Monday, November 26, 2007

When you know your under attack!

Hello to all, sorry no pics this time. I just wanted to update everyone on how things are going. First of all I am very thankful for the faithfulness of Jesus. He has been our sustainer through so much and has continued to show us that he is constantly with us. Secondly, I am thankful for all of my friends and family for their encouragement during this time. It means a lot to me. Thirdly, I am thankful that the above two are always there when you know that you are under attack!

I know this may sound weird to some of you, but this is the way it is (that was very American of me). Andreas and I both woke up on Sunday not feeling quite right (in spirit, not physical). I had a rough day on Saturday so I figured it was just culture shock rearing its ugly head again. My family has also been in and out of the hospital in America (which is very difficult for me to deal with so far away). However the feeling persisted in both of us (unfortunately, I just got frustrated). Then things started happening. We had been having some car trouble with our Subaru, but it was totally dead this time and then Andreas's car just about lost the whole exhaust system (no warning), and other money issues kept coming in. Then other little things started coming into play - hard to explain the little ones, just trust me on this one. I kept thinking of the song by Crystal Lewis "Trust Me". So I tried. Then Eas and I talked about it all and he said the words that I had been thinking, "I will trust Him". We went to bed feeling a little better. Then this morning one of Andreas's fillings came out. Now I know that sounds weird, but this is one of those things that is the "last straw". And we knew that we were under attack.

To counteract the above events I would like to tell you what the Lord was showing us while we were under attack. First, one of my friends here asked me how I was (and she really wanted to know the truth). Because of that conversation I am now going to start being involved in a womens bible study with other English speaking Christians (praise God). Then our new friends John and Anneli came to church and Anneli and I talked about what kind of Sunday things we could do with our children during the sermon (and a Sunday School is born). Then that night we went over to Anneli and John's home to bake and John took a look at Eas's car and said that he could repair it and we could use their car. John said he would bike to work (in below freezing weather). If that's not a friend from the Lord, who is?

So through it all the Lord has been blessing us. Reminding us that we are to look towards him in all things. For once I think I realized it while we were experiencing it. Thank you for the growth Lord.

We appreciate all of your prayers and friendships.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Hello everyone. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. No, it is not a Swedish holiday (you know pilgrims and Indians getting together to celebrate was the American thing), but I still try to make a good family dinner on the exact day and Saturday the American community will get together and have a big dinner.

This holiday was a little rough on my family. My grandfather and my cousin both ended up in the emergency room at different times. Luckily they are both fine and healing, but please keep them in your prayers.

It is difficult to be away during the holidays, especially when they are not celebrated here, but Andreas's family tries to take care of me as much as they can. I really miss the international Thanksgiving that we are use to at the Lauter's home. I think one year we had more internationals than Americans, that was so great. Well, I guess I am in the same boat here, but somehow it doesn't feel as cool, hmmm. I miss you Prof. and Momma Sue, I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving with lots of internationals.

The picture above is not from our dinner, but from one of Copenhagen's cafes, but I thought it fit.

God Bless all. I miss you greatly and pray that your Thanksgiving was full of family and thankfulness to the faithfulness of our Lord.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Weekend in Copenhagen

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get this done. Last weekend Andreas's parents took the family to Copenhagen to celebrate Dad's 65th birthday. The lot included Andreas's parents, Olle and Margareta, Andreas's brother and sister-in-law, Johan and Emma, and ourselves. Samuel had a great time getting to know Johan and Emma better and of course getting spoiled by his grandparents.

It was a nice to get a relief from culture shock and nice to see Copenhagen again. Denmark is an interesting little world. We walked the main shopping street, had a rest in a nice cafe, had an incredible Italian dinner (the best I had every had) for Dad's birthday, went to a great museum (that we didn't get to spend a lot of time in because we had a three year old with us) and also went to the zoo. Samuel loved the hotel room. I know that sounds weird, but there were two beds in the room that you had to climb a latter to get to. Samuel wanted to "sleep up in the sky", but mom and dad didn't think it was safe enough, so he ended up on a mattress on the floor. The life of a child.

We had a great time. There are a few pictures below to show you some of the events.

Sam talking with a goat at the zoo.

Samuel sitting on Uncle Johan's shoulders, and they still weren't as tall as the polar bear.

This is a beautiful piece by Rodin that I saw in Paris also. It is appropriately called "The Kiss".

Samuel thought this was the zoo at first. I don't think he appreciated that inside were just more statues.

Mom and Dad walking with Samuel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sam realizing that it is cold.

Me trying to be artistic. I like this one.

Mommy and Samuel's first snow angels together. Sam thought I was pretty funny for doing it.

We finally received our first snow of the season. Several people keep asking if it has snowed yet, so now the answer is yes. Samuel enjoyed the snow thoroughly. It was fun to see him play and realize how cold it was. He was warm though, so play was hard and fun.


The Final Piece

Hello to all. This is a really long post tonight. I haven't been able to get pictures so I waited until now to do it all. Our car has arrived and is doing well. It makes me very happy to have it for some reason. Andreas and I talked about the long trips that we have taken in it and all the memories that it brings. Funny how things can do that. It also helps me feel more comfortable driving here. I don't have to worry about wrecking my in-laws car anymore! I very much apprecited them allowing us to use their car, it was a nice Volvo (I really like Volvos).

I am still trying to put our house together. I think the phrase "slowly but surely" comes to mind. We finally bought a desk so I have a work station and things are getting put away. I am sure we will need to make a million more IKEA runs, but we try our best to say away from that. IKEA tends to be like Walmart, you always buy more than you plan to get. When my house doesn't look like a tornado went through I will take pictures of it and show all where we live.

I know I always say that I miss you all, but that sound so generic. So every-once-in-a-while I will say hello to people that have been on my heart. Like the Karenbauer family- a family that I nannied for, Kim - a friend in Mississippi, the Spencers - who just had their third baby, Congrats!, my fam - the holidays are coming up and I miss you all, and the staff at NBI - there is a lot going on in the adoption world and I am praying for you.

Of course that in not the only people that I am praying for, but more will come next time.



Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall and Nightly traditions

Okay we all have our own funny traditions. So let me explain mine. I discovered pomegranites in 2005 and realized that I love pomegranites. So for about three Falls now I have bought them and eaten them. In 2005 I distinctly remember eating them at night while waiting for the call to go pick-up Samuel. I can remember the way my heart felt heavy because I so desperately wanted my son home. In 2006 I bought them and took them over to my friend Kim's house. We sat and ate them and comiserated (I'm an aweful speller) over the fact that she wanted to go and pick-up the two children from Russia that she was adopting and all that was slowing that down. Now in 2007 I sit in my home in Sweden and eat them once again. Remembering all that comes with it. Maybe now I eat them and pray for all those who are in the process of adoption and pray that their children will come home soon. With hope that my own second adoption will also start soon. So eat a pomegranite and pray for someone while you do it. Start a tradition!

This was a nightly tradition in the States and we are resuming it here. He loves books and now even likes to "read them himself". So we are settling down for the night with a good book and of course his stuffed monkey. What more can you ask for in life.

Random Pics of our lives

I know this pic is a bit blurry, but I had to show you Samuel with his new friend Emma. This is the youngest daughter of my new Swedish friend Anneli. We had a fun day together and I think Samuel is about to fall asleep here.

Here is a picture of that trike that Samuel couldn't wait to build. Well, we built it, he rode it, and that was that. In the next pic you will see what drew him away.

Ah yes, the call of a big dirt pile! He is all boy.

For all of you who are wondering if it is cold, the answer is yes. I love it!

The Crate

I finally found the pics of us unpacking our crate. It is hard to see because it is in a truck (u-haul type) but it was definitely full and I am definintely finding it hard to find a home for all of the stuff in our little house.

I have a question, how come it looks like the women are doing all the work here?

Mom has finally got her pillar. My mother-in-law bought this pillar from Prof. Lauter in 2003. However it is marble and very heavy so it couldn't just be mailed to her. She has waiting all this time and it is finally now in her home. It's a good thing, it really wasn't my style (which for the last 5 years has seen the return of goodwill and garage sale furniture) :) By the way the little shiny guy is Samuel having a blast in his very warm suit.

Samuel's third birthday was in the midst of our move. We did celebrate but his gift had to go in the crate. Here he is finally getting his trike, every child needs a Radio Flyer right?. Of course we had to build it right away and mommy promised that he could ride it the very next morning.

The Pastor

I thought everyone should get a glimpse at the new pastor. Yes, he is wearing the clerical collar. It is a little weird for me to see him in the clerics collar, but he looks good non-the-less. For those who think only Catholic priests wear that collar, it is common in Europe for pastors to wear them no matter what denomination you are. I think Andreas's gets on his nerves sometimes because he seems to pull at it a lot. I believe this picture was from November 14th, which was his first day in the pulpit. He did great and still does.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

Nepal has announced that it will process the waiting cases!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!! There have been 422 families waiting to pick up their children and now they will be processed. I am so thankful for this event. All of these families have actually met their children and were in the limbo of the shut down. Please pray that these families may be processed quickly and that their children can come home as soon as possible. Also, there is no word on new adoptions from Nepal as of yet. Please pray that they will resume so that more children can find permanent families. I am soooooo excited!

I have posted some pictures below (I did it in the correct order this time, you should be very proud). I am on my father in laws computer (the keyboard being in Swedish) so these pics are from his computer. They are from the first night that we arrived. Samuel was spoiled from the get go. We are working on getting a desk so that I have a permanent work station and can get new pics up on the blog.

For those interested, it is not snowing here yet. However, the nights are freezing and it is getting very cold. I like the seasons though. Our dog definitely likes being out of the very hot Mississippi weather. He runs around like mad, in Mississippi he just sat in the shade!

Our car has arrived in Sweden and we have an appointment on Friday to pick it up. The last piece of the puzzle. Please pray that everything works! It is not good for a car to sit still for so long, so we have a few worries, but the Lord has provided so I should not worry.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I was having one of those 'everything in Sweden can bite me' days. Culture shock is a wonderful thing (ha ha). So I called my American friend Darcy and she helped me a lot and I took Sam into Andreas's work to have lunch. I don't know why these days just come, but they do. I was reading in Romans about Pricilla and how she had to leave Rome and move to Corinth and then Ephasus. It talked about how she continued to minister even in other cultures with a loving heart. Yes, the Lord knows when you should read things like this! So I am trying and praying that the Lord gives me the strength. Please pray for me.

I did have my first Girls Night Out this past Thursday. It was a very good time. I was able to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. These ladies help keep me sain. I praise God for them.

I pray all is well with everyone else. God Bless you all and we miss and love you.

Hej Hej,

Samuel at his grandparents home.

Samuel is playing with toys that were Andreas's when he was a child.

Far Mor and Far Far are very excited to have their only grandchild (until January) with them.

When the Kjernald family eats there is always a picture. This is one of the thousand that have been taken.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

All Saints Day

Happy All Saints Day to everyone. This is not something that is normally celebrated in the USA, but it is here. I have always loved this holiday. Here everyone goes and lights a candle on the grave of the loved ones that have past. It is a time to thank God for the ones that have gone before us. I think it is a beautiful time to reflect and remember. I also love to see the graveyards lit up with all the candles. I am sorry I don't have a picture of this one. I will try next year for that one.

We are still working on the house, but it is getting better. Samuel is still trying to figure out a good schedule. He has decided that waking up in the wee hours of the morning is fun. This morning he woke up at 5:12 a.m. Oh the joy of a child no longer in a crib!!! Jest for everyones info. neither Andreas or I are morning people. Needless to say, Samuel does not get a bright and happy reception. He is promptly put back to bed. This morning it worked and he went back to sleep, but other mornings it does not.

Our car is due to arrive in Gothenburg this Wednesday. It will be nice to have the final piece. Please pray that all is well with it!!!

One thing that is happening is that Nepal is working on getting adoptions started again. This weekend the new rules should pass through the ministry and all the people who are waiting for their children to proceed without more problems. Please continue to pray that this is true.

I am sorry that there are no pictures today. I will try for pics soon.