Sunday, May 23, 2010

At home in Columbia

Yesterday we arrived in Columbia, SC and we love our new house. There is a huge yard with woods on two sides of the property. Our church family filled our kitchen cabinets and a good friend drove his car down all the way from Wisconsin to give the car to us to drive these nine months! We feel loved and flooded with gifts. We will very soon send an email out with our new address and phone number. Thank you for praying for us. It feels so good to be back!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Safely in Charlotte

Tuesday evening around 5:30 p.m. we landed in Charlotte, NC. All three boys slept the entire flight - almost 3 hours since it took an hour just to taxi and get our turn to take off. When we got to Charlotte it was almost impossible to wake the boys up since it was nighttime for them. So Joshua slept on in the baby carrier and the boys were good sports as we trekked to baggage claim - the final leg of our journey!!!
Unfortunately two of our bags didn't make it but they should arrive sometime today and be delivered to us here at SIM. It was a fun trip down the freeway to get to SIM headquarters. I wish I had a notebook to jot down all the cute things Isaac and Evan remarked about. Anyone listening would have guessed America is a new place for them!
We are very comfortably adjusting to life back in the States. SIM is just like family and we feel so welcomed and at home.
The boys ate some cinnamon toast then went to bed promptly at 7. So did I because I knew Joshua would probably wake up at some obscene hour (he didn't wake once from the time he fell asleep on the airplane at 4 p.m. to when I put him in the crib here at the guesthouse around 7 pm.) He slept straight through until about 4:30 this morning. I can definitely handle that!
So here it is 5:30 a.m. The boys are happily cozied on the couch watching cartoons and I've already done a large load of laundry. We have meetings today and are excited to see old friends here at the office.
Sorry if this was too detailed. I'm just amazed at how wonderfully God brought us all the way here and I can't even begin to express how GOOD it feels to be "home"!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We're in New York!

Well, to say that the flights went smoothly would be untrue. Mom and Dad Sorensen took us to the airport where we checked in with a couple heavy bags. We quickly repacked into a box and got the four bags checked in. We then boarded our plane and enjoyed a smooth flight to London. We landed at about 6 in the morning and soon found out that our flight was cancelled due to the ash cloud from mount eljfajldkjeoigaf in Iceland. We got a flight later in the early afternoon so we spent the day wondering around in the airport. This is where we began to see God's provision for us. 1. BA gave us 45 pounds (money not weight) to spend for the day. We enjoyed a delicious meal and several starbucks coffees. 2. The BA agent was able to change our connecting flight with Delta. We boarded the plane and there was an empty seat next to the guy next to Bethany. 3. He scooted over so that Josh could have a seat and Josh slept almost the whole flight to the States. As we were pulling out of London airport, the little car thing that pushes the airplane locked onto the wheels of the plane and promptly broke down. We waited two hours on the plane as they got the truck "unlocked" from the plane. It was ok though since Bethany had this extra seat for Josh. Because of the delay, we arrived at 6pm in NY and our connecting flight to Charlotte with Delta was at 6:30pm. We easily missed that one. As we were waiting for our bags, we heard our names over the intercom. Apparently we are the "Fatters". BA informed us that none of our bags made the flight but 4. that they had gone ahead and booked us on the next Delta flight since we missed our connection. Unfortunately, the flight was the next day at 2:45pm. I talked with the BA gentleman about arranging a hotel for us since it was BA that was delayed and had us miss our flight. He was not helpful. We went upstairs to try and find someone else from BA to talk to. I was standing in line and there was a BA lady behind the counter who listened patiently and then very kindly 5. arranged a hotel room with dinner and breakfast for us! The only problem was that since our ticket had been changed a couple times, BA informed us that we would probably pay a fine to Delta. We needed to go to the Delta terminal to talk with them. We made our way to Delta and waited in line. By this time, it was 3 in the morning (Kenya time) and the boys were crashing fast. The line was painfully slow but when I got up to the counter, the man was very helpful. He looked up our information and said, "hey, are you named Isaac?" No, I said, that is my son. "Oh, that is my name!" said the man behind the desk. 6. "There won't be any fine for you guys. Here are your tickets for tomorrow. Have a safe flight". So, here I am, writing an e-mail in a very fancy hotel in NYC as we wait for our afternoon flight. It hasn't been smooth but it has been fun to see how God provides. This morning we went downstairs and had a coupon for breakfast but it was only worth 7 dollars per person and the breakfast was 18.95. The lady graciously said 7. we could enjoy the buffet breakfast for no extra cost.
7 things God has provided for our trip. I guess it's been a perfect trip since 7 is the perfect number!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Enjoying family

Who is this crazy fan? It's our wonderful niece, Anna! Even the kids lasted all five hours of the Black Rock rugby tournament today.
The Sorensen family is here! In the picture: Bethany's Dad, Mom, and brother Stan. For team psyche, the whole team shaved their heads!

What a big happy family! Today was a perfect way to end our time in Afirca. With our flight to the States on Sunday night, it's been so wonderful to spend our last days here with family

Rift Valley Academy's varsity rugby team. Stan, my brother is the 3rd guy from the left in the back row.

Stan and his girlfriend, Shauntha.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

This morning we enjoyed a special service at church honoring Mothers and then this evening we went to a fun Ethiopian restaurant with our friends, the Martyns, for a great finishing touch to our Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Travel Plans

We still have a lot up in the air, but we want to inform you all of our travel plans.
On May 16 at 11:10 p.m. we'll fly out of Nairobi, to London, and arrive in Charlotte on May 17th. We'll be in Charlotte for 3 days to debrief at the SIM headquarters and make sure we're clear medically. On the 20th, a good friend is coming to pick us up and drive our family and luggage the 2 hours to Columbia.
We'll spend the next month or so settling in and hope to see relatives during the summer. It looks like November through January will be our busiest travel months. In November we'll cover the midwest: Chicago, Grand Rapids area, first, then to Laguna Beach, CA in December for Audrey's wedding, then up the west coast through OR and WA and hopefully even ID. So if you're in any of those areas and you want to get together, please email us so we can make those plans.
So, 10 more days and we'll be back in our home country, culture, and language. That will be nice!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fantastic Week at the beach

This was the kind of family vacation every family would dream of. We got to spend a whole week in a villa on the Indian ocean with most of Eli's family (we were missing 2 nephews and a brother-in-law). As you will see from the pictures we spent most of our time in the water, either in the pool or on the beach. Some of the week's highlights were:
1. A ride to the coral gardens and a sand bar on a glass bottom boat
2. Body surfing the waves at high tide
3. All the good food that was cooked for us by a chef.
4. Games and times of sharing every night when the kids were in bed.
5. A heated tennis game
6. Inventing all kinds of tricks to do in the pool.
7. Camel rides on the beach.
8. Drinking coconut milk and eating fresh coconut right out of the palm tree above us!
7-year-old cousin Keegan and Josh on the boat

Caleb, Eli, and Jason entertained us by diving into the little rings.

Keegan and Isaac had fun diving for coins at the bottom of the pool.

Keegan on top of Jason, on top of Caleb!

Baby Abi happy in a ring of her own

Joshua loved this raft!

Nana with all her grandkids and Bethany

Our family on the boat ride
Joshua got to hold a live starfish. Don't worry, we put him right back in the ocean where he belongs!
Uncle Caleb buried Josh in the sand and gave hims some nice legs while he was at it!

Eli is showing Joshua something at the sandbar.

Yes, all five of us got to ride the camels up and down the beach. Joshua cried and cried until it was finally his turn to get on.