Tag Archive: adventure


Birthday Birth

Just two days short of 39, I have yet again had an adventure for the ages.

It was a hair past 4 am today when my bladder became impatient and decided it was time to be awake.  In a blurred state of consciousness, I stumbled to the bathroom.  Along the way, the right side of my stomach complained a bit, and I thought to myself that maybe I had slept on it wrong.

I finished my duty and worked my way back to the bedroom, when to my surprise I suddenly felt the urge to bow to the porcelin god.  Hurriedly I dashed back to the bathroom.  Along the way my right side decided it needed to join the party.  Like a sci-fi horror film where the hero gets slashed in the side by a knife, the pain came.

I quickly fell to the floor and rolled up in a fetal position writhing in utter dispair.  The torment of torture lurked on for what seemed like hours but turned out to be only a mear few minutes as I slowly crawled back to the bedroom to alert my wife of the doom that was before me.

In slumber my loving wife along with my kind mother escourted my wounded soul to the car for transport to the emergency care unit.  As we pulled out I could feel every bump and tiny pebble that could possibly be in our pathway.  My kidney was screaming at me like an overweight gym teacher blowing a whistle at the kids in gym class and coaching them to move faster and quit being lazy.

We arrived at the ER and the medical team went through the motions of detecting and confirming what was going on.  They eventually found within themselves some reasoning to end the suffering and pumped me full of feel goods.

The results came back that I had thankfully been through the worst part of passing a kidney stone.  The rest will come ans this will all be over soon, but with a lot less drama…hopefully.

Oh, boy!?

Little known fact of the Oswald family blog…there are actually two of us who can write our posts, but one of us has never been brave enough to do so until now. : )

It’s been crazy busy around here until today. Today started our first official set of “days off”. It’s weird. I’ve gotten so used to having noise and plenty to do that I wasn’t sure how to handle an almost empty house and no extra kids. What do you do when you’re so accustomed to always doing something? Don’t get me wrong. I can always clean the house…again. And it’s not like there aren’t still some items to be put away from our move that have not yet found a home (i.e. paperwork and binders galore from training, plus mail and the like, and pictures that still need hung somewhere). I guess what I really mean is what do I do when nothing is expected of me for 4 full days? I have no outside responsibilities for a few days in a row. What I will do for sure is enjoy the break that allows for our core family bonding time.

Brian wrote about our first group of kids that stayed with us. We had our second group leave on Saturday night. It was another group of girls, smaller this time with only 3. We got to enjoy Spiritual Emphasis Week with them, which I found to be quite refreshing and enjoyable. It was neat to watch how they responded to what God had to say to them during this time. One of the girls loves to cook so it was fun to watch her enjoy the kitchen while she was here. One thing I know for sure after our first two groups of girls have come to stay with us. Girls can eat way more than I expected! Future note to self: Keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand when having girls in the home.

On a final note, we had the great opportunity this past week to learn about the first child we may have come into our home. Should nothing change between now and mid-June, we will have a new little boy to welcome into our family. Michael is super excited about the idea of no longer being the only boy in the house. Michele is anticipating the idea of having her “own” bathroom for a little while until more kids come to live with us, as she will be the only girl in the girls’ hallway briefly and no longer sharing with her brother once the little boy moves in. Brian and I are looking forward to becoming one of the full houses on campus.

Actually, one more final thought. Prayer requests to be exact. We put our old house on the market at the end of last week. Please be in prayer agreement with us that it sells quickly, rather ASAP kind of quickly. Please be in prayer for our family as we get ready to welcome our newest member. Also keep praying for us as we continue our respite duties for a few more weeks.

I know I’m not as entertaining a writer as Brian, but I do enjoy sharing my thoughts when possible. Thanks for keeping up with our family as we continue to live out God’s great adventure!

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I’ve always wanted to ride in a bobsled. 90 mph with a primitive braking system? Oh yeah. Then there is the skeleton. Suicide on a sled. Might give that a try. Go ahead and call the ambulance for me though. The last time I rode a sled on ice, I found out how secure the fence was in the ground.

The few weeks the Olympics are playing really do a lot, at least briefly, to unite our country and slow us down a bit. I think it is cool when we get to share the emotion and pride as the national anthem plays and medals are received. We are at the midpoint and it looks like our team will return with lots of accomplishments…personal bests…and no regrets.

On the home front our family has not been in any Olympic competition, but we certainly have been in a marathon of sorts. With one visit left we feel we are extremely close to confirming a decision as to where we will get the honor to serve kids in a houseparent capacity. This probability is hitting home as we mentally prepare for the tasks we must get done before any such move occurs. We will have no regrets and look forward to marking our progress and future adventures on this blog.

If you’re following along, please let us know. This medium will likely be the best source of “What’s going on with the Oswald’s?” that is available. Save the link. Follow the blog. And most of all, continue to pray for favor in our meetings and for clarity of direction in our decisions, especially in the next few weeks.

One last thing, where can I find a bobsled? I feel the need for speed.

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So hopefully you have been following the adventures of a great friend of mine, Brian Hunter, as he travels by foot across the entire country of Mongolia. Well, I have a great update that came recently from his wife, Lissa.

“7 running days left!! 240 miles to go…the finish line is almost in sight! Brian is amazing…not a single injury…3 blisters, that’s it! He’s doing 33 miles a day and finishing faster and faster every day. God’s provision is incredible! Frost covered our tent this morning. My coffee from the night before was frozen in my cup at breakfast! Snow forecasted for the next couple of days! Thank you for your prayers!! Please pray us to the finish line and back home! Thank you!”

That’s right, folks. Of the 1500 mile journey, only a fraction remains. This guy is tough as nails, and if I know him well enough, he will probably want to push the last few days further than he has the last several weeks. I have never heard him back away from a physical challenge. The creator of the universe is by his side. He will prevail in this expedition!

Join with me at strongtothefinish.com and acrossmongolia.com and cheer him on. While you’re there, consider contributing to the cause he is running for. Chant with me now….STRONG TO THE FINISH! STRONG TO THE FINISH! STRONG TO THE FINISH!!!!

Dangerous Terrain

I was invited to assist on a feature film a while back that involved carrying audio equipment on a nature trail that led up to a bluff. My feet are pretty steady when the ground gets uneven or a little climbing is needed. However, with the equipment in hand, it made the half mile walk to our scene a little more of a challenge. We arrived at our spot, and I stood on the hillside, limestone everywhere, and quickly surveyed the area for a good place to set up. Suddenly, without warning, I found myself laying on my back on the hill. The rocks had slipped underneath my feet. Good news!…only a few scratches and the equipment was just fine.

Fast forward to today.

At the time, the rocks were for real. Little did I know that in the month that followed, life would turn into an opportunity to virtually navigate some tough terrain. I can’t reveal all of the information, but rest assured, things have been very adventurous in our household over the past month or so.

Some important decisons will likely be made for our family in the coming days, weeks, and months. These decisions will impact life locally, nationally, and likely the world. More specifically, we will get the opportunity to directly effect the course of the next generation. We don’t know what that looks like yet, or where it will be…and the terrain will not be smooth. It will likely have steep cliffs and slippery slopes. But God has us on this journey. He will guide our footsteps and guide us in the proper direction.

If you don’t mind, please say a prayer for us as we continue to embark on this journey.

Dull moments are rare in the Oswald house. We take time to laugh a lot and take adventures with dolls, army men, and other various toys often. This adventure was no exception. Let me set the stage a bit. 1. Star Wars and all of it’s movies have played, yet Mike has not seen one of them. 2. Also, the VMAs just happened, and Miley did her thing. None of us saw it, but the news gave us enough information. 3. Mike and Chele watch YouTube videos under our supervision when they get an allotment of time for the computer. 4. Our family has had discussions on what we need to fill our minds with and to guard our eyes and heart from things that God would not approve (YouYube, music, etc). Okay, here we go.

Michael recently had a birthday and has been trying to decide what he wanted to do with some cash that was gifted to him. We have been teaching the principle of tithing, spending, and saving a little at a time and he decided some time ago that he wanted to save for a larger Lego set. 2 actually…and they were both Star Wars.

When he discovered he had the right amount of cash, we ventured to the store to collect the items he had been saving for. The girls had gone out to do the grocery shopping, so Mike and I were left to building the new sets. Okay, mostly me while Mike made R2-D2 noises and gave C3-PO a gun…Who would have thought C3-PO would hold Storm Troopers hostage? By the way, he hasn’t seen the movie yet…Only played the Wii game.

As I put together the chosen aircraft, I watched as Mike wandered over to the second Lego box that contained Anakin Skywalker, on the volcano planet just before his expected turn to the dark side. Enter Michael…I’ll simplify a his logic and our conversation a bit, but you’ll get the point.

Mike: Is Anakin Skywalker a good guy or a bad guy? He has the same last name as Luke! If Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader, why doesn’t he have his mask?…etc, etc, etc…(all great observation questions)
Me: Well, Mike. Anakin Skywalker was a good guy and made a personal choice to watch YouTube videos that were not good for him to watch. That caused his heart to harden and he gave in to the dark side.

We left it at that. An easy principle for an 8 year old to understand. That was Monday.

Tuesday, Mike is role playing with his Star Wars Legos and I hear him exclaim “Luke’s father decided to watch bad YouTube videos…and now he’s Darth Vader…”

It stuck! It’s a proud day when your child gets it. It’s a bonus that I got to do it using Star Wars, Legos, and YouTube. The methodology and delivery may be a bit different, but the principle is solid. I love it when God allows me to use creativity to advance my kids!

What creative ways have you been able to teach a life principle?

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As you know, we have made you aware of a few global events going on. Both are related, since their goal is to change the course of the next generation in the countries of Ghana and Mongolia…and I’m pleased to say…there has been great progress in both camps!

Let’s take a quick look:

The normal life-cycle for ladies in Ghana is awful, working the streets just to survive…and then birthing children only to see the cycle begin all over again. But not anymore! The Pearl House officially opened its doors to girls! 21 to be exact! None of them have ever slept in a bed. They are getting great education. They have clean clothes. They have 3 balanced meals a day. And best of all have house moms to provide emotional support. To learn more about what is going on and how you can help, check out their webpage at www.thepearlhouse.org.

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On the continent of Asia, another battle is being won one step at a time. The benefactors are the orphans of Mongolia. The Across Mongolia Expedition is continuing as we speak. To date, Brian Hunter has run 677 of 1500 miles. It has been extremely rainy and cold over the past week, but the family and Brian are strong. Of course, that’s the way they roll…Strong to the Finish. To track Brian’s progress and to see how you can help, venture on over to www.acrossmongolia.com.

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Spontanious Itch

The summer has been packed with activities since the school year closed and the freedom season began.  We took a trip to Miami to see my bother graduate college which included up-close encounters with wild beasts, paddle boarding, and a few first time flyers.  Outside of major adventures, the kids spend most every day outdoors enjoying the company of the many neighborhood kids.  Quite often, our front lawn is filled with a baseball team full of imaginative and creative fun-sized individuals who always welcome the random spray of the hose.  As far as I know, our area of the city is fairly safe from a lot of hazards and we keep a close eye on all the kids.  As a matter of fact, Amber has taken the role of neighborhood nurse.  At last count, we ran out of bandages so we’ll be restocking soon.

Last week, turned out to be the most adventurous non-planned week of the summer.  Mike came home with a few pockets of red bumps on his arms and legs.  We treated them with some itch cream and monitored it.  To our surprise the next day…the spots had spread…Time to go to the doctor.  We went through the typical waiting room routine, watching the clock tick past the predetermined time to be seen.  Within a few minutes, we had the verdict….poison ivy.

After some questioning, we found that Mike’s buddy down the road had a rash as well.  Somewhere in the confines of our neighborhood clan there was a patch of poisonous green that needed dealt with.  Unfortunately, we haven’t found out where it is yet.

A few pills and some essential oils later, the kid is back to normal.  Thankfully, he was cleared to go to church camp by the doctor.  Which leads us to the next adventure I’ll write about….tomorrow.