January 28, 2016

Changed 2016

Tomorrow I will be headed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 8 days for a mission trip, with a team of people serving with the organization Hope For His Children Hope for His Children exists to show the love of Jesus to orphaned, abandoned, and impovershed children, and to generate support for the children. We will be working with several local mission partners in-country and we have a full week planned teaching VBS at the Compassion Family International drop-in center, visiting a couple of orphanages, family visits, and fun activities with the women and children.  

As we get ready to depart and throughout the week, please pray for each members':
- Compassion and love for the people they are serving
- Togetherness of the team
- Unique talents and gifts to share
- Safe travels to Ethiopia, within country, and back to our families
- Good health
- Protection and health over Nathan, Caleb, Benjamin, and all the other families that will be at home

Next blog when I return!

January 24, 2016

Indoor fun

It's been a windy and rainy weekend and today we had hail and sleet. Maybe snow tomorrow??? So, we've been having fun indoors. The boys like having a bucket in the bathtub to wash their bottoms :).
 Benjamin is really goofy. He was preparing to outsmart Spirit Airlines' pay for your carry-on luggage policy by wearing all of his clothes!
 I've been making a good Pad Thai recipe the past couple of months that we are all enjoying. Love having access to all kinds of ingredients.

 And this was kindle movie morning. Benjamin claims the comfy chair and Caleb likes to lay on the ground and cover up with lots of blankets. Can you see him?
If we get any decent snow in the next couple of days, I'll put some pictures up. Though it will pale in comparison to the 40 inches that our neighborhood in Virginia got the last couple of days!

January 18, 2016

Tae Kwan Do

The boys recently started taking Taw Kwan Do. An instructor comes to our home one afternoon during the week, and she works them good! Tes took a long video of them this past week. I couldn't figure out how to trim it with the different video formats, so here's it is for you to skim through. 
And this week, the boys broke their first board! They were so proud to show us the broken boards :).
Watch out karate kid, here comes Caleb and Benjamin!

January 16, 2016

Friends Weekend

It's been a friends weekend :). Yesterday the boys were invited to a birthday party at the Children's museum. It was a really fun idea to have a party there and the kids all and a great time!
 The kids had plenty of cookies, cake, cupcakes, and maybe a few chicken nuggets and french fries.
We may have eaten a little too much!  Or we many have visited the funny mirrors :)
 After the party was over, they boys played outside with some friends.
 Showing off their batman and spiderman face painting.
In the evening, Nathan and I went out to dinner with a couple we are friends with at church. It was great company and we ate a lot of delicious Chinese food! It has been a fun weekend, and today we are taking care of things around the house and having a low key day. We started our day off with chocolate chip muffins and fresh orange juice. I've been enjoying the delicious fresh fruit and these juicy oranges!
Happy Saturday!

January 12, 2016

Down in the river to pray

                                              As I went down in the river to pray
                                              Studying about that good ol' way

                                              And who shall wear the starry crown?
                                              Good Lord show me the way!

                                              O brothers let's go down
                                              Let's go down, come on down
                                              O brothers let's go down
                                              Down in the river to pray


January 9, 2016


It's been a rainy weekend here! Lots of time playing indoors, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Yesterday my friend and I took our kids to an indoor play gym for a couple of hours and it was a hit:). 

Here is a new recipe I tried this weekend from Southern Living. Cut up some carrots, potatoes, onions, sprinkle the vegetables and chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, bake on 375 degrees for about an hour, and put deliciousness!
 Caleb can recognize all of his letters, and he has recently learned to write his name!
 The boys had fun coloring on the chalkboard for a while this morning, after coming in from a puddle walk with dad :).
We enjoyed the lazy weekend here. And school resumes on Tuesday for these two!

January 5, 2016

Kerak Castle

The boys are still on winter break for another week, so Nathan and I took the day off today, to explore a new site with the boys. We went with some friends to visit Kerak Castle, which is about 2.5 hours south west of Amman, and sits near the southern end of the Dead Sea. 
The city of Kerak was once an important city of the Biblical kingdom of Moab, and it was also inhabited by the Nabateans, Romans, and Byzantines, before the castle was built. It is one of the largest crusader castles in the Levant. In 1189AD, the castle fell to the Mamluks. The castle later was owned by local families until 1840, until Egypt captured and destroyed much of the castle. Kerak today is still a primarily Christian town, and many people trace their roots back to the Byzantines. 
 The castle overlooks the Dead Sea and is well protected by valleys on both sides.
 The castle has multiple levels, and there were so many tunnels that kept going and going!
 We had a lot of fun exploring the castle grounds, and were some of the only people there.

 Back inside the castle, be careful for holes. Thankfully most of them had rebar inside, but not all did!
The boys with their good friend Nayla. They play so nicely together and had a blast exploring this afternoon.
 The boys are into wearing scarves lately!
 Loving the beautiful views from the top. Benjamin wanted his picture with daddy.
 It was a windy day (can you see my hair flying)?
And another tunnel...the kids took turns with the flashlight and being the line leader.
 We made it!
 Not sure what they are looking at?
Kids having fun climbing and playing.

We had a picnic lunch in the back of our car, then headed home. It was a busy little town.
 I love how Jordan flies their flag so proudly!
 And back to our little mountain. It was a fun day exploring a new place!

January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

Happy New Year family and friends! What a blessed year 2015 has been for our family! We spent January through June in Kuwait. We have great memories riding along and watching the crazy camel races, a trip to the desert, exploring the souq, long walks along the gulf, trips to the zoo, aquarium, and many parks. We are thankful for this unique opportunity, and have many great memories of our time living in the desert.

In June, we transitioned back to the US, and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend with family and friends in Virginia, Illinois, and Florida. Highlights of our time in the US was celebrating the 4th of July with Nathan's extended family and Caleb's 4th birthday, trips to Holiday World and Disney World, playing with grandparents and cousins, many trips to the beach, pool, eating lots of ice cream, and having lots of time for the boys to play outdoors.

In mid-August, our family moved to Amman, Jordan, where we will be for the next 3 years. My mom traveled with us and stayed for a few weeks to help us get settled. Over the past few months, we have enjoyed exploring and soaking in the beauty of this place. We have taken trips to Mt. Nebo, the Baptism site, Madaba, Jerash, Ajloun, Umm Qais, and recently explored Petra and Wadi Rum with Nathan's cousins.

To celebrate new year, we went out for pizza and are watching movies indoors on this cold and sleety day, and waiting for morning to play in the snow...

 So much to be thankful for and excited for what God has in store for each of us in 2016. Wishing you a blessed day and year to come!