Monday, November 28, 2016

Procrastinating

Dishes piled around the sink, stacks of laundry, school schedule and timelines and a to-do list I can never quite get through threaten to take over the sweet parts of life, the twinkling Christmas lights, cozy house, imaginative kids and not having to go out into the cold, just to name a few…

Procrastinating the piles by eating fudge and clearing off the camera while the kids watch “Magic School Bus”. 

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The crew, ready to go trick-or-treating with daddy. (The girls handed out donuts as they wanted to be “donut makers”.

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Stopping for snuggles. As the girls get older, these moments are fleeting…

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And this Tiger. So, so sweet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

That's Christmas To Me...

As the twinkling lights turned on, Christmas music strained through the room and the girls danced “ballet” while Tiger and I looked on. The song came on “That’s Christmas to Me” and I realized the preparation I was watching was the ones I remember, cold air outside, warm inside. 

Last Christmas we were celebrating with our Canadian friends and went on horse rides and hippo hunts. We imitated certain aspects of a North American Christmas but made it our own too.  We have been missing our home in Awi land but we are also so thankful to be in the USA for a Christmas season. Most of our time in America has been a paradox of emotion (let’s blame it all on the pregnancy…but in reality, I think it is more the transition and shifting sands). Ethiopia continues to experience difficult days. We continue to pray and hope for reconciliation and brave and wise leaders. I will continue to blame my absentmindedness, lack of organization and moods on pregnancy. :)

I finally made some space on my phone to take more pictures!  It is an amazing season and I don’t want to forget it!

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Tummy time with Tiger. Go ahead and scream. I want to eat him up!

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Watching a skid loader from the comfort of inside.

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Love these three and being a family of five. 

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Learning how to do school with Tiger, so funny as he has loads to say.  The girls in this picture were only taking instructions from Tiger. So, he would babble and I would translate, “He says it is time to do your math”. They listen better to him than me. 

 Much Love to All!

 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fire On The Mountain

Inexplicably, the mountain across from our house in Injibara was on fire. It’s rainy season and this is highly improbable and no one knows why it started.  I can imagine the community gathered in shock and awe with a general uneasiness to watch such a prominent landscape feature experience this. Pray with us for God’s Glory to be known among the Awi.

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Based on SIM’s recommendation, we are still stateside as we wait out unrest in Ethiopia and await the arrival of kiddo #4. Lately, as we’ve settled a bit more, I realize I am feeling the stress of re-entry and my family is too. We press into Jesus through this time of uncertainty and beg Him to hold us tightly.

Much Love To All!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Vague Update on Unrest in Ethiopia

I haven’t known how to express what is going on back in Ethiopia, here’s a write up the Crisis Management Team sent out, thanks Mark and Debbie for writing it.

The country of Ethiopia has been heralded as a one of the shining stars of economic development in Africa, enabled by longterm stability.  However, for the past year, there has been civil unrest that at times have resulted in bloodshed.  The SIM Ethiopia team has been making hard decisions in the midst of this, taking seriously the dual responsibilities of safety of those in the SIM family, as well as the duties we have accepted as carriers of the eternal gospel.  Several downcountry SIM stations have evacuated and have been unable to continue their ministries in the accustomed manner.  The Ethiopian government has called a State of Emergency to deal with the crisis.  Please pray for God’s people to rise up as peacemakers, for His people to be protected, and for vision and courage to see the ministry opportunities that arise from the situation.  Pray too for the leadership of SIM Ethiopia and SIM International in making choices that allow gospel engagement without unnecessary risk.  Pray too for peace, and for His righteousness to shine. He is still our good, good Father, and we are thankful for his watchful care for us.  We also are thankful for our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, who exercised a nationwide three week fasting and prayer event two months ago, and again are calling for another week of it.  Please pray with them and us during this time.

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So, here we are, trusting God has a beautiful plan, thankful to be here and not displaced in the capital, Addis Ababa, but with many thoughts for our friends and community in Ethiopia. I feel I haven’t quite gotten a handle on our new life yet (we’ve traveled, moved recently-all the travels and the move have been great). 

Thanks for patiently loving us, even when we don’t know which end is up. Jon continues work for SIM and is excited to be planning a conference in the early winter in our local area. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Move

We did it!  Well, part of the way. We packed and cleaned our way out of the apartment where we have been living. Jon heads off for a conference so the kids and I will stay at my parents’ for a bit.

In other news, there was a wedding in our family. A married a handsome groom (we are supposed to pretend the stuffed dog is the groom, I wouldn’t let them use Tiger, much to their chagrin). 

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The bridesmaids waiting on the bride (Groom by the altar).

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The girls called Kristi in to officiate. We are going to miss these neighbors. 

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A good time was had by all in attendance though Tiger and I just held down the porch swing. 

Thanks for your love, prayers and support! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Temporary Normal

I want to write about our normal life, the new normal but everytime I sit down, I realize how “unnormal” life feels and don’t know how to dialogue about the little things of life when my mind swirls with the escalating political unrest in Ethiopia, hurricanes in Haiti, #blacklivesmatter, car accidents involving people we love… Amidst it all, we are enjoying the little things, doing life as normal as we can (at least until our next move-next week. :))

I’ve had a harder time than I expected getting into the swing of homeschool in the USA but I think we’ve got a good rhythm now. The girls have never schooled in the US, it’s just been a place for fun so it was also hard for them to find motivation to study. I manage to accomplish very little in my days but I am learning my small capacity and learning how to do life again in Indiana.

A few of our normals:

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Goofy girls who find dress up wherever we go…

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sweet friends willing to drive far to meet our growing crew.

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friends who don’t care how long it has been since we’ve seen each other.

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trips to the grocery store

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and the doctor (oh my, between dentist and doctor appointments, it’s been crazy).

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Celebrating a 90th birthday party with Grandma

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Reuniting with cousins

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Working on the farm

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Playing with more cousins…

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Trips to the zoo

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and this little guys who has become part of our normal. The four of us just sit around and stare at him and giggle when he coos.

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Just look at this guy! Two months of sweetness and we don’t know how we ever lived without him. 

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Can you believe this was him only two months ago? His birth mom just sent us this photo. 

 During the last two months, we have been living in a furnished apartment, provided for us be people who we barely knew.  They have been the best possible neighbors, showing us how beautiful the Body of Christ can be wherever we are and blessing us everyday. 

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They’ve not only been the neighbors who just wave and say a polite “hello” but the kind of “let’s hang out and share life” kind of neighbors, the best kind if you ask me. 

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There it is, our new normal, at least for now. ;)

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hey.  We are here, in the USA and we are doing…well…we are doing. I want to say amazing and in many points, it’s true. Our family is enjoying this season of homeschool, Jon working for SIM USA, loving on Tiger baby, visiting family, spontaneous trip to reconnect with friends going back to Ethiopia, it’s been a sweet time but also a transitioning time where we are floundering a bit.  For those of you who didn’t get a newsletter, through our team leader’s and director’s counsel, we are staying in the USA.  Ethiopia has had significant political tension and are northern teammates are currently displaced in Addis Ababa. Jon and I knew we had to return to deliver French Fry, but we were all hoping for a few months in ET. 

Once again, this does change our plans and our hearts are full of desire to see our Awi community but we know the miles do not limit the effectiveness of prayers. God is orchestrating the situation and we pray our hearts can be faith-filled. We are loving the extra time with family, friends and church family.  I don’t know how I feel actually, so many conflicting emotions.

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Cousins

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Learning to roller blade

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Tiger meets a friend (or maybe just parents who tell them they will be friends).

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Little Tiger and Uncle Jay

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The girls have become quite the event planners. They planned a series of “dates for any willing couple. 

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Riding with Grandpa

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Ah!  Every time I see this picture, it makes me want to scream at how cute Tiger is!

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A beach in Wisconsin on a September day. We are praying for the Floreks as they moved back to Ethiopia, yesterday, after a year in the USA.

 

Thanks for your love and support. We feel it and are so thankful for each of you.