Saturday, January 24, 2015

Photo Friday [68]

Hello, intrepid blog reader.  This will be our last Photo Friday posted from the US for a while.  Next Friday we will be arriving back home in Ukarumpa, if all goes as planned.

This past week we finished out a fun visit with Brian's brother and family in Missouri.

My boys always like to share rides on these kinds of toys.  Their cousin took a while to warm up to the idea of someone hitching a ride with him though.  

 We had a mix of cold and warm weather.  Here's Greg braving the chill to enjoy all the fun cars outside.

 Caleb helps out.

Kate doesn't like the cold!

Happy grandparents with their four grandkids!

Before heading to the airport in Kansas City, we stopped at Union Station, a huge and beautiful building.  Makes me wonder what it would have been like to catch a train here back when its main function was being a train station.

They had a cool model train display, which the boys loved, of course.  (We've seen a LOT of model trains on this stay in the States!)

 Random shot of me so that folks can't say I'm never in front of the camera.  (Try to ignore the fact that I'm holding a dirty diaper on my way to the garbage can...)

 And Kate is two months old this week!  That was quick!

Until next Friday... or Saturday.. or...well, whenever I'm over jet lag and have an internet connection on the other side I guess!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Photo Friday [67]

Our Photo Friday comes to you this week from Missouri, where we are visiting Brian's brother and his family.  We'll also be sharing about our work with the church on Sunday.

The boys are enjoying time with these guys again.

 And I'm enjoying having a photogenic nephew around!

 He actually loves having his photo taken, while my own kids ignore me when the camera comes out.

 And this little girl has her Papua New Guinea visa now!  Remember how we were all worried about it being approved in time last Friday?  Well, we got the paperwork back from the Embassy on Monday!  Thanks for praying!

 This means that we have been able to finalize our travel plans, as Brian is attempting to do here in a noisy household.

As an added bonus, Brian's parents were also able to come out to Missouri, so we get to spend a few more days with them before our departure to PNG.  (No photos of them yet, as I didn't think it would be well received if I was taking photos of my in-laws in their pajamas this morning as we ate breakfast.)

And that's all the news that is news for now.  'Till next time...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Photo Friday [66]

The weather has been pretty cold, but yesterday we finally had a warmer window in which to take some new family photos.  (Thanks mom, for being our photographer).  I really had very low expectations of success, because all previous attempts to take a photo of all three kids together were utter failures.  But we ended up with a few keepers. 

This one was accomplished with some good 'ol reverse psychology.  ("Whatever you do Caleb, do NOT sit next to Greg!")


 We visited the CSU campus for the photos.  Hard to believe how much time has passed since I went to school here.  Makes me feel old.  It was actually the same spot where Brian and I had some of our engagement photos taken, one of which turned into our very first prayer card.  Awww!

And our preparations for returning to PNG continue apace.  One of our boys has been asking repeatedly if today is the day that we are going back to Papua New Guinea, and if not today, then tomorrow?  I finally put up this calendar for him, with our scheduled departure date, the 27th, circled.  This has been a great success with the one child, who can't wait to return.  But our other little guy is starting to show some signs of transition stress.  Hold on to your hats - it may be a few bumpy weeks!


We would really appreciate your prayers that Kate's visa will be approved in time for a departure on the 27th.  It is out of our hands now, and we are just waiting.  We have been told that there is a pretty good chance it will be approved in time.  We would rather that "pretty good," was "very good" or "certain," but that's up to God and the PNG embassy at this point.

 And finally, a new joke in our house this week.  Brian discovered that the boys had never heard of an ice cream sandwich before, and so when he and Greg were at the grocery store this week, Brian bought a box for them to try.  Greg was so excited when he got home that he told grandpa, "And daddy got us some.... (he thought for a bit)... ice cream toast!!"  The boys enjoyed their ice cream toast thoroughly.

 Until next week....

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Photo Friday [65]

Welcome 2015!  I won't even pretend that we did anything for New Years.  We went to bed as early as possible, to get as much sleep as we could.  Sleep is a precious commodity these days.  (Kate is really sleeping pretty well for a 6-week-old baby, but between the three kids, there isn't a night without some interruption)

Brian helps Greg assemble a Christmas toy.

Greg had his very first dentist appointment.  He did great!  We have all been catching up on doctor and dentist visits while we have been in the States.
 Big brother and little sister hanging out. 
 I think Kate looks so much like Greg did when he was a baby.

 And she continues to grow...

 Grandpa makes sure he gets to hold the baby every day.

Oddly enough, it seems that I do a lot of that too!

Our living area is a mess right now with bags and boxes as we sort through things and begin to pack for our return.  Yes, I know it is weeks away, but I am coming to grips with how hard it is to get anything done efficiently with three little kids.  Anything I can get taken care of ahead of time is a bonus, and I know these last few weeks will fly by.

 I have spent a lot of time sorting through Kate's wardrobe for the next two and a half years.  (And in case you were wondering, Brian did not buy Kate a new Snap-on tool for Christmas... that red box in the photo is his torque wrench, which we brought back with us so that he could get it calibrated.)

We got many new clothes for Kate as gifts and also some hand-me-downs  (thank you!).  I've had a spreadsheet going as I sort through the different sizes and try to see that we have enough of everything.  Thankfully, girls' clothing is not as difficult to come by in PNG as little boys' clothing.  Still, we want to make sure that we are stocked with the basics, especially in shoes.    I found myself putting some Disney princess underwear into a box, and thinking how bizarre it was that I'm already planning far enough in advance to potty training my now six-week-old daughter.  Such is missionary life!

I feel like more boxes have been coming in the mail now than before Christmas.  We have been ordering a lot of stuff online, as we remember "Oh yeah, I wanted to pick up a [fill in the blank] while we were in the U.S."   If we ever settle down in one place for the rest of our lives, I am not going to miss all of the packing and unpacking that goes with this lifestyle!

Until next week.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 64

Our last Photo Friday of 2014!

Kate, one month old

And of course, Christmas!

We had a big family party on Christmas Eve.  With eight kids age eight and under, it was a bit chaotic, but lots of fun.  It was my first Christmas with my family in nine years, so it really meant a lot to me!

Kate with her girl cousins.

We attempted to get a photo of my grandparents with their seven great-grand kids, with about this much success.   

One of the things we requested for our boys this Christmas were dress-up outfits.  They got some great stuff: train engineer, doctor, army fatigues, and these too:

 Caleb the construction worker...

Greg the pirate - Argh!

About mid-morning Christmas day it began to snow!

 This morning we had several inches, and the boys couldn't wait to get out and play in it.

Of course we put them right to work clearing snow off vehicles.

 Brian was happy that the snow blower he fixed two years ago was still working well.

Until next year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 63

Kate is getting into the festive mood with her reindeer pj's.  We're getting some genuine smiles this week, which has been a lot of fun:

When the cousins came over, Kate got lots of time with Madi.  What a change from being held by her brothers, who are enthusiastic, but not exactly calm and gentle. 

 Fun at the playground in December!  (Gotta love Colorado...)

It's a good thing dad was there to actively play with the boys.  Mom isn't much fun when she has an infant strapped to her in the baby carrier.

 I got some short "mom hair."  I actually went in with the intention of getting it cut even shorter, but the stylist sort of talked me out of it.  She said my hair is way too thick and anything between this and a pixie cut would leave me with a really poofy head.  I guess I'll keep it this length for a while and then decide if it's worth the risk to cut it shorter next time.

That's all for this week.  Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 62

This week before we left Oregon, we made a trip to Albany to visit Christmas Storybook Land.  It's an annual event at the fairgrounds where they create an indoor forest and have on display scenes from children's stories.  My favorite is the teddy bear display:

And we waited in line to see this guy.  Greg was a little dubious because they switched out Santas right when we got to the front of the line.  Santa with the natural white beard left to go "feed his reindeer," and then Santa with the long fake beard took his place.  "How did his beard get so long?" Greg wondered.

Mother-daughter selfie taken at the ladies' Christmas luncheon at church.

One of our friends from church gave us the lovely Christmas dress.  She said that she couldn't resist getting it, as she has only grandsons herself and doesn't get much opportunity to buy pretty dresses.  What good is it having a daughter if you can't doll her up every once in a while?

 The boys continue to learn how to interact with their little sister.  Does she look a little concerned in this photo?  Caleb is doing much better with her, but an adult is always right there, just in case.

 She is a bit more at ease with Greg.

On Tuesday we flew to Colorado.  No photos of the travel, because Brian and I found that we didn't have any spare hands for snapping photos! 

Great-grandma couldn't wait to hold the newest addition.  Kate is the seventh great-grandchild. 

It makes my heart happy to see my boys sitting at the kitchen counter having a snack at Grandma's house.  The kitchen has been remodeled and the stools are different from the ones in my childhood, but I have so many memories of sitting at that counter as a little girl, eating apple slices, graham crackers, and grandma's delicious bran muffins.

 My parents waited to decorate the tree until we came.

 My parents have lots of Legos at their house, so this is who tops their tree!

 Three weeks old.  Man, that went fast...

Until next week!