Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the Year

Well I can't believe it is the end of 2010.  There were so many things that I thought would happen that didn't and so many things that I didn't think would happen that did.  Isn't that just the way life goes.  We are still here celebrating the victories and taking the punches all the same.  I know that through it all Christ has been guiding us.  I find myself frustrated at the lessons that I have to learn over and over, but the Lord keeps reminding me and then sending me encouragements (earnests) along the way. I haven't posted much since I have come home from the States and I have a huge backlog of all my pictures.  While I am still frustrated at the storage, or lack there of,  for my pictures I will try to get some on here for the last of the year and start fresh next year (which is a little weird to think is tomorrow).

So I will do this story in pictures.  Be patient this will be a long post.  I pray that all of you are well and finding peace in Christ, the author and sustainer of all our hopes.  2010 has come and gone with many rejoicing moments and many heart aches.  We started with the hope of getting a little girl from Nepal.  Those hopes were crushed in April.  Then we tried Taiwan and those hopes were crushed in September.  Then the Lord lead us to China special needs.  This has been a long journey but feel completely at ease with this decision.  My husband marvels at the way the Lord has worked on his heart and mind to get us to this point.  These workings have not been unwilling, but many times painful at what we saw of ourselves and our selfishness.  In May I witnessed my husband being ordained as a pastor in the Methodist church.  Those were amazing moments that were a completion and a beginning of years of work and preparation.  In June we had the amazing opportunity to go to Tuscany, Italy with Andreas' family.  In August, Samuel ''officially'' started his normal schooling and in September turned 6 and in December we remembered that it was 5 years ago we flew to Nepal to meet him and bring him home.  In November my grandfather, Dr. Robert A. Traina, stepped into eternity and is worshipping the Lord he has loved and served in his 89 years of life.  Samuel experienced an American Thanksgiving in the US, with a ton of family and loved it.  Finally, in December we officially sent in our dossier to China and are waiting for the next step.  In between all these events was life.  I am getting better at Swedish, Samuel is getting more mature and Andreas is guiding us all to the feet of Christ while supporting us with ministry and jobs.  We are thankful to come through this year and are looking forward to the ebbs and flows of the next.  Happy New Year all, may you see each blessing that the Lord is giving you and hold on to him through the low moments.


This is the last of 2010 to show you.  I went home to Wilmore with Sam on Nov. 1st to say goodbye to my grandfather and spend time with family and friends.

Spent some time with my family.  Below from Left to right... Aunt Judy, Josh, Matthew, Jennifer and Uncle Marty.  Josh, you're such a goof!

My G.Q. cousin, sorry ladies he's taken!

My Aunt Judy, Uncle Bob and my mom.  These were Po Po and Grandma's kids.  We are not all able to get together so often, so it was really good to have so many people home.

I had the chance to spend some time with friends and also meet some blogging friends while home.  Nina Mullins is a blogging friend that I met for the first time, but already know so much about her and her family.  Please pray for her and Wes.  In two weeks they will be traveling to Ethiopia to meet their twins and hopefully bring them home soon.  Pray for their safety and that the court hearing would go smoothly and traveling home with their little boy and little girl will be great.  Thanks Nina for taking the time to see me.  Cydil Waggoner was the other friend that I had a chance to spend a little time with.  Her and Nathan just brought home their second child from Albania.  It was a blessing to be with them again.

I stayed at the Lauter's hotel (I mean home).  Sue and Prof. have been mentors for Andreas and I for many years and it was a blessing to spend so much time with them.  Sam loves Grandma Sue very much and believes he needs her hugs to grow.  They were able to spend some time together and decorate gingerbread men.

Nonna and Sam were able to spend some time also.  Nonna took Sam to his favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel.  

Some more time with the Waggoners.  That is Ellie with us.

My brother came home with his new wife.  I finally was able to meet my sister Denise.  She is wonderful and we had a great time.  It was good for Sam to see them and put faces to the names he always hears.

My cuz Matthew brought home his girlfriend Zoey for Thanksgiving.  Brave Boy!  Zoey handled all of the cousins with ease.  She was a lot of fun.  Hey Matt....we all liked her!  (Especially Brighton and Sam).

Thanksgiving with family.

The cousins went out to enjoy a 3D movie Tangled.  I love this picture.  I believe Zoey's comment for this was *Awkward*!  Notice the look on her face.

We all look so cool in those glasses!  Lorenzo, Denise and Sam.

 We were able to spend time with the kids that I nannied for so many years ago.  The picture is of Mark who turned 13 while I was home.

This is the girl cousin that is closest in age to me Dawn.  Dawn is married to the wonderful man below, Mitch, and they have Brighton.  It was wonderful to spend time with all of my cousins.

Yet another pic with Dawn's eyes shut.  Okay, from left to right....Dawn, Brighton, Mitch, Uncle Marty, Sam, Me, Aunt Judy, cousin Jennifer and her husband Josh.  I love getting together with Dawn and Jennifer.  I am the encourager.  Dawn is the instigator and Jennifer is the serious one.  Add in our husbands and it becomes pretty funny.  I love my family and am blessed to have them.

Came home to Sweden on December 1st. Mom and Dad were very happy to see us and each other in the pic.

I also came home to snow, snow, snow.  So of course we had to go enjoy it.

Went to the traditional Liseberg Christmas.

Had a great ornament exchange with my crazy American friends.  Thanks guys.

(trumpet sound)  We officially sent off our dossier to the agency on the 23rd of December!  It is on it's way to China as I type this...... Yeahhhhhhhhh!!!! (Below is the boys getting ready to head to the post office)

Spent Christmas Eve with Andreas' family.  I believe this is pretty much everyone!

While I was in the US, good friends had a baby boy and Andreas' brother and sister-in-law had a baby boy also.  In true Swedish fashion we are not sure of the name yet.  (Swedes have 3 months to name a child before the government gives you a name....believe it or not there is an officially name board that you must submit the name to for approval.)

Christmas morning we had our traditional 7a.m. candle light service.

Advent candles

Then for new years we come to the ocean house to rest and relax.  It is beautiful and snowy here.  This is just one of the cool snow formations that I snapped.

The Swans also posed for me.

 Thanks for the show.

I love how dramatic it all is.

Of course we had to have some sledding in there.

Our friends the Mukhopadyays came for a few days with their newborn Noah.

And then tonight, the last night of 2010, God displayed his art work in the sky for us.  Just one of those ''earnests'' that God gives to let us know he is still here and still cares about us.  Enjoy!

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quick Word

Hello all.  I just wanted to post a quick word to let you know that I am still alive.  Sam and I are back in Sweden and I am trying to get over jet lag.  It is so much harder coming back this way.  I  also came home just in time for a large book test and a national test in Swedish so I am a bit busy with studies and will get some pictures up from my time in the States once I get over the tests.

We are very excited to be back home with Andreas, but miss my family greatly.  We had a wonderful time with family, but I wish we could have all come together without the sad reason of losing my grandfather.  Sam and I had the blessing of being able to be with Po Po the last week of his life.  Sometimes I still can't believe that he is not here with us anymore (I have tears running down my face just thinking of it).  However, it makes me smile to know that he is in heaven worshipping Jesus with grandma. What an amazing, God- centered life he lived on this earth and now continues it in heaven.  I have been very blessed to call him Po Po (grandfather) and to have him in my life for 36 years.  The picture below is me and Po Po when I was about 3.  He was my hero in so many ways!


Laurie and Po Po (Dr. Robert Traina)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Time to Mourn

On November 9th at 8:17 in the evening, my Po Po (grandfather), Robert A. Traina, stepped into eternity.  Sam and I had come back to the States a week ago to be with him and the family.  We are thankful for the week we had and the chance to say goodbye.  Here are my numb thoughts as he is now worshipping the God he has loved his whole life.

So passes Robert Angelo Traina, child of God, son, brother, husband, daddy, Po Po and Great Po Po.  He was a studier, an author, a teacher, a dean, a friend, a lover of scripture, a role model, a patriarch.  He was humble, quick to laugh, deep voiced and loving.  We, his family, had the great privilege of walking with him in this life.  Thank you Jesus, for the precious 89 years he was here.  Now he is truly home.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Laurie and Sam in the States

This is a rare post from Andreas, husband of Laurie who normally blogs here. Her grandfather has become very sick and it became apparent pretty soon that Laurie needed to go home and spend some time with him before the end came.

He is 89 years old and has a fantastic eternity waiting for him but selfishly we want him to remain with us and continue to be the family anchor that he has been for so long. Laurie and Sam are with the family for a month and it is a gift from God to be able to allow them that.

Pray for them and pray for the whole family in this difficult time. I'm sure Laurie will get back to posting blogs soon.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Time to Post

Well, I realized that I was just checking other posts and not posting myself.  I have been doing quite a bit since my last post.  My grandfather is still in the hospital, but getting better.  He is weak, but we are hoping that he makes it home soon.  The whole family is converging on Wilmore for Thanksgiving.  I am even flying home with Sam for 3 weeks.  Andreas has to stay here, and will be missed greatly.  I pray that it is a time for the family to gather around my grandfather and let him know what an amazing influence for Christ he has been in our lives.  He will have at least 2 of his 5 great grandchildren there also, so it will be a good time for them to form a few memories of him.  I am hoping that we can get everyone there.  Please pray that it can all work out  for the family.  

We have a huge Thanksgiving fest planned for the church here in Sweden.  This will be the 3rd annual fest.  Last year we had a little over 60 people from 16 different countries.  It was really cool and I am hoping that we can beat that this year.  So for anyone in Sweden come to Alingsas Metodist Kyrka on November 19th at 6:00 p.m.  Bring a food from your land to share and if you have kids, we have activities and babysitters for them.  Please call me and let me know you are coming at 0763 402801.  That way I can get an approx. head count.  

Andreas and I have been working on updating our homestudy and paperwork for our adoption from China SN.  I have been researching all the different diagnosis that I have seen, lined up an amazing doctor for the rush of "tell us what you can from this paperwork" and Andreas and I are trying to pray and figure out what we can handle as parents.  It is not easy, but I believe that a we have to try our best to be prepared for what we can know.  Of course there are usually surprises, but I am not going to worry about them.   I think we should have all the paperwork done by the end of November and ready to accept a referral when the time is right. Please continue to pray with us that we would hear what God has to say and be willing to sacrifice when needed.   

My heart has still been stirring and moving to work on plans for a children's home and school in Nepal.  I am scared half to death also, but I believe this is what God wants me to work on.  I have started to gather a prayer group and my courage has been bolstered.  So Andreas and I will continue to move forward (albeit slow) with this plan.  

Samuel has all of next week off for Fall break, so we will try to do some fun things and have a great time together.  I talked to him tonight about going to the States and he is sooooo excited.  His first question was, "Can we spend the night with my Karenbauers?"  This is the family that I nannied for so many years ago and Samuel loves their children. I told him that it could probably be arranged.  I hope that I can see many of my friends and family when I am home and that Sam can get reaquainted with many of them as well.  

I will leave you with some pics below.  Most of them are my boys, well....being boys.  Blessings to all.  Please continue to keep the 80 familys in Nepal in your prayers.  It is an extremely hard situation and pretty unfair in my opinion.  These families needs prayers and advocates.  If you would, please contact your representative or congressman and let them know that the State Dept. needs to help these families and not hurt them.  


I just liked this picture, it is outside of our stuga in the woods.  

This picture is one in a million.  When I was looking for a picture of the two of us for the dossier, I couldn't find one.  We are never in pics together, one of us is always behind the camera.  So the other night we set this shot up and it turned out pretty decent.  I think I have a great looking husband and am very thankful for him.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Liseberg With Friends

Crazy boys at Liseberg!  I hate these round and round rides, they make me sick, but daddy can do them.

Isabelle and Zoe
We were finally able to go to Liseberg with Maciej and Isabelle and their beautiful daughter Zoe.  It was great fun. 

I love the looks that she gives.  She has quite the personality behind that pacifier.

I absolutely love Isabelle's face on this picture.  This is a picture of the picture that the camera on the ride took.  I am a roller coaster lover, and I look like I'm having great fun.  Isabelle looks like she is enduring it.  Thanks for being a sport and going with me Isabelle.  We are in the very first car above and below we are in the very last car.  The ride below is called the Canon.