Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow Bunnies

Yes!  Bathtime!  That means I can grab Jon's computer and catch up on all your lives as he graciously handles this part of the day!  ;)

My computer is still at the shop with an unknown virus. I have spent the majority of the week without a computer or a vehicle (Jon is transitioning out of his current job). I have been calling and putting pressure on the technician, to let him know, I am serious about getting this issue resolved. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hi, this is Amy again. How are you doing?
Lloyd: Fine.
Me: Oh, great.  So, how is my computer looking?
Lloyd: We are working on getting the virus cleaned off your hard drive.
Me: Okay, does it look like it caused damage?
Lloyd: Too early to fully tell.
Me: Okay. Well, what would be your guess on time frame of when I could come pick it up?
Lloyd: Hard to tell, maybe tomorrow or after, depending.

That Lloyd, I am sure he is good at his job but is not much for details.  :)  I will just snag Jon's computer when I can and frantically communicate with the outside world.  

We did play outside on this warm afternoon!  This mama is not a fan of being cold, so I know I have to take advantage of every nice day.  The Littles LOVED the snow. As in, couldn't get enough and mama was begging to go in and maybe evening bribing with promises of hot chocolate, popcorn and raisins.

Hope you all enjoyed the first snow!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Dips!

Every part of bathtime is fun...besides Mama insisting on detangling. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011


Aah!  My computer got attacked by a virus.  A bad one.  I may be offline for awhile. :(

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I sat under a shade tree at one of the Lifesong School’s in Ethiopia. She came towards me, her sparkling eyes shining almost as much as her huge smile.

We started our chat.  When I asked about her living situation she lost her smile and with her eyes downcast, Betelem doodled in the dirt. “My mom doesn’t want me and I never knew my dad.” She explained that she lives with her aunt now, she loves her like a mom.  

When the conversation moved on, her sparkle came back to her eyes as she laughed and told me about her life now, how much she loves school, her teachers and school lunches.  Betelem’s favorite thing to do in her free time? “Help my aunt around the house”.


A few minutes later, I was told by a staff member that her aunt is HIV+.

This is the part where I am supposed to pull together a touching conclusion, possibly tie it in to the theme of thankfulness but to do that dances in the face of Betelem’s grief. Yes, I am thankful that she is able to attend a wonderful school and learn about Jesus.  But, I can’t tell her everything is going to be fine. I can’t tie this into a neat, little bow.

We hugged and she bounced away.

Bye sweetie. May you be known by our Father and know that He always wants you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learning New Words

Little J had a hard day with no-no’s.  Daddy took her upstairs and Little A and I were downstairs and heard Little J cry.  Little A looked at me and said, “Poor lady".


No one told me how fun it is to listen as toddlers learn new words!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Mama Comfort Zone

In general my comfort zone is really large…well, maybe a better word is expandable. Not being a really structured person, I love soaking in new cultures and experiences and while new circumstances can make me uncomfortable, I can take a deep breath and enjoy the newness, the adventure, play it louder, dance harder, go faster.

However, somewhere in my expandable comfort zone, I became a mama, the kind of mama who is home for naptime and 7:30 bedtime. If we can’t be, we find a suitable dark space and I tote noisemakers, blankies, lovies, pacies and their satin encased pillows. My babies need their sleep, ya know?

My goodness, watching them fingerpaint for the first time was out of my comfort zone! I knew the floor needed scrubbed, so, hey, why not? Hmm…I just kept trying to remind myself that “IT’S WASHABLE!”

fingerpainting 015

fingerpainting 030

fingerpainting 033 fingerpainting 034

(Although I definitely learned some ways to improve on this activity for next time).

This time while in Ethiopia, I was processing life as a mother of sensitive toddlers. I must say my comfort zone felt remarkably smaller. As we walked up to church the booming music and worship poured from the open-aired building. We walked around the corner and found a bench on the dirt floor and watched worship in wide-eyed wonder, I had never seen it quite like that. I saw the “Sunday School” which consisted of all the children in church, sitting in a side wing, girls that looked about 6, holding their younger siblings, no adults present and the kids quietly sat and sang when appropriate, for an HOUR.


(not a picture from church, but a similar scene)

I had to laugh as I thought how different playing church would be here. I also realize that if they are overwhelmed by our wonderful, relatively calm church in the US, whew, we have a lot to overcome.


I thought about The Littles as I picked up yet another pantless toddler. When there is no money for diapers, the kids don’t wear anything.

IMG_6469 IMG_6450

Jon and I followed a little toddler, no older then three, walking down a path and she stopped abruptly at a thorn bush. Without a sound, she removed a large thorn that had just embedded itself in her foot. She trotted on like nothing happened.


A small child pressed herself into my skirt. I scooped her up and her face was covered in dry snot and about 5 flies were taking advantage of the opportunity. She didn’t even notice. If a fly even dares enter our vicinity, The Littles are shrieking, “shoo fly, don’t bother me!” while flailing their arms.


Needless to say, my “mama comfort zone” was S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D.

But you know what? It’s okay.

One night, months ago, I lay in bed wrestling with God.  As Jon snoozed peacefully, I explained to God through my sobs that this couldn’t be the right thing for us.  It just isn’t safe for kids. As I thought through the dangers and even many opportunities for death in a third world country, I gave God the ultimatum, “Okay, I will be willing, but if we go, you cannot take my babies!” In the stillness of the dark room, I clearly heard in my heart,

“Amy, I can take your babies tonight in their cribs in “Safeville”, IN or they could be in the middle of the desert and bitten by a poisonous snake and I could preserve their lives.”

And that’s been my Ebenezer.  My moment I can go back to when fear threatens to overwhelm me.  I can run into the arms of a Sovereign God.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


We are so thankful for how you have supported us in prayer during our time in Ethiopia.  We are thankful for how many of you express your continued prayer support.

When we left, I let you know that we were feeling God’s direction to explore the possibility of working as missionaries in Ethiopia. So, now that were back, I should have a nice clean answer for you, right?

I have been debating on how to word this and have decided that gut-level honesty is the best. I am not good at pretending for long.

For the months that we have been praying, praying and praying about this, I was able to hold things pretty relaxed.  Not that I didn’t have my moments of panic and many moments of fear and feeling overwhelmed, but overall, I could let it play out.  In my thoughts, this trip was going to answer all our questions and give us a clear and concrete plan on moving forward.  Jon is going to be done with his job shortly, etc.

Well. We had our questions answered but for each question answered, at least two more were raised.  I can start feeling discouraged, frustrated and even panicky that God has not operated on my timetable.  However, this lasts only for a few minutes as I reflect on how God confirmed Himself to us in so many ways while we were in Ethiopia, ways in which I wasn’t even asking.

So, here we are, loads of questions but still knowing we should be moving forward and in this direction. It’s good, in-the-I-am-scared-but-praying-everyday-for-increased-faith kind of way.

I was recently reminded of the faith of Abraham and his testimony has strengthened us.  “Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…so Abram went…Genesis 12:1-4

As we contemplate our own “far country”, we rejoice in knowing that we serve the God of Abraham. He has been faithful and we trust He will continue to be.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We Celebrated All Day Long.

While i was gone, the littles kindly removed the shift keys off my laptop.  both of them.  grr. so frustrating to type and since i have already sent multiple e-mails, my tolerance for trying the same letter five times is completely gone, so here is my apology about a post without capitalization.

we celebrated the littles birthday yesterday, in a lot of small ways, but by lunch time they were singing, “happy birthday to you”.

thanks to my friend heidi’s idea, i went in the girls’ room and recorded them waking up.  sadly, they were GRUMPY and started fighting over the pink book, literally wrestling for it with shrieks.  yeah, they will love that video later. :)


little a licks a beater after watching how we made the cake.


a tea party with daddy in the tent.


during the tea party, little a put her hand on her chin and while stroking it said, ”hmm, maybe.”



the littles each got a baby doll with natural ethnic hair. they were fascinated, studying her from every angle and then little j proclaimed, “little j hair!”.


cupcakes! they waited all day for these.  little a would walk up to where i had the cupcakes and say, “later, mama, later.”


it was such a fun day.  i love birthdays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Two Are Two

Happy Birthday to my sweeties! This year, their birthday is going to pass in a laid back fashion. No birthday party as it snuck up on me, I did have a great idea for a theme though...  (I am feeling some mom guilt over no party). 

From all reports from other mothers of multiples, two is the magical age. Time will tell. :)



Little A

Little J 

Thanks to Holly from Holly Walburn Photography for taking The Littles 2 year pictures!  She also took our family picture, but you will have to wait for that one until Christmas.  I can’t give everything away.


Little J and Little A, Happy Birthday! Thank you for making us the happiest Mama and Daddy.  We love you so much our hearts nearly explode.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The Littles faces were a welcome sight this morning! They were a little hesitant at first but now they don’t let us far out of their sight. At lunch time, Jon talked about going outside to which Little A responded, “daddy, no go!”.

More trip details to come, but here are a few more shots. I am trying to space out the pictures a bit so there isn’t one post with 50 pictures. :)





So glad The Littles are back in our arms!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

This is Aunt Kris updating the blog today. Jon and Amy are flying home today, so please pray for their safe travels. I'll be picking them up at the airport later and I'm sure they will be anxious to go see their precious little girls!

Thanks to all who prayed for me, Steph, and my mom this past week and a half as we took care of the Littles. They did great for me and mom says they are still doing great. They asked about "Mama-Daddy" (they like to make it one word), but never got too sad. I would say something like, "You know where they are at. Where are they?" To which one would respond "Africa!" I wish I could make you hear it like they said it because it was adorable. Then I would say, "And what are they going to do?" And one would say "back!" Yes, Mama and Daddy are coming back.

An alternate title for this post could be "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart." Just when I think I can't possibly love the Littles any more, they go and and steal another little bit of my heart. Their mischevious grins and spontaneous snuggles just make me want to squeeze them in my arms and keep them forever. While my 3.5 days with the girls gave me a glimpse into the exhaustion of motherhood, it also gave me a new glimpse of the joys. Friday night I was exhausted, irritable and unsure how I would survive the next two days. But by Sunday night, the thought of leaving them was painful. They just crawled deeper into my heart!

Ok, I realize I'm using too many words and need more pictures, so here are a couple from the weekend.

At the library playing on the computer and most importantly - getting out of the house!

These next two pics are from my iPhone and for some reason my computer won't let me rotate them. :( But, I love them because these girls are so sweet in the mornings and this shows the Littles sweet and funny personalities.

This next pic isn't the greatest, but if you look closely, you can see the girls are wearing Elmo slippers. Nick came to help me on Saturday and Sunday and came with these gifts. The girls loved them and began calling them "Elmo feet." So cute and such a good idea! This guy is good at bribery. :)

Finally - a humorous story from the swings. You know how you warn your young children not to walk in front of the swings because they might get hit? Maybe we should start warning adults too. I was talking with my brother while Little J was swinging and when I turned around to give her a push, I was promptly smacked in the face by her swing. This was followed quickly by a bloody lip and then it swelled up nicely. :) Oops!

Thanks again for your prayers for the Littles, Jon and Amy, and all the babysitters! They have been felt and appreciated!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We have been learning much.  
We have received a warm welcome, lots of love and smiles.

Can you find the foringe (foreigner)?  ;)  The largest game of "Follow The Leader" I have ever been in. I actually had to stay moving or be mobbed.  I was so out of breath but kept hopping, skipping and spinning around to stay ahead.
Children waiting on a donkey cart for their siblings to get done with school.  
It doesn't matter what language you speak, boys love to flex their muscles.

Our minds are full of lessons, reflections and things we have learned.

Although Jon and I can't wait to get The Littles in our arms, Our trip has been blessed and it is nearing a close.  We have felt your prayers and are deeply humbled by them.