We are traveling now and have internet access for the next couple weeks, so it is time for a long overdue update. Unfortunately, I am finding it hard to compress 4 months in a brief Ten Peso Version, so I’ll try to just post a little here and there. Here is the first installment- our first Christmas overseas. Thank you all for thinking of us at that time- it was different, but still wonderful. We went to a western cafe where Jana and Greg got to help with the Christmas play. (Those are sheep ears on Jana and Greg is a shepherd.)

We had snow Christmas morning- here’s the view from our living room window.

And then later in the day we made a traditional Christmas meal of chicken enchiladas, rice, snickerdoodles, and homemade egg nog. It was sad not to be with family on that day, but we were thankful to have friends over to celebrate with. Jana is now 2, so she was able to understand more what a special day it was. She got so into the festivities that she is still singing Jingle Bells a month after Christmas.

Again, thank you all for thinking of us while we were feeling far away- we miss you all!

Hi everyone! Well, it has been quite the whirlwind. We arrived in our new country June 16th, and were jumping into tutoring and adjusting to big city life when riots started in our city and life pretty much came to a stand-still. Greg did enjoy watching the military helicopters outside the window, though :) Now things have calmed down and we are able to get out and about. We’ve spent the past couple weeks getting our new apartment set up and playing lots of charades with shopkeepers trying to describe what we are looking for. (Like this one, just bigger, smaller, or with less Hello Kitty on it :))

Jana is doing great making friends with the neighborhood kids and is picking up lots of new words. The other night we were having dinner and she picked up a strawberry and said “caomei”.  We didn’t know this word so sure enough, we went to grab the dictionary and she was saying strawberry. This kid has a lot to teach us! Yesterday was her second birthday- I can’t believe how time has flown. She has been such a trooper these past few crazy months and we are so thankful for her outgoing personality and curiosity that have given us lots of laughs during some stressful times.

We just moved into our new place and will start formal language classes soon- we feel like these two things will really help us feel more at home as we hang up things we had on the wall in Orlando and become more able to build friendships with the people here.

Sadly, we are without internet access and I’m only able to post now because we’ve taken a weekend trip to a city with internet. As we start to use more Chinese I’m sure we’ll have lots of stories of the trouble we get ourselves into, so we’ll store those up for the next time we’re able to be online.  So if you don’t see us posting here or on Facebook, don’t worry- we’re safe and feeling more at home every day. We miss you all very much!

Click the link below to see a few recent pics of our farewells and first couple months overseas.

Summer 2009 Pictures on Shutterfly

Well, here’s the results- 1 trunk, 1 duffel, 4 tubs, 4 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, 1 diaper bag, 1 bear (and nearly-identical backup bear is packed).  There’s also a stroller not in the picture.


Greg says he’ll never pack again in his life!


P1020829Poor Jana looks so happy- she has no idea what’s about to hit her :(

More to come from the other side of the world!

I apologize I haven’t been as consistent as I thought I would be in keeping the blog updated with how things are moving along. As you might imagine, there are roughly 84 million details that go with moving overseas, so thanks for bearing with me!

The big news is we’re departing THIS SUNDAY, June 14th, for our new home in Central Asia. So right now we are in MN with my folks packing like mad and spending far too much time at Wal-Mart and Target.

Thank you for praying for our visas to come through (they did!) and for our sanity. We are tired but really amazed at how He is bringing everything together for us.

Over the next few days, if you think of us, please pray for:

  • good quality time with family
  • a safe, and uneventful flight which departs 9am on Sunday (well, as uneventful as it can be with a 21-month old :)
  • that any swine flu checks and delays would not result in a quarantine (it sounds like this is unlikely, but we are really not excited about the idea of being stuck in a hotel room for a week)

We’ll post an update after we’ve arrived to let you know how it went. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Here’s a few recent pics: IMG_1676




This last one gives a good look at Jana’s new favorite hobby- checking to see whether her feet are dirty. I guess she’ll be an indoor girl like her mama!

I know it has been eons since I’ve posted. I have very good reasons, I promise. I just wasn’t able to talk about them just yet. But now Greg has resigned from his job so it’s time to announce to all our cyber-friends that we are moving to Central Asia. I know, whenever I tell someone we’re moving and they ask where and I give the reply “Central Asia” I usually get a “whoa!” or just brief silence. Probably because it’s a little different than moving to oh, say, Duluth.

I won’t be talking here about what exactly we’ll be doing there, but if you are a friend and interested in hearing more, I can add you to our newsletter list. What I can say is that we have wanted to do this for a long time, and God is making it CRYSTAL clear that this is the time.  For example, in a crummy real estate market, we got 2 offers on our house in just 2 weeks. (We were just about to accept the 3rd counter-offer from the first buyer and right before our realtor called theirs, we got a higher offer!) This is fantastic news, but it means we have to be out of the house really quickly on April 13th.

Here is our tentative game plan:

  • April 13- move out
  • April 13-24- still in Orlando staying with friends except for the 16-20 we have a short trip
  • April 25- leave Orlando
  • April 25- May16- in Texas
  • May 17 weekend- back to Orlando for a short visit
  • May 18- early June- Phoenix and Minnesota
  • Early-to-mid June- depart

We would love to see as many of you as we can before we go! We know it might not be possible to see everyone, so please forgive us if it doesn’t work out. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement that have gotten us and kept us on this road. We could not be going without you!

Here is us and Miss Squirmykins on a recent trip to South Carolina. It’s really impossible to get her to stay still for the camera these days!p10202771

Yesterday in the wee hours of the morning while sane people were asleep, my love was running the Disney Marathon. That’s right…MARATHON…as in 26.2 miles. During his training I’ve been joking that I can’t even drive that far…except for a really good sale. I’d also like to point out that Jana and I had a mini-marathon ourselves trying to fight traffic and run with lightning speed through the crowds with a stroller to get to the finish line on time. (Just had to get my moment of glory, too!)

Greg said as he was training he would repeat this to himself to keep himself laughing: “Legs of an American, Heart of a Kenyan”. That’s my Greg! Many of you know he grew up in Africa so his Kenyan heart also seeps into his general outlook on life, which I appreciate because it keeps life much more laid-back than my “list-mania” would otherwise allow :)

So here’s the best pics I could get- I didn’t plan well for trying to balance myself on bleachers with a squirmy toddler, holding up a camera, trying to watch the finish line, and trying to watch the clock to see if he was close all at the same time.


Here he is just about to cross the finish line- it’s just outside the picture on the left.







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