Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Last minute Sunday morning I decided I needed to flee the island. And Jason seconded the thought. I guess it was a build up of when J was gone, Ramadan, unending needs, and general weariness. I needed a break. Like the kind of break where you can wear pants and no head covering, eat Western foods, and NOT be "Mama Annikah" for just a day. I also knew Eid was coming and there was tons of visiting and an obscene amount of baking in my future and a day of down time before all that sounded too good to be true. We also needed to check in at the social welfare office and follow up on a letter that we never received. I invited Annikah to join me since she had no school and I thought it would be fun bonding time just for us to celebrate her birthday. She loves traveling and was all about a couple days of "big girl time" even if it meant riding the puke boat and waiting in an office all day.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
..means twins and both my children seem to have one these days. Whether it is "cooking" together (pretty impressive little local cooking stove the older kids set up with coral rock and an old tin can), playing house or school, chasing each other, dressing up, taking care of babies, pestering chickens, finding and collecting sticks, coconut husks, and rocks, picking passion fruit, or general silliness they always keep busy.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Miss Anni has some for her coming birthday. Turning five AND the end of Ramadan are big reasons to celebrate and we are planning people! I cannot believe my firstborn is already five. As I say often sometimes the days go by so slowly but the years seem to fly be. Anni Joy has decided her party this year will be the best Barbie Island Princess party EVER thrown here (and probably safe to say only). But still we like to dream big. And although I am not a girly girl I must say I usually appreciate the Barbie stories and movies over anything Disney Princess since at least the main characters seem to have more aspirations in life than marrying the handsome stranger and singing to animals about said handsome stranger. And this Mama was happy she did chose an "island" theme- should not be too hard to pull off since coconuts and shells abound around here and mangoes are cheaper than ever. Plus, amazingly the only other American family we know close by happened to have the movie, the doll, and the book which are being studied daily for inspiration at our house. The "Barbie in a cake" might be a little harder for this Mama to tackle but I will try (and that is what You Tube is for right?). Here is some of the preparation in the works....
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
nnikah is telling everyone she can about this fact. She has been asking a lot of questions over the past few months and I have overheard many a deep spiritual discussions while J is putting her to bed like "How can God be in heaven but still hear me?" "Why can't I see Jesus?" "How does He know when I pray?" It is pretty amazing that she is really processing this stuff in her four year old heart and mind. Of course right now, J and I are the authorities in her life. I am overwhelmed when I think about how much she trusts us, how much she needs us but I also know how good He is and how much He has given us to share with her. I also know for certain there will be many days she will test us, distance from us, disobey us and that too is part of her path. (memo to self) I need to trust my Father with all of that too. She prays and sees answers and she believes and she wants to follow Jesus. That is amazing.
God regenerates and changes hearts one by one and although we see faith as important in our family and central to how we can love and forgive and thrive we knew that our children must choose for themselves who they will follow. Anni has faith like a child and although the world may discount that Jesus valued it highly. She prays and sees answers and she believes and she has begun a journey that while difficult is amazingly rich in blessing. She wants a relationship with the God of the universe and her creator.
And what is a party without cake?... a pink cake because "Jesus loves pink cake" apparently.
Monday, August 22, 2011
So I have had these videos for-EVER but have not had internet long enough to upload but all that changed yesterday!
Friday, August 19, 2011
...and when Papa is gone we miss him so. There are 3 very excited ladies in the house right now because Papa made it home safe! And he brought with him gifts including but not limited to a new play tent for Anni and co., new chupis for me, and a REAL turkey Subway sandwich from the Muscat airport!! We are oh so happy he is back!!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I am in a better place these days. Maybe it is because I had a chance to vent and cry and talk and pray with a sister here. Maybe it is because the social worker is finally answering her phone and while she still has no answer at least I can celebrate some communication...small steps. Maybe it is because I had a great day with 4 South Africans that are here on vacation and volunteered to give up a day of precious beach time to come to my house and treat and buy medicines for the stream of our neighbors who heard a few Wazungu doctors were around. Maybe it is because after 2 funerals in 3 days I had a great visit out in a village with kids climbing trees and chasing chickens and I remembered there is a lot about this place I love. Maybe it is because I took a few days to fast ('tis the season after all) and it allowed me to put my focus where it should be. Maybe it is because J is on a plane as I type and I miss him. A lot.
Mostly though I think I just needed a few days and a few reminders that what I see is not all there is. God is good and His ways are not my ways and I am always thankful for reminders of His grace where ever they can be found. And although my feelings often take over and reduce me to a whiny and blobbering mess I know that His timing is right. I was so encouraged through friends, a call from J, a conversation with a woman at the hospital, a comment here from a stranger in cyberspace, a dream about a friend here, even a cheesy email forward that I usually delete before reading the subject line. God works in the infinite and the seemingly finite.
Yesterday I spent nearly 6 hours at a clinic with my friend who is pregnant. Two days ago I woke up in the early morning hours with this overwhelming feeling I had to pray for her. That morning I got in the car and drove to see her because she was still on my heart. She was not there but I met her husband who said she had been sick and feeling really bad since the night before and we made plans to take her to the hospital the next day. Long story short I decided that instead of waiting all day at the government hospital where you may or may not be seen and if you are seen you may or may not be actually examined and then you may or may not be given the correct diagnosis or medicines we would try to go see this Russian doctor who everyone says is great at treating women. I called and she had just arrived back in the country and would see us! We got on the list and waited and waited while people came in to the clinic with various ailments. One man with a wound on his foot that had obviously been bleeding terribly for hours and as I watched him limp in and drench the floor where we were waiting with his blood I thought about how much God has protected me from that I am completely unaware of. How many times His hand has been over situations for my children and family and how many times I have focused only on the stuff that could be better instead of the stuff that is a gift. After a consultation and 6 different tests we found out my friend does in fact have some issues that without treatment can affect her health later and the health of her pregnancy. She apologized many times for taking so much of my time and that it was “pesa nyingi” (a lot of money…which in the end all in all cost about 26 dollars with medicines included). She thanked me again and again and called a friend to say she had received such good care. I explained that truly God had provided and we should only thank Him. And we did. I drove her home and we explained everything to her husband. We made plans to go back to the clinic in 2 weeks for a recheck. As we were talking she grabbed my hand in sincere thanks. That made everything worth it. It was a good day. When you feeling stuck in your head and sorry for yourself I highly recommend stepping out and loving someone else in the midst of their hurt. It helps and it heals and it reminded me I have so much to be grateful for and that I do have so much joy to share. God is good and faithful even when I am a whiny sad mess. And this adoption journey is still completely on hold and out of my control and I will walk through it even though I would rather hold my breath and run. I will trust there are gifts waiting to be opened and invaluable lessons to be learned along the way. His ways are higher than mine, His thoughts higher than mine. A good reminder of Grace that came just at the right time.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
.....is what we were for sure when Doro and I took our broad of 6 children to this place. Again. I know, I know more pics of the small island a boat ride away that hosts us for the never-gets-old joys of sand castle building, shell and starfish hunting, and turtle watching. We needed a day away from the house and during Ramadan your options are severely limited so over the weekend we decided to flee and take a boat for a day trip together since our hubbies are enjoying the comforts of the first world (not that we are bitter or anything:). It was a great day (if you do not count the first hour and a half that both my girls screamed and cried without ceasing due to a sunscreen in their eyes incident). Fun in the sun never gets old.....
fun at the beach .....except the 2 on the left due to aforementioned sunscreen in the eyes incident
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So us ladies did what any respectable girls would do when left to their own devices without any Papa around.....we got glammed up, slathered some pink icing on anything in the joint, invited a friend, and had a tea party!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zep 3:17
Thursday, August 11, 2011
This video makes me laugh. Hard. Anni has mastered the African hip and butt shake.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Anni & her boy crush/best friend sporting my prize
Papa holding it down for the Fathers!
the Mama's were serious about winning!
introducing Ginger to some local juice