Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

Although we are together and see the other missionaries here on the compound alot, we never get together just for fun.  We are usually in meetings together discussing business issues, or in team meetings giving ministry reports or strategizing on how to be a more effective ministry.  But we are very rarely together just for FUN!  So Eric and Melissa Miller, our surgeon and his wife, decided to have a little fun get together for Cinco de Mayo.  Now to be completely honest, I have no idea what the holiday really is about, but when Melissa called me with the idea I was all for getting together with the other missionaries, having fun and eating some tacos!!

Here are just a few pictures of the evening.

We had quite the Taco Bar!!
Maracas the kids all made.
And what Cinco de Mayo party would be complete with a Mexican mustache!?
Along with the Taco Bar there was a "photo booth" set up complete with props!!  You will notice that we missionaries are very uptight and serious.....
The host & hostess Eric & Melissa.  When Eric is not wearing a Mexican 'stache he is wearing a surgeon's mask!
Eliza, Aunt Cheryl (who just had a grandson born back in the States a couple weeks ago) and Ansley were the first ones to try out the "photo booth".  This was Ansley's first social event and she even got to hold a maraca!
Some of the ladies wearing their 'staches! 
All the MK's had a blast!!!  My kids had been looking forward to the party all week!
The Tuesinks, our maitainance man and guesthouse director.  They are both invaluable to the ministry here.

The Beechams just arrived and are helping with maitainance for 4 months.
This picture cracks me up!!  Dr. John & Susie Briggs.  They are just too cute!

Eliza wanted a picture with the hat!

Me and my 2 big girls.
There were several others who couldn't come and several medical people who had to leave early and go to the hospital.  But it was a great time and we definitely will have to do it again next year!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ansley's Arrival

Well, today our sweet little girl is 2 weeks old so I figured it was time to do a post on her big arrival.  When I think back over my pregnancy I immediately think of God's grace.  We went through so many changes over the course of the pregnancy and God was so faithful throughout it all.  Daily His grace was sufficient and now when I look at her sweet face I am reminded of how the Lord does care for His own.

Around 33 weeks I started having some signs of premature labor and was put on bedrest.  I was also given medication to help her lungs develop in case she did arrive early.  Many people were praying for both of us to get to at least 36 weeks.  Well, then little lady decided to stay put until the very last moment and we made it to 39 weeks and 5 days.  And she finally decided to join the world on April 17th at 7:21pm (Togo time).  She was born at home with John at my side, a wonderful midwife, a Togolese nurse and right at the last minute(because Ansley came so quickly) the pediatrician came.

So here are a few pictures of our sweet girl's arrival.

That moment of shear exhaustion, overwhelming emotion, and extreme thankfulness.

John cutting the cord.

Getting all checked out by the pediatrician.  She was rather blue because the cord was around her neck and it took her a few minutes to perk up and cry really good.
She weighed in at 8 pounds 15 & 1/2 ounces (I guess we can just round to 9 lbs!) and was 20.5 inches long.

John has fallen in love.

It is hard to comprehend how you can instantly love someone so much.
My AMAZING midwife, Rhonda, who cared for me and prayed with me throughout the pregnancy.  I am so thankful the Lord placed her here. 
Pidenam (who was one of my nursing students during our last term here) came to assist Rhonda. It was such an encouragement to have her there.

Our neighbor, and the pediatrician, Dr. Kelly made it just in time!  Ansley was in a hurry and wasn't waiting for anyone!  Ansley needed a little encouragement to pink up and cry.  What a blessing to have such great people here to take care of me and Ansley.

The "big kids" get to come in just a few minutes after Ansley's birth to meet their little sister.

Popa meets his 5th grand daughter.
And Nana was just so happy that Ansley waited until she got here to make her appearance.

Our first "family of 6" picture.

After all the pictures, John gives Ansley her very first bath. This is the one the nurses usually give back in the States, but here it is the family's responsibility.  He is a great daddy!

After everything settles down and everyone else leaves, the big girls came over to check on their little sister.  And I think they,  like John and I, are just smitten with the newest addition to our family.

Ansley's birth, at home, was everything we prayed it would be.  Although I am big supporter of natural child birth I had never been a big fan of home births.  But after we arrived here on the field, John and I started praying about the possibility of delivering at home.  After some time, the Lord gave us both and peace about it and we prepared for a home delivery.  And it was beautifully perfect. There were no monitors (other than a doppler to check her heart rate), no IVs, no meds, no strangers, no hospital gowns and hospital food!  It was peaceful and wonderfully sureal to deliver at home.  It was exactly what childbirth was meant to be.

Part of me would love to share all the details of Ansley's birth.  But then I know that some people who read this don't want to know all those details!  Let me just say that we are overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord blessed us with another safe delivery and healthy baby.  We do not at all take that for granted and we are loving every moment with the 4 little people the Lord has blessed us with.

My family

My family