Thursday, December 25, 2014

Today In The Town Of David...

A few days ago, Jon found me in the bathroom, crying. “What’s wrong?”  “I don’t know!” I responded. “Do you miss home (Injibara)?” He gently prodded. “NO!  That’s the problem!  Did you see how straight these tiles are?” I wailed. 

Our time in the USA has been wonderful and in general, we are stable (Jon always stable, the girls and I, overall are doing great). Our hearts are so glad to be here but we have also started missing Injibara and our dear friends there.  

As we celebrate Christmas in one of our worlds, our hearts rejoice in our Savior’s birth, no matter what country we live.


A photo mashup of our two homes.

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Today in the town of David...

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A Savior has been born to you;

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He is the Messiah,

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the Lord.

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This will be a sign to you:IMG 5212

You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,IMG 5194

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,IMG 2440

 and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Merry Wedding

Jay and Lynnae’s wedding was magical and we were honored that Jon and The Littles were a part of the bridal party. I held accessories and tried to keep us in the right spot and manage runny noses. On the big day, Little J woke up with a fever in the night. We marveled that we could go out and buy kids’ medicine. It was so convenient. ;)

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Getting their sashes tied by their new friend, sister-of-the-bride, Lacey.

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This is how Little J felt almost all day. They both held it together well in spite of not feeling well. Maybe it’s all this American food. Ha!

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I love these three!

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The bridesmaids were so sweet to the girls and really worked to make them feel comfortable.

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Talking with the bride and groom. 

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Trying to smile for pictures. 

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The one that can be framed.

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The reality of the same shot. Little A tries to help J smile and I think Papa is also trying to cheer them up.

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I love the siblings God gave me!  All of their spouses have been huge blessings, additional brothers and sisters. 

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Here is one very lovely, very happy grandma. 

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Playing in the decorations. Because near the end of a day full of activity, we do what it takes. 

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“Look Mama, it snowed in my hair!” Fake, glittery snow is not easy to get out but it does lend a magical feeling. :)

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After a day full or smiles, they were still going strong!

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Driving away with a Christmas tree on top of the truck.

Sigh, so incredibly sweet!


Monday, December 22, 2014


Jay and Lynnae’s wedding was a winter wonderland, it was such a special weekend.

At rehearsal, Jon and I almost burst with pride when The Littles marched their little selves down a long, narrow aisle!

IMG 4988At rehearsal, with Lynnae.

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Little A (on the right) is thinking to herself, “Mom and Dad said they are going to give me a treat if I make it, just keep walking!” :)

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Rehearsal dinner

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A great evening to celebrate what God has done in Jay and Lynnae’s lives.

Stay tuned for wedding photos, although have low expectations (not of the wedding, it was AMAZING and Jay and Lynnae are gorgeous), I just felt a bit behind the whole day and seemed like I was in the wrong spot to get pictures.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

There's Been A Whole Lot of This...

In the last week, so much time in planes, airports, cars but finally, time with family!

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Our transfer in Doha, Qatar

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On our 15 hour flight, we flew ahead of the sunrise for hours. It was beautiful and mind-boggling.

Since landing, there’s just sweetness all around!  The girls holding their new cousin, so many hugs and snuggles, rekindled memories and so many humorous comments from the girls.

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First meeting Lynnae, getting ready for the wedding weekend. It only took a few minutes for The Littles to warm up to her!  Lynnae is as sweet and amazing as we had heard. 

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Overall, things have been pure joy but on the reality side, we have also had sick tummies, exhausted girls, runny noses and the effects of jet lag and culture shock.  We are praying we can get fully into the swing of things. 

We feel your love and support.

Our family is so thankful for our village and friends in Ethiopia and thankful for our “village” that includes all of you stateside, loving on us, graciously overlooking our meltdowns and praying for us.




Friday, December 19, 2014


Hey everyone!  We made it safely to the US on Tuesday night. Thanks for all your prayers. Little A’s fever went down mid flight and she did really well. We did have to frequently take trips to the bathroom because of tummy troubles but a blessing of this is that on our 15 hour flight, my feet didn’t even swell. :) There was a little stress in making our last flight but nothing that running through the airport and sweating profusely didn’t solve. 

It’s been a whirlwind of eating (I have to be strategic in my meals. I want to eat so many different things that I get to full by the time I get to it all), baby holding, hugs, dress fittings, a Christmas party, shopping in my sister-in-laws closet (thanks Chris!) and trying to convince our kids to sleep (these girls are running on fumes and excitement as they are having a hard time sleeping at night, “But Mama, why do I want to stay awake all night and sleep during the day?”, “Daddy, PLEASE can it be day?!?!").

Today starts our wedding festivities, so we pack up our suitcase and are on the road again. Do you know that there are no donkeys on these roads??? ;)

We feel your love, support and prayers, thank you. And starting now, I will take pictures! 

Monday, December 15, 2014


Last night, we planned a good night of sleep as our next two will be spent in airports and airplanes. Right as Jon and I were headed to bed, a very sick Little A woke up. Let’s just say the night wasn’t great. She had a high fever along with some other miserable symptoms (no, it’s not Ebola). We tested her for malaria this morning and she tested negative.

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The girls sport their dresses Jon brought them from Burundi


So, this whole pack up your suitcase and travel through time zones with no one in your family sleeping for more than one hour at a time, isn’t the easiest thing and on top of that, a sick and very miserable child won’t make it any smoother. We also don’t want to get flagged at any health checkpoints. I am in support of the Ebola checkpoints and thankful for them but seeing as we are further away from Ebola in Ethiopia as Michigan is to Hawaii, I really hope our health doesn’t put us under the microscope unneccesarily. 

For those of you praying for our friend Peter, he is still in a South African hospital. They had another scare with a blood clot and it sounds like there are good days and bad days but it continues to be a serious situation. 

Can you please pray for Peter and our family’s health? Thanks so much!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Flying Across The World...

You guys! We leave tomorrow. As in, I pack up our bags and get ready to visit the US for a whirlwind of wedding and Christmases. Will you pray for our trip?  The Littles are a stressed out mess, talking about everyone and everything they don’t think they remember. Little A is a bundle of nervous energy, literally bouncing, I may have to sedate her on the plane. We have two short flights and one fifteen hour flight (here’s to hoping that our in-flight entertainment system is working!). 


Little A is miserably sick. Please pray we can get to the bottom of it and that she would feel better as her symptoms would be very miserable on an airplane. They are also taking our last good night of sleep for awhile! Thanks!


We still have so many fun pictures of our time with Dad and Mom G. Here is a few from a hike that was a bit more intense than we planned as we took a new route down to go for coffee.

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We switchbacked to our destination, glad we all made it there.


And, deep breath, here we go! It’s our first trip back, please be gracious, we may be jet-lagged and culture-shocked and possibly sick as we eat as many dairy products as possible. :)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We Went Down To The River To Pray

Bright and early on the Sunday morning before our visitors left, we went out on Lake Tana, in search of hippos. The giant creatures were nowhere to be seen but we were out on a holiday celebrating Mary and we also stopped at an island monastery that is dedicated to Mary. Along the river bank, people were worshipping and waiting on a small boat to take them to the island.

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It was a beautiful sight.

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The girls watch pelicans and worshippers as Jon and Dad talk about how amazing a ski boat would be. 

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The line of people, waiting on a boat.

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We docked at the island.

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Worshippers inside the monastery compound. We didn’t go in because services were taking place.

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A memorable Sunday morning, to be sure!

 I had packed snacks that were supposed to be breakfast but got all weird about eating them...

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You just never know and the theme song for “Gilligan’s Island” was on replay in my brain and I started to think about how long the food and water would last us. Yeah, I am really fun like that. Life is lovely and full here but very unpredictable and it always makes me feel better to face whatever crisis with plenty of food, water and toilet paper. Thankfully, the vessel was seaworthy and we made it back to shore in time to eat breakfast and I still had a very full snack bag, you know, just in case. ;)