Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Visitors from Atlanta

Mark, Charity, and Freedom Chan were passing through Memphis on their way to Missouri and then on to Kansas, so they stopped and stayed the night at our house. What a blessing it was to spend some time with them again after so many months. There just aren't words to adequately express how much their friendship has meant to Rusty and I through the years. Charity's sweet, smiling face was one of the first to greet us when we stepped off the plane at Narita Airport over eight years ago. Mark and Rusty have many common interests, including travel, missions, and let us not forget disc golf. Charity and I had our babies within 6 months of each other, and the Chans were some of our first visitors in the hospital, so I guess that makes Freedom one of Alex's oldest friends! We have worked together, camped together, eaten together, worshipped together, played together, and prayed together... and experienced the joys (and the trials) of living in a foreign country together.

Rusty made his famous Thai curry, which Mark is especially fond of. Rusty and Rachel Woods, from two doors down and also with Japan connections, joined us for dinner. Rachel brought some yummy cookies and cupcakes to enjoy after dinner along with the chai (by popular request).

Freedom and Alex enjoyed watching "Nemo"...

... taking a bath...

... and jumping on the bed together.

We stayed up entirely too late, trying to squeeze in as much visiting as possible. The Chans left this morning. We were sorry they couldn't stay longer, but we'll just look forward to the next time we can enjoy each other's company.

Thanks for stopping, guys. Jya ne! (See you later.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slightly Traumatized!

Okay, I just have to share that watching the doctor pull the pins out of my son's arm this morning was the most frightening thing I think I've witnessed in a long time. Alex was so good while she was cutting his cast off of his arm. I thought he would be scared of the cast cutter because it's so loud (and he hates the vacuum cleaner), but he just sat there quite contendly in his daddy's lap.

With the cast off, we could see the pins sticking out of his elbow. So I asked the doctor, "Now what?" And she says, "Now, I pull the pins out." Then she proceeds to grasp his wrist and pull on one of the little knobs, and a pin as long as my finger came out of his elbow! I am not kidding! If the way Alex started yelling was any indication, it hurt like you know what. I am still kind of in shock that she didn't even give him a local anesthetic.

Oh, well, it is over, and the good news is that the bone is healed, and he won't have to wear a sling. She wants to see us again in three weeks. In the meantime, I am not supposed to let him be too active. Ummm... okay. That will be a piece of cake, I'm sure.

See? I told you I wasn't kidding!

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

With everything that has been going on lately (broken arm, Alex being sick with a double ear infection, Rusty stressing out over term papers and finals), Christmas spirit has been in short supply around here. Until last weekend, that is. Last weekend, we finally got our tree up, lights hung, and our apartment decorated for Christmas. Holiday candles are filling the house with yummy scents, Christmas music is softly playing in the background, and I am finally feeling a bit more festive. This is the first year since Rusty and I have been married that we have been able to hang all our ornaments on our tree at the same time! We had tiny 3-foot trees for the first several Christmasses of our marriage. When we celebrated our first Christmas "at home" in Japan in 2005, we had a 5-foot tree, but we had left a lot of our ornaments in boxes at my parents' house. Seeing that tree in the corner hung with all the special ornaments we have collected over the years just warms my heart. It's not Martha Stewart, but to me, it's just beautiful!

Last night, Rusty put the finishing touch on our Christmas decor -- he set up the model train that belonged to his dad around the base of the tree. The look on Alex' face was priceless. I think he would have watched it go around and around all night. When Rusty would turn it off, he would say "More choo-choo!"

In other news, Alex gets his cast off tomorrow (hallelujah!), we enjoyed a nice visit with my parents this past week (pictures to follow soon, I hope), and the end of the semester is in sight. Rusty has two finals to take this week and then he is finished (for a couple of weeks anyway) and can enjoy a well-deserved break. We will be heading to Michigan for the holidays this year, and I am hoping for a white Christmas!