Thursday, July 29, 2010

Italian pics (5th installment)

On the Tuesday that we were in Italy we spend quite a bit of the day at the pool and then went to Volterra for dinner. Volterra is this amazing ancient stone city at a very high point in the hills. It amazes me that they could get so much stone up there and build aquaducts to it. The city had a lot of alabaster for sale so I am pretty sure it was mined somewhere around there. I really liked this city and there are a lot of pictures below. Of course the view was breathtaking. Sadly it was really hazy that day so the pictures are not clear. I would love to go back and spend more time in this city and explore. We were there too late to see the churches. There was one little chapel that was really neat and felt very personal. It was too dark to take a pic. When I went down one of the streets with mom, Samuel went in with Andreas and sat at the alter and said a prayer for his sister (the one to be adopted eventually). Andreas said it was one of the sweetest moments he has ever had with Sam. Then Sam went to the door of the chapel and started to sing and dance "I like to move it, move it.....". An American tourist thought he was hysterical and several apparently stopped to watch. God is definitely creating a character!

Enjoy the pictures below.

When you are always taking pics it is fun to capture a moment in time for others. I caught this one and I love it. Mom and dad have been married 40 years in October. Thank you for showing us that a lifetime commitment is still great and fun after 40 years!

This sign explained the picture below it. It was an amphitheater built and used in the time of Christ.

Ever wonder what the term, "finding a pigeon hole" means? Well it became very evident when we came across a wall with thousands of hole it in and in every hole a pigeon. I wish I could have captured the wall, but I did get one of the pigeons checking me out.

"Look mommy it works..."

I love the expression on Sam's face. This picture reminds me of something between U2 and Mr. Bean.

Adoption update: We have been accepted by Taiwan and now need to make a few decisions that we cannot go into detail about. However, we would appreciate your prayers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Italian pics (4th installment)

Here are a few pics of our time in Piza. We really didn't stay there long, but long enough to see the tower and go into the church. Samuel had his heart set on going up the tower, but he had to be at least 8 years old. He laid down on the grass outside the tower and cried for a minute. We all went into the church instead. He told me that we have to go back when he is 8!

Look ma... it leans! It was really funny to see this after all that I have heard of it. Funny that they kept building it even when it started leaning after the 3 floor was built.

I didn't realize that the tower was a bell tower for the church. They now have to pump air under it to stabilize it. It is expensive to go up it, but the line was long, so many people do.

The doors of the church. The carvings were very cool and amazingly done.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday/Grattis Andreas Kjernald

Today (or I guess yesterday technically) it was Andreas' 36th birthday. So Happy Birthday baby! I am thankful for this wonderful man and love to celebrate this day with him. May you have many more to come. He just gets better looking every year.... I am a blessed woman.

Today we relaxed (despite the work he did) and had the Weaver family home for a steak dinner. It is good to have friends to spend special and regular days with. For those friends who weren't here we miss you and hope to celebrate other days with you.

Below, Andreas and Sam are relaxing in one of Andreas' birthday gifts. We'll see how long this one lasts until Sam twirls himself out of it.

There is a little movement on the adoption front. First of all we have friends who are in Albania picking up their precious little boy. Congrats to the Waggoners and please pray for the rest of there time in Albania. (you can go the the links on the side of my blog to see their story). We also have some friends that just found out their case passed through court in Ethiopia and they are now the proud parents of two boys (that is on top of their precious twins they adopted a few years ago). Congrats Kinnells, please continue to pray for them as they try to get a date to pick them up.

For us, we have now officially been accepted in the Taiwan program and our paperwork should be sent to Taiwan soon. We will see what awaits us next. Sam told me today that he thinks we have been waiting too long. I couldn't agree more son! Learning to trust in Jesus more and rely on him to lead us in this path. Still hurting a bit from the Nepal shut down, but realizing how much I need the Lord and that it is all for his glory and not my own desires. Please continue to pray for us in this long process.

Blessings to all,

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Italian pics (3rd installment)

I really liked these little stained glass pieces in one of the churches in Lucca.

Going across part of the wall in Lucca. It was huge and had beautiful little areas to play and sit in the shade of the amazing huge trees.

On the wall again.

Fun for the boys.

Crazy women truly enjoying Lucca.

The front of one of the huge churches in Lucca. The stained glass above is from this church.

The back of that same church. The organ is amazing.

The Plaza or Piaza. It was circular and really quite nice. Of course we stopped for some gelato.

This is another large church in the city. We could not get into this one. But I thought the top statue of Arch Angel Michael was cool.

The above mentioned church. Amazing that they could build them so well back then and now most of the churches don't have even a fourth of this splendor.

The second day that we were in Italy we headed for Lucca, Piza, and Viareggio. This post is about Lucca which is a beautiful ancient walled city. It was so cool to see the old Roman aquaducts coming into the city. The wall is so thick that there is a bike path with huge trees on both sides (pictured above). Lucca is where the best olive oil in the world comes from and where my great grandmother was from. It was very cool to be able to see the city where some of my roots originated. However, there was no easy way to find more information on my great grandmother because her name was as common as Smith.

It was quite hot that day, so Sam is the handsome stud without the shirt.

Somehow the vehicles just don't fit in.

I loved the fact that laundry (no matter what type) hung outside of windows and homes everywhere.

Can you tell he was tired of having his picture taken!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Italy (installment number 2)

A small update on our adoption. We have sent quite a bit of paperwork to the agency. If it all looks good they will send it on to Taiwan and then we may know a bit more about timelines, and children available. We still appreciate your prayers as we move forward and our hearts switch gears.


These are a few pictures from our first day in Tuscany. The city in the pictures below is San Gimignano. This is the ancient city that we could see from our swimming pool.

Enjoying a gilato!

Somewhere out there is the house we stayed in.

Besides the huge flock of tourists in the bottom of the pic... this pic could have been taken many, many years back.

I just liked this one.