is Ruth in the background, with Abigail and Phineas.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Letter from Josh

Dear Friends,

This is the letter we just sent out to everyone. We, the Larson Family, after many years at Friend Ships (4 for Josh, 5 for Rebekah) and moving on to another ministry.


Well Friends and Family,

I'm sitting here tonight (Mon the 6th) and I am just in awe of how good God is, and how trustable and true He is! I remember when Rebekah and I were waiting to get married and how He set the date and supplied all that we needed. And I remember trying to get ready for the trip to Israel, and how He made all the supplies and paper work for us Larsons (x3) just come together at just the right time.

Well, six weeks ago, He told me that we were going to a ministry in Pennsylvania and that we were leaving on August 11th. I only told my wife at first, partially because it seems an odd thing to tell people that you are going somewhere when that somewhere doesn't know you even exist... The other reason was so we could watch how God pulled it all together.

The eleventh is this Saturday, Wow, what a trip these last 6 weeks have been. It's been fun and it has been QUITE a trip! Over half the funds that we guestimated that we would need came in from people that didn't know we were going somewhere, and it all came from unexpected sources!!! Wow, what a trip it has been these last six weeks!

It has been a privilege and a pleasure watching God pull something that seemed impossible together with time to spare! Wow - and - WOW! I must say thank you to those of you that God used to make this move possible. You were just in time, even though you know nothing about us going anywhere. Thank you. And to all of you that think of us Larson's on occasion, thanks for your prayers and support of us as we strive to serve our God and Faithful Master.

I feel so loved right now. I truly don't know why God would care so much about me. I just don't understand it. He is definitely worth serving!

We Larsons thank you for your prayers as we move to a new home and a new set of circumstances, Yes, God does know what He is doing and He knows best. Amen.

I don't know much (yet) about CMTS (Christian Missionary Technical Services). Basically, they have a fleet of cars that they keep up and insured that they rent out at a low cost to missionaries that come home on furlough. We will tell you more as we find out.

Josh (and my three God-sent girls)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home from the Hospital

well friends we got back to our humble little home yesterday afternoon, Wednesday.
Its hard to know what to write, I feel so loved. I was standing by our bed in the RV and my three girls were asleep, all laying next to each other. It was so precious and I thought, God sure does love me a lot. not only has he given me a job and a way to serve him and say thanks for loving and saving me, but he has given me three beautiful girls to love and take care of.
I just want to say thanks to all of you that have been praying for us. Rebekah is doing very well. Shalom is doing good also. the labor was a breeze compared to when we had Ruth. I think there was only two hours or less of intense labor. God is good!
I was holding Shalom in my lap last night and she spit out her pasi, Ruth our little helper, was standing right beside me, so I said "quick Ruth pick it up and put it back in" and she picked it up and tried to force feed Shalom the handle side of her pasi. After a few pointers from me, dad, and a few more rounds of Shalom spitting it out, we were all smiling and having fun. No Ruth still thought that the pasi went in handle first, but we were having fun!
so I think that we all are adjusting to Shalom's arrival. now we just have to get Shalom on the same sleeping schedule as the rest of the family.

thank you all for your prayers and your loving support of us while we are here serving God. I wouldn't trade this kind of work and life for anything. God is so good to us his servants.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sorry for the late update

I meant to respond last week, however, our computer and internet would not let me download any pictures.

No, we did not have the Baby by induction, in fact, it seems quite content to stay snuggled in my pelvic area, occasionally poking my bladder and making me dash for the toilet - I sight, I can assure you!

When we went back to see the doctor on Thursday, he said that the only reason he saw to induce me was that he would not be coming in to the hospital this weekend to deliver, so I would not be able to have a water birth as no other doctor will do them. Well, we didn't go into labor this weekend, so the Baby must have taken that "threat" seriously!

Anyway, on to more waiting!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Attitude on a Shoe?

What do you think? You can ALMOST see the little curl in the middle of her forehead, can't you?!

Well, we had our ob/gyn appointment on Monday. Due to a decrease in movement, Dr. Stelly suggested inducing on Tuesday morning. Josh and I decided that since the Baby was not stressed out (we took a non-stress test), that we would hold off on an induction. However, we do have to go see Dr. Stelly tomorrow.

Here is where you all come in. I would love to have been in the hospital having the baby Monday night which, coincidently, was when I was awake for three hours counting to see how long my cramps/contractions would last. Unfortunately (for me, anyway) they were only four minutes apart - a good thing - BUT only 30 seconds long - not long enough to go to the hospital.

So, here is the deal. I am asking you all to pray for the Larsons. We need wisdom. I don't think the baby is stressed should have seen it in action when my tummy was contracting the other night! No stress there, although I don't think the Baby enjoyed it too much. However, this Mama really would like to have her Baby in her arms! On Monday, we were 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced (after another three hour bout of cramping last Saturday). Please pray that Josh and I will know what to do if Dr. Stelly brings up induction again.

The nice thing is, Dr. Stelly is pretty certain that he should only have to break my water to get things going. Josh and I would REALLY like to stay away from Pitocin if at all possible.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Nope, Not Yet

Hello All,

As you can see, I did not post on Monday. And no, I did not have the Baby.

I went to the ob/gyn on Monday, and we found out some good news, and some not-so-good news. The good news is, the Baby is in position. The bad news is, the Baby is face up, which could mean back labor - if it doesn't flip! Thankfully, I have read up on this stuff and have a fairly good idea of how to deal with it...if my mind would only continue to function while in labor. When I get into intense situations, I tend to check my brain at the door - so could you all pray for me in that aspect?

Out of the blue, I have somehow contracted laryngitis. Don't ask me how! This is the first time in all of my remembrances that I have gotten sick without it involving my sinus'. I feel great, I just feel like there is a pile of crud in my lungs, and have a sore throat. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Thanks for checking up on us!


Monday, June 25, 2007

Three Weeks Left!

I know I am not looking at the camera, but this picture looks best of the two Josh took on Sunday morning.

Are you ready for what I am about to tell you? Probably not, but I will tell you anyway...I am 3 cm dilated! No, I will not be going into labor early - the Baby is still pretty high yet. Dr. Stelly said that the best way to tell when you will go into labor, is by when you went last time. So, Larson #2 will probably show up around the 18th...if Ruth is any indication as to when the baby will come, because she came two days "late."

Just thought I would let you all know!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Well Babies and a Pregnant Mommy

Ruth is getting SO big! While she is not yet 20 lbs, so is so close it isn't funny. Ruth weighs 19lbs 6oz. and she is 28 1\2 in. long! She is amazing! Three months ago, she weighed 17 lbs. 7 oz - so I WAS right, she HAS gained weight!

I, on the other hand, HAVE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can't tell, I am VERY happy with this!

Josh came with us to Ruth's Well Baby visit, and was amazed at how small all the other babies were! It IS a shocker to think that very soon, we will have a tiny baby that will seem weightless compared to Ruth! Life and God - mostly God - are truly amazing, don't you agree?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

FOUR Weeks Left

So...tomorrow morning we go to see my doctor...and then we take Ruth to the other side of the building for her one-year Well Baby visit and her one-year shots. I can't wait to tell you all how big she is! Josh and I have noticed - within the last day or so - that she has gotten taller. For instance, this evening, she climbed up onto a 5 gal. bucket - couldn't do that last Sunday. When she sits in different seats in the house - such as her potty seat - her feet touch the floor, whereas they didn't a couple days ago!

I will definitely write more tomorrow after the appointments. Right now there isn't a whole lot to say except that, I never knew I could love two people like I love Josh and Ruth...and now I get to learn even more about love, because of our new baby!

By the way, there is a woman here at Friend Ships who likes to go out into the community and tell people about Jesus. She makes those bracelets with all those colors on it that stand for something in her "sermons" to people. Anyway, she likes to hand out Bibles if she can - and she has been praying that Friend Ships would be given Bibles. Well today, Josh and I were given 11 CASES of Bibles to give to the warehouse. Just another way to show you how God provides for Friend Ships!

Friday, June 15, 2007

One Year Old!

Ruth is a year old today! I can't believe a year has gone by...
Was it really only a year ago that I didn't have her in my life? My, how boring my life was!

My brain has frozen with lack of sleep. Thank you all who love my daughter! She is very dear to us!

Josh, Rebekah and Ruth

Monday, June 11, 2007

Five Weeks Left!

So, obviously this is not a belly shot. Our camera ran out of battery juice... Oh well, I doubt things have changed much since last week.

I am sure I told most of you that Ruth can climb/slide off of our bed now. And I was so happy, because at least she didn't know how to climb up into our bed. Well, things have changed.

Picture this: A beautiful Sunday afternoon, everyone more than ready for a nap. I am laying on my right side - the only comfortable place for a huge pregnant woman like me to sleep. I open my eyes, and there grinning at me - much like the grin in this picture - is my Baby Girl...who isn't supposed to be able to reach this high. No, she did not spring up in height in just an hour...SHE CLIMBED UP THE SIDE OF THE BED!!!!! AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!

This child loves to learn and explore her boundaries. The SCARY thing is - SHE HAS NO FEAR! What do you do with a child who has no fear?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

End of Israel Trip to Now

Ruth and her hard hat
Ruth standing up...
Ruth Cooling her jaw while teething - we made the most of it!
Ruth, helping Daddy and learning about dirt (she eats dirt, and then has the nerve to be picky sometimes!)

Lady in Red.

Ruth's Firsts

Ruth's first hairdo
Ruth, Josh and I in front of the Sea of Galilee
Mama, why is it so QUIET on the ship?
The Newest Member of the Israeli Defense Forces!

Ruth: A Year in Pictures

Ruth STILL makes this face when she gets mad!

During Disaster Relief Training
This stuff is TOO intense for ME!

See, Grandma Larson and Grammy, I will be safe on the ship!
I even have Mama to suck my other thumb for comfort (Who is comforting who??!?!?!)


I woke up this morning, and I looked at our alarm clock (it has the date on it). June 5, 2007

Do you realize - probably not, what a scary thing for you to have been in my brain - that last year at this time, I was dreading each new day? I wasn't scared of going in to labor with Ruth, I was getting tired of being pregnant, but that isn't why I hated getting up in the morning. And it wasn't because I had to have Josh push me out of bed, either. I dreaded getting out of bed, because I would hear a chorus of "Are you still here?" "Haven't you had that baby yet?"

Ruth will be a year old in 10 days, people TEN DAYS! My little tiny baby that I carried for 9 whole months, isn't a baby anymore! This is my Ruthie-Bear and me just hours after she was born...SIGH! Where does the time go?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Six Weeks!

Six weeks and counting!

By the way, Ruth can say her own name!!!! When our screen saver is on, it flashes through pictures of Ruth. At first she would just get excited and grunt while pointing at the screen. then she would point to the screen, and when asked who the Baby was, she would pat her tummy. Recently she has started pointing at the screen, and when asked who the baby is, she will say, "Bruth!" Ruth is getting better at toddling around! She does prefer to crawl if she wants to get somewhere fast, but she is definitely gaining confidence while walking.

Josh, Ruth and I will be going to the doctor tomorrow - I am going every two weeks now. Soon we will "graduate" to going every week. It would be nice if our visit tomorrow were more than a measure your belly and leave kind of thing. The nice thing is, Josh has the day off tomorrow, so it won't seem like such a waste of time!