Wednesday, February 29, 2012

With the Kits

Due to illness our time with the Kits was much less than we would have wanted. But we still managed to spend every free moment we could with them. Here are some pictures mom and Joia took of my kids with JB's side of the family.

Look at those blue eyes! 
"Hey, I think we have your twin brother at our house!"

Abigail with the run of the house, 

Sleeping in the swing. 

Elijah helping in the garden. The Kits have an AMAZING garden right behind their house. It is so amazing to me how much you can do in such a small space. (More pictures of the garden down below.)

"Take a look at that big bug Grama K." 
JB would be so proud to see his boys in the dirt. (These are all hand-me-down shoes from cousin Nate which is pretty cool.) 

Resting with Pluto. 


Grama K said Elijah picked that flower for, "My Mommy." 

I have no idea what this is, but I just love this picture!
My heart is incredibly warmed when my Isaac has a real smile. You know it is from the depth of his being when he smiles like this. Here he is in the garden with his two big cousins: Grace and Nate -- and Elijah (in the front).
Watering the plants with a CARS gas can. This is so up Isaac's alley.
Isaac with the ladybugs.
I love how Elijah is practically dumping it out. He is so impulsive and Isaac so particular.
I think there is a finger over the flash, but I just love how happy Isaac is to be with his cousin. He also carrying around an apple bag full of cars.
That's Uncle Rob with Abigail. Uncle Rob is sibling #6. He just graduated from the University of Central Florida and is on the job hunt as an engineer.
How cool is this tree house?
Can you believe you can grow these right in your backyard?
That's a pepper.
Papaya. I think. I'm drawing a blank. But look how big it is!
That's Grampa K. with our growing girl.
Aunt Betsy is one of the funnest most goodest hearted ladies you could ever meet. Here she is helping put together the lobster hats she brought for all the kiddos.
 I got in on the action. Lobster heads everywhere! Why lobsters? I have no idea. That's why Betsy is so great -- completely random an unprectable in a delightful way.
Folks, Elijah took off his blue hat to put on the lobster!
Grace and Nate with Abigail. Oh how I wish my kids had more time with their cousins. What a wonderful family Ray, Gabbi, and their kids are to us.
All five -- with a suddenly very happy Abigail.
The boys loved Grace. Here she is carrying Isaac.

And here is Nate attempting to carry Elijah -- no small task.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank you ...

... to an anonymous blog reader who linked me to this post: Abigail's Choice on the woman Abigail in the Bible was. I think this might be one of the most awesome things I have read in a long time. How wonderful to see the woman we named our daughter after called a woman of "wisdom, character, courage, faith, eloquence, graciousness ... inner and outer beauty."

I pray everyday that our little girl one day possesses these same attributes!

Prayers ...

... requested.

We had home very soon. If you could pray for good behavior for the boy. Peace for me. Stamina for me. Help from strangers. Getting on the flight in Baltimore. (Our tickets are based on category so they are not guaranteed.) And just overall, favor and the Lord's presence, I would greatly appreciate it.

The whole adventure will take me nearly two days. It went so well on the way here, and I know it was because of prayers. I could really use some more for our adventures home.

Also pray for the hearts of those we leave behind. While I am emotionally "at peace" due to my excitement to return to my husband and home and friends, the people we leave here don't have that excitement to look forward to. My niece and nephew, Grace and Nate, cried hard when saying good bye tonight. They had such fun with their cousins. I hate that they won't get that cousin-time for many more months.

But man, are we excited to hug our husband and daddy!

Things I forgot about ...

... Checkers French Fries (Yum!)
... Five Guys Burgers (Why would you ever eat another?)
... South Floridians (and their knack for asking me how tall I am everywhere I go.)
... The noise level. (It's loud here. Like, always. Morning. Naps. Nites. Loud.)
... Cars that cost more than a house (It's South Florida, baby!)
... South Florida customer service (Nothing to write home about!)
... Lines (You can't cut here!)
... Chipotle (Enough said!)
... Beautiful blue skies (Turkey has a lot of smog!)
... commercials (No commercials in Turkey!)
... ability to buy (I don't have to panic about not having something. I can just buy it!)
... cell phones (They are everywhere!)
... mango bread (A South Florida delicacy!)
... On Demand TV (Can you imagine!)
... texting (It's the new email!)
... intense rainstorms (great nap weather!
... radio stations (Christian ones galore!)
... blueberries (yum!)
... to be continued.

South Florida videos

Many -- most -- of you won't be interested in all of these videos. But my family might be and I also wanted to get all the videos from our time in South Florida in one place. So here they are. Hard to believe that our time in South Florida is now nearly up. Saying good bye is hard, but the fact that we are going home to see Daddy after one month is incredibly exciting. Military life is a difficult one, and I really admire those who can do it for twenty years. I just don't have the emotional stamina to do this much longer.

A third wheel
Pizza Cooking with Aunt AD
Grama K. and play dough
Finger Painting
Bubbles with Charleigh
Waking up laughing
Charleigh wakes the boys up
Abigail's first time down a slide
Isaac plays electronic game at park
Where is papa?
Elijah and Charleigh on chair
Abigail eating oranges
Isaac on trucks at Toys R Us
Perfect Squares
Abigail sitting up
Easter (gifts from Robert, Bri & Joni -- 1)
Easter (gifts from the gang -- 2)

Miami Sea Aquarium

Isaac got to have a special date day with birth family this past weekend. He spent the night and went to the Miami Sea Aquarium with Joni, Bri, and her boyfriend Robert. Bri lives about 4 hours away from South Florida now so she and Robert made a special trip to spend the weekend with Isaac. What a great time they had!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Joia visits (in her own words)

I have so many photos to blog. So many things to share. So much has been going on here. But you know, while I have so many people here helping me, single parenting while you are not in your house throws off your routine a bit. So I'm behind. I'm going to let Joia tell the story of our visit. So jump over to her blog to see the fun we had:

Visit with Joia Part I
Visit with Joia Part II

I will say, quickly, that I was so honored Joia would give up time out of her life to drive -- ten hours or so -- to spend time with me. What a special friend! She has such a beautiful heart, is such a good mom, and is one of those loyal friends that we all need in our life. I have many friends, but only a few friends that are unendingly loyal. The type that you know, if you called them tomorrow, they would make a way to help you with whatever you needed.

Current Humor

Joan's house has a toilet and a bidet. The boys went in together to go to the bathroom before I realized it. When they came out, Isaac said, "Elijah went pee pee in my sink." Isaac's sink was actually the bidet. Thank goodness we had "Roy-the-mainteance-man" to clean up a peed in bidet!
Wendi: "People in Turkey look different than people in other countries. Don't they?"
Isaac: "Yes."
Wendi: "Who do people in Turkey look like?"
Elijah: "I think bananas."
Wendi: "Do you like ice cream?'
Elijah: "I do."
Wendi: "Do you like ice cream or dondurma better?" (Turkish word for ice cream. It's a trick question.)
Elijah: "I think I like you better Mommy."
Elijah: "I think boats have wings."
Isaac: "No, just airplanes have wings."
Elijah: "And helicopters and birdies have wings."
(About this time, I, the Mom, am thinking Elijah is pretty smart. Then Isaac informs us both:)
Isaac: "Umm ... Elijah ... helicopters do not have wings."
(Oh yeah. I guess he's right.)

How Great is Our God

Here is a picture of me with Annette, the women's ministry leader at Abundant Life Christian Centre and then a picture of me speaking solo after that. What a fantastic day I had there. What amazing women I met. What powerful prayers and beautiful people they were. It was awesome!

I am not sure how many women were there. Two hundred? But I was able to pray with many women who were struggling with barrenness in their life. I also received prayer for my ministry with Waiting Women and Because of Isaac. (We received almost $500 in donations that day for BOI! So exciting!)

I continue to ask for all of your prayers on my life. That the Lord would use our story to touch others. That He would use our ministry to bless others. That He would use my mouth and hands as His own.

How Great is Our God!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How sweet ...

... is this picture of our Scrubby?

... and his girlfriend (if they weren't both fixed that is), Bonnie?

It may seem like a small thing, but Scrubs is no small dog. And watching him, while easier as he ages, still means having a big ol' "ogre" as Shane and Linda playfully call him. It's so true. He has such presence. He never blends into the place he is. He goes stomping through it with great gusto.

Before the pool prepares to reopen in May, they do a "dog days" where they allow people to bring their dog to the pool. I was out of town for it, but I was so happy that Shane and Linda took the trouble to take Scrubs to participate. He loves playing at the beach as you can see from this video dating back to a pre-Isaac era. But the pool? Not his cup of tea. I think he would like it better if there was a way for him to get out successfully. Check out this series of shots, proof that this pool thingy is a bad idea:

 I love that Shane made him go in at least once. What fun is just running around sniffing butts the whole time? You gotta at least TRY it. Go Shane!

Splash down!

Trying to get out of the water.
Paws slipping. Linda informed, via email, that Scrubs, and her Bonnie styaed away from Mean ol' Shane the rest of the time they were at the pool. Smart dogs!

Moments in our lives

So much has been going on. There is no way to blog about every single moment. I will say that this morning, I had my final speaking engagement -- at the church I grew up at -- Abundant Life Christian Centre. What an incredible morning it was. The Lord was so present, and Because of Isaac was blessed by nearly $500 in donations! And I will say that I also got to speak to JB from Turkey. He has returned home and will now be there until we get home later next week.  

Here are a few fun snapshots from what has been going on here in South Florida during our last few days:
Isaac admiring the chocolate milk that Ms. Debbie brought him. He'd never had it before and just loved it!
Annette, who heads up the women's ministry at Abundant Life during a visit to the chaos we currently call home. I can't remember what was happening here, but Annette was obviously moved!

Elijah experiencing a new flavor!

Isaac giving us a rare photographic smile

Sunglasses from Ms. Annette!
My Dad helped me take the boys to Sugarsand park -- a huge place. I think they were pretty intimidated by everything that was there.
Papa reading Isaac a Veggie Tales story.
Look closely -- that's two little teeth that have popped up while we were gone. Two teeth, sitting up, and crawling EVERYWHERE!

Ms. Debbie brought Chik-Fil-A for breakfast! Didn't even know that was possible!


Love those sticks! Love that smile!