Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Memorial Day Weekend!

Well the weather here in Ohio was gorgeous for Memorial Day weekend, and we took good advantage of it each and every day. We spent most of our time outside, and Andrew has been sleeping better then ever, which means I'm happier then ever! Here are a few of the things we did.

I gave Alisha some money to buy some things for me while she was in Kyrgyzstan. Here is a picture of four pairs of slippers that she got! We took this picture around midnight or later the night she came home. Better to have a picture of our feet then our tired faces!

This is Andrew not able to get enough of his sister the day after she got home. She got home late so he wasn't able to see her that evening. He was so happy to have her home again!

Some fun in the sun!

This weekend we went to our families favorite park, Hinckley Lake! We grabbed some pizza and off to the park we went.

Andrew was such a big boy and eat at the picnic table without any kind of booster seat. He couldn't quite reach his food, so I helped, but I suddenly realized how big my boy is getting!

So we decided to take a walk on one of the hiking paths, and we let Andrew walk on his own. He had a blast. In this picture Andrew was hopping on Megan's back for a piggy back ride. Then as we were walking we found a bench that Cain proposed to me on. We had Megan take a picture of us.

On Memorial Day we went to a birthday party for my nephew. I didn't get to many pictures at the party because I was spending most of my time chasing Andrew. Oh what fun!!!

Later that night on Memorial Day, we had a bon fire at home with just the kids. Andrew got to experience his first smore. He was mess when it was all said and done but he enjoyed it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some Highlights from Alisha's Trip to Kyrgyzstan!

Here is some of my favorite pictures of Alisha's trip. I don't think she would mind that I'm posting them on my blog. It means so much to me that she was able to go over there and bring some joy to some children's lives. I also think it is amazing that my daughter was able to experience her brother's birth country's culture. I'm sure she will have so much to tell him one day.

Alisha with some of the ladies at the elderly home.

Alisha doing crafts with the kids from a local village!

Alisha with some of her new friends from the village!

Craft Planes the boys from the village made

Alisha brought soccer balls for all the families!

Alisha's second day with the kids in the village!

Alisha having fun dancing with the kids!

Alisha holding one of the kids from the village!

The older lady of the village, asked Alisha to put on her clothes. No one really knew what this meant but it made for a great picture!

Alisha visited this home that is for kids that our found on the streets. Sometimes they have up to 50 kids. It was very clean and well taken care of she said. She didn't have anything for them when she visited, but she knew she needed to come back to visit again. On her last day she was able to bring a ton of toys, are supplies, and things for them to do. Here are some pictures of it.

Some of the supplies that Alisha brought for the kids.

Alisha brought stuff to give all the girls manicures! The girls just loved it!

This little girl was so proud of her nails!

Alisha visited the Tokmok baby orphanage and brought them diapers and clothes. She also visited the Tokmok Orphanage for the older kids, and she brought them a bunch of art supplies that they were needing. Here is picture of her working with one of the kids on his picture!

Alisha with the Tokmok kids!

Alisha also had the opportunity to visit her brother's orphanage in Bishkek. It was such a blessing that she was able to experience that while she was there. She took them over $100 worth of diapers, yogurt for all the kids, and clothes galore. Here is a picture with some of the donations outside the orphanage.

Here is Alisha showing Andrew's Dr. from the orphanage pictures of him and how he has grown up. The smile on her face is priceless. When we got Andrew she was quite concerned because he was very, very sick. She actually wanted us to leave him there for another day, but we were to nervous to do that, so we insisted that we take him that day. I'm sure she always wandered what happened to him, and now she knows he is healthy and fine.

Alisha showing off more pictures of her brother!

Here is a picture with many of Andrews workers from the orphanage. This picture is priceless to me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Weeks Events!

I'm so excited. In about 9 hours my baby is getting on the plane to come home. I don't care how old my daughter Alisha gets, she will always be my baby! She has had the most amazing experiences in Kyrgyzstan. I'm personally so proud of her for doing what she has done. I don't know many seventeen year old girls who would be willing to go clear across the world to just want to make a difference in some children's lives. I have to say, Alisha has come quite attached to some of the kids over there, and she is already planning her next visit to go back. I don't know what it is about Kyrgyzstan, but once you go there, and see the people there, you can't get them out of your mind. Alisha isn't home yet, but I know she already knows this. Please pray for her safe travels, and for her flights to be on time. I know first hand how hard it can be to get home if there are any delays in the flights!
Now for some other family updates:

Last week I got the privilege to go into Megan's class at school and talk about Kyrgyzstan. She has been studying geography all year and her teacher at the beginning of the school year wanted me to come in and talk about the culture and the country. It was strange that the timing on this was when Alisha was over there, but it worked out perfect because it gave me more stories to tell them. I spent some time reading up on the history of Kyrgyzstan before I went in there, and the CD with files of pictures and videos that I purchased while in Kyrgyzstan came in real handy. They all were very interested in what I was telling them. Megan's class has had quite an obsession about Andrew since we got him, so maybe this helped them be interested in his birth country. I also brought a lot of our things that we got from Kyrgyzstan for them to see, including the hat that Andrew is wearing above. When we got home that day, he was begging to put it on. Of course that was a photo moment that I couldn't miss. Its a bit big on him now, but I'm sure soon enough it will fit perfectly.

On Saturday afternoon, Megan and I got to go see a school play, Cinderella! A friend of mine's daughter played Cinderella, so it was neat to see it. Megan enjoyed it quite a bit, and it was a great afternoon with just the two of us getting out of the house. Here is a picture of her and some of her friends who also came.

Then Saturday evening off to Andrew's friend Matthew's house for his birthday party! Notice in the two pictures how Andrew isn't keeping his hands to himself. Lately things that were never a problem are suddenly becoming a problem. I guess that is what 2 is all about.

The two Kyrgyz boys!

We took this picture right before we left, and it was a lot of work to get 4 toddler boys to sit and look at us at the same time. Notice they are all holding onto at least one Thomas the Train toys. It was the only way to get them to sit there. After this they all went crazy and just sat there and started screaming. For a minute there I thought I was around abunch of girls. I didn't know boys acted that way to.

A quick family photo before we left. What a fun party! I always enjoy going to birthday parties much more then throwing them. So thanks Kim (Matthew's mom) for great time!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Famiy Update for Alisha!

Alisha we all miss you very much, and can't wait to hear of all the exciting stories of Kyrgyzstan. I think poor Andrew is very confused about where you are. In fact a little while ago I heard your stereo on in your room, and I went in there quite confused on why it would be on since you were not home, and guess who I found in there? Andrew, and he was dancing away. I think he misses running into your room and saying hi to you, along with touching your stereo and dancing to whatever music that is going on at the time. Here is a little video that Andrew made for you. He has been quite the interesting thing since you left. On Saturday I laid him down for his nap, but he didn't seem to want to stay asleep every time I laid him in the crib. So I finally decided to let him cry for awhile. I then went down stairs to do some laundry. The weird thing was the crying kept getting louder and louder. To my amazement Andrew was down stairs in the basement with me. He managed to get out of his crib, open the bedroom door, and come down two flights of stairs. I put him back in the bed, and he kept getting out and coming out of his room. Needless to say, I gave up on the nap, and waited until a few hours later and then he went right to sleep. Today I got the door knob safety things, so he can't open certain doors, since he has been breaking out of the house, and his room. I may have him in his toddler bed before you get home if he keeps up what he is doing. I'm not ready for this, but there is no stopping it! Anyways, just a quick update on the craziness at your house. I'm sure your missing the fun!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Alisha is on her way!

Well Alisha is off on her journey to Kyrgyzstan. I added a post to her blog for her, so you can see her blog to see pictures of our send off!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two Days To Go!

Alisha, my daughter, leaves in two days for Kyrgyzstan. I'm getting a bit frantic just like I did when Cain and I left for Kyrgyzstan to go get Andrew, except the only difference is Alisha isn't coming home with a child, or at least she shouldn't be! Just kidding! I know she is going to fall in love with those little faces, and she will come home wanting to do so much more. I talked to our sources today and things seem to be coming along with the playground that will be going in while she is there at the orphanage. We are very excited to know that she can leave behind something that will make a difference to these kids for years to come. I do have to say I have seen God's handywork everyday in her journey to go there. Everyday something new happens that absolutley amazes me. I don't have time nor the energy to tell everything, but lets just say if anyone out there has an opportunity like she does, to do something like she is, and you don't do it, then you are missing out on some of lifes biggest blessings. I'm not going on this journey physically, but in so many other aspects I feel like I have been experiencing this journey with her. I'm grateful that I have been able to help my daughter turn her vision of going to Kyrgyzstan into a reality! Alisha, I want you to know, that I love you and I'm very proud of you! I can't wait to see what your going to be able to do!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

5 Days and Counting!

My daughter Alisha is leaving for Kyrgystan in 5 days. Many have asked me "aren't you scared about her going to the other side of the world". I answer them by saying "there is no safer place for my daughter to be, then where God wants her to be". I know that this is a calling from Him and therefore it is necessary for her to go. It's amazing when you give it all over to Him what He can do. We have seen some amazing things happening, and there is so much she is going to be able to go over there and do. You will have to check her blog for the details, but lets just say the kids in the Tokmok orphanage is going to be very surprised when she gets there.

I have been beyond excited about my daughter's trip but it has also been a bit overwhelming for me, since I am the adult planning the details of her trip. I feel like the devil has been attacking us lately. That always seems to happen when we are where God wants us to be. Anyways, my vehicle broke down beyond repair the day before Easter, and it took us two weeks before we were able to buy something new. In the midst of that my daughter's car started acting up so we took that in to be fixed, and then I borrowed my mom and dad's car, since they have an extra one. Well then my dad started having problems with his breaks on his truck, so then he needed something to drive, and so he borrowed an extra vehicle from my brother, which eventually I traded out with my dad to drive, so he could have his extra car back. I never realized how important it was for me to have my own vehicle. I thought for sure I would be able to manage for awhile, but it was really tough. So after wheeling and dealing and shopping a ton on line, we got a great deal on our used Honda Pilot. It actually gets about the same gas mileage as my mini van did, so that is pretty impressive. So if planning for a mission trip, and trying to shop for a vehicle without a vehicle wasn't enough, my grandmother took a turn for the worst in her health, and things went very quick, and before we all knew it we were going to her funeral. Which by the way, this may sound strange, but it was the nicest, most personal funeral services I have ever been to. My brother led the service, I, my brother, my aunt, and my dad all spoke about my grandmother in her loving memory, and then my daughter Alisha sang the most beautiful song with her guitar. My brother also put together a slideshow with pictures of her life. Wow! All I can say is what an amazing lady she was. We all laughed and cried, and of course it rained that day. It always does on the day of a funeral.

So now I have five days to finish everything else on my list for Alisha's trip. So please keep my daughter and myself in your prayers as she makes this journey to Krygyzstan this week. We will take all the support we can give.

Prom Night!

My daughter Alisha had prom tonight. I took Alisha and her boyfriend Josh up to the lake just a few minutes from our house to get some pictures. I thought we got some great shots. Josh thought we were crazy at first, and then he started getting into it. Alisha and I love pictures, so I guess Josh will have to get use to that. Here is the best of them.