18 February 2011

Bittersweet Goodbyes and some photos to catch up on

We always run into the tension between not wanting to say goodbye to friends and family in the states but at the same time wanting to come back "home" and to our other family. Usually when we're in the states we try and split up time between mine and bud's family evenly. This time though we ended up with my parents more. And the main reason was because we knew we were about to spend a lot of time with Bud's parents. We are so thrilled that this weekend they will be flying into Kenya and coming to get a glimpse into our lives here. They will be here for a month! So since we were traveling a lot in the states and were only there 10 weeks, I was thankful to get to spend more time than planned with my family.

I was talking to one of our board members, he and his family lived on the mission field in Africa for 10+ years. He was just in Kenya for I believe 3 weeks or more. I was talking to him the day after he got back and asked if it was easier going back and forth, telling those in Texas goodbye for awhile and then telling those in Kenya goodbye for awhile. I thought surely he'd say yes, that you just learn to pop back and forth and able to pull your emotions together. Nope, he said it just keeps getting harder.

And I sure felt it this time. Saying "see you later" to my parents does NOT get easier. People often ask us what the most difficult thing for us is living here. The food, the smells, the extremely different culture, no power sometimes, conflicts here and there, poverty all around, concerned about our kids, being wrongly accused, talked about, stared at, and just flat out hard times. All these things can get to us on certain days, nothing though that we don't endure with joy because of all the indescribable great things that we see happen and get to be a part of. But the hardest of all is being so far from family. I'm pretty sure, actually I know, that I've talked about this on here before. But here I am again. Knowing that we're not just going to pop back over into mine or Bud's parents house and spend the weekend. It could be awhile. But it's worth it. We love what we do and do what we love. There's no where else in the world we'd rather be than right her, right now. And thank goodness for skype! All that to say, I already miss you mom and dad!

Now to catch up on a few pictures. Still no cute Kenyan kiddos. I'm fairly certain that today I will get some photos out at Mattaw!

Claire turns one on Friday. Wait, did I just say that?! Claire turns one on Friday. Oh geeze time flies. My mom couldn't stand it that she wouldn't be a part of her first birthday. So we had an early party at my parents house. (and we'll have one again on Friday)

My mom has always made my dad italian cream cake for his birthday and sometimes on my birthday growing up I'd ask for one too. So we came up with the ingenious idea to make a PINK italian cream cake. Even better!

She was pretty exhausted when it came time to party. We had been out running errands all day getting ready for Kenya. She did great most of it... except when I wanted a picture of her sitting on the table. (yes, that would be Eli over there picking his nose)

Eli was having a great time though! His grandma got him a present too and he got to help blow out the candle. Probably one of the only times this will happen on his sisters' birthday!

Bud thought this precious pink-ta-fied outfit was ridiculous. He said it was too frilly. "Too frilly" and "too much pink" is not found in my vocabulary! And we can now go with a pony tail every now and then.

My mom didn't realize she put Claire's jeans on this little monster. We got a pretty good laugh out of it. After awhile he didn't find it too humorous.

And here are some pictures from our yard here in Kenya...

One happy little boy. I love being back in his element.

Playing and enjoying the warm weather

I just love this look she's giving

Today I'm spending some time with just my girl while Elisha went "to work" with his dad. Actually she is taking a nap and I'm getting the house to myself in between the busyness and many guest coming in and out. We love it though.

I'm so thankful that a team has visited Mattaw this week. They came last year and are back again with a few new people. It's a few families from Joplin, MO plus the guy we bought our brick machine from and his wife. The men have been building a new school building with three more classrooms while the women and children have been playing with the children, painting the kids rooms, and helping the staff. When they came last year, I was in Texas pregnant as could be. One family has their two oldest daughters that are 11 and 13. The other family brought their 3 year old and 5 year old. So it's fun to have mzungu kiddos around our Mattaw kids. I'll have to post more on this team though and show some pictures.

You could definitely pray for me and the kids, that we'd get over jet lag. This has been the hardest time getting over it. The night before last I thought we were headed to victory. We went to bed at 7 and got up at 3. Although 3 is early, in my mind it was at least 8 hours and I was thinking last night we'd just push to keep Elisha awake and wake up later in the morning. It was all going smoothly until Elisha woke up at 11:30 with a tummy ache. To make matters worse, he eventually threw up at 1am. It had a lot of big chunks of chewing gum in it so not sure if that had anything to do with it. Either way, didn't know he ate gum and glad it came out! (sorry for the detail!) After that though he went back to bed once we cleaned it all up and he got settled. He slept until 6am but an exhausting night. Soon enough though!

(*side note: Eli is starting to WANT to go potty. I brought back a chore list and wrote on one of the spaces to go potty. We went through the list yesterday and when it got to the potty, he was like "ok!" with no hesitation, unlike before. Who'd a thunk, that a chart would help motivate him. I sure didn't think so, knowing his personality! Whatever works. The rest of the day he enjoyed running around in his Nemo big boy undies and dinosaur rain boots)

Here's how Eli fell asleep last night. He got real quiet so I peeped over to see what he was doing. Sure enough, out he went.


Joyful Living said...

Thanks for the update! We will continue to pray for "ya'lls" transition back to Kenya. Your post on saying goodbye to family comes at a funny time, as we will be talking to TJ's family this morning in DETAIL about us joining you guys this fall, including answering tough questions they have about why we would ever want to be so far away from family.
Homesick for Kenya-homesick for the US. Oye. That has to be tough. Miss you to pieces!

NeNe said...

Here we come. Soon to kiss our Kenyan kids!!Nene

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