Thursday, August 13, 2015

jetlag was conquered in one week!

we spent most of our first week at danny's parent's house… basically focusing on sleeping at night and trying to not sleep during the day.  jet lag was actually not near as bad as we have experienced before.  the kids did great and because of that we actually slept also!  

i have very few pictures to show for that week… we did a lot of shopping for the essentials and repacking our lives.  but, we did make it to the water one day and i got a few pictures of the kids with grandma and grandpa.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

reunited and it feels so good!!!

we've been in america almost 2 months and we've done A LOT!!!  we're on our 12th "move" as a family and i intend to document all of the wonderful family and friends we've spent time with.  it's been crazy and busy but we're so thankful for the deep relationships that we have been able to jump right back into.  we'll start with the carders… 

mary and lily were best of buds, not because their personalities clicked as 2 year olds (the opposite actually) but because lily's mama is one of my dear friends.  they haven't talked frequently but just enough to remember one another and i'm so thankful!  we met at the park our first day back in boston and the kids had so much fun together!  

mary taught lily the proper way to pose for a photo, of course.

the water was really cold… i guess "bum first" made it more bearable.  

so happy that they hit it off and had so much fun together.  so glad that mary and luke had a few friends that they could remember from before (or from FaceTime and pictures)… i think it made it just a touch easier to come into the great unknown of america.  :)  

we love you carders!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

mary and luke, javanese style.

for a few months now i have wanted to take pictures of my kids in javanese clothes.  my kids are growing up on java and are obviously influenced by the culture and way of life here.  though people don't wear these kind of clothes on a daily basis they are often seen at significant events, historical photos, etc… and i love them.  

this is their classic javanese photo… in portraits javanese people often don't smile so they didn't.  can't you tell how truly javanese they are.  ;)

that girl and her poses… the way she tilts her head and moves her hips kills me.  

i love this picture because it perfectly captures the way that mary tells luke what to do and the way he listens to her.  i'm sure she was encouraging him to do something funny so they could get more m&ms and be done with the pictures.  yes, i bribed them.  

and i leave you with this behind the scenes photo… 

that is really how they both felt about the photos.  mary couldn't wait to get dolled up and tilt that head in an awkward manner for every 'pose' she has… and luke was hot, sweaty, itchy and mad.  i'm not sure how i caught the above photos of him looking happy… i was probably talking about star wars or toots, if i'm honest.  :)  

Friday, June 5, 2015

a village swimming hole

this week a took a night away with a friend to get out of the city, rest, pray and enjoy God's creation.  i love walking through random places and just seeing what will happen or who i'll meet.  this little adventure did not disappoint.  i started in a rice field and ended walking through a village swimming hole.  

i asked random people for "permission" as i passed them in the rice field.  as i was coming up to this little hut i saw a guy bathing himself (with shorts on) outside… i was a little afraid to walk by but after a few "excuse me" yells he popped his head out and said i could pass.  turns out this hut is a cow's house… not sure if the man lives there with the cow but he had his clothes, comb, mirror, etc all hanging outside so I'm guessing he does.  

this is one of the men that led me around… and watched me slip into an irrigation ditch and lose my lens cap.  he then informed me that the small grass trails are slippery.  yeah, i got that now.  :)

following out of the rice field…

then i came across the annual water hole.  apparently right before the fasting month starts every year water from the mountains flows down and for one day this little area floods and becomes a pool for the kids in the village.  it was so fun!  

a ton of the people from the village were hanging out there so i stayed for an hour or so and just chatted with people that were around.  it was really fun!  

you may notice that there are no girls in the water… that's because as soon as i arrived they came out and chatted with me… and attempted to sabotage every photo i was trying to take with these amazing poses.  :)  i kept telling them that i wasn't into amazing poses like they are… but that didn't stop them.  i have about 75 peace sign pictures from these cuties.  

these kind of little adventures are one of the my favorite things about indonesia.  people here are so friendly and quick to laugh… they laugh together and at each other.  the pace of life is slow and they are just ready to hang out.  i love going out of the city and seeing a little piece of life in the village.  sometimes i wish i lived in a village… and then i remember that they don't have real cheese or coffee or cleaned chicken breasts…. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

the shrimp farm

have you ever thought about how shrimp are farmed?  me neither.  

last week we took a day trip to the island of madura to check out our friend's shrimp farm.  it was really interesting.  there were 33 concrete pools where the shrimp are raised and we came the first day of harvest… so here are the guys draining the pools and catching the shrimp in the nets.  

as the pools are drained the water in these canals all head back into the ocean… 

 some of the workers taking a break from the heat of day.  we went at 1pm and it was SO hot!!!  they are wearing sweatshirts and masks to protect themselves from the sun.  we're close to the equator here and the sun is hot on the skin! 

and then we took a stroll, threw rocks into the ocean and looked at beautiful, open space that we never see in our crowded city.  

the drive there was about three hours, most of which was through the island of madura.  madura is so different than where we live… we live in a city of 6 million people and it is crowded everywhere.  madura is much more village like… there are little groups of houses, markets and farms along the road.  the part we traveled through is green and very spacious.  i love just looking around at the peaceful scenery.  next time we go, we hope to stay longer and check out more of the beautiful island. 

and thanks to our friend, michael, for the invitation to see his farm!  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

blueberry crunch and heaven

my latest conversation in the car with these two…

luke: mom, is there anything worse than death?

mom: yes, buddy i think there are a lot of things worse than death.  death isn't the worst thing that will happen to us, in fact, it's the beginning of our eternity with God.  if we choose to believe that Jesus has died to forgive your sins and rose again… then your heart is made clean by God, we get to be with God forever.  so we don't have to be afraid of death… we can be excited about it.

luke: that's when the new world will come...

mom: yeah, the new heaven and earth will come.  it's going to be awesome!  just like how God created the world to begin with.

mary: and there will be no more scrapes, or crying or sad people.

they both chime in about the bad things that won't be in eternity with God… then it was silent for a second.

luke: i can't wait to eat blueberry crunch cereal.

mom: (laughing) umm, buddy what made you think of that?  what's the connection?

luke and mary, excitedly recalling daddy's recent words, which oddly enough connected heaven and blueberry crunch.

a few months ago we were sent a box of capt crunch cereal.  this is a big deal because our kids have no idea about many amazing, yummy cereals in america. one day danny made a power point, yes a power point, to teach the kids about the history of the capt crunch line of cereal, one of his favorites from childhood.  after they passed the "quiz" they were allowed to try their first bowl.  i know, we do weird things when you live overseas and realize your kids miss some of the small things that marked our childhood.  the last question on the quiz was "will daddy eat blueberry crunch in heaven?"  they screamed YES! and then enjoyed their first bowl.

so of course, after talking about Jesus bringing the new heaven and new earth and all the glorious things about living with God forever, luke went into silent thought for a second and said "i can't wait to eat blueberry crunch cereal."

life in God's presence will be way more awesome than blueberry crunch cereal… but for luke's sake, i kind of hope God will welcome him with a bowl of cereal.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Godly wisdom… from the lips of Mary

last night the car that we are borrowing got hit, while parked in front of our house… a girl backed up parallel to it (even though there were two open car widths beside our car!?!) and got her car stuck beside ours.  i ran out and she was still "stuck" on the side of our borrowed car.  people rarely use insurance here so things are just settled between the people.  they willingly took responsibility for the scratches on the side of the car but there was a pretty big scratch on the bumper that they said couldn't have been from her car.  i had just washed the car myself and i knew that scratch wasn't there… and there was still little fibers hanging from the scratch.  it clearly just happened!  after about everyone on our street came to weigh in on the situation, she gave me her identity car (which is the normal way to handle things here) and said they would come back in the morning when it was daytime.  

sidenote, times like that i'm SO thankful we live in such a communal and friendly neighborhood.  as foreigners we often don't know the proper way to handle a new situation and can sometimes we can be taken advantage of.  we had neighbors, the leader of our street, the leader of our neighborhood and two security guys out there making sure we were taken care of.  love our neighborhood!

danny and i had prayed for wisdom.  we didn't want to get nasty with them but we also were certain it was their responsibility.  moments before they came danny invited mary to pray with him and ask God for wisdom in the situation.  danny explained that we basically had two options if they deny responsibility.  we could not argue and just pay for it ourselves or we could speak strongly and insist that they pay.  mary said, "daddy, i don't think we should speak strongly to them.  it's better if we just pay it.  we shouldn't talk like that to somebody."  it's funny that we asked for wisdom from God and it came from the simple words of our 6 year old.  we all agreed that we would rather choose kindness and pay ourselves.

but God worked it so we didn't have to choose.  when they came, they had brought a mechanic friend with them.  he saw the bumper and said it was definitely from their car.  he seemed like a very honest man and a good mechanic, assuring that his work isn't complete until we're satisfied.

we talk about kindness with our kids all of the time, and i love that she suggested kindness even though it was not for our benefit.  she didn't weigh money or kindness… she just knows kindness is right so we should choose that no matter what.  it's simple but it's evidence all of our talk is sinking in… praise God.  :)  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

more afternoon playtime…

luke and the school girls that entertained him.  luke was totally not into all of the attention until i grabbed a ball.  a ball makes any awkward situation okay for luke, he just can't resist the pull of playing with a ball.  :)  

they played soccer for quite awhile and he loved it!  then they all got tired and moved on to this bottle cap game.  i didn't really understand it but i know that it's a game that has been played in villages for generations.  i love things like that!  they gave luke a turn too and cheered every time he did something remotely correct.  it was sweet.