Sunday, September 23, 2012

One week here

We've made it through our first week here in the Middle East!    We have so much to be thankful for.  But if I'm real with you, it has been a really hard week.  I wasn't expecting that at all.  I knew the hard would come, but I wasn't thinking it would hit the first week.  But the combination of not sleeping well for the week before we came, saying goodbyes, jetlag, and not sleeping well for the first nights we were here had me WORN OUT and in a really vulnerable place.  Add in quite a bit of nausea from pregnancy, some tummy trouble from time to time, kids who are wild as they transition...and I have been feeling like a wreck. 

Two nights ago, we had some prayer time with our sweet friends here.  I'm so thankful for their love and help as we're getting settled.  We borrowed a fan from them for our room which helped make us cooler at night and drown out the call to prayer a little--which has helped me sleep better!  The painter starts painting our house today--which means we're closer to moving in and starting to get settled in our own place.  All of those are great steps in the right direction!

But most of all, my safe place has been Jesus.  I even told John one day that I was going to start holding my Bible while I sleep.  : )  I've been reading Psalms and just feel such a peace that it's in my weakness that He is strong!  Good news...cause I'm not feeling very strong in any way this week!

Hopefully later this week, I can give you a few more fun glimpses at our life here, but just thought I'd catch you up on the "inside story," too!  Thanks for praying for us and loving us!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 3

Today is day 3 of our time here.  It's morning, and I've set 2 main goals for myself today...
1.  Give myself and the kids a shower
2.  Cook dinner
Low goals, but realistic!  : ) 

Some highlights of our time so far:
Getting here with ALL our luggage

Friends picking us up at the airport...with dinner ready and beds made and ready for us to drop into!

Going out to a DELICIOUS arabic dinner.

Getting to walk through our new house and start dreaming about getting settled.

Meeting a neighbor who invited us over for tea.  Their family lives all around us...2 brothers, a sister, and another sister building a house.  I said, "We're surrounded by your family."  She said, "You will be part of our family."  There are things to LOVE about this culture!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

i love the lake

Last weekend we got one more lake house trip in before we leave.  We soaked up every minute!
We had a breakfast picnic on the boat...

followed by water play time on the island...
several boat rides...

including a sunset cruise for John and me...
Oh, the heavens do declare the Glory of God!!
We had a really fun (well, mostly fun) and unforgettable hike that we thought would be an hour but turned into a 4 hour hike!  We're so thankful for the mountain biker who stopped and gave us something to drink out of his camelback.
Catie even lost her first tooth!  She got something from the tooth fairy and something from the Mimi-and-Papa fairy!
I'm treasuring these times in my heart!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Firehouse fun

Another amazing adventure was a trip to the fire house.  One of my brother's buddies is a Roswell fireman, so my bro set up a tour for us. 

(a hovercraft for river rescues)
(a piece of the world trade center)



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Aquarium adventure!

We have still been doing our once-a-week fun adventures.  A few weeks ago we went to the Georgia aquarium for the first time.  It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!  We were all blown away with God's creation!

Look at this cute 3-year-old critter we found! 

{Catie was SO brave and touched the anemones.  Way to go, girl!!}
Inside the penguin-viewing tunnel...
One of the highlights was the dolphin show!  What amazing animals.  We couldn't take pictures in there, but it was cool!

What a FUN day!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Richmond time

The day after we flew back from Colorado, we drove up to Richmond to see John's side of the family.  We were E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!!!  We were SOOOOOO thankful that John's aunt and uncle let us stay at their house.  We slept a lot for the first couple days. 
We had a really fun day with John's sister, Mary Beth, and her family.
The cousins swam together!
We went to some fun museums in Richmond.

Mary Beth and her husband, Matt, treated us to SUCH a fun day.  We enjoyed our time with them and some of the cousins!
Here's John's mom and Mary Beth's new baby!!!
It was SO fun to see him while he's so little.  What a CUTIE!!  He's the sweetest little guy!
John's mom is such a brave and courageous woman.  She loves us so well and prays for us and our kids all the time.  We're so thankful for her and Mr. Tom.
John's aunt and uncle live on the same street at John's Grandma.  We LOVED being close to her!!  We would just walk down the street to her house.
She's famous for her M&Ms, fun toys, and checkers games.  The kids wanted to be down there with her ALL THE TIME!  Grandma is one of the most selfless, loving women I know.  She is so dear to our hearts!
She has a great climbing tree by her house, too!

I love these cuties!!!
Here's mom and most of the cousins...
We even got to do a little birthday celebration for Zach!
We are thankful for this time we got to have with our Richmond family!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer travels

We got to go on a couple great trips this summer.
First we went to Colorado.  It was such a refreshing time for us in every way.   The weather, the scenery, time with friends, time with God, and time with each other.  We just LOVED it!!  The kids got to go to an amazing camp where they were loved each day.
On a walk one morning...

One night we had a carnival.  Catie and I got matching face paint.

Zach's group went out to this secret place in the woods for small group times.
Amy, a precious friend since we've been 4, drove out from Denver to hang out one evening.  It was a highlight for me!!  We saw this rainbow while we were together.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of us. 
What a refreshing week!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our new house

We're just 8 days away from moving!  It's wild and kindof surreal at this point.  I have been and am SO excited about moving, but the last few days have felt a little harder as we actually start the goodbye process.  One thing that's making it so much easier is knowing we already have a home waiting for us.  Our friends who live in our new country found it for us and sent us some videos.

The downstairs flat is ours.  So that is our sunporch and front door and front porch.  I'm SO excited about some yard space where the kids can play.  It truly exceeded my hopes!

If you had turned left when you walked in the front door, you would find 3 bedrooms that way.  The people we're renting from are also leaving their furniture for us. 

Well, that gives you a peak into our new life.  As we start fixing things up, and making it our own, we'll post more pics.