Just wanted to let everyone know that we made it to Serbia. We don’t have internet access at our place right now, but we’ll blog about our trip when we do get it.
One thing right off though, the airlines made us gate check our 3 cary-ons (hassle, but saved us from lugging them all over). But when we got to Belgrade, they weren’t here. Well, this morning there was a call saying that multiple bags were on there way here!
Wow. It hardly seems like three weeks have passed since we left the International Learning Center. As I have written before, we finished our training on 2 April and left our previous home to travel around and visit friends, family, and places. Since then, internet access has been spotty, but I managed to blog a few times since then. This post is an account of what our week looked like two weeks ago. So much has happened, I don’t really know where to start. What follows is more of a brain dump than a “real” post, but I hope it helps clue you in to what has been going on in our lives.
We were invited to visit the WVCSB Evangelism Conference in Cross Lanes. We don’t have any pictures, but we had a wonderful opportunity to meet different people in the state. Before this, I knew the people I knew, but not many others. Being from the great state of WV, we had a wonderful opportunity to meet people.
We met even more people when we went to Faith Baptist Church in West Union, WV. We went there one Sunday just because it was the closest Southern Baptist Church to Berea, WV where my grandpa lives. Not only did we get to meet even more wonderful people and share about our travels overseas, but we made many friends while we here too.
We purchased a cell phone that will function as a VoIP phone overseas in addition to simply being a cell phone. I won’t bore you with all of the technical details, but what this means is that you can call a US phone number (773-801-5334) and ring my cell phone overseas without paying for an international phone call. We can also call the US without paying for an international call thanks to technology. God is shrinking the world all the time and removing barriers so more and more people are without an excuse to say No to Him.
We were able to visit the Creation Museum. We had been wanting to do this since it opened and had the opportunity while we were in Cincinnati. This is an awesome exhibit put together by Answers in Genesis to not only reveal the real history of the Earth and Universe but to share the Good News that Jesus came to save men and restore their relationship with God.
We were able to hook up with some old friends while we were in Cincinnati too. We had a great visit with my college roommate and his wife. We hadn’t seen them since we both moved from Columbus almost three years ago.
We spent tons of time traveling around to visit family. This was the hardest part of the entire time. We saw people we weren’t going to see again for two years and had to say goodbye. That was rough.
We played phone tag with another old friend of mine in Huntersville, WV. The church (FBC Huntersville) agreed to pray with us as we are going. We wanted to get to see them, but it didn’t work out. 🙁
In all of this, we had a great time. It was awesome to see how God worked things out and gave us the opportunity to do many exciting things. We also didn’t get to do lots of things we wanted to do.
We leave the US on 27 April. Please pray for us as we go. We are excited and terrified at the same time. We don’t know what to expect; however, God knows what lays in store for us. He has ordered everything as He has been present many times over.
Back in December, I started giving Lydia soy formula for a couple of feedings and continued to nurse her for the other two. She took bottles very well and I quickly scaled back to one nursing session before bed. By the beginning of January, with our major transition period beginning, she and I were both ready to make a clean break. I nursed her on a Saturday evening and that was it. She could have cared less! As long as she got a bottle 2 or 3 times a day, she was good. As we adjusted our schedule to take some training classes, she went down to 1 or 2 bottles a day. In the meantime, her top and bottom front teeth pairs were getting lots of exercise as she tackled more and more table foods. She LOVES to eat and even though she isn’t very big…barely 20 pounds at 14 months…she can really pack it away. Lydia’s faves are bananas and vienna sausages and she “sings” to just about anything she eats. You always know when she’s eating and enjoying herself because she just hums away (our friend, Holly, even nicknamed her the “num-num girl” for the cute little sounds she makes to her food).
But I digress… She was down to just one bottle before bed by the beginning of March. This was a little distressing to me because she wasn’t (and still isn’t) a big fan of soy or rice milk in her sippy cup, even though she practically chugs water. She can’t get calcium from the standard sources and at this point we’re trying to give her dairy-free foods that happen to have calcium because she decided over the course of an early March weekend that she was DONE with bottles. It may or may not have been related to an ear infection/cold, but she started getting very upset and crying when you went near her with a bottle and she wouldn’t drink any of it. We tried several times over a few days, but her mind was made up and she was sleeping well and acting normally. It took us a little bit to catch on, but she’s fine. A dr. friend assured us that, whatever the reason for her initial refusal, this was the perfect time to leave the bottle behind. And he was right! She has done just fine without it and continues to grow way too fast!!
I still worry about her getting enough calcium, and I do admit to missing the snuggle time a little bit, but it so neat to think back on how she has changed just since Christmas. She knows what she wants and is learning to express herself…sometimes a little too assertively…and I wouldn’t have it any other way:)
Guess what…Lydia turned 1!! Of course, her birthday was February 4, but better late than never 🙂 We have been very busy preparing for our big European adventure and I just haven’t made time to sit down and blog about all of her many milestones. Matt suggested several shorter entries and I think that’s the wait to go. I could write volumes, but who has the time to read it even if I had the time to write it!!
Lydia got to enjoy 3 birthday celebrations. We visited my parents in Ohio in January and we had a little party with them. We had this egg substitute stuff to use in the cake mix and it turned out pretty well the second time (the first time the cake didn’t rise and it just tasted off, although that could have something to do with the ancient cooking oil we found in Grandma’s cabinet). We used new oil and two boxes of cake mix and that worked great in the 9×13 pan. Lydia had a fine time playing with her special cake and making a mess. She wasn’t that interested in eating it, but that’s not really the point, is it?! It was also great fun to watch her with her presents. Though clothes are great from my perspective, she was MUCH more attracted to the crinkly paper.
She had a second party with Matt’s parents and our friend Shawn who was visiting. We had chocolate cake and chocolate soy ice cream. Matt fed her this time rather than face cleaning up another “caked”-on mess:^) She really seemed to enjoy the ice cream…like father, like daughter. She also had more presents…a few clothes and some little toys from us.
Her third party was at Red Robin with Matt’s parents and a couple of friends. She enjoyed a hamburger and french fries…and the rest of us enjoyed her birthday sundae (no real ice cream for Lydia, you know). There was even a purple balloon for her and she received a special book from a dear friend (you know who you are:). Would you believe she had a #1 candle in each cake AND in her birthday burger?! We took plenty of pictures of all these celebrations and we’ll get them added to this entry when Matt reminds me how to do it 🙂
Cyndi, Lydia, and I went to Answers in Genesis’ Creation Museum last week. While we were there, I took tons of pictures. For all of them, check out our flickr site. The museum is very well done and very high quality. Top notch! If you are ever in the area, by all means, go see it! The museum is themed around the seven Cs of history:
Sorry…I missed Catastrophe
If you are interested, Buddy Davis (a singer and animal sculptor) has a song about the seven Cs of history. If you want to listen to it, click the play button below.
My favorite exhibit was about Noah’s Ark. They have given much thought to the ark, the flood, global impact, and Biblical truth. Here is a picture of their model showing how the ark may have come to rest on the mountains of Arrat:
We took a walk through their very nice gardens and ended up taking a picture of Cyndi and Lydia in front of the dinosaur/dragon outsite before we left.
I just picked up my glasses today from Sears. Long story, but I waited until the last minute to pick them out and get them ordered (I never like shopping for glasses). Well, it turns out that I could see ok from the left eye, but the right eye was all whacked out. I went to a sears here (not where I ordered them from) and asked the lady to look at them.
Well, it turns out that not too much was right on the glasses. She had to order new lenses, etc…. So, they won’t be in before we leave. So, I’m having to take a chance and get them fixed then have Cyndi’s aunt pick them up and ship them over to us. ARG!
I ordered a Nokia e65 from Amazon that I just got last night. I think the phone is awesome. I know it is a bit old, but I liked the price for the features. If you wonder what it looks like, here is a picture I found on flickr:
I ordered it for several reasons: 1) The phone wll work wherever we go in the world (it is a quad band gsm phone) 2) I found this program called truphone that will, once installed, let me make VoIP calls on the phone. While we are already paying for vonage, this will be nice when/if we travel. 3) It has a camera and mp3 player built in. I used to never want a phone to be more than a phone, but flickr provides some interesting features that I figure will make it neat to live-blog some things (provided I have the service).
We received word today that we have a place to stay in Cacak! God is good (well, our apartment has nothing to do with that fact.)!
From our team leader:
It is on the 5th floor (with no elevator), but that’ll get your exercise in! J The bathroom and kitchen have just been remodeled and are very nice. You have a big fridge! Yea! It’s a two-bedroom and there is a door that closes off the bedroom sections. It’s just been painted, so it looks really nice. I hope you like it. It’s right around the corner from our house. Lots of young families around.
Here is a picture of Lydia eating with the bamboo fork. Now, that may not seem like much of anything to anyone else out there; however, when my sister, Melanie, and I were little, we would fight over who got to eat with the “bamboo” fork. It isn’t really bamboo…it just has a bamboo pattern on the handle. Other than that, and being the only piece of silverware like that my grandparents owned, there is nothing special about it. I’ve mentioned it to my cousins (they are teenagers) and they don’t pick about it like we did. Who knows…things must have been different in the 80’s.
Anyway Melanie…now Lydia has the bamboo fork and you don’t!
I’ll upload the picture and update this post later when I have a chance.
[Update 04-21-2008 08:42:27] Added picture after finally getting it uploaded to flickr