Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Journey so Far...

Our kids fly like pros!  

Malai even did well for a 9 hour and 10 hour flight

We had an overnight in Dallas so we stopped to see Cowboy stadium where the final 4 began the next day.

We also went to the Stockyard in Fortworth

All tired out!!!

We then spent a week in Orange Beach with the Beute family and friends (this is me and my dad)

We had a few cloudy days but we still had lots of fun




Beautiful sunset view from our condo

Went to see the Blue Angels



Grandma and Grandpa

17 of my parents 18 grandkids where in Orange Beach together
April 12, 2014

Hello for the USA!  We are sitting in our 6th airport in less than two weeks and we still have one more – GR! -- before we settle in for a while.  Thankfully everything has gone very well.  God has been with us the whole way!  I just love His promises like in Ps. 139 that says He goes ahead and behind us.  I love knowing He is with us! 

Our kids really enjoy traveling and flying – it is part of their lives.  Malai doesn’t understand it yet and would rather be home but she did really well too.  Our first flight was a night flight so we all slept.  Our flight from London to Dallas was 10 hours so we were glad Malai slept half of it.  I realize once again that our kids are more African than American.  I told Luka to blow his hands dry in the bathroom so he literally began blowing them dry with his mouth.  He doesn’t know what a hand drier is.  He also saw a drinking fountain and asked me what it is.  He was pretty excited when I showed him how to use it.  J

We really enjoyed a full night sleep in a nice, modern, air conditioned hotel when we arrived in Dallas!  After all the flying and time change we needed it.  I was a bit overwhelmed being back in America where everything is so nice and everything is available.  It seems no one else knows or cares how beautiful and good it is here except me.  I don’t know how to process it all.  It was different being back but not with our families yet.  We had a fun day seeing some of Dallas/Fort Worth.  (It was a little stressful at first when the taxi would cost us over $160 so we scrabbled to rent a vehicle big enough for all of us which was difficult with almost everything rented out for the final four.  I didn’t know if we could still figure things out in our own country, but we did.)  We visited Cowboy stadium but they were getting ready for the final four so we couldn’t get in.  Then we went to the Stockyard and had some Texas food, saw the longhorns, and tried on some cowboy hats.  The kids seemed to enjoy it – and they loved stopping at Mc Donalds on the way back for ice cream!  (You may only understand that if you have been outside of the US for over a year.)

Jet lag took it’s toll on us the first few days.  The older kids did pretty well but Malai had us up at 4am the first morning, 6am the next, then 8am by the third morning.  She was quite off and only found comfort in nursing so that is frustrating but works.  Can’t wait to have routine again for her sake.

From Dallas we flew to spend a week with my family in Orange Beach, AL.  My parents, three of my siblings, 17 of my parents 18 grandkids, and two other couples (good friends) all had condos in the same place.  I was a little overwhelmed at first probably still jet lagged and trying to process still.  We stayed on the top floor and shared the four bedroom condo with the two other couples.  The place took my breath away – the view was amazing!  We overlooked the Gulf and lagoon behind it.  The sunsets up there were awesome.  We even saw dolphins from our room.  The condo was beautiful and we felt like we were living it up.  Now imagine going from Africa where my neighbors live in huts and I reuse my laundry water to flush my toilets to an extravagant condo on the Gulf of Mexico – how should I feel?!  It took a little bit but I thanked God everyday for the blessing of staying in such a nice place with my family.

Our first few days were cool and on and off rain, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our time.  (Coming from over 100degree weather almost all other weather is cold to us!)  It was special just to be with cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents.  We swam in the indoor pool, walked the beach, found shells, my kids even braved the ocean and boogie boarded.  We also went to see the Blue Angels fly.  It was awesome!  It is amazing what humans can do.  We celebrated Josh’s 36th birthday – how thankful I am for him!!!  Funny thing is Luka told our friends and his grandparents that they missed his birthday so they needed to celebrate his.  So they threw a party for him and now he is seriously convinced he is now 6 instead of 5 because he had a birthday.  When security at the airport asked him how old he was he told them 6.  He is so funny. 

By the middle of the week we enjoyed sunshine and went to the beach.  We are not ones for laying out in the sun – we have too much sun and avoid it most of our lives – but I loved finding shells with the kids, swimming with them and taking in beauty all around me.  It was a great week.  Even Josh said how relaxed he felt not having to look and worry about snakes and just an easy way of life for a while.  We are so thankful for a special week away with our family and relatives!

We are now very ready to be done traveling and settle into home and a routine.  We will have slept in 6 different places in two weeks – no wonder Malai is so out of sorts at night!  Unfortunately, our last day of vacation we found out the parsonage we were suppose to move into wasn’t ready.  The renters wont leave so the church is trying to figure things out – yuck!  So need to decide between three other (good but not great) options.  Pray for us as we figure this out and try to find some routine for our family.  I do have peace in this unexpected bump in the road because I know God has it all under control and I can trust His good plan for us.

Thanks ya’ll!

April 23, 2014

Quick update before a real update later, we are living in Jamestown in the basement of a widow lady.  Our basement home has a kitchen, sitting area, bathroom, and two bedrooms.  We are thankful for a place to unpack!  The church still hopes to get us into the parsonage soon so we will see.  We have been overwhelmed with the business of getting clothes for everyone, school, Malai being sick, and figuring out life here – but we will make it.  Thanks for your prayers!