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)