Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Funnies

The boys just finished reading the first book of Chronicles of Narnia with JB. Tonight in the car Sidge announced: "I have a great name for the new baby. Baby Giant Rumbelffin." (He was dead serious.)
Isaac: (To Abigail). "You smell like you have stinky brefth. I don't want to play with a stinky breafth baby."
As of this week, Sidge plans to be a "real batman" when he grows up.
As of this week, Isaac plans to be a "cowboy" when he grows up.
At our last Awanas meeting of the year, we were having an ice cream celebration. Sidge asked, "Do you think we are going to learn about ice cream or just eat it?"

(I was also very proud of him as he spent quite a bit of time talking to Ms. Carla prior to the meeting to assure that the ice cream would not have eggs in it -- he wanted to take care of his brother Isaac and Isaac's allergy.)
Sidge: "I really want to see a dinosaur."
Me: "But they aren't alive anymore. We can see one in a museum."
Sidge: "But I want to see a real one."
Me: "There aren't any more real ones."
Sidge: "Why did they have to leave a real long time ago?"
Sidge has been using the word resernaut for restaraunt. So cute!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Isaac (front middle in white shirt). Sidge (far right by himself. :)
I didn't know much about Awanas before I heard about it on Base. My friend Carla (in yellow) was in charge of the program this year (she is called the Awana Commander) and we decided to give it a try. The boys loved it! It was every Tuesday from 6-8pm we attended. Sometimes JB and I helped in their class, sometimes we went out for dinner during class. Abigail would often stay with Aunt Connie at home on Tuesdays. What a great program provided for free by the Chapel. We hope that we can participate next year again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Ever since I moved here, I have been part of a homeschool group. We generally meet twice a month, once every other Tuesday.
Today we met at my friend Kristy's house. She talked to the kids about birds that live on our beautiful island. Then she showed them pictures on the computer. Then they went outside with binoculars and pretended they were ornithologists. Then they made bird feeders. Take a look at their great work:
Six boys and a girl! From left: Isaac, Jackson, Noah, Max, Abigail, Sidge, and Jonah.

A silly picture

Kristy also snagged a picture of me walking back home with my three little ones. Thank you Kristy for a wonderful morning on Terceira Island!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Island changes

Well the locals said the rains should stop in May and boy were they were right. It's as if God's big hands just turned off the faucet. While there have been some drippy days here and there (today, for one), for the most part, while we were home in the USA, the rain and winds just skidded to a stop. Everyone told us that while the rains from January until May are pretty normal, this year's winter was much more intense then year's past -- both in temperature, wind, and rain. The sunshine and absence of wind and rain is such a beautiful gift! I've always loved rain, but boy there can be too much of a good thing that's for sure.

In addition, I am not sure I have mentioned on my blog the fact that this Base (Lajes) is preparing to shut down next year (sometime in the fall of 2014). Apparently, it will continue to operate but on a very limited basis. There will be no families and just a handful of airman. This shut down is a strange thing. This fall will bring the last group of families into Lajes. So while we continue to live here, things will get smaller and smaller. Military bases always have people coming and going. It will be very strange to just have people going and no one coming once the fall hits. As of right now, our family is due to leave in June of 2014 -- about this time next year. That means we are halfway through this assignment.

I keep hoping that my blog will pick back up. That my writing will pick back up. Stay tuned! I am hopeful that there will be more words than there have been over the last few months.

But, right now,  I still find myself at a bit of a loss for words. Emotionally, I feel like I am doing much better. But physically, the last few days have brought me some more bad morning sickness days. I want so badly to feel like myself again and want to write again. But I have to just keep praying, keep spending time with the Lord, keep taking one day at a time, and keep waiting for whatever He has next for me and our family.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ice cream in Biscoitos

One fun thing we did while Joni was here was take here to Biscoitos (more pics to come.) This is a beautiful section of our island that we missed taking her to the previous time she was here. We also had some ice cream!

Friday, May 24, 2013

24 weeks

Today I had my 24 week appointment. Today we also said good bye to Joni. (Sad face for us but happy face for Roy and Bri!) In just a few weeks, we'll say good bye to Aunt Connie. (Sad face for us but happy face for her getting to see her doggy and boys again.) Then, in late July, I'll head back to the good ol' USA to have this little girl who may  have a name but we just aren't quite positive yet. Lots going on.

I'll also say good bye this summer to numerous friends who are leaving the island for their assignment. People like Carla and Kristy and Sonia.

I had my 24 week appointment today. My NP (nurse practitioner) encouraged me today with some good news. I gained 5 pounds. My best weight gain yet. This pregnancy, due to the sickness, I've struggled gaining weight. But that 5 pounds puts me right on schedule. I am measuring perfectly as well. All good news.

My sleep and the nausea continue to be difficult parts of my everyday, but I am working on taking those one day at a time, not worrying about the future, and living in the moment. I continue to use Ambien to sleep which I would really prefer not to have to do. I also continue to struggle with the nausea/morning sickness. Some days are really bad. Other days are pretty good. She told me again today that just because I am still dealing with this at 24 weeks does not mean it will for sure stay all 40 weeks. That was helpful to hear!

Thank you for all of you who are praying for me. I so appreciate all the encouragement!

Friday Funnies

Joni: "When I get home, I'm going to try to order some new superhero costumes for you on the computer."
Sidge: "You can order it from Daddy's computer. He has an ordering computer."
Sidge: "Who is older. You or Mommy?"
Joni: "I'm older than your Mommy."
Sidge: "But her head is higher in the seat."
Sidge used the phrases, "I didn't realize that," and "I'm interested in Tennis."
Joni: "What is your favorite fruit?"
Isaac: "Apples."
Sidge: "Grapes.'
Isaac: "And maybe chocolate donuts."
Joni: "I'm 25."
Isaac: "I heard you say 62."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My birthday

I got this poem from my Dad today. How lucky I am to have the parents I have and to have been blessed with the life I have been given. Happy birthday to me.
I remember the day when Wendi was born,
I cried when I held her, my heart was torn.
Here she was, my firstborn child,
And she was a girl;  God had smiled!
She’s thirty-six today, I still have the thought
That she is the gift my great God wrought!
Her life is a testament to what daughters can be,
She lights up the life of her earthly daddy!

Not leaving yet

Last night Sidge had a good cry. He cried because, "I don't want Joni to go back to Florida forever."

I remember crying when I was little when I had to say good bye. I still do that. I still feel that way. It's hard to keep saying good bye to everyone. Some people say they are used to it. That that's just how life is for the military. But I just haven't gotten used to it yet.

Good thing Joni isn't leaving for another couple of days! Man we love having her here!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Triple Birthday Party!

We had three friends all having a birthday within 2 weeks of each other. So we decided to combine them into a little party.

Frank and Claire's son Gavin was turning 3.

Mike & Carla's guy Max was turning 4.

And of course, our Isaac was 5!

I love this picture of the two brothers being boys.

Cupcakes courtesy of Carla the great!

Here is a picture of my neighbor and great friend, Carla and her husband Mike.

Opening presents with Daddy and Mommy.

It was a superhero themed party!

Claire's son Jacob is older than the other kids and is a constant source of entertainment for them!

Frank and their baby girl Bria.

JB and his baby girl Abigail!

Captain America!

Me trying to get in on the festivities.

Our friends Nick and Kristy with their new little Liam.

Buddies eating lunch together.

Abigail loves her Ms. Carla.

Sonia, Carla and me (I realized I have no pictures of our friend Jenn who was there! Sorry Jenn!)

Claire, Connie, and Sonia.

Joni is here for the party! (And always a super good sport!)

More superheroes.

Love this lil' guy.

And this lil' guy.

Great buddy Jackson.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joni is here!

So many pictures to go through! Here is a picture of Joni dressed as a Superhero for Isaac's Azore's birthday party. Stay tuned for many more pictures. She's cut back, but there are still so many pics to go through!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Funnies

After our flight to the USA Sidge told me, "I'm too tired to even eat."
Abigail makes a sign for "chapstick" where she rubs her fingers on her lips. When Joni said she was going to play Chopsticks on the piano, Abigail began to make the sign for Chapstick.
Me: "What branch of the military is Daddy in?"
Sidge: "Ummm ..."
Me: "Is he in the Army?"
Sidge: "No. He's in the Clinic."
Me: "Sidge, tell Joni if I am going to have a boy or a girl."
Sidge: "Abigail is going to have a sister!"
Joni: "Well aren't you going to have a sister too?"
Sidge: "No. I already have one."

Connie's boys

Connie's sons: Casey and Colin, just boarded their flight to head back to the States. Here are a few pics of their visit here.

 Colin and Sidge.

Colin and Scrubs.

They did a lot of touring.

Casey is an artist. He got into the Magnatiles!

Casey teaching the boys to skateboard. First Sidge. Casey is a GREAT skateboarder.

Now Isaac.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Feast of the Holy Spirit

On Sunday afternoon, we had the opportunity to end a Portuguese friend's celebration of "The Feast of the Holy Spirit." Our island is nearly entirely Catholic, and this is a Catholic holiday. You can read about it by clicking here. 

Our housekeeper, Hita, is featured on the far left. There were so many people packed into this space in Carlos and Julie's outdoor "garage area."

Our family, quite jet-lagged but glad we could attend!

It's official!

We were pretty sure at our 16 week scan but today, at 23 weeks, it's definitely official. Two boys and two girls for our family of 5! Baby looks incredibly healthy and is moving around an incredible amount.  So blessed by the miracle of life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MAJOR news

Yesterday JB was promoted from a Captain in the U.S. Air Force to a Major in the U.S. Air Force. I think Captain sounds cooler but apparently Major is a bigger deal (and gets a pay raise) so we'll take it. I love you JB. I am so proud of you and so proud I am your wife and you are the Daddy of our kiddos. 

 Nick swearing in JB.

 The boys helping change him over to a major.

 Our family.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A whirlwind

The kiddos celebrating our return to our home in the Azores. These were two costumes we had gotten Isaac for his birthday. He was so excited to get home and open them. (He thought he only got one. But there were two so he could share one with his brother!)

I am home!

I did it!

Two weeks ago I decided at the last minute to go back to the USA with the kids. It was a random decision. I was twenty weeks pregnant and still battling morning sickness. In fact, even now, while home at twenty-two weeks, I continue to fight pregnancy sickness. I missed America something awful, probably due to how I have been feeling.

As I have mentioned previously, my emotions have been impacted greatly by this pregnancy. On days where I am sicker, I tend to fight anxiety and depression more. Darn hormones! So two weeks ago JB and I just decided, "Why not?" Try to get on the rotator and spend a week back in good ol' America with some good food and good sunshine. Of course, John had to work, but I could do it. Right?


I got the last four seats of the 23 open seats for the flight. Wowzers!

I went back and forth the whole trip with the thoughts of: This was the best idea ever to Am I out of my mind traveling with three kiddos while not feeling well? But I did it! (With help of course!)

I spent a week in the D.C. area with my great friend from Turkey Sarah Stebbins. She was awesome. She took us in with twenty-four hours notice. Then, when we failed to get on the rotator back to the Azores on that Saturday (the seats are not assigned; you have to get one based on a detailed category process), I decided to fly to South Florida and spend a week with our families. Again, I gave my someone (my parents this time) less than twenty-four hours notice. Craziness!

Talk about completely spontaneous -- from a woman who likes to plan her entire life.

We returned to Baltimore on Friday night, spent the night in a hotel, and Praise the Lord got seats on that Saturday's flight.

Now, we are home, in the Azores! Connie's two sons: Casey and Colin, my cousins whom I have not seen in years, are here visiting, and Joni comes into town next week.

Lots to celebrate.

P.S. Your prayers for me are so appreciated. Please keep them coming. The morning sickness has lessened but has still really worked me over physically and emotionally. I am working on taking one day at a time, praising the Lord for this fourth miracle, and knowing that I will feel like Wendi someday soon!

Happy Mother's Day to ...

... my mom.

Thank you mom for all the time and money you invested in my athletics growing up so I could go to college. For staying home with me. For driving a school bus and cleaning houses so you could be with us as much as you could. For praying for me. For hugging me. For doing your very best with me. For paying for my braces even though I didn't want them because you had just had them and they seemed to really hurt. For all your trips to visit me in Kentucky, Minnesota, Northern Florida, and egads ... Turkey and even Germany. For loving my kids. For loving my husband. For paying for my wedding. For being my friend. I love you mom.

... my mother-in-law.

Thank you for raising the most fabulous man I have ever met. For allowing him to date and marry me. For all the care packages and crafts and love and encouragement you have bestowed on us over the years. For truly being the kind of mother-in-law people wish they had.

... Joni.

Thank you for being family to me ("Aunt Joni") when we didn't have family living nearby. For loving me and being there for me through childhood, teenage years, infertility, adoption, and parenthood.

... Bri.

Thank you for choosing life for Isaac. There are no words for the gift you gave him, us, and everyone around us. You brought two families permanently together forever. I love you.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

In the Moment

It can be so hard to live "in the moment." To not worry about the future. To not worry about the past. But instead to just live in the present. So many people I know and love are facing challenges in their life right now. I am thinking of you. I am thinking of how we can all just be where we are. Be who we are at the moment. Be where we are at the moment.

P.S. Hoping to get pictures put up of Isaac turning five and the little party we had for him last night at the park. They are "stuck" on Joan's camera!

He's Home

My friend Angelica has been in Japan without her husband Dan for seven months. Today, he's home! Praising the Lord with them for reuniting their family today. Thankful for all our servicemen and women sacrificing for our country.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Happy Birthday Isaac

Check out this birthday card that Daddy in the Azores sent to Isaac this morning for his fifth birthday!

He's Five!

Trying to get some pictures off of Joni's camera to post as this one isn't really clear, but here is a picture my dad took at the park just the other day of our now five-year-old. Love this little guy. (Will try to edit this post more when I get better pics!)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Some pics

I didn't travel with my camera, but Stebbs took some pics with her phone for me while we were at her house. Here they are!
Stebbs with Abigail for a self-portrait 

On the Metro

Isaac is hiding behind William -- in front of being-renovated Washington Monument

At the History Musem

Best Buddies from Turkey