Monday, December 10, 2007

A Hundred Days of May (Mei)

We were glad to get to mark the one hundredth day for our sweetheart baby girl, Marian (who is known here as Mei Lynn), with a great party. We had a fun afternoon together with our friends celebrating God's greatness to give us this sweet little girl.

Vanilla Lunchboxes

I've come across just a few recipes recently that seem worth sharing with everyone I know who might also be interested... This one I received from a friend in college but I hadn't made them since then and just recently rediscovered them. They taste to me a bit like the inside of an orange creamsicle in cookie form. Delicious!

half cup butter
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 Tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Blend together the dry ingredients and then gradually add into egg mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until set by not brown. Yields 2 + dozen... recipe easily doubles.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

giving thanks

I just got a "Happy Thanksgiving" text message. Honestly, I hadn't thought of the holiday all morning long. We had a nice dinner with a large group of friends a few nights ago but most all the traditions of Thanksgiving Day (family, turkey, pecan pie) seem too far out of reach here.... but giving thanks is not a distant opportunity and I think it would be good for me to dwell in it for a while today.

As a mom of tiny one and a toddler, I'm spending lots of quality time at home- trying to have friends over as often as possible since that's easier than bundling both babies up and traveling the town with them myself (when Matt is in class). Days can feel pretty ordinary and I can easily question my own "effectiveness"- by a zillion measurements I hold up for myself that I could never reach... I am indeed lacking in every way and how thankful I am that Christ loves me and died for me knowing all these ways I would be weak and falter and fail! I want to think not so much of myself but to look on the One who loves me most and created me for His good works, the One who will work through me to accomplish His desire. Thankfulness is a good medicine indeed! It does change my orientation to consider things from that perspective...

I am so grateful to have a day
when I am reminded to linger, to stay
to focus my mind on the gifts I've received
and even better, for my heart to keep
the Giver as Center in all that I do
to yield my mind to thoughts that are true
to spark a dance and a song in my soul
to humble myself and consider the whole
meaning and purpose of the days that I live
that my life might be an offering worthy to give
to honor the One who gave everything
to open my eyes that I might see
His goodness, His kindness and His mercy
that aren't just for me

oh for this day to be everyday
for Your Word to sustain me, to straighten my way
to guard my heart and my mind when I stray
Lord let me be grateful and love you today

a world of words and new sites to see

We talk so much about our own language study here because the two of us spend much of every day in class, studying, or practicing speaking/listening out on the streets... but our own tales of language learning are pretty boring now for us to tell and probably way more boring for anyone to listen to... BUT- Isaiah's language learning is a whole new story!

Somewhere around 19 months of age, words took root in him and now (20 mo.) they are really starting to sprout out with some wacky fruit! It seemed like a quick transformation from a silent world of pointing to a world of thoughts and words and requests to express verbally and stories to hear read aloud.

As Isaiah is beginning to express and understand more, we are explaining more things to him... including what we expect of him. When we have to discipline him we tell him that we expect him to "listen and obey", and these words are apparently sticking in his little brain. Yesterday morning he pointed to his cereal bowl and told me "more that"..."what do you say, Isaiah?"... "Peeez"... and then when I didn't respond as immediately as he hoped, he picked up his bowl, handed it to me and said "Obey."

Here is a shot of Isaiah with a local friend who is especially good at teaching him language. I love that for him! The other day he ran up to another friend who watches him while I have class and he said "book... play" - two words he knows well in English- but this time he said them in the local language!

All of us were really encouraged and inspired by a great visit with "Barp and JuJu" (Bart and Judy) last week. It was plain good medicine for our tired minds and hearts to have them here with us and to take them out on the town a bit to see some good local sites.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Little Sweetheart

Our little beauty is smiling more and more, though she's still shy enough to hold a more modest look for the camera. Here she is lying on a quilt my mom made for her years before Marian was even born!

Friday, November 2, 2007

a special visitor

How fun for us to have a good friend visit us all the way from Orlando! We were so blessed to have Shawn stay with us- even for such a short time. And we were all blessed by the fantastic gifts he delivered! Thank you friend :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ball Heaven

Isaiah really enjoyed our outing to the ball pit at an indoor playground nearby. We took our helper and her family as part of her daughter's birthday gift and the whole group of us had lots of fun together. We are glad for Isaiah to be making friends who speak English and others who speak only the local language.

More Marian

Our sweet baby girl's traveling life begins with a stop at the US Embassy to arrange for her passport and a birth certificate written in English. Marian is plumping up just beautifully and the three of us are sure in love with her!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fun with Grandma & Grandpa

There was quite a tickle session in Grandma and Grandpa's room yesterday afternoon...

Brand New Big Brother

It's been a big help for Isaiah, as he transitions to this big and important new role in the family, that his grandparents came for a timely visit to see him and his little sister. (See the next post for grandparent pictures.) Isaiah has also been very glad to have his first good friend arrive, to live near us. Hudson and Isaiah are super cute pals!

Miss Marian ~ 2 weeks old

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mei mei

This is what Isaiah calls his new little sister... Mei mei (pronounced May may)is the way to address "little sister" in the local language. Isaiah is beginning to enjoy having this sweet little girl around, even though it's still tough to see Mama holding her when he wants to be held.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma Lynn~ Happy Birthday Marian!

August 26- almost two weeks early. It is absolutely beyond my dreams to think that of all the days of the year, that God would arrange for our baby to be delivered on my mom's birthday, and that our baby would be a girl who could have her name... Marian Lynn. We are amazed and joyously grateful.

Not only does she have her grandma's birthday, she positively has her grandma's hands. When my mom went to be with the Lord, I often pictured, and still often miss her hands, her gestures, her elegant fingers. I don't have any pictures of how beautiful her hands were- only in my head and in my heart can I remember her hands. But now we have a living picture of my mom's elegant hands right on my very own daughter. Simply beautiful.

As for Isaiah, he is definitely warming up to his new role as big brother. He gets very concerned when he hears his little sister crying and has taken the initiative several times now to give her a kiss. Marian is one amazingly loved little girl.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the beginning of the end

I'm so grateful that God gives us seasons. As winter neared its end I was eagerly looking forward to summer... and now I'm already ready for an end to this heat! Our local friends, when they ask when our baby is due, seem to all think that the beginning of Sept is a great time to sheng haizi (give birth) because it will be so much cooler then. That's not how I remember last year, but oh well.... Hot or not, I am super excited to meet this little one!

The past month has been very tiring... but now that we've moved and are feeling settled in our new apartment, our pace is evening out a bit and we're able to focus more on studies again. It took till about week 35 of this pregnancy for us to actually come up with a plan for having Isaiah watched while we trek out to the hospital (across town.) Early into 36 weeks, we finally agreed on names- both in English and the local language, for both a boy or girl. Now, as we near the end of August (actually the day this is posted is Aug 23, not 14), I'm approaching 38 weeks... I am- and we are- so incredibly eager to meet this little baby! Only about two weeks to go until our due date, but there there would only be joy if we get to meet this precious one early!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

the boy and the belly

A few fun scenes from exploring the slide

Isaiah's first playground crush

My belly is growing big with this active child... we're so excited to meet this little beauty/ little man in about two more months!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blue Milestone

Since I was a kid, I've always imagined numbers as certain colors. 3 is blue - so now that I've crossed into the thirties (yesterday I joined my husband who's already been there for a few months) I consider myself as beginning a beautifully blue decade. I know that's totally pointless to share with anyone who doesn't think of numbers this way- but regardless of that, 30 is an objective reality.... and it feels like a big one. Feels like I should be much more grown up by now!

My husband celebrated an entire birthday weekend with me. It was a fantastic weekend.... and after all of my sweet little gifts and surprises for two days straight- my amazing man greeted me Monday morning with "Happy Birthday in America!"

It feels pretty special to be nearing 7.5 months pregnant with our second child on my thirtieth birthday. We are super looking forward to "K2's" arrival at the beginning of Sept.

A great new trick

Isaiah is quite a little engineer. Daily, his papa asks him for an evaluation of the effectiveness/ user friendliness of some item in our home- the new fan, the vacuum cleaner, a remote control. He loves giving his full attention to studying how things work. We were outdoors recently and he found an interesting door knob to yonk on for a while. I told him "turn it down, Isaiah". He stopped, looked up at me, and then turned himself around like a regular hokey pokey.

Here is a video of Isaiah's new moonwalking/ "walk backwards" trick that he's really excited about.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Family Journey

We had a great time visiting friends of ours who live way outside the capital city we currently call home. The first day of traveling we had a long layover in a new airport where Isaiah was at his obsessive best- running for nearly an hour between four escalators that lined one side of the terminal where we waited for our flight. He made several new friends there that were delighted to take him up and down and run (literally) between these four pieces of heaven.

Seeing our dear friends was such a joy for us! And their town is magnificent- desert, surrounded by fantastic mountains, filled with fruit, heat and dust, and inhabited by a most endearing people.
It was a great time for us- to take a tiny break from language study and get out of the big city. We're also glad to be challenged to pick up the pace- even more!- with our language study so we can someday soon be ready to live outside the capital (where English helpers abound!).

Theses last photos were taken by a friend there, in a cooler season. During our short visit, I failed to get my camera out to take many good photos of the local people that are so beautiful! I'm sure going to need to learn to travel well (and still take good photos) while pushing/chasing/ feeding kids- being that we'll have two soon :)!