Monday, June 30, 2008

The Latest

Friday, June 20, 2008

More Julia Pics and Some News

The beautiful pink dress in some of the following pics was a gift from the Lanning family back in Grand Rapids. It is one of our, and Julia's, favorite outfits. We had a bit of a fashion show. Sadly Daddy's photography skills did not prove the best; these pics are the best we got.

Big Yawn

Here she is all wrapped up for bed.

Mommy and little one about to go off on a walk in the Tasmanian winter.

Bath time. She is already as long as the bath!

Here is the bit of news. Martha and Julia had their medical checks a couple of days ago. The appointments went well, the doctor's forms for immigration were sent out the next day, but there was one complication. The doctor that examined Martha for immigration detected a very slight heart murmur. He said that it was very slight, probably nothing to worry about, is very common in pregnant women and those who had just given birth, and that though it was likely not a problem he still needed to note it on the form.

So right after the appointment with the doctor for immigration we scheduled an appointment with our own general practitioner. She examined Martha but did not detect the heart murmur, but she graciously recommended us to a cardiologist anyway. Why go to the cardiologist if our own doctor couldn't find anything? Just in case immigration wants further information to approve her immigration. Lord willing the appointment with the cardiologist will be the second week in July.

One other bit of news. Australian immigration has requested more information from us. They want proof that we indeed are married and have been and are living together in Tassie. This will be the third time they have asked for such evidence. No worries, though; we'll bury them in wedding photos, bills, and letters from friends and family all over the world if we need to.

Sad to say though, it seems likely that Martha will not be heading back to the US for her Father's installation as the pastor of the HRC of Yellville, Arkansas ( and their following family vacation.

That's the latest.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Quick Trip to Melbourne
(pronounced "Mel-bunn" here in Oz)

Last week, we took a trip to Melbourne at the last minute. We had a chance to get a last-minute appointment with the US Embassy. Below are a few pics of the boat ride we took across the Bass Strait to Melbourne.

The Bass Strait is the section of water separating Tassie from the larger island to the north (otherwise known as "the mainland"). The strait is 149 miles (240 km) wide and takes about 12 hours to cross. For comparison's sake for the Michigan folk, Lake Michigan is 118 miles (190 km) wide and 307 miles (494 km) long.

Thankfully, while in Melbourne, we lodged all the paperwork for Julia's passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and Social Security Number. Today her passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad arrived in the mail.

Below are a few pics from the trip over to Melbourne. We should have taken more pics, but we were a bit busy and we were more worried about government paperwork than pics.

Here we are standing in line to get on the ship to take us across to Melbourne. The ship is called The Spirit of Tasmania I. She is a large ship and many people take their cars across for a reasonable fee. It sure beats a car rental.

Above are a few scans of the diagram and layout of the ship.

Because we had a baby, we had to get a cabin in the ship. The cabins are much more expensive than one of the comfy recliners you can book, but the price for last-minute airfare made getting the cabin comparable in price.

This is the highest point of the ship. Too bad you cannot see the smoke stacks from the pic here.

The Australian flag flown proudly from the ship.

Here we are after a night on the ship waiting to drive our car off the ship and into Melbourne.

Bye bye Spirit I. We were back to the Spirit I later that day for the return trip to Tassie. Most of the folk we came across couldn't believe we took such a trip for just one day but it was the only day to do it without having to wait a few more weeks. Why not wait? Well, Lord willing, Martha and Julia will be heading back to the US in July if possible (thus the hurry), but we are still waiting for a bit more paperwork on the Australian side for Martha and Julia's Permanent Residence Immigration Status to be granted.

While we were in Melbourne, we found something Martha has been missing for a while: a waffle maker! All the stores and shops in Tassie only had little electric waffle makers that made little dessert waffles. Melbourne turned out to be the same. It seems Australians eat waffles as a dessert, not a meal first thing in the morning. After asking around a little, someone at one of the stores directed us to a special cookery and cuisine shop. The shop had all kinds of things, much of it for restaurants, which included a waffle maker imported from the US.

The Spirit I arrived back in Tassie the next day. We stopped at one of the three Mexican restaurants on the island (of which only two are really Mexican) and had a nice meal. Mexican here is a bit pricey though, like a kind of gourmet or novelty thing. At the restaurant, I saw a culinary helper from my past: Dave's Insanity Sauce. Dave's is one of the hottest sauces on the planet. One drop in a large bowl of chili will really spice up your bowl. It is good to have my Dave's back, but I will have to use it sparingly and certainly not on the Oz palates of my friends.

Please continue to remember Martha and Julia's immigration paperwork in your prayers. By the grace of the Lord things have been moving along very well, but timing is tight. We are hoping Martha and Julia can visit her family in New Jersey, drive with them to Arkansas as they move there, and spend some time with them vacationing in Arkansas before her father takes up the work of the ministry there. After a bit of family vacation, she and Julia would head North to Michigan for a visit with my family and then East to visit the Lipsy siblings not moving to Arkansas as well as some friends and relatives in New Jersey.

Please pray the Lord would keep things moving and make a way for Martha and Julia to head to the US for family visits.

Thank you all very much.

Love through Christ,