Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Off we go (disclaimer)

If you want to understand this massively long post you must go all the way down to the written post called "We are working on the blog, I promise" read it and then go up. As I am learning the blog I did not realize that I had to do everything backwards for you to get the sequence. Sorry about that. I may make more sence if you go down a ways to come up. Just thought I'd mix things up a bit.

Okay it is time for you to scroll down ... ready... set... Go!

Samuel finally got on his airplane. He was so excited that wild elephants had a hard time holding him down. Which means it was really hard for Andreas and I (no I did not refer to myself as an elephant).

It looks rather alarming, but he is trying to stuff himself between two seats.

He must find all the gadgets and things that pop out. They will be useful to annoy the person in front of him later!

All the excitment of getting on the plane makes one very tired. And so he sleeps...

So does Pappa!

At last Uncle Lorenzo

Samuel has never gotten to meet his Uncle Lorenzo. I haven't seen him since 2003. He lives in New York City and works a lot. Samuel took to him really well as you can see in some of these pics.

I love you Uncle Zo!

Lorenzo brought along his girlfriend for us to meet. Her name is Alyssia (hope that's spelled right). She was great. We like her.

Alyssia and Lorenzo helped us get to the Newark , New Jersey airport. This was our last stop in the U.S. Our dog also came along for the ride. He had no idea what was about to happen.

As you can tell he was really sad to say goodbye. Although brief, it was really good to see my older brother! I was glad that Samuel finally got to meet him. I hope there are more of those meeting in the future.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Before we went to the Rhodes in Pennsylvania we stopped in Ohio to see the Spencers. I am afraid that my camera erased all of our pics together. I am very sad about that because Heidi is wonderfully pregnant with their third. This picture shows Maci (the Macster) playing with Samuel. This is something that we have always wanted to see, but have lived to far apart to actually have happen. They were best buds. It will be treasured.

We went to the Pittsburg Zoo with the Rhodes fam. This is Samuel's favorite animal. He has had a pretend tiger under his bed for I don't know how long. We have had to tell that tiger to calm down. So now it was fun to see Samuel so close to a real tiger. There are some tigers still in Nepal.

They loved each other.

This is an aweful pic of me and I am sure Pam will not be happy, but here we are the dynamic duo! Pam was one of my buds in college - she understands me, which is not an easy task.

This is Dave and Pam. David was my best friend since I was 16. I actually got to be the best woman in the wedding. Very cool and fun.

More pics

We made a stop at the Karenbauers. I nannied for them for about 5 years total. We still have a very good and close relationship with them. In the picture is John (5 years old), on the bottom and Chris (6 years old), is attacking Sam.

We had another birthday party at Grandma and Grandpa Lauter's house. The Lauter's have been mentors to Andreas and I for years. Grandma Sue is always wonderful about making days special.

There's nothing like a Grandma Sue hug. We miss you dearly.

Brilliant! Someday he will not like me for this one.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Nonna is great for playing at the park.

Yes, Samuel can get her to do anything!

Elisona Waggoner and Samuel taking a little time to play together. Elisona was adopted from Albania and has a beautiful life story. You can link to the Waggoners blog from ours.

Samuel was helping her clean off the mulch. This was before she tried to bury him in it.

This is Ellie's dad, Nathan. I couldn't help putting this one in.

We are working on the blog, I promise....

This is Samuel and Mariah Sallee taking a drive, sorry we don't know how to turn the picture.

Karen, Mariah, and Micah Sallee

Samuel at Shaker Town, Kentucky. Just being silly

This is Samuel with his Great Grandmother Wofford

I love this pic of Sam. He is at a playground on the Ichthus campgrounds.

Hello to all,

I am adding pictures of our trip across the US before we came to Sweden, as promised. We went from Mississippi to Kentucky to see the Sallees and then my family, the Waggoners and others for a week, then on to Ohio to see the Spencers. Then to Pennsylvania to see the Rhodes family, then on the Jersey where I was able to see my brother and meet his girlfriend (who I really liked). I don't think I can get all the pics in order, so please hang with me. Hope you enjoy the few pictures that my camera didn't erase.
Andreas is showing me how to work on the blog and post things. Maybe I will actually get a little more computer savvy. I did figure out how to get everything into English, thank you Cydil Waggoner for that tip. All is well here. Our stuff arrived from the USA last Wednesday, so needless to say my house is chaotic. I think it will be officially declared a disaster zone soon. Samuel really wants to help me unpack everything... that's all I've got to say about that.

The other morning my son decided that he wanted to play with my grandmother's crystal glasses instead of his toys. I am anywhere from 4-6 glasses short now. After I made sure he was okay, I was very angry! However my son is more important than crystal glasses, I had to keep telling myself that as I cleaned up the glass. It is true. Samuel has not like sharing my time with unpacking. He seems to have decided that now I am home, I am his. Most of the time that is fine, however, not all of the time can that be possible. At three years old it is a hard lesson to learn.

I am dealing with culture shock better than expected. There are days that I wake up in a funk and I couldn't tell you why I am cranky or sad or.... but I just am. However, I am trying to get out everyday and take walks. I make sure I have quite time with Jesus when Samuel takes a nap (I am convinced this keeps me sain) and I am venturing out in the car, even though it scares me to do so. Yes, it actually scares me to drive here. I have been driving for well over 15 years, but there are different rules here and so much to watch out for. I am terrified of hitting one of the hundreds of pedestrians or cyclists that are in and about. Sometimes they just dart in front of you, which they have the right of way, but it is still very scary. Also, I don't know what I would do if a cop pulled me over, so I am overly cautious. Please pray that I calmly drive and not feel exhausted after I have done so.

I saw my first moose today. I was leaving out driveway and looked down the road. I thought to myself, "what is that horse doing on the road?". Then I thought, "that's not a horse," but by the time I tried to get a good look he darted into the woods. It wasn't one of the huge ones, just a yearling. It was really cool to see though. One of these days I want to get a picture of some of them. As long as I'm not too close, zoom is a wonderful thing.

I still don't know what has become of my mouse. I would like to think that our dog took care of it, but I don't know. We removed the freezer that went out the other day and found a stash of dog food in the corner behind it. Yes, something was storing up for the winter. I am still praying that the something is no longer in the house. When you are looking for mouse poop in your floor everyday something is wrong!

I have my first girls-night-out with my old friends this Thursday. I am looking forward to that. It is good to reconnect with old friends. I have also made a new friend with a wonderful Swedish woman named Anneli. She actually called me to do something. I am very excited about this. I think it must be the Lord. It has always been rather hard to get into the inner-circle of the Swedes. However, she is admittedly not so Swedish. But non-the-less, I am excited about her friendship.

We miss all of you and pray for you often. Please keep praying for our transition here and Andreas's position as pastor. Also, I would like you all to pray for Nepal. They are having troubles with the Maoists again and adoption there is still closed. There are at least 400 parents waiting for their children, but stuck in limbo. Please pray for them and the children. While your at it pray for Kim and Silas West. They are missionaries in Nepal. You can link to them in my links.

Blessings to all,


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Some pictures of our new life in Sweden

This is the view from the road outside our house. We have some land and an old road runs next to our fence. This is what you see looking northwest. It's an active sand-quarry(?) so it's a little loud, but not too bad. It's going to be a lake in the future to swim in and use.
This is one of many lakes in the area. We normally bike to them but our bikes aren't here yet. They should be here Wednesday. It's a beautiful lake surrounded by a evergreen forest. Huge trees and boulders line the lake. This day we had home-made chantrelle soup and bread. Only Kelty swam...
Another view of the same lake, Hultasjon (-lake).
This is "my" church. It is a beautiful historic building. The sanctuary is on the second floor, hence our ambitious elevator project. It's centrally located in Alingsas, Sweden, though it doesn't look like a church. Trying to improve that. I love being here and look forward to being a pastor to these people.
This is our little "stuga", or cottage. It's small even by Swedish standards but we like it. It's enough for us. It's surrounded by trees and behind it is a small cranberry bog, or mosse as we call it. It's a nice touch. We like it here but will probably move closer to town, which is 25 mins away. That's a long drive here!
More to come

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Culture Shock is definitely here

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while since this site was updated, but we are still trying to settle in. Normal everyday things that we usually take for granted like a washer and dryer and a freezer that works are things that we are dealing with.

Culture shock has definitely hit me in full force today. I feel angry and frustrated with the smallest things. I think I feel a little abandoned with Andreas starting full time work. Not that he can do anything about it, but that is the life of culture shock. Poor Samuel has to put up with a cranky mommy. So please pray for him especially. I do much better if I get me time with the Lord in so I try to do that. Little things that one wouldn't think about are hard. Take for instance this entry. I tried to get on the site so I could publish this and it is all in Swedish. So if this ends up on someone else's site I wouldn't be too surprised! (by the way, I promise pictures of our travels to see family and friends before we left the states. I just have to get Andreas to show me how to do all of that. Preferably in English)

Today I found out that we have a mouse. That didn't help with the cranky frustration. I don't mind mice if I know where they are (because then I can catch them). This one is a mystery. We don't know where it is and we don't know how it got in. So in the quite hours of the night (when I am blogging) I keep a watch on the floor for little furry, scurrying things. Maybe my dog will eat it for me (hey, it's a dog-eat-mouse world as far as I'm concerned).

My days consist of still trying to get the house together and make lists of what is needed as I try to keep up with Samuel. He was given the DVD Cars, by a friend, and constantly wants to watch it. I definitely limit him. Those of you who know me, know that I think TV sucks your brain out - the rule of 1/2 hour still applies. There have been some exceptions when I have had to do something for the church, but I am trying to stick to it. I would like my son's brain to stay intact, although sometimes he acts like he has lost his marbles. Samuel turned 3 in September and he has definitely hit 3. Everything is MINE!!!! I feel like he is one of the Seagulls on Finding Nemo that is constantly saying "mine, mine, mine, mine". He is also loosing some of his wonderful ability to play by himself. He is starting to need constant entertainment. (part of that maybe that his toys are still packed in a crate that just arrived in Sweden). But he still gives his unexpected hugs and says "I laa u" at the sweetest moments. I am so grateful for him - even when I am frustrated with him.

We are still planning on starting another adoption. We will start the preliminary paperwork once we can say that we are officially settled it. If a social worker came to my house right now for a home study, they may laugh at me. So maybe in another month or at the beginning of next year. Please pray for that. I really want another child (well 3 others to be honest), but being patient is really hard sometimes and I want Samuel to have a sibling.

Andreas preached his first sermon on Sunday. In typical mommy fashion, I had to leave with Samuel. I did see the first five minutes and he did really well from what I could tell - of course it is all Swedish to me! It was a good day and there were quite a few visitors in the church. We knew the Lord had been preparing us to start this ministry and so we are glad to be officially "launched". The people in the church have been wonderful and and as excited as we are (I think). I am working on becoming the "pastor's wife" and working on learning more Swedish, so I don't totally mess-up as the "pastor's wife". There are a few very nice older women that really try hard to speak to me in Swedish and we just end up smiling at each other and nodding. I am sure it looks like a comedy act from the outside, but inside I am just praying the Lord gives me the gift of tongues, right at that moment! Wouldn't I be freaked out if that really happened.

We miss you all and hope that you all visit! Until the next time you are in our prayers.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finally here!!

It's been a very long time since the last blog entry, but that is mainly due to our lack of Internet. We are now online and will start this again, though we are also trying to do the Facebook thing. You can find us there as well as here.

Everything has gone really well so far. This coming Sunday is my first Sunday preaching at my church. Exciting and humbling all at once. Since it is rather late here as I write this I will keep it short, though we are glad that you are reading this since updating has been slow.

Pray especially for the Coppedge family who are dear friends of ours. Mr. A. Coppedge has suffered a major medical emergency and the family is scattered all over the world as missionaries. We pray that the Lord will walk very closely with them all during this time.

Pictures of our new life will come soon. In the mean time walk on the road of Holiness and love your neighbors.