Saturday, July 30, 2011

coming along

things have been a little crazy here but we're really liking indonesia so far!  the whole jetlag thing has really put a damper on things, but we're getting over it!  the kids finally started sleeping through the night a few days ago... we have had two "full" nights, which is huge!  still waking up a little too early for my liking, but everytime i hear them for the first time around 4-5am i'm thankful (they usually sleep at least another hour after that).  unfortunately, danny and i aren't adjusted because we were up so long in the middle of the night.  we'll get there.

today was a big day for us because... we got a house!  yeah!!!  we like it a lot... i think.  we have seen it once and we saw a ton of others, but if i remember correctly it's great.  :)  we don't have the keys yet but when we do i'll post some pictures.  we also got a few appliances and are getting the rest in the next few days.  soon, we'll be up and running.  we start language school on monday (crazy!) and my parents leave thursday so we're hoping to get a lot done early this week.

a special thanks to our friends here, pete and vikki.  they have taken us all over the place, helping us find a house, negotiating deals, getting our furniture, driving us... they are doing a lot for us.  without them we might just be... well, i'm not really sure what we would be doing without them at this point.   

oh and big news from luke... he's crawling!  yeah, bubba!  he's so stinking chubby; i love to see those legs move.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

phone pictures...

i haven't taken any pictures while in indonesia... it's just kind of awkward walking around with my camera.  we get enough attention as it is since we are white and have cute, chubby kids!!  i'll take some soon, but for now here are some of the pictures from my phone that i gave up when i left.  

lily giving luke a sweet hug

lily giving luke a headlock hug... look at their faces!  love it.

mary, lily and jude on the porch... we were regulars in meghan's backyard

mary putting luke "night night"

luke loves the swing and he smiles so easily!

mary and dada swinging (g'ma pushing mary)

typical of my weird little girl

this is what luke did almost everyday while we played at the park.  awesome.

i fit perfectly, right?

lily and mary on a walk around the block.  they were hilarious!

happy boy.  

can you tell they like to swing?

they love each other.

lily's shades.  looking good.


Sunday, July 24, 2011


we are here! 

a few highlights from the trip here... we almost missed our flight because of the 14 detours getting to the airport at 4am.  mary peed through her cloths on the first flight... from boston to nyc.  awesome.  i spilled an entire cup of a purple drink all over my WHITE shorts on the airplane.  they look tie dyed.  mary's dvd player was amazing!  she did really well considering the situation.  we left our "house" in boston at 4am and arrived in malang around midnight (i think)... door to door about 32 hours of traveling.  not bad to get across the world.

we are all very tired from the traveling and jet lag, but we're hanging in there!  the kids are not at all adjusted to the time.  mary has been awake for almost 2 hours both nights.  last night luke was awake from 2:15-6:15 and then up again at 7am.  it was rough!  we finally put him in our bed around 5am (he had just fallen asleep in his bed and was woken up by some 'call to pray' like song... that lasted over an hour).  after wrestling him for about 45 minutes he dozed off again and about 30 seconds later a cat came to our window and meowed so loudly that danny checked to make sure it was outside.  luke was awake again.  danny and i were dying laughing at a few times through out the night.  it was like we were waiting for the hidden camera to be revealed... certainly that couldn't have been reality.  it was.

DAY 1: we slept until 10am (when we were awaken by some of our friends here).  we hung out with them for a bit and met their kids, who will be great play mates for mary.   we just hung around, unpacked, took naps and then headed to dinner with some friends.  it was great to get out and eat some indonesian food.  we went to bed.  mary and luke were both up for awhile.  mary was attacked by mosquito bites in the night... she has them all over her, including three big ones on her right cheek.  sad!  we're being more cautious now.

DAY 2: we woke up early and didn't do much.  went to the outside sunday market for a bit.  took a LONG nap (after getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before).  then, my mom, leslie and i ventured out to the grocery store.  we got a taxi, couldn't communicate and ended up at the wrong place.  we did a little shopping there and then went home.  then we went for round two... we were on a mission to find the "western" grocery store.  we got another taxi and found it.  it's not so western.  i mean, there are some good items for special occasions... but a pint of haagen daz ice cream was $10... won't be buying that anytime soon!  now we're off to bed.

tomorrow we go to the language school to check in and start house hunting.  please pray that we find one quickly!  we're really looking forward to having a place that our kids (and us) can call home and feel settled, especially after hopping around for the past month.  also, please pray that our kids start sleeping through the night quickly and feel comfortable here.  thanks!  we'll report more later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

on our way...

to INDONESIA!  i can't believe the day has finally come!  i should be asleep, like my husband beside me, but i'm documenting one of big life changes that is about to happen.  we take off from boston at 6am tomorrow and will arrive in our new city just a short 24 hours of travel later.  :)  you can pray for us... and our kids!  my parents are traveling there with us to help us settle in and we couldn't be more thankful!  we will update soon from our new home!

we are sad to leave boston... but so excited about our new life in indonesia.  it has been a journey for me, but i can say with everything in me i'm ready and i'm excited!  i'll have my lonely days, but i'm so thankful that God has brought us to this place with my lovely family.  we are ready to have a home again (we've been 'migrating' for 3 weeks).... and we're ready for it to be in indonesia.

she's always ready for an adventure... even last summer!  

a few other things...

we had a wonderful time in florida getting to spend time with family and hanging out with isaiah!  i will post pictures later, but i was so surprised at how well he is doing with such big transition.  we got to play and bond and i love him!

secondly, we had family pictures taken by a friend last week... she's awesome.  here's a link to some of them on her blog.  we love them and had a great time with her.  she was great with our little family... and karen (aka teddy in our house... danny's sister) was beyond helpful to both our family and sarah.  thanks for your help teddy!

lastly, thank you to all of the people who have helped us get out the door to indonesia.... many friends ran errands for me, packed my bags, watched my kids, etc.  thanks to craig and meghan for letting our family live with their's for the last 10 days!  thanks to pat (danny's mom) and teddy (danny's sister) for watching our kids ALL day and making a fabulous "last supper" for us!  we really appreciate everything!

Mary Ryan, 1925-2011

This isn't exactly the kind of post I look forward to writing, but I wanted to take a minute to honor Mary Ryan, also known as "Granny," who passed away 1.5 weeks ago and whose funeral was last Wednesday. Many of you know how special she is to me and my family, as evidenced by our daughter carrying on her name.

It's always painful to say goodbye to someone, yet there is, in a weird sense, a relief that she is no longer sick and physically miserable. Granny was a feisty, active woman. Up until the final 2 weeks of her life, she was still going to work at the Marshfield Town Hall, where she worked for 50+ years. I know these last few months where she struggled with getting sick were difficult on her, not just physically but emotionally. Yet it was a privilege to visit her a few days before she passed away, to bring her a couple pictures of Mary and Luke, her 2nd and 3rd (out of 4) great-grandchildren.

There are a bunch of memories that I hold to, but some of my favorites will be her with my kids. Even though they won't remember her, I'm thankful Mary and Luke were able to meet their great-grandmother. Mary and Granny had a connection that went beyond their name. When Granny was around, Mary stopped what she was doing and made sure to sit on Granny's lap and kiss her over and over and over again. She wore Granny out, and I couldn't pay Mary to sit on my lap and kiss me!

Here are a couple pictures from the last couple years:

Granny and Mary after Mary was born.

Mary, Ryan and Mary Ryan.

Mary sharing a laugh with Granny (and about to pucker up for a kiss).

This one is probably my favorite. I wonder what Mary was telling her...

We don't have too many pictures of Granny and Luke. It wasn't long after he was born that she started to get sick, and she got weaker as he got heavier and squirmier. But here's one with Granny, Mary and Luke (and Layla, the doll).

I wish I had the time and space to talk about Granny's life; it would probably make for a pretty good movie. When I stop and think about all she overcame, it's remarkable she did so well: being orphaned as a child, treated as a house slave by a foster family in the Great Depression (picture Cinderella before the Fairy Godmother showed up), but marrying a WWII vet, having a family and ultimately living long enough to see 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren born.

When I think about her story it reminds me that our God truly does make beauty from ashes. Granny was proof of that. I love her and miss her.

Friday, July 15, 2011


isaiah lucas larkin

it was a long day of flying to FL and then waiting at the airport... for hours.  but it was SO worthy it!  luke enjoyed waiting for kelley and isaiah... he got to play with rissa, his birthday twin from uganda.   her mom is one of kelley's best friends.  she looks much bigger than him, but i think it's because she's crawling and standing... and, well, luke's belly is a bit harder to get off the ground.  :)


the many kids waiting with signs in hand to welcome isaiah to his new home... they were fun and crazy!

they finally came and everyone was so excited... especially luke and the kids!  the kids were so excited and hyper!  it was fun for me to watch as they told kelley the most random things to fill her in on her time away... hudson gets especially excited and can be a little slow to spit things out.  kelley just looked at him smiling, anticipating the funny things that was sure to come out of his mouth.  it was sweet to watch.

it was also fun to see how excited the kids were to be with their new brother... they kept showing him toys, wanting to hug him and trying to get his attention.  they are really thoughtful of him and so welcoming... like it's not weird at all that they now have a new brother from africa.  they are awesome.  

he was a little shy at first.... there were A LOT of people there that were really excited about him so that is understandable!  he soon warmed up and started playing with the kids and some of the toys they brought him.  how cute is he!?!?

here's most of the welcoming crew... and do you see will and hudson?  they're the two goof balls in the front with their arms up.  it's just such a typical picture.  i love it!

that's all for now.  we're so thankful that we are able to be in FL during this special time before we move!  isaiah was so cute and we can't wait to play with him tomorrow!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

next week....

next week at this time we'll be on our way to INDONESIA!  the time is quickly coming and many of our ten 48lb. trunks are already packed, labeled and weighed.  we are excited about our move there but with the excitement comes about 17 other emotions.  it will be terribly sad to leave our friends in boston and our families that are now just a drive or short flight away.  but, we're confident that this is where God has our family for this next (at least) 5 years... so we're getting ready!  here's mary getting ready.  :)

mimi has taught her so much already. :)

also, wanted to include a few stats on the luke...
**luke sits up unassisted, falls over every once in awhile but is never bothered by it
**luke is now making forward progress, it's a struggle but he can gradually army crawl across a room
**luke weighed in at 22lb 3oz at 7 months
**luke says "ma ma ma" not referring to me or anyone, just making noises... but i like it

here are his passport photos that were given to the indonesian embassy.  this is his excited face... he looks like a total dweeb.  hilarious!  i love him.

and let me remind you that he is very cute, despite the above representation...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

gracie and ellie come to boston!

this is how our fourth of july started....

we met a bunch of friends (all those who were in town for lacey and rob's wedding) at panera and then we headed to the park with the kids... and mike and beth.  somehow beth started giving them squirts of water from her bottle and they loved it!  they waited in anticipation and thought it was so funny!



then we had a little cookout at the house where we're staying (thanks, richmonds!).  the girls came over again and had a great time.  they started playing the piano together and loved it!  it was so cute.  mary doesn't always play with kids, usually more along side them... but she played pretty well with ellie and gracie.  she thought they were so funny and would join in the squealing and laughing.  it was fun to watch!


then we did sparklers for the kids.  i was a little hesitant at first, you know a bunch of toddlers playing with fire... it's not really adviced in parenting magazine.  but, they did great and thought it was so cool!

the littles were assisted at first, but not for long

excited their sparkler is coming... then scared.  :)

we were so thankful to have our dear friends in town before we head off to indonesia.  joy, ellie and gracie's mom, has been one of my dearest friends since the beginning of college and i'm thankful that we've been able to walk with her through so much of life.  

oh, and this is what luke was doing the whole time... hanging out and being entertained by gracie.  thanks, gracie!

Friday, July 8, 2011


one week from today... i'll be THIRTY years old!  

a few months ago i was saying that i was going to spend my 30th birthday in bali (since i thought we'd be living in indonesia by now).  since we're still in the states for 13 more days (crazy!!!) i have found an even better way to celebrate!

if you've talked to be in the last 4 months you know that my brother and his family are adopting a little boy from zambia.  his name is ISAIAH LUCAS LARKIN.  we went to sarasota a few weeks ago thinking that we'd be there for his homecoming... but some paperwork was wrong and they are still in africa.  but, he and kelley are supposed to be coming home on friday, july 15th, my 30th birthday... and we're flying to FL to be there!!!  for months, i have been  praying and dreaming that i would get to be there with my whole family when isaiah comes home.  i wasn't sure it was going to happen but we just bought our plane tickets so they better be there!  :)  i am beyond excited and thankful to get to go!

isaiah and kelley
i think he's a beautiful little boy and i hear that he is quiet the funny guy too.  we can't wait to meet him and i can't wait to see him interact with his big sister and brothers.  he's only a few months older than mary, so i'm sure she'll love to have a new cousin to play with that is more her size.  and, he doesn't really speak english yet which is perfect for mary because most people can't understand what she's saying anyways (unless you've been tutored by one of her parents).  i hope they'll be two peas in a pod... if they can learn to share.  :)

kelley, we can't wait to see you either!  you have been beyond amazing through this very trying and long journey!  we love you and are praying for you these last few days!

midnight snack

we had the privilege of having my aunt, kathy, and her four kids come visit for about 7 hours last night (10:30pm to 5am).  they flew into boston and had an overnight before they headed back home. they hadn't met luke and mary hadn't seen them in almost a year.... and this was the last time for awhile so we kept the kids up to play. mary went to bed at 12:15am and was happy the whole time.  she's a night owl and it comes in handy in times like this.

they are a really special family to me, i've been close with my aunt since i was little and i have loved her kids since they were babies.  it was a treat for us because we didn't think we'd see them before we left.  so, mary and luke played with cousins gracie, annie, mary and "baby isaac" who is almost two but mary still calls him baby.  everyone had a bowl of cereal (our midnight snack) and just hung out and laughed at the funny cousins.  the girls are wonderful and i love seeing them grow up!

playing with luke

before our late night visitors, we spent the day with mary's other cousins, ryry and dylan.  it's always fun to be with them because the kids are so close in age... and ryan has fun toys and a yard, something that is hard to come by in the city.  :)  mary and ryan love each other and usually begin to play well together after about 4 hours.  they're two.  sharing can be hard.  but, here is ryan being a helpful big cousin and pushing mary.  don't mind the ponytail on top of his head... not sure how that happened.  :) 

mary thought she was awesome on her 4 wheeler.  i had one growing up also and i actually still love to drive any vehicle, especially if it's fast.  like mother, like daughter.  

boys will be boys. dylan and luke are beginning the wrestling matches at 6 and 7 months old.  should be fun in three years!