Monday, September 19, 2011

Going Home

Jon's Grandmother, Verna, died September 10th at the age of 98 years old. We were able to attend her funeral. Grandma Verna had stopped eating and drinking several days before she died, so we knew it was a matter of time before she passed away. Jon's Mom sat by Grandma Verna's, (her mother-in-law) side daily, comforting her, praying and singing to her. Other family members visited during her last few days of life as well. There was scripture read aloud to her and hymns sang to her. Someone shared at her funeral, that after several hymns, Verna who had been lethargic and unresponsive managed to say out loud, "Amen."

She also said to my mom-in-law, "I'm going Home." And after hearing several family member's stories of Verna's life, they said Verna knew where she was going after she died.

The theme throughout her funeral was Verna's giving to others. Her niece shared that there were 3 things that made her think of Verna:

Bible: Because Verna had her Bible on her lap and read it constantly when anyone visited her in the nursing home. She knew scripture passages and liked to talk about them. She had a strong faith in God.

Beans: She had a large green bean garden that she grew to feed her growing boys. Rows and rows of them.  Verna had adopted Jon's father and his brothers, when her sister, Jon's Grandpa's first wife had died from breast cancer. Verna married her brother-in-law and adopted his sons. She stepped right in and took care of the boys treating them as if they were her own.

Behind-the-scenes: She was a quiet woman, but she was always giving to others. She liked to help her church's ladies group.And as a farmer's wife, she made hot meals for the guys in field, did the accounting, did parts runs to town and fed anyone who happened to stop by the farm. She did things behind-the-scenes and she liked it that way. She did not like attention on herself.
Jon shared that Grandma Verna was a giver and we can all learn from her. But Grandma would say, that it's not what she did on this earth that got her to heaven. She is in heaven because she believed that she was a sinner, she needed a savior and that God gave His only son to die for our sins on the cross and she asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins. She is in heaven because she accepted God's gift of salvation.

When it comes to dying, we can't take anything with us. But we can die with the knowledge that we shared the good news with others. The good news? Believing that Jesus' death on the cross to free us of our sins was so we can live with Him eternally (FOREVER) in Heaven after we die. It's that easy.

If you would like to read more about God's simple plan of salvation, please click here:

We are blessed to have had Verna in our lives and her legacy of faith has been passed on to others.

Psalm 116:15,"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants."

Motivation and coffee talk

Some might think this is an unusual post for a missions blog. But I see this as exciting LEAP, as far as changes go in this family! And seeing as how we still have a few months before anything mission related happens, I will be sharing some family updates. :)

As many of you know, Levi who is over 3 years old now has taken his sweet little time to be potty trained. He just has not had any interest-whatsoever.For the longest time he could stand there in training undies and wet them and run around like nothing happened. It did not faze him!

Well, recently he had become more aware of when he needed to go or had gone. But he would chicken out as soon as the little potty chair came out.  I figured, "Good, we are headed in the right direction. It might just be a baby step, but it's A STEP! I'm not going to push him." Veteran moms have told me, "He will do it when he is ready. Just give it time."

Yesterday Levi and I got to talking about him growing up and being a big boy. He was SO excited about the prospect of being grown up. His response? "Mom!!! I am going to be a man. Then I can drink COFFEE!!" When the subject of his growing up came up throughout the day, coffee was always mentioned. I guess men drink coffee!

And with his enthusiasm, volume and general zest for life, you would think he was already a coffee drinker! ;)

So yesterday we get home from church and Levi starts to do "the dance" and we ask if he'd like to try the potty chair. To our surprise he said yes. He usually gives up after a few minutes. But not today! He jumped up with excitement yelling, "I did it, I did it!" Sure enough, he had done it. Jon and I started jumping around with excitement and lots of cheering. We must all be coffee drinkers around here.

Last night we had a dry night. Today Levi is still gung-ho about visiting his froggy potty chair. One day I will tell him, over a cup of coffee, about his potty training story. And even show him this picture. Won't this cute picture be a fun one to share with him and his friends one day. ;)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life Lately

What is going on in our lives lately? You would think we'd be scrambling around like crazy people getting ready to go to school in January. But so far, all is calm. We are filling out the rest of our application for NTMA and we plan a visit to the Mission Training Center base in a few weeks. How exciting to see where we'll be living during our school days!

We were able to get out this last weekend and go to a friend's wedding and visit family this weekend in Iowa. Good fun and a nice chance to get away from the work for a bit. We had a nice visit with all and a nice relaxing time!

Jon thinks he will be done with spraying this week...?? He is working his regular shifts then during his "times off" he is spraying crops or doing flight instruction. So if he IS actually done with the spraying for the year, we'll have a lot more time on our hands to get ready to go! Jon wants to finish painting the last 1/3 of the house and put our house up for sale. Thinking we'll go with a realtor to get our house sold, instead of trying to sell it on our own. Pray that the right buyer will come in God's perfect timing. And if no buyer, a possible renter--a good, solid, rent paying, responsible renter! :)

Meanwhile, I am holding down the fort with the kiddos. Changing diapers, feeding everyone, cleaning up around the house, laundry,dishes, taking walks, running errands, reading books, doing crafts, starting up kindergarten with Jaeden and trying to let the boys play outside for as long as possible. We only have a few weeks of this wonderful warmth left, we don't want to waste it!The picture above is an example of finding fun things to do with the kiddos. A friend (of 4 busy boys) suggested shaving cream as something to do for fun if the boys needed something to keep them busy. Such a good idea! The boys spent a long time playing with the stuff and drawing pictures in it, finally adding a bucket of water to the mix. They were in little boy heaven! It worked to throw them in the tub right after this, they were already lathered up and smelled pretty nice.

On our tour of the Mission's school in a few weeks, I will be taking pictures and posting them on here to give you a glimpse of where we will be living.

Phone call and loud, busy boys and not enough brain power to think of anything else to update you on.

Please feel free to ask any questions if you have any, about anything about our journey to the mission field.

A special, "Hello" [wave] to Kirsten L. who I received an email from with questions about our missionary goals and is now reading our blog and interested in missions herself! :) Say hello to your family for us!

Pray a special prayer for Jon's 98 year old Grandma who is in hospice and will be possibly dying soon. She has not had anything to drink and has been unresponsive (but still has a heartbeat) for the most part. Although I hear a report that she was awake today for a bit. She is a believer, pray that she dies comfortably and peacefully in the Lord's perfect timing.

Toys are starting to fly around here...until the next post, we thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Yesterday Jon had the chance to talk to his boss and the chief pilot about his plans for this Winter. Jon was wondering how and when this time would come. He'd have to make a special trip to the cities to talk to his bosses. Jon had been praying for the right timing. The Lord worked things out so smoothly!

How did it all happen? Jon and his crew had to pick up the helicopter in the cities after the night pilot had to leave it in the cities due to weather the night before. The night pilot had left the helicopter and drove a car out to Jon's base. Once Jon got on duty for his day shift he drove in to the cities to retrieve the helicopter.He had a little bit of down time (rare) and his boss and chief pilot both happened to be in the office at the same time. Jon nervously sat down to talk with both, not sure how they would take the news. But both bosses were very encouraging and took the news very well. Relief and an answer to prayer! Praise God!

Jon's chief pilot sent out the news to the rest of the bases today. Here is the letter:
Yesterday, Jon Leedahl informed Bob and I that he will be resigning from his position as a full-time pilot for Air Care, effective December 22nd.
Jon will be pursuing his long-time dream of becoming a missionary pilot.  This is a task that will require 3 years of training beginning in January, and will ultimately lead to flying airplanes and helicopters in the jungles of SE Asia or South America.
While Jon is in training, he will occasionally be available for part-time shift coverage on some weekends and during the summer.
I'd like to thank Jon for his professionalism as a Lead Pilot, Instructor, and Check Airman for Air Care, and wish him and his family the best of luck in this new adventure.
Shane Johnson
Chief Pilot

How exciting that things are coming together! Please continue to pray for us to be able to finish lining things up before school starts. We need to pack up our stuff and try to sell the house. Although it's not that HUGE of a deal if we don't sell it right away since we will be back and forth between the school and training. But pray for God's perfect timing. I know He has directed our life so far and will continue to do everything in His perfect timing and in His perfect will.
P.S. We just want to thank all of our family and friends for being SO patient with us as we have been gone  and traveling a lot this Summer. We've not been able to spend the time we'd like to with all of you. But thank God for Facebook for allowing us to stay connected with so many people. I know it's not the same as seeing all of you in person, but think of all the money you are saving in food costs by not having us visit in person. You know how much Jon can eat?! :) Just kidding. Fall and Winter are great times for us to be able to see more of you and it's just around the corner.