Saturday, January 31, 2015

Photo Friday [69]

We made it!

It feels so good to be back in our own house in Papua New Guinea. It would feel better if we were totally unpacked and there was no cleaning to do, but still, it feels pretty good.

Here is a recap of our week with a few photos of our travels.  (Not many, because I didn't have enough spare hands to get out the camera very often.)

As we finished up our packing, Greg took a camera and went around my parents' house.  He said he wanted to take lots of pictures so he could "remember this place."  Here are just a few that he took:

My dad set up the slide projector one evening and we made shadow puppets on the wall.

 We also looked through some old slides.  That cute baby is me, and my mom is the beautiful lady holding me, standing next to my dad's sisters.

 We killed a little time at the park on our last day in Colorado.

 Tuesday at the airport in Denver, ready to start the long trip.

 We had a five-hour layover in Los Angeles.  The boys plowed through the snacks we brought along.

 The international terminal at LAX now has a great play area for kids.  With a wall.  So they are contained!!!  Hooray for LAX!

 After our first three flights (Denver to Los Angeles to Fiji to Brisbane, Australia), we spent the night in Brisbane.  We all were in bed by 5:00pm!

 In Brisbane waiting to board our flight to Papua New Guinea.

And now we're home.  We're being fed by friends and neighbors this weekend, as the store is closed until Monday and we won't be able to shop until then.  We have been working on unpacking our suitcases and things that we had stored away.  The boys are excited to be home!

Our yard is shockingly green and lush after coming from a Colorado winter.  It's a bit overgrown, and I'll have to talk with our yard meri this week about fixing that!  Our bougainvillea, which we pruned so drastically a few months ago, is blooming quite nicely now.

You could pray for us as we adjust to the time zone, and also for our health.  We all have varying degrees of cold symptoms, including little Kate, despite my valiant efforts to sanitize hands and airplane tray tables during our travels.  That makes the adjustment just that much harder.

Well, we are off to dinner now, and will probably have another early night tonight.

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.