Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our wonderful small group this year

Abby, Mika, Sabine, and Bethany at our cookout on Wednesday night

We had a nice cookout last night. It was a great time to visit and have fun with all the young couples we've been meeting with weekly from our church (at least while we're in Columbia!) This was our last time with them so we had to say some goodbyes but they also prayed for us and "sent" us off. We know we'll still be a part of their group - even from afar.
God has given us such wonderful new friends this year!

Caleb and Paul had a nice talk. We're so happy to have Caleb here with us!

3 buddies

Monday, March 21, 2011

Evan's celebration #2

For his special birthday meal what do you think Evan requested? Not tacos and not pizza like most kids! He wanted Ramen, so we had Ramen!
Ice cream cones with toppings were for dessert - another request of Evan's

His friends were so thoughtful and bought presents that would be perfect to keep him busy on the airplane ride back to Africa!

For Evan's birthday he really wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese with his best friends next door. Since they were out of town camping until Saturday, we planned a Saturday party. As you can guess, Chuck E Cheese was FULL that day but we all had such a great time - well I came home with a headache but all the kids were sure happy!!!

We also wanted to wait until Saturday because Evan wanted his very special Aunt Jess or "Chachi" as he calls her to be there!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Evan's 5th Birthday

We started off Evan's birthday this morning with a dozen doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts.
After breakfast Evan went on a treasure hunt to find his gifts.

These gifts came all the way from his Nana and Opa in Central Asia!

After a morning of packing and projects around the house, we headed to Dreher island on Lake Murray to join our friends for an afternoon of fishing and grilling on the campfire. It was just the right way to celebrate.
We caught a few great Kodak moments

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

7 trunks packed...

Today I got 7 trunks packed and this is what the chaos looked like. The hard part is going through the house trying to figure out what needs to go to Sudan with us. The harder part is figuring out how to fit it in trunks that won't weigh over 50 pounds each. I keep a list of items that are in each trunk. I'm glad I wrote in pencil today because after weighing them and finding them heavy every time (thanks to 3 years worth of homeschooling books for the boys!!!), I had to keep taking things out, moving stuff around, and re-weighing and re-writing my packing list. It's not that bad, but boy is it exhausting.

Something that kind of surprised me today is that packing is emotional for me. It started sinking in today, that yes, we really are moving overseas again. Yes, we are going back to Sudan. Yes, we will be there for 3 whole years. Phew...and as I pack away the things that are staying behind in storage, I feel like I'm packing away precious memories. I'm closing a chapter of our lives. A chapter that's been so good, I almost don't want to see it end. And yet I'm eager to see what happens the story unfolding in the next chapter.

This is a crazy ride but a ride I know we're meant to be on!

Friday, March 11, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

With less than 3 weeks until we get on a plane and switch continents, we are taking time to enjoy some of our favorite things before we go and don't have them again for 3 years:

- bike rides through the neighborhood

- a fire in our fire place

- Starbucks coffee and vanilla Coffeemate creamer

- frozen pizza

- choc chip cookie dough ice cream

- dishwasher, washer and dryer

- our favorite Christian music radio station

- Walmart excursions

...the list goes on...

Just for fun today I made rice and beans for lunch - a staple for us when we're in Sudan. When the boys came in for lunch and asked what we were having, they were all very excited when I told them we were going to pretend we were back in Sudan. I guess they've missed it enough that they cheered for rice and beans. That is a good sign and we hope it continues!