Monday, February 20, 2012

The Bend in the Road

This is a post I have put off writing for awhile... and even now, I am not going to do it justice. There is so much that could be said, that needs to be said. However, in the interest of time (and because I'm sleep-deprived, and because I've already written about this for two different newsletters), I am just going to stick with the facts. Here they are:
  • We are no longer moving to Angola as missionaries.
  • We are moving instead to Ecuador as missionaries.
  • Ecuador is in South America.
  • We will be working with an organization called Operation Ecuador, alongside my sister and her family, who moved there about a year ago.
  • We are hoping to be there by the end of March (contingent on visas).
  • We will live in the city of Quito.
  • No, they do not speak Portuguese in Ecuador. They speak Spanish.
For more details, you can read our recent family newsletter here, or my article in the recent Angola Team newsletter here.

This means big changes ahead for the blog as well as for our Facebook page. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Fourth Month

Ben's fourth month was a little more restful. We did take a trip down to Nashville in early December, but for the rest of the time, we were just hanging out at my parents' house. Benjamin discovered his feet and learned how to roll over. He is starting to laugh when tickled in just the right spot. Baby laughs are the best! He is becoming more and more interested in the world around him. He especially loves to watch his brothers and is very interested in all the things they do. Often it seems like he is longing for the day when he can join in the fun.

We celebrated Benjamin's first Christmas during his fourth month. It's not like we planned it this way, but I do think it's special that each of my children has celebrated their first Christmas at Nyanya and Babu's house! He loved to look at the lights on the Christmas tree and watch the train go around and around. He got some fun gifts like new warm sleepers, socks, baby slippers, more burp cloths, a baby's first year calendar, and a paci-clip. Honestly, I think he was a bit overwhelmed by all the festivities!

Special people Ben met during his fourth month included his Uncle Matt and Aunt Janille, who came for Christmas. He loves to meet people and is usually quite the little charmer. Benjamin was especially fascinated by Uncle Matt's Donald Duck impersonation and thought he was pretty hilarious!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What We've Been Up To (Holiday Edition)

By way of catching up, just a few pics of our holiday celebrations...

Just before Thanksgiving, we celebrated my grandma Nadine's 85th birthday. My parents recently moved her from Oregon to Michigan, and she lives in a retirement home a few blocks from their house. The last time we were with her on her birthday was when she turned 80, 5 years ago. Alex was just a baby! It's hard to believe. We also went to visit my grandma Ruth in southern Michigan.

Happy, Birthday!
With Great-Grandmother
Then, we got ready for Thanksgiving -- my favorite holiday! The boys and I put up a "thankfulness tree" again this year, and every day for the week before Thanksgiving, we would put up a few leaves of things we were thankful for. We also made turkey cupcakes! We had a lovely feast on Thanksgiving Day, and my grandma Nadine was able to join us.

We are thankful...
The Thanksgiving feast -- yum!!!

After Thanksgiving, we got ready for Christmas!

The boys helped Nyanya decorate the Christmas tree.
They loved to watch the train go around the tree.
We went to see the Christmas trains at the Henry Ford museum.
Santa was there!
Our homemade ornament project this year was skiing snowmen -- made with pinecones, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and pom poms.
We also made Christmas cookies with Aunt Janille.
On Christmas Eve, we read "Clarabelle the Christmas Cow" and sang carols around the Christmas tree.
We had a very nice Christmas with my parents, and my brother and his wife. My aunt and some of her family joined us for Christmas dinner.

Family pic in front of the Christmas tree
Benjamin was the star of the day in his Santa suit!
Opening presents
On New Year's Eve, Alex helped Nyanya and Babu deliver homemade loaves of bread to all the neighbors.

Happy New Year!
More pictures on Facebook!