Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First Day of "School"

As I mentioned in my last post, Alex has started attending a Parents' Day Out program one day a week. It is not technically school, but since "skoooo" is easier for Alex to say than "Parents' Day Out," that is what we are calling it. So far, he seems to be really enjoying it. He has a wonderful teacher, Miss Rose, who has been teaching there for 27 years. 27 years, people!

Below are some pictures of Alex on his first day of "school."

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Give Daddy hugs before you go.

Nothing says "school" like your very first backpack!

More to follow soon on Quest... once I have had time to process everything. We are still trying to recover from the mental and emotional strain of the weekend. It definitely lived up to its "intensive" label!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Holiday Travels and Current Events

After Christmas in Michigan, we spent several days traveling back to Memphis. We stopped in Clarksville, TN (to see Uncle Dennis and Aunt Diana Campbell), Huntsville, AL (to see Rusty's cousin Linda and her family), and Dechard, TN (for Uncle Lyle and Aunt Shirley Starnes' family get-together). We had a great time with everybody, but it sure was nice to get back to our own beds again! Pictures below.

Alex and his second cousin, Naomi.

I'm a big boy now!

I can go down on my tummy, too!

After we got back, we enjoyed a few quiet days at home before I had to go back to work. We spent some time rearranging, organizing, and decorating Alex' room. Rusty began another semester of school. And Alex has started attending a Parents' Day Out program one day a week. We have also been busy preparing for our intensive Quest weekend with the Angola Team and Mission Resource Network. This included taking numerous psychological tests and personality profiles (oh, the joy). Quest is next weekend, so please keep us and the rest of the team in your prayers!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Please Pray for Kenya!

If you follow world news at all, you have probably heard about the recent violence in Kenya. The situation sounds very scary, worse than any I remember facing during the years my family lived there (and yes, I know the media hype tends to make things sound worse than they really are). Still, things could spiral out of control very quickly. Reading stories of riots, looting, shootings, and church burnings just breaks my heart. Kenya is, after all, the land of my birth and where I grew up. A part of my heart will always think of it as "home." Please, please pray for Kenya, that this situation can be resolved and the violence will come to an end.

Click here to read a report from CNN.

Scroll down for a recent post on our Christmas activities.

Favorite Christmas Memories

Happy New Year, everyone! I can't believe it is already 2008. The last 5 months have really flown by for us. For the year's first post, I thought I would recap some of my favorite memories from this past Christmas. We had a really great time with my parents and brother in Michigan. Our stay was too short, as it always seems to be. Still, we managed to pack in a lot of good visiting and special experiences. Some of the best:
  • Watching Alex experience the snow.
  • Decorating sugar cookie cut-outs.
  • Our traditional pre-Christmas (used to be Christmas Eve, but it has now been moved to the Sunday before Christmas) lamb roast dinner with spiced peaches. This year we shared it with the Burtons, also affectionately know as Grandma and Grandpa "B". Always good to visit with them. Visit my dad's blog for more on what this wonderful family has meant to us over the years.
  • Watching "The Polar Express" -- I especially loved seeing how mesmerized Alex was by this precious movie.
  • The bottomless cookie trays -- yum yum!
  • Homemade chex mix.
  • Going to see the model trains at the Henry Ford Museum.
  • Reading "Clarabelle the Christmas Cow" on Christmas Eve -- this has been a tradition in my family since about 1985.
  • Homemade cinnamon rolls and fresh strawberries on Christmas morning.
  • Opening presents on Christmas morning -- Alex really got into pulling the paper off the packages this year, so that made it fun!
  • Christmas dinner with my aunt and cousins.
  • Family game night -- There was no time for the traditional game of Risk, and we didn't even play Scotland Yard or eucher (a card game popular among Michiganders). We did, however, break in a nice new set of dominoes!
  • Playing "Guitar Hero" with my brother -- this game rocks! He has two controls, so we played duets (he played the lead on "Expert" level, and I played bass on "Easy"). I have already told Rusty that when he gets his X-box (a promised graduation gift from my parents), we are going to get this game. It is one of the only games I have ever played that didn't make me nauseous after about 5 minutes (I know, I am a wimp).
  • Turkey leftovers (especially Turkey Divan and Turkey Tortilla Soup)
  • My mom's awesome home cooking -- notice how many of my favorite memories are food related? I decided this needed a bullet point of its own.

And some pictures of all the fun:

Alex in the snow

Building a car with Daddy at the Henry Ford Museum.

Alex and Uncle "Map"

Alex with Nyanya and Babu

Alex with Mommy and Daddy

Opening stockings

Opening his Brio train set (a gift from Nyanya and Babu)

"The gang" after Christmas dinner

"Speed. I am Speed."