30 April 2011

snapshots [april 2011]

April 2011

29 April 2011

conquering the mekong

we now interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you a tale of an adventure.

four men on a quest to conquer the mekong river in a homemade bamboo raft.

[the video is a bit long, but really, what adventure isn't a bit long in the end?]

28 April 2011

Cooking Up Justice

We don't work directly with World Vision here in Cambodia, but I thought this video was inspiring, with good shots of both Phnom Penh and the rural areas to give you a picture of Cambodian life.

24 April 2011

(re) reminded [easter 2011]

happy easter
[happy picture for a serious post]

this year easter really snuck up on me. i didn't engage fully in the preparation period of lent & woke up feeling (almost) too tired to even go to the easter morning service (our house church usually meets in the evenings & an early riser, i am not). but in the end, i am so thankful we chose to go.

although our little family is doing well personally, the past few weeks have been really hard for our communities at work, with friends here in cambodia & with loved one scattered around the globe. our spirits have been feeling heavy & heartbroken.

& so, while going to church didn't change any of the broken situations surrounding us, & i was so thankful to be (re) reminded that

this, is not the end.

all of it, & all of us are being redeemed. redeemed by the same Spirit that raised Christ, that brings life to the dead.

 the tomb was, & forever will be, empty.

& that is actually the only things that offers Solace & Hope in this broken, beautiful, & pain-filled world.

He is Risen, indeed!

20 April 2011

dancing cedar [3 months]

baby cedar on his 3-month birthday

dancing cedar

people have said that at three months a baby's personality becomes more apparent.

well....little cedar remains largely a mystery to us, but here is what we do know about the little guy.

he likes riding in tuk tuks, sitting in his blue chair, looking at pictures in books & eating. he doesn't like being too hot, sleeping during the day (just like his dad!), or packing too many adventures into one day. he is a good traveler, he doesn't mind lots of different people holding him, but is happiest when he can see that his momma is in the room. in the past few weeks he's really learned how to cry, dramatic tears & all & can make his face turn beet red when he is upset. when that happens his face matches his hair.

18 April 2011

gratitude [aunt karen]

cedar hearts bear hugs
[no way! you heart bear hugs too?]

15 April 2011

sunlit [2]

sunlit cedar + daniel

12 April 2011

snapshots [march 2011]

snapshots of march

10 April 2011


one of the great things about being part of a small home church community here is that we are known & loved deeply & also very specifically. after we had cedar, daniel & i really wanted to have a baby dedication service. we wanted a chance to say publically, in front on our church community, that we are so thankful to God for baby cedar, that we lift him up & dedicate him to the Lord. and we also wanted a chance to acknowledge that we are insufficeint & unable to raise cedar on our own - we wanted to ask for help from the church, from this specific community that we are a part of here in phnom penh, but also from the greater body of believers that they represent - the global church, where we hope cedar will find love & community for his whole life.

church april 2011

although we're not a formal group & a baby dedication was unprecedented, our church did such a lovely job of making baby cedar's dedication personal & thoughtful. everyone wrote little prayers for cedar & put them in his very own cedar blessings jar & then we read this reading together.

cedar blessings

A Reading of Dedication
Cedar James Talstra

Leader: Daniel and Amanda, God has given you the beautiful gift of a child.

A&D: We joyfully accept His gift.

Group: We join you in thanksgiving

Leader: This gift is also a great responsibility.

A&D: With God's grace, we accept this responsibility. We will depend on God to love Cedar unconditionally, to have patience with ourselves and with him, to care for him well, and to accept the help of our community.

Group: As your church community in Cambodia, we will help. We will happily hold Cedar, change diapers, read stories, and most of all have grace with you as you learn about caring for a child.

Leader: Jesus said: let the little children come to me. [Luke 18:16]

A&D: We commit to teaching Cedar about Jesus, and living in a way that demonstrate to him God's peace, compassion, generosity and service.

Group: On behalf of your future church and communities as Cedar grows, we will also provide Christ-like examples to Cedar.

Group: Daniel and Amanda, Don't you see that children are God's best gift; the fruit of the womb, His generous legacy? O, how blessed are you, parents! [Psalm 127:3-4]

A&D: We prayed for this child. And now we give you, Cedar, to the Lord.

Everyone: Amen!

9 April 2011

gratitude [grandma]

cedar + grandma

thanks grandma for the charming handmade clothes!

homemade clothes

...even if the duck shirt did make me look a bit like cedar-ette.
(but a cute cedar-ette, at that)


8 April 2011


sunlit cedar + momma

5 April 2011

gratitude [bibs!]

bib collage for blog
[thanks to christina & jess for the hippest bibs on the block!]

2 April 2011

gratitude [luke & lydia]

cedar + halifax moccasins

[thanks luke & lydia for sending me the wonderful handmade moccasins all the way from halifax]