Saturday, November 24, 2012

" I don't like this, Mommy!!"

Sometimes in missions, the little people get overlooked. And by little people, I mean the kids. There has been so much to do, pack, and organize over the last few months that I sometimes forget that I am not the only one that is stressed and affected by all this!

This morning, I had a good reminder of the effect that all this "missions stuff" is having on the little people in my life. My brother, sis-in-law and their 3 kids came in last night to see us before we leave for Togo. The kids all had a great time spending the night together and us grown ups had a great time talking! This morning the kids all played outside in the leaves....then the hard part, the goodbyes.

When I think of all the goodbyes the kids have had to say, it breaks my heart. Over the last year they have said goodbye to so much but through it all the Lord has given them such grace. A couple weeks ago, they said goodbye to their Iowa cousins, aunts & uncles. Thanksgiving day they said good bye to their North Carolina baby cousin and grandparents. And then this morning they had to say good bye to their Virginia cousins, aunt & uncle.

Aiden wanted to go with them. Olivia kept hugging Milyah and saying, "It's okay. We'll see you in a couple weeks." And Eliza just cried and kept saying, "I don't like this Mommy! I don't like saying goodbye!!"

I cried too. And held her. And tried to help her be thankful that we have family that we will miss and even though we are sad we can thank God for our family....but in the eyes of a 6 year old, goodbyes just stink!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I am THANKFUL for

This Thanksgiving I have a very different perspective of gratitude. Losing every physical possession you have makes you see things very differently. This picture was taken last year just one week before our fire.

Just a few days later, the Lord took all the things from us that one would normally say thanks for at Thanksgiving. This year, we still don't have most of those things, but we have so MUCH more to thank the Lord for. While we don't have a home here on Earth, I am completely amazed that I have a HOME in Heaven. This year, I can thank the Lord for my family in a way I never could before. When I look at them and realize that they I could have lost them in the fire, I say "Thank you Lord for my family" with a heart full of awe and gratitude. When I think that I could have lost John and not be carrying this little one that the Lord has given us, I am humbled at how the Lord has smiled on our family.

So this year, when I say "Thanks", not only do I simply say it with my words but truly with my heart.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We're having a......??

With our last three pregnancies we never found out the gender of the baby.  This time however, since we are returning to Togo and need to prepare more, we decided to find out what we are having.  We took the girls with us to the appointment so they could see the ultrasound.  I think they were a little disappointed......they were expecting to see real "pictures of the baby", not the black and white fuzzy images!  But they were just thrilled and all smiles when our friend Emily (the US tech) gave us the BIG news.......

Even though this is our fourth baby, and third girl, we are just ecstatic!! In my heart, the miracle of having a baby will never lose it's wonder. I couldn't help but walk around all day smiling knowing that there will be more PINK in our house!! We are completely amazed that the Lord is giving us another little girl!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A new addition!!

The word is slowly getting out, so we decided we'd better go ahead and make the BIG announcement...WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!

John and I have known for over 3 months, but we wanted to wait til a "safe point" to tell the kids, especially the girls since they are a little older now.  I am coming up on 5 months and we are getting so excited about another little addition to our family.  God has given us 3 wonderful kids and it's hard to believe that soon there will be another blond baby!

The kids are all just thrilled about having a little brother or sister!  The girls both say they want another sister.  We are trying to decide if we are going to find out what we are having.  With the last three, we didn't find out but this time with trying to pack for Togo, it might just be easier to go ahead and find out.  We are SO blessed!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Sweet Homecoming

Well, this post is nearly 2 weeks late!  The last couple weeks have been wonderfully busy being back with the kids.

The morning of our flight, we got to the airport over 4 hours early!   I did not want to risk being late.  When we were in line to check in, one of the agent made us get out of line saying we were TOO early to check in.   We got out of line, but I told John that if that lady made us late it would not be pretty!!  Nothing would keep me from my kids!!

Our flight out of Paris was nearly an hour delayed.....and I started getting really nervous because I knew we did not have a long lay over in Chicago.  John kept reassuring me that we would make it, but I kept silently praying that we would make it home.   The 9 hour flight from Paris to Chicago seemed like an eternity.  We got to Chicago but had to get our luggage, re-check it and then go through customs.   It took FOREVER!!!  Poor John had to get tired of me asking, "Are you sure we will make it??"   Once we got through customs, we made a run for our gate.  We were hustling and when we got to our gate, they were boarding the last group!!!!  When we sat down,  I thanked the Lord for letting us make it.  About an hour and a half later, we landed in Des Moines and we headed to see our kids.   It was the most wonderful moment ever.  They had made signs in French (with Mamaw's help) and were holding them up for us!  We all ran to each other and just hugged and hugged.   It is a moment I will never forget.

    We are so blessed and so thankful to be back together again!

My family

My family