Saturday, January 31, 2009


I just can't help but tell you about this one.

It was the day before we left the US.

Rich was getting ready to go into the van (that the church had so graciously lent to us!) and banged the door on his leg.

He cried out in pain and let out the word *crap* (yes, I have his permission to write about it - he thought you might as well know about his "human-ness" - smile).

Kylie from the backseat - very compassionately: "Dad, did you cramp your leg?"

Rich: "No"

Kylie quietly to herself: "I just hate it when Dad craps his leg!"

Rich and I had to laugh SOOOO hard when I told Rich about it later (after Leilani had told me - she was the only one who'd heard it)

About desserts

Not only did we have lots of scrumptious "fellowship desserts" (see previous post), but also the real stuff that makes your body - umm - expand... :)

We enjoyed a LOT of great desserts, or let's say, the German Christmas cookies and baking - plus a lot of rich American desserts - yumm!

Now I'd like to loose the few unwanted pounds - and how about getting into shape... exercise?!

Rich is already at his favourite pass-time tonight - fishing! Though not with the kayak (speak: exercise), but that will follow soon, I know:)

I'm sweating away just typing words - at almost 10pm... and loving it!

Friday, January 30, 2009


I am more than excited to let you know that we've had a safe trip over the big pond and are finally back HOME!
I was overcome with emotion when the plane touched ground in New Zealand this morning!
Amazing what 4 years can do! I definitely didn't feel the same way when we arrived 4 years ago...

I don't know if it was exhaustion or what, but I couldn't hold the tears back...
I'm SOOOO glad to be back home!!!
I've never run a marathon but this morning at the landing I felt what seemed the emotions of somebody that's run a marathon - and come to the end.

This trip has been good and important in many ways, but also very stretching for me and our whole family. I can't wait to get settled again, unpack and get organized - AND - get into somewhat of a routine again. You don't realize how important routines are (all the little everyday things like shopping, cooking, driving places, laundry, communication, emails, finding "stuff" and more) until you don't have them anymore and you spend so much time and energy in what normally goes pretty much effortlessly.

We were BLESSED during our trip in many ways - most importantly through so many BEAUTIFUL people and the friendships we have with them (including some of you)!
WOW!!! How truly RICH we are!!!

It almost felt like we were eating "rich desserts" every day - relationally speaking.
The kind of visits we had, we would you normally space out over say, a year or more. We had one after the other - and even if it's scrumptious desserts, if there are too many too close together, you can get indigestion :)

Not that we have indigestion from getting together with YOU, but we are definitely VERY TIRED (and not just from the plane trip)!

Anyways, I'm rambling. Am just so happy to be back!

Within just a few hours after our arrival, we received several phone calls, were offered dinner, had visitors with welcome cards and yummy food.
We felt so loved!!! WOW!!! We've never had this kind of treatment before and definitely not when we arrived 4 years ago and didn't know a soul in this city besides the Cole-family that moved the same day as us (from Auckland).

It is wonderful to be loved by so many wonderful people - not only in Germany and the US - but here!!!


And - by the way - it's full-on S U M M E R here!!!! YAY!!!

Kylie had barely come into the house when she walked out of her room in full princess attire - and Shayden was very happy to spend time outside in the warmth and rediscover his toys. I am thrilled to have him back in his highchair for meals! And he can't crawl out of it either - yay!

Leilani went to the orientation meeting at her new school within an hour after we arrived back and Jeremie is OFF - with his friends... :)

Rich and I are looking forward to being back in our bed (with Shayden next door!).
We've slept in all kinds of beds over the last 9 weeks - from bunk beds, to twin, to double, to king - with all kinds of different "feels"...

There's no place like home - 'night!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thanks for prayers!!!

A HUGE thank YOU if you have prayed for our trip over to the US!!!
After sitting in the plane for 2 hours before take-off, pulling out all the distractions we had for Shayden before we even left so that he would stay happy, everything went very well!

Kylie was entertaining the lady behind her for probably 10 of the 12 hours - or was the lady entertaining her? Not sure - but both obviously enjoyed themselves immensely.

Shayden also had a special thing going with the lady just behind him - she wanted to play with him repeatedly and we had a very happy little guy, laughing again and again - and again!

Both are adjusting very well - even though they're still waking at night because of the jet-lag.

We ALL enjoy GORGEOUS weather with warm, sunny days - no winter here, it seems - at least not the last couple of days. We LOVE it!!!

We don't have internet at the house we're staying - so I probably won't be updating the blog for a while...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Leaving Germany

Whew! These last 7 weeks in Germany have gone by like a whirlwind...
Just a little last minute cleaning, a few hours of sleep and then we'll leave at 5am to drive to Frankfurt and get on a plane at 10am for a 12 hour flight.
Right now I'm exhausted. And thankful. And cold.
It's been the longest cold-streak in Germany in about 100 years - with temperatures of minus 10Celsius... brrrr

We were welcomed with snow and are leaving in the snow - nice! (even though it wasn't enough snow to go sledding here in the village).

If you think of us - we'd appreciate your prayers for smooth and safe travels and for Kylie and Shayden to sleep at least some of the time (last time they pretty much didn't sleep).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Guess who's 2?!!

This afternoon, we celebrated Shayden's second birthday - even though he already turned 2 last week (Dec.29th). Since I was in bed with the flu at that time, we caught up today.
And catch up we did! We were close to 20 people - all family.
Although lots of pictures were taken, you'll have to wait a bit to see some.
Jeremie took the camera on an "overnighter" to his cousin and newly wedded wife.

Shayden was quite the ham, not minding all the attention and being in the limelight.
He was happily eating away his cake.

WE LOVE YOU, SHAYDEN, and are thrilled that you are a part of our family!!!
Your sunny personality and joy are such a blessing!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


My family and I trust that you had a special Christmas and we wish you a FANTASTIC start into the New Year 2009!

I will not stay up to celebrate tonight, as I am recuperating from a flu.
So far, our time in Germany has been good - and challenging - especially in the health department...

The following verse expresses my desire for 2009:

Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and His strength (His might and inflexibility to temptation); seek and require His face and His presence (continually) evermore.
Psalm 105:4 (Amplified Bible)