Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mt. Vernon

Today we took the kiddos to Washington's home ... Mt. Vernon. What a great learning experience! Hoping I can figure out how to post some pictures from here of our time out with the three buddies and their sidekick Abigail.

One thing I forgot about! Man museums are so expensive. Four ice cream cones and a coke ... $17! Yikes!

We also stopped at the Army base commissary on the way home. So big. So many choices. And so crazy busy!


Stebbs lives in DC now. But just about a year ago, we were finishing up two years in Turkey. I have missed her so much. How wonderful for me to spend the week here with her and her husband Ryan, who works at the Pentagon, and her son William. William is right between my boys in age and was their best buddy in Turkey.

Yesterday it was rainy! But we did Target and an Indoor play place in the mall. We hope to venture further into DC opportunities today.

So many people on the island are experiencing island fever right now. It was great for me to get off of the island, for just a week, and to remember that America, while wonderful, is just another place with more traffic, less cows, bigger washing machines, and sometimes, rainy weather too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wednesday night

Abigail taking a reading break with the chef.

The chef and his sou chef conferring.

Our friend Mianna comes over to have dinner with us on Wednesday evenings. She took these cute pics with her iPhone! Now I just need to get a pic of Mianna and her little pug Malachi to include on the blog as well.

Shoulder shrug

Abigail reading one of her favorite books with daddy before we left for the USA yesterday.


You may be as shocked as I am to read that the kids and I are in the USA! We decided on Saturday morning to try to take the free rotator back to the USA for a week! I have never done a anything quite  so spontaneous but decided it would be good for us to get a little bit of good ol' home. We are staying with my friend Stebbs from Turkey who lives in DC. We aren't going to go anywhere else in the US as we are only here a week and trying to keep the costs and travel simple. Just trying to escape the rainy weather and enjoy a military perk!

We got the last four seats on the thirty two seat rotator! My friends Carla and Claire were also heading home. I've had three days of nausea-free days and as I feel better physically, notice my mood improving in the same degree!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I am so incredibly blessed when I have a day where I feel like me. My nausea is nearly non-existant today, and when I feel good physically, my emotional well-being follows suit. John keeps telling me to remember this. That my "down" emotional feelings are paralleling with my "down" physical days. But it is so hard to remember in the midst. Please join me in praying that more good days are to follow.

Either way, I feel that not feeling "like me" gives me such a perspective into the lives of people who are not feeling well or not feeling themselves day in and day out. I pray that I always remember how they feel.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Voice of Truth -- Casting Crowns

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again "boy, you'll never win!
"You'll never win"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Review: Whit's End Mealtime Devotions

JB and I are HUGE fans of Adventures in Odyssey. So when I had the opportunity to review Whit's End Mealtime Devotions*, I jumped at the chance.
Each of the devotions includes:
  • A Mealtime Prayer— a fresh way to bless your food
  • An Appetizer—a fun question or activity
  • A Main Course—an object lesson or thought to chew on
  • Some Table Talk—questions to spark interesting discussions
  • Vitamins and Minerals—a creative way to thank God for your time together or a reminder that God provides all we need
My boys are probably just a little young for the book, but you can easily take or leave pieces according to what is appropriate for their age group.

We've been doing these at dinner, and both boys have been asking to read it each night. A great, fun family bonding activity!

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday Funnies

While JB was moving a heavy couch down from the third floor to the first floor.
Sidge: "Daddy, do you want me to help you?"
Isaac: "Sidge, it weighs 1,572 pounds."
Sidge: "Oh. Maybe we should both help you."
Isaac: "Here is some food for your cars to eat."
Sidge: "Yeah. They need some food so that they won't be dead."
Elijah told me that I was, "Erupting him," yesterday. (I think he meant interrupting him.)
We sing a song about the 50 states. At one point it says: "Illinois, Indiana, Iowa thirty-five to go." While practicing our 50 states, Sidge asked me where the State called "35 to go" was
We got a new book on Superman in the mail. While reading it, Sidge told me he wanted to take off his costume. "I want to be Clark Klent," he informed me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Romans 15:13

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

It is not about feelings. It is about trusting in the Lord!

In the middle of the night

I wake up in the middle of the night every night.

It is a time that I pray a lot. I write blogs in my head. I think of my family and my children and how blessed I am.

I feel so good at this time of the night.

So good that I am tempted to get up and do a bunch of stuff but know that I shouldn't. Know that I need to try to get back to sleep.

Why is it that we have such an easy time trusting the Lord, believing in Him, thanking Him, loving Him, when we feel good?

When morning comes, if I am struggling and not feeling well, I feel like everything gets a bit discolored. I am working on that. Working on praising Him in all things, at all times, in every way.

I'm working on not seeing how I am feeling as anything but a chance to learn! A chance to grow! A chance to add another thing to my belt of things that I can relate to and be there for other women through.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Best time of the day

It happens every day, Monday thru Friday, between 5-6. Daddy comes home!! Three little kids go crazy to have the best guy in their life home for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Awana Grand Prix

During Spring Break on Base, the AWANA organization (lead by my friend Carla) hosted a week long "Awana Grand Prix." It is sort of like a mini vacation Bible School, but the kids work on building a car during the week. Then, the next Saturday, we got together to watch the cars race. I had no idea what this whole "Grand Prix" thing was, but it was great fun! I really hope wherever we are next, there is an AWANAs group to participate in.

One of the heats. That is actually Sidge's car on the far left.

Watching the cars race. If you look closely you can see Superman (Jackson) with Isaac next to him, then their friend Colin, and then Sidge. JB and I are behind them. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Prayin' I'm a Comin' Around

It's hard to look at yourself and know that the person you see is not the person you really are.

I want so badly for the "real Wendi" to take two steps forward. She's in there somewhere. But sickness has just kept her a little covered up.

I often tell my Aunt Connie how "sorry" I am that she has had to be here during these nine months. That I feel she did not get to know the real Wendi while she was here. The real Wendi was there prior to leaving for Christmas. But once I returned, well, I haven't been myself. Aunt Connie is leaving in June. (Thank you Aunt Connie for standing by us during this challenging time. I look forward to visiting with you in the future when I am 100%!)

But I also know that this is where I am right now. This is who I am right now. And I have to accept that and move forward. We all go through seasons in our life. Seasons when things are easy. Or hard. Or happy. Or sad.

Here's what I know:
  • This pregnancy has been nothing like my previous ones. I am hormonally different. That has to be okay. I cannot look at this at an illness. This is a journey to a baby that was conceived years and years ago. This baby will be worth any and everything. 
  • I am a little "down" some days. I haven't gotten really morning sick in over two weeks. But yesterday, during the day, I felt pretty down. And then, last night during dinner, I got sick. It surprised me because I hadn't been sick in so long. But it also explained why I was feeling down.
  • My husband is THE MOST AMAZING MAN IN THE WORLD. He is loving me through a very hard season. He sees patients everyday and then sees me when he gets home and talks me through challenging moments. He truly has loved me when I've been unlovable.
I also want to tell all my friends and family members who are praying and thinking of me that I love them with my whole heart. I know I haven't been as "good" at replying to emails or phone calls. I'm sorry. The real Wendi is in there. Please wait patiently, with me, for her complete return. 

This last little baby will be worth it -- I know that with every fiber of my being. I can't wait to meet him/her!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

As of today:

Thought I would do a quick update on the status of the littlest lady in our household. She is just over 21 months and starting to hit that stage where things change quickly. From my memory, she is the "slowest" talked of the three, but her vocabulary has recently started expanding. Her words include:

  • No (in all forms and fashions)
  • Yah (for yes)
  • Baby (this is what she calls herself)
  • A version of Scrubs (Ba-ba)
  • Li-jah (for Elijah. She doesn't have a name for Isaac)
  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Ball
  • Connie (But it comes out in various forms and fashions)
She signs for many words as well including:
  • drink
  • snack
  • milk
  • more
  • please
  • help (recently learned)
She loves:
  • to eat
  • to help give Scrubs his breakfast and dinner 
  • to try and do anything her brothers do
  • to read books with mom or dad
  • to brush her teeth
Other fun Abigail facts include:
  • Her stranger anxiety has seemed to dissipate in recent weeks. She will now let other women hold her and will even let me out of her sight (which is a huge change for her!) Still doesn't care for men very much. We laughed as she climbed up beside a man in uniform at the park and asked for a chip. Then he looked down at her, and she freaked out when she realized This man in uniform is a different man in uniform than my Dad!  
  • She takes 1 nap a day (around 1pm for about 2 or 2.5 hours)
  • She tries to go potty frequently (sometimes by standing up and lifting her shirt like her brothers do) but we have been working on her sitting on her own little seat that goes on the potty.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best toy ever

I thought I had recommended Magnatiles on my blog somewhere previously, but I can't find it, so I am assuming that I did not. So here is my recommendation. BEST TOY EVER. Seriously. Quite expensive but truly worth every penny. The boys continue to grow and build bigger and better things. The toys are incredibly durable -- like incredibly. And Abigail is now into them. I cannot recommend this toy enough folks. Buy it!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mice in the Garden!

JB found a mice nest in the garden and brought it up to the porch for closer investigation by the three youngest members of our family!

Friday Funnies

Isaac wanted to color a picture of David defeating Goliath. "This is David. He didn't think He could do it, but with God's help, he beated Goliath up."
Isaac: "If you were a superhero costume every day, it gets smaller and smaller."
Isaac: "I did a burp and it smelled like a donut."
Isaac: "Is every island the same? Does it rain every day on other islands?"
Sidge: "Why does God make rainstorms? Do the flowers need a lot of water?"
Sidge: "I really want to go to China. To see the Pandas."
Sidge: "Roy (Joni's husband) is not old. He doesn't have a walking stick. But he does have a mustache."
Sidge: "Is imagination real life?"
Sidge: "I love everyone I know. Except strangers."

Thursday, April 18, 2013


If you find yourself saying, "What if ____" then follow it up with, "Then God will ____."

What if I break my arm?
Then God will help me accomplish my every day tasks.

Thanks dear sister (and Beth Moore) for the great reminder of this truth in my life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Isaac's first ABC's

It's a little hard to read because we did it on the back of a coloring sheet, but today, Isaac, (who isn't as in-love with the idea of writing his letters as Sidge is), completed A-Z! (There's a few helps from Mom included. Just ignore those.)

Today was . . .

. . . a beautiful day on the island.

I have felt considerably better the last few days and once again find myself hoping, praying, (begging?), that at 18.5 weeks I am finally coming out of the nausea that has been so difficult for me this pregnancy.

As with everything in life I pray that as we go through difficult journeys, we can ask the Lord What can I learn from this? instead of Why are you doing this? This is such an important point to remember. It is so easy to say but so difficult to do.

In the end, what we need is just Jesus. We think the answer lies in so many other things, but when it all boils down, He should be all we need.

I think about that this weekend with the details of the Boston bombing emerging. Families losing loved ones or having their lives completely turned on its axis. Forget nausea! How do you cope with the loss of a child or someone else very dear in your life.

Jesus. Truly. He has to be what everything else revolves around all the time.


This video makes me smile. Before bed last night, all the kiddos, on Abigail's bed, laughing with Daddy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MOPS Esater Hunt

About two weeks ago, I hosted a MOPs event at my house. We brought a dish to share and did an Easter egg hunt in the garden. There was a great turn-out, it didn't rain (or get too rainy!) and everyone seemed to have a great time. (Thank you to the ladies who sent me these pictures so I could put together this post.)
My friend Sonia with her son Nathaniel.

Emily looking lovely.

Abigail totally caught on to how this worked -- and she wanted to dig into those eggs right away!

Naoko -- she lives in our town of Porto Martins.

Colin. His mom, Kris, is going to take over MOPs for me next year. I hope to still help but with baby #4 I know I'm going to need to step down a bit!

This is Elijah's basket. He just discarded the eggs and dumped the candy in his basket!

Christian is a stay-at-home dad who lives around the corner from me.

The kids did a great job sharing the bikes.

Elijah and a new friend.



My friend Claire's little boy Gavin and his little sister Bria.

Just some of the kids exploring. (We kept the garden locked until it was time for the hunt.) Moms each brought some eggs to hide so the garden was covered with them!

Time to hunt!

You can see Isaac and Jackson -- superman best buddies on the left here.

Elijah chillin' in our Pirate Ship clubhouse.

The line into the garden for the Easter Egg hunt.

The kids lined up, waiting for the gate to open and the hunt to begin.

Little Hailey teamed up with Abigail to help her hunt the eggs. (Hailey just moved to Germany this past weekend.)

Sonia, Claire, and Susan

Only a military base are there two women with the name Naoko. They are both from Japan, both married Americans, and both part of the MOPs group.

Enjoying the slide I bought for $10 on the Facebook yardsale page when we first moved here.

Sidge on right, enjoying his find while buddies; Jackson, Isaac, and Max look for more eggs.

Emily. Such a cutie.

We've been getting a few younger moms with their first babies joining us as well.

Letting everyone in for the hunt. Even Abigail is in there, ready to go!

Abigail ... such a big girl now.

Abigail and friend Robyn.

She's on a mission!

Claire and Sonia. (Claire is always avoiding photos!)

A hidden egg.

Jackson finding an egg.