New apartment

Yesterday we moved into our new apartment. I had only seen it once, briefly, and in some ways I had to be convinced of its worth. Once we moved all of our bags here and the boxes that we had left at some friends’ houses, Bryan went out to get some supper for us. I started looking through the rooms and in the cabinets and dressers, and I got pretty discouraged. Everything was either broken or filthy or both, and the apartment which was supposed to be fully furnished was not at all. The drawers in the living room were missing their pulls and had ashes in them, there were bits of debris on the floor (which meant I couldn’t put Caroline down), the refrigerator and freezer were dirty, and the water heater wouldn’t work. There were only three plates, there were no utensils, the cupboards had spilled pasta in them, and the “clean” dishes weren’t clean. Then there were the problems the landlord was supposed to have taken care of before we moved in. The rolling radiator we had been promised for the kitchen was there, but it didn’t work. The disposable “carpet” in the girls’ room hadn’t been removed, and the large replacement carpet was balled up by their door. There was a huge pile of trash in the back yard. Finally, the whole place was freezing, there were no comforters or blankets, and we were all exhausted.
With some prayers and deep breaths, I managed to keep calm and do all I could to get supper made and everyone ready for bed.
I was completely overwhelmed, but I fell asleep pretty easily because I was so tired. Caroline slept the best she has here so far and was only up for 45 minutes or so. We all slept in a little bit, and when we woke up, it was amazing to see how many of those things seemed unimportant.
Now it is a few days later, and we are at a coffee shop. The girls are here and are sleepy, so I can’t really finish this like I would like to. To finish quickly, I can say that most of the cleaning has been done, and while we don’t have regular hot water, we are taking baths and boiling lots of water instead. We are doing very well, and we should have internet soon. Yay!

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Testing posting a video

Here is a video of Kate that I took the other day. I’m trying to figure out the best way to post videos.

Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 3:48 am  Leave a Comment  

We’re here!

We made it! We arrived on Wednesday night late, and we’re still dealing with jetlag. (It’s Sunday night here right now.) The girls haven’t been sleeping between the hours of 1AM and 5:30AM, which means that I haven’t either. I’m pretty sleepy, but doing very well emotionally. It feels SO good to be back! We have been able to see a lot of our friends (although we haven’t been able to see all of them yet), and we are staying with some good friends. We went to church this morning at the church that we now consider our home church, and it was so encouraging. Everything feels quite comfortable since it is so familiar. I’m sure we will still deal with our share of culture shock, but for now we are feeling like we have come home in a way. I think once we have an apartment of our own, this will feel even more like home. (Bryan is actually out looking at apartments now.) I’ve been falling asleep while writing this, so I think I should go to bed!

Published in: on February 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting ready to go

I’m waiting for the chiropractor, so I thought I’d post. Things at home are quite messy with boxes, suitcases, and stacks of clothes. We leave next wednesday, and there’s a lot to do between now and then. One great thing though is that we have probably sold our car! There is a man who is interested, and he wanted us to have the dealership check it out. It passed with flying colors, so we’re expecting him to buy it since he was the one who paid for the car’s checkup. We should know soon!

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where to begin

Well, it sure has been a while! I’m going to try to post more regularly, especially after we move. (Oh yeah, minor detail that I haven’t mentioned…we’re moving overseas in less than two weeks! We’re SO excited, and we can’t wait to get back to where we were living in 2009 and early 2010!) One thing that should make it easier for me to post is that Bryan got me this new phone that I can post from. I’m having fun right now figuring out how to use it and adding apps. I’m white impressed with how easy it is to type!
Bryan and I went out on a date tonight, which is when he gave me my phone. It’s the first date we’ve been on since a few months after Caroline was born, and we had fun!




Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  

We’ve moved!

Well once again, it’s been forever since I’ve written, and a lot has happened! We moved overseas this week, and we are getting settled in our temporary apartment. We are staying in the apartment that used to be our company’s second office, and after they moved out they negotiated with the landlord to give it to us for a month at a lower price instead of leaving it vacant. It does not have everything that a fully furnished apartment around here usually has, like sheets & towels, but it is very clean, and the location can’t be beat. We’re just across the courtyard from our office. We have a few small sheets and one towel that we’re using until we can find others, and over all we are very pleased with our apartment. Believe it or not, it even has a/c in one room, a microwave, a tv, and a piano!! We haven’t used the tv or played the piano yet, but we have enjoyed the a/c during the hot afternoon and evening.

The weather here is nice, although a bit hotter than I was expecting. This is mostly due to the extremely high humidity. Our apartment is located on the third floor, so I’m sure that makes it a bit hotter, too. The ceilings in most buildings around here, including our apartment, are about 12 feet high. All the buildings we’ve been in so far except for the market also have beautiful crown molding. We’ve been told they have high ceilings here to make it cooler inside. I love the way it looks, and when you add in the crown moldings it gives the rooms a fancier atmosphere.

People dress quite nicely here. Men are never in shorts, and women either wear skirts below the knee or long pants. I’ve only seen t-shirts on a few people, but never one with writing on it, and these people seem out of place. Men’s shirts are all collared and either polo or button-up. Women wear blouses that can be sleeveless or short-sleeved, and the material is usually somewhat dressy. Babies also dress nicely, so Kate’s little dresses are just perfect. I’m glad I brought a few shoes for her since I haven’t seen any babies with bare feet. I’ll try to upload some pictures of our apartment soon!

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lots of pictures!

24 weeks along!Well, here I am again after a long absence. I have been busy growing our baby, as you can see from this picture! Bryan is finally home, and I’m SO glad to have him back again! He had the camera with him while he was gone, so I saved up all sorts of things to take pictures of and post once he got back. My blog has started doing pictures differently since the last time I posted, so we’ll see if I can get it to work correctly.

One great blessing while Bryan was gone was that Mama was able to come visit me for almost a whole week! We had a wonderful time together, and I really enjoyed her company! We got SO much done while she was here. We reupholstered a rocking lounge chair that I will use when the baby comes. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture, but here is the finished product!

reupholstered chair reupholstered chair reupholstered chair close-up of material

I think the new material makes a huge difference in the appearance of the chair, and I’m excited that it matches in my living room where it is now as well as in our bedroom where we will put it soon.

Another thing Mama and I did was plant a vegetable garden. I finally have pictures of my little plants. I’m putting a lot of small pictures below, and you can click on them if you want to see larger versions. (If you look at this page on Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, you should see the captions so you’ll know what plants they are. For some reason Firefox isn’t showing the captions on my computer.) I’m very excited about the cucumbers. The first time I planted the seeds, they didn’t spout because I had them in too much shade. Now they are in full sun, and they’re finally sprouting!

rosemary cilantro artichoke artichoke pumpkin cherry tomatoes cherry tomatoes tomatoes cucumbers! green bell peppers spinach rosebush, mint, Bryan's

That final picture is in our back yard instead of the side yard with the other plants. I trimmed a rosebush just after Mama left, and it’s sprouting again. I also planted the mint when she left. At the very top of the picture, you can see some rocks and charcoal along with a grate. I bought some steaks for Bryan to have when he got home since he hadn’t eaten much good meat while he was gone. He surprised me by cooking the steaks on the ground as he had watched people do on his trip! Those steaks were SO delicious! I was impressed. 🙂

In order to have a place for Mama to stay, I worked on organizing the guest room/baby room. It’s a little crowded with the exercise bike in there, but it seems to work alright.

guest room/baby room guest room/baby room

We received the pack ‘n play in the mail the other day, and I already have it set up in our bedroom! (Thank you so much, Debbie!) We’ll keep Baby in with us until family finishes visiting, and then we’ll probably move the pack ‘n play into Baby’s room.

pack 'n play

On one of the nights just before Bryan’s return, I was running out of things to do on my to-do list before he got back, and I was feeling somewhat creative. I decided that our bedroom looked bare and boring, and that I wanted to paint something to put up on the wall. The lady who lived here before us left a lot of pictures and picture frames, and while I disliked most of the pictures, some of the frames were nice. I decided to take one of the large ones and paint over what was inside. (Don’t worry, it was just a print that had a price tag for about $10, so I didn’t paint over anything valuable!) 🙂 I decided that I would focus on putting paint down on the paper instead of letting my perfectionist tendencies get in the way like I usually do, and that I would have something to put up by the end of the night, no matter what it looked like. Usually I spend days or weeks on something and am never satisfied enough to actually display it, or I never actually complete it. But this time I was surprised with the result! I still see flaws in it, but I can more easily accept them. Bryan is encouraging me to paint more of these, and I just might. 🙂

painting, view at Hanshill painting, view at Hanshill

Now that Bryan and I have had some time to catch up, we’re starting to get back to regular daily life. So this afternoon while I was taking pictures, I thought I’d get a shot of my dear husband as he worked in his garage. (Yes, he still has the goatee!) 🙂 I’m so glad to have him home!

Bryan in his garage

Published in: on April 20, 2008 at 6:50 pm  Comments (6)  


Well, it’s officially been a week and a half since Bryan left, so I’m about a fourth of the way through. I’m excited that he was able to go on the trip, but it’s definitely hard having him go away for so long. However, Mama’s coming tomorrow to keep me company, and I can’t wait! 🙂 While unpacking this week, I’ve been doing a few things to get ready for her to come, like finding a mattress and box spring on I already had a bed frame. My friend Amanda came with me in her husband’s new truck, and we picked up the mattress this afternoon. We were probably quite a sight tying it down!  There we were, two women, one pregnant, in a parking lot with bungee cords and ropes trying to figure out how to tie a mattress set down tight enough to go onto the highway without losing it and causing an accident.  We tugged and pulled on the bungee cords, and at one point, I was sitting on top of the box spring while she tied knots so that she’d have slack on the ropes.  After a good 30 minutes, we finally got it situated, and we made it safely home with both pieces. 🙂  It was definitely an adventure. 🙂

Unpacking is going well.  I have the kitchen almost completely finished, and the other rooms are coming along slowly but surely.  I know Bryan will be happy to come back to a home instead of to a house with boxes all over. 🙂

One great surprise since Bryan’s been gone is the amount of communication we’ve been able to have.  He has been able to email many times, and I’ve even gotten to talk to him on the phone twice for very short calls.  The reason he’s been able to communicate so much is that he and one of his teammates have been sick, so they were stuck in a larger town where they were able to get medical help and where they found internet access.  They are finally better now, for which I’m very thankful!  They will be leaving the larger town sometime soon, so I won’t be able to hear from him as often.  It’s a good thing Mama will be here!  We’ll keep busy, and I won’t be so lonely since she’ll be with me. 🙂

I’m sitting with my laptop pressing close to my lower stomach, and while I’ve been typing, Baby has been kicking at the computer.  He/she was kicking a lot this afternoon!  I had my Josh Groban cds playing while I was unpacking in the living room, and I think Baby liked the music. 🙂  Maybe I’ll notice more kicking tomorrow at church!

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

crazy times

Wow.  What a week!  Not only are we moving into our new house, but we’re also doing last-minute preparations to send Bryan off to Africa on a mission trip.  He’s leaving Tuesday the 4th and returning April 14th.  Sometimes I think we’re totally crazy to be moving and getting ready for a trip all at the same time!

One thing that’s making today particularly crazy is that Bryan finally received a quote on the transportation that’s supposed to take him and his teammates around the country.  He had been expecting this quote for weeks from a contact within the country, but as we are learning, these things never come quickly.  Unfortunately, the official quote he received is quite a bit higher than he had originally been told.  We have enough to cover part of our portion, but not all, and the other guys are in the same boat.  We sent out an email to our friends and supporters asking for prayer and for financial help if they feel led, and now we’re just waiting and praying to see what the Lord does.  Being a planner, I really don’t like last minute surprises like this!  However, we are learning that this is how things work in the missionary world, and in this part of Africa in particular.  Bryan has been talking with our organization’s president all day, and he keeps saying things like, “Looks like you’re in over your head…which is actually a good place to be” and talking about how we’d better get used to this kind of thing.  We are praying a lot that the Lord will continue to guide us as the guys make these decisions, and we’re trusting that if this trip is truly His will as we think it is, he will provide what we need even with such little notice.  It’s always amazing how the Lord uses financial situations to stretch our faith and our trust in him.  While the stretching is scary and uncomfortable at times, I’m so thankful for it because of the results!

Moving is going very well.  We’re going to be completely out of the old house by tomorrow, and all I have left to do is some cleaning and vacuuming.   And don’t worry, the previous owner is not living with us in our new house. 🙂  She finally moved the rest of her belongings out late Friday night, and we were able to move our furniture in on Saturday.  I haven’t done very much unpacking yet, but will be able to do a lot of that once Bryan leaves.

Although I will miss him terribly while he’s gone, I think we will all be relieved when he and the other two guys actually leave because all of this will be taken care of!

Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

busy times

This afternoon I decided I’d better write an update on here since it might be awhile before I have time again. 🙂

After a wonderful trip to Virginia for my cousin’s wedding, I returned home and promptly caught the bug that’s going around here.  Unfortunately it turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection, and as a pregnant lady, I’m not allowed to take many kinds of medicines to help with those symptoms.  So needless to say, I was very happy when I began taking antibiotics, and I was even happier when I started feeling SO much better yesterday.  My fever is gone, so my head feels great, and now I just have to get rid of the left over cough and sniffles.

We have started packing!  We haven’t been able to do too much yet because we need more boxes, but we’re hoping to take care of that soon.  Bryan has been watching out for furniture at the warehouse, and he’s found some cute and/or useful things.  We now have a changing table, 2 dressers, an entertainment center, and a few tables.  I’m hoping to find some nice sofas or love seats on Craigslist.  The lady who is selling the house is leaving her old refrigerator, washer, and dryer, so we don’t need to buy those.  The only thing we’re missing before moving in that’s absolutely necessary is a bed for the guy who rents a room from us.

Not only are we planning to move in two weeks, but Bryan is going to be traveling to Africa again in three to four weeks!  He is busy with preparations and is SO excited about the trip.  He will be going with two other men from our organization (one who just decided to join them yesterday) and the best part is that their names are Bryan and Brian.  So Bryan, Bryan, and Brian are going to Africa together, and they are really going to confuse all the poor people that they meet!  I think they’ll probably end up going by last names.  There have been some great contacts made in the last few weeks, and it’s been so exciting to see the trip coming together!

So there’s a quick update from me, and a warning that posts will continue to be sporadic for a while.  Don’t give up hope completely though…soon belly pictures will begin, and this blog will probably become mostly a pregnancy blog.  So hopefully that will mean I’ll have a lot more to write about, especially as it gets closer to time for the baby to come!

Published in: on February 8, 2008 at 3:42 pm  Leave a Comment