Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm Back

I am back.  My husband fixed everything last night (thank you Cydil) and we are back and running, which is good because I have a lot of backlog to get up.  

First things first....My little David is now fully and completely potty trained!  Yeah, I am so excited it has taken a year and a half since the adoption.  

Let's face it potty training can be hard in any circumstance, but when you are adopting a toddler who is in the middle of potty training when he is adopted...it can become more of an issue.  David was not wearing diapers during the weeks before his adoption.  However, being taken from his children's home in Be*jing (where his surgeries took place and he lived for almost two years) and placed back into the children's home in Urumq* (where he was found) for two weeks then handed to complete strangers set back his progress which he would not regain for another year. 

It becomes not only the issue of learning to control his bladder, but learning to feel safe and secure in his new environment.  Which is also attached to communication, which is attached to bonding, which is attached too.....well, you get the picture.  Potty training became last on the long list of what was good and healthy for this little one.  



After about 8 months home I started asking David if he wanted to take off his diaper.  His answer...''NO''.  So we let it rest, but mentioned it every once in a while.  As his communication began to increase he started to tell us when he needed to pea, but continued to do so in his diaper during the day.  He seemed to be scared of the toilet, yet a bit interested.  In a few weeks we started to get to the bathroom.  We finally took off daytime diapers 9 months (or so) in.  He had many accidents and at times it was really hard not to get frustrated.  It was hard to figure out if he really couldn't control his bladder, if he really wasn't feeling comfortable with his surroundings or if he was just being plain lazy.  I am sure that I judged wrong some of the time.  We always had to put the diapers back on for number 2...he really wasn't comfortable with the toilet for that.

In August of this year as we moved to Norway, we decided to try to just use the diapers for nighttime.  I know, I know it didn't sound smart for a move to try to ween him off of daytime diapers for everything.  However, I was getting the distinct feeling that he was simply being lazy.  He kept asking to take them off at night, but they were totally full every morning and I was not willing to take that on yet when we hadn't been able to stay out of them throughout the day.  I have to say that David really did a great job.  We had to get on him once or twice about pooping in his pants, but he was a trooper and learned really quickly.  Yes, I did bribe him with candy...don't judge me, it worked!

When that was done in October it was time to try to get rid of the night diapers.  We talked to David about it.  Talked about being a big boy...which he wanted because he has a big brother that he wants to mimic.  We started in the beginning of November and have only had one accident since then (and that was only because we read him wrong and didn't take him to the toilet when we needed too).  The only trick for us is that we take him to the toilet before we go to bed and he makes it all the way until morning.  If for some reason he needs to pee...he cries, doesn't really wake up, just cries.  So now we know to get him to the bathroom right away.  I again bribed him...and again it worked, but we are past the bribe now and he just does it.

I do think that because it was so quick and easy with the last two steps that he really was just being lazy, but that is hard to determine.  David still has a hard time expressing himself with words so the emotional state can be a guessing game at times.  During the whole process there was the guess of ''is he ready or is he not'', I am just thankful to be on the other side of the issue and so proud of my little boy....oh, excuse me, my big boy for his progress and his effort.

Laurie
















Friday, December 07, 2012

Bare With Me

Okay folks,

Posts have been rare right now because we have run into a problem with Blogger.  They have told me that my storage is all used up and I need to buy more for pictures.  And let's face it...everyone wants the pictures.

However, the only option is to buy it and pay monthly for it. That is not really an option at this point.  I also don't want to delete pics because this is a great journal for my boys and I want them to see the progress that they made throughout their journeys.  Does anyone have any ideas.  I may have to move the blog to something else, but that would be a pain.

Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas for me.  Would really appreciate it.

Blessings,
Laurie


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Giveaway...

Folks there is a giveaway of a very sweet children's adoption book and all entries need to be in by midnight on Wednesday.  You can link to it here and enter.  There is also a review of the book if you are unfamiliar with it.

Blessings,
Laurie

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Because of Two


I wanted to do a blurb here so that all of you know that we have begun a blog for the children's home we are working on setting up in Nepal. You can pop on over to becauseoftwo.blogspot.no and check it out.  Feel free to become a follower so you can get updates or donate if the Lord is leading you to do so.

We are also on Facebook, so you can check us out there also (because of two).

Blessings,
Laurie

Friday, November 23, 2012

One Day Late, but Very Thankful

As the States celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, we are celebrating today.  One of the events that we have en-cooperated into our traditions is an International Thanksgiving event at the church.  I don't get to spend Thanksgiving with my family in the States, but I do get to spend it with my extended family here, new friends, and complete strangers.  Oh, how wonderful the Lord is to allow us to celebrate with so many.

We have an open invitation at this dinner, but all bring something to share. Of course I make sure that we have the traditional foods...that is for me mainly...but then we get to sample dishes from around the world.  The biggest on we had was in Alingsås, Sweden, where we had 70 people from 16 different countries.  What a spred that was!

I don't know how many people will be coming to the church tonight or how many lands we will represent.  However, I do know I am giddy to celebrate this meal and give thanks to our merciful and glorious God.  I am excited to meet new people and pray that all will be in our family one day and know the Love of Christ.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrated yesterday and will celebrate today.  As we give thanks please pray for all of the children, adults and families that have little or nothing, those who are hurting because they have no family or no one, those who are in prisons and addicted to drugs because they do not know the mercy and saving power of Jesus, those who are in the hospitals and psych wards all over this world, those who are being help captive, those who are in war zones, and those who simple need someone to show kindness and the love of Jesus to.  We are blessed and need to remember that many are not and need us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Blessings,
Laurie

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pappa

One of the many people that the Lord has blessed Andreas and this family with is Pappa.  This is Andreas' dad.  He is smart, patient, kind, loving, honest and trustworthy.  He has been a wonderful dad to Andreas and Andreas has picked up many of his qualities.  He is also a great Farfar (granddad) whom the children love very deeply.  We are incredibly blessed to have him in our family and are thankful for all the time that we get to be with him.  

Thank you for being you pappa.  Happy Father's Day!


Laurie

Burning Skies

These past few days have been very uninspiring.  The family has had the stomach flu since Wednesday and are recovering at this point.  I started Wednesday evening, then David Wednesday night and Thursday, then Sam on Friday night and Saturday morning...so far Andreas has escaped the worst part, but isn't feeling terribly good at the moment.  I just asked him if he was okay and he said...maybe!  (it is Father's Day here and that really isn't the greatest gift we could have given him.) 

However, earlier we took a drive (because I had not been out of the house since Wednesday) and the Lord blessed us with an amazing sunset.  Let me begin by saying that today was one of those totally grey days.  Grey sky, lots of rain...just plain blah.   So we were amazed at the sky that looked like it was on fire. (the pics are taken on an old camera and most from the car, so please forgive the quality)


you can see the rain streaks on the windshield





Pretty amazing.  So our amazing Daddy gave Andreas a beautiful father's day gift all of HIS own.  Thanks God, I think we all needed that. 

Laurie

Monday, November 05, 2012

Link To It and Be Prepared to Listen

Today I linked into a blog of an adoptive mother that I had never been too.  She began explaining that she had something to say...and people would probably be offended...or not want to see and listen.  And the truth is she is probably right...BUT DO IT ANYWAY!

Link in:

No Greater Joy Mom


Laurie

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Awe

How can I even begin to understand the depth and height and breadth and width of God's workings.  The honest truth is I cannot.  However, there are times in our lives that we get to see glimpses of them.

TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

There are so many days the I have failed or neglected my relationship with Christ and I have not known that He is with me.  Then there are those defining moments when you know that you are His child.

TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

There are days when the problems of this world push me down and distract me from the praise the He is due.  Then there are times that all I want to do is sing and cry in joy to the ONE that saves us.

TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

Why today you ask?  My answer is simply this...before I knew what would happen...God was working.  Before I could put together one prayer or idea for this passion He has placed in me...God was changing others hearts.   Before I almost lost my vision...God was raising up others to pray, push and revive.  (I am positive he is the best multi-tasker EVER)

He wasn't doing this because I am worthy, but because of his strong passion for the orphans of this world.  He doesn't even really need me, but he asks me to come along and allow him to use my hands and feet.  Why, because he has placed me in his family...he did not leave me as an orphan.  Why, because he placed two precious boys in our family that needed to know the love of their Savior and the love of a family.  Why, because there are millions of other children that need to know His love, His salvation, His safety...but before they can even take these in they need food, water, and shelter.

Today the answer came from the Methodist Church in Nepal.
Andreas emailed the head of the church in Nepal to see if they wanted to partner with us in our dream.  The answer to my husbands email was:
''Answer to 10 years of prayer''

They have been prayer for 10 years to be able to help the many needy children that come into the churches, but they didn't have the resources.  They have been praying to for someone to partner with them, but they didn't know who.  I don't know about you guys, but when God opens up a bigger picture and you realize that he has been using you in that picture, it is pretty awe inspiring, humbling, and down right amazing.  For so many years this passion and dream has been one sided.  Me, my husband, my in-laws, a group of amazing women praying, but it has never seemed to extend farther than that.  That is to say that I could never see the extension.

However, TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS where I can finally see some of the greater plan that God is (has been) putting in place.  I always referred to it as my dream or passion, but the truth is it was always HIS dream and passion.

So today is a day of PRAISE and GLORY to the ONLY ONE who is worthy of all of it.  I will praise him in advance for the work that he is always faithful with.  Will you praise with me?  Will you let HIM show you the plans that he has been putting in place around you?  Will you let him show you a passion?  I pray you will.

We have bought our tickets to Nepal now.  On February 14, 2013...Andreas and I will take the first trip of a lifetime adventure with God.  We will be looking for a place to set up the orphanage and I will be making more contacts to see if we can set up a school also.

As you are praising, please pray with us also.  We are well aware of our human limitations, but don't want any of them to hinder the work the Lord has for Nepal and the precious children there.  We are on a high mountain top experience right now, but we must stay faithful through the vallies and the mundane details.

Thank you Christ that you love the orphan so much to allow us to be a small part of your huge plan!

Blessings,
Laurie


Monday, October 22, 2012

Family Friday

On Friday night we decided to have a paper mache night.  So we all got our creativity on and went to work.  Our method (taught to me by my friend Marie L.) is form something with aluminum foil and then cover it with the paper soaked in flour glue.  So the boys had a blast tearing the paper and playing with foil and then topping it off with gooey stuff!  

Samuel did a Rocket and Mars, David did a mushroom (because I did), daddy thought he would get creative and try to form the new Nokia windows phone (such a boy).  

He looks a bit drunk here, but I can assure you he is not, let the creative juices flow. 



I will try to get a picture up when we get them painted.  Maybe that is next Family Friday!

Blessings,
Laurie

Seasonal Chores

Yes, I am sure you all believe I live a life of glamor. One of the many glamorous things that I get to do are season chores.  Tonights spectacular was brushing the dog....did I hear a gasp of jealousy....I think not.  We have a golden retriever and twice a year he sheds his coat, so I get the wondrous responsibility to brush him...(I think Sam might be old enough to take this one on...but will Kelty let him?) After about an hour of brushing (mind you this is just the first brushing) we now have another dog...this one I don't have to take for a walk.  




So as Kelty thoroughly enjoyed himself, I now need to go and shower, and cough up a hairball....excuse me!

Laurie

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romania and Adoptions

I can't believe it but Romania is actually opening a small loop hole for international adoptions.  For those of you who don't know the fact the Romania is at all opening to any sort of adoptions is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

For many years Romania has been outspoken against international adoption and flat out calling it ''child trafficking''.  They have moved to ban international adoption...well forever, many times.  I believe it was in the 90's that there was a huge international outcry about the conditions of Romanian orphanages and the squaller that the children live in, but have been told by missionary friends that things did get better (not first hand knowledge from me).

Here is the overview of the Romanian adoption program as seen on Rainbowkids.com:

The Romania adoption program is very small, and a program that is open ONLY to couples and single women who hold both US and Romanian citizenship. At this time there are no exceptions to this requirement. 

Children Available : Only children 3 years and older and sibling groups are referred for adoption. These children are on a database with the Romanian Office of Adoptions. There are no "waiting children" in this program. By that we mean that no adoption agencies have information on specific children that are available. Instead, the Romanian Office of Adoptions makes a match between prospective adoptive families and the children within their database. Families wishing to adopt through this program must complete all paperwork within the USA, and wait for the referral of a child.


Parent Qualifications: Romania requires families wishing to adopt to hold both Romanian citizenship and US Citizenship. There is flexibility in in the age of parents and the number of children currently being parented in the home. Single women and couples (only one must hold dual citizenship) may adopt. 


Travel: Both parents must travel and stay in Romania for a minimum of 30 days and appear in court. During the 30 days of placement of the child with the adoptive family in Romania, social workers from the local social services will visit and make reports for the court. A final decision will be issued after approximately 10 days to 2 weeks. At that time, the family could go home and come back in approximately 2 weeks, or stay until the paperwork (including new birth certificate, passport for the child and US Embassy appointment for the Visa is finished. Total of 60 days needed for the entire process 


Timeline: Unknown at this time.


From my understanding the law reads that Romanian citizens who ''habitually live abroad'' can adopt.  Which means if one of the adults in the family holds citizenship...whether in the US or Europe or Tinbucktwo can adopt.   If you are such a family or you know of a family such as this, please encourage or consider adopting one (or more) of Romania's estimated 84,000 orphan treasures.  Every child needs a forever family, every child needs to know the security of parents that love them.  You don't have to be perfect (otherwise I would not have been able to adopt), you just have to be willing and open to these precious children.

Blessings,
Laurie

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Backlog...

Hello Blogland, 
It has been about a month since I have written anything and I am getting on the computer to post before I get the dishes done, and fold the million clothes I have on my bed, and build a fire in the fire place, and walk the dog, and...and...and....

The reason I am doing this post before all those other things is that by the time I get those things done all I want to do is sit and vegetate or go to bed myself.  I have been quite exhausted and not really willing to get on the computer, but that also fills me with guilt.  I miss reading how all of you are doing and so I am here now.

We are still adjusting to ''the Great White North''.  However, it is not quite white yet.  It is getting noticeably colder though and we will see some minus signs soon on our thermometers.  Norway really is a beautiful country and anyone is welcome if they would like to come visit!

My life has mainly revolved around the house and the kids.  I organize and try to empty boxes still (along with all the other housework we all have to do).  I am taking David to an open preschool every Tuesday and Thursday (this is helping him learn to play more with other children and let him hear Norwegian being spoken), Andreas and I are constantly working with Sam and homework...I know it might sound ridiculous to moms and dads in the U.S., but in Sweden Sam received homework once a week and here everyday.  I actually think it is a really good thing for Sam, but it is definitely different and we are stepping it up to help.   

Sam and David are still in the adjustment mode also.  Sam starts reminiscing about his friends in Sweden and decides he doesn't like it here.  So we are reminding him that he really does like it here (which he does), he just misses his friends in Sweden.  David still says, '' I want to go home''.  So we go into our comforting mode and telling him why this is home now.  Poor kid needs to stay put for awhile to really get the stability in place.  I don't really recommend moving a year after you adopt a child, but I promise we are working with him and trying to teach him that home is where his family is, and we are his family forever! On the whole I think the kids are doing really well.

David is really getting into dressing himself and finally using the toilet and not the diaper for number 2 (I am really happy about that one...it has not been easy to get rid of the diaper for this little guy).  He keeps telling me how big he is and I am really proud of him (not to mention that I bribe him with candy if he poops on the toilet...hey don't knock it...it works).  The other morning he came downstairs in the outfit I captured below.


Yes, he is wearing orange capris with a red polo top and finished it off with a lambswool vest.  I wish I would have taken the pic when it was all backwards and inside out, but you'll have to use your imagination for that.  He was really proud of himself for this outfit...so this is what he had all day.  I am sure the folks around here think I am color blind.


I have to admit that I have felt quite worn down lately and it was obviously showing because my wonderful husband sent me on a bus back to Sweden last week.  Just for a couple of days...but it was good to get away and relax with my friends.  I called it Mommy on the run (it was amazing how many of my girlfriends connected with that) So if you are a mom and feeling worn down...you are not alone and I am praying for those that I know...if you would like to be added to the list, just let me know.

It was really great to be with my friends and just be...I really do praise Jesus for this amazing husband that he gave me. Do we always see eye to eye...NO, do we annoy each other every once in a while...YES, but one thing that we have always done in our marriage is to remember to be thankful for the other.  I can't even begin to express how much my marriage to Eas has taught me about God and myself.  We have been married for 15 1/2 years now and I love spending every minute I can with him.  He is one amazing and handsome man.

Speaking of blessings, the other day we received a blessing from God in the form or a rainbow.  I was quite tired that day and really needed something...not that I knew what....  We had been having storms all day and then suddenly in late afternoon the sun shone brightly through the back of my house. I didn't think much of it until I walked into the kitchen to start dinner and out the window saw the pics below...




I just love it when see tangible things that remind us that God is still there...even through the mundane.  What a great way to provide a promise signal!

Then last but not least for this post is the Church hike we took two Sundays ago.  Several families in the congregation took 3.5 kilometer hike up to the highest point in Ostfold...we means Eastfold (yes, it sounds like we live in a Lord of the Rings book).  Once we reached the summit there was an amazing view.  We ate lunch, Eas did a quick sermonette and then we hiked back down.  I really enjoyed myself...although it was quite cold for me.  I wish I had a picture of myself, but since I had the camera it didn't happen.

The view from the top of Linne Kleppen.
It was a wet hike, but I had Wellies on and had the dog on a long leash.  I didn't expect on a path that there would be anything dangerous.  It all looked fairly typical with rock, roots and puddles.  However, one puddle that I decide to step into swallowed my whole right let and half of my left.  I never did hit the bottom, but caught myself before the rest of me went in.  It could have literally swallowed one of our children!  So that is why I was a bit cold and wet, but hey, at least everyone else knew not to step there!

This big tower is at the top.  In the summer someone is actually paid to live up at the top and watch for forest fires. What a job...not sure I would want it, but it seems to be a good early warning system.  
Since we are in Norway and Scandinavia has a lot of troll stories....there was a stone troll family at the top. Above you see the mom and the child in the back left.  
This would be the dad troll.  The funny think is that it no longer surprised me that there would be weird funny troll statues in the middle of now where.  Guess I really have assimilated to Scandinavia.  
Here is my husband giving the sermonette...first time with our dog.  Not sure what Sam is doing in the background.  
Sam adding to the sermonette. 
David and his favorite girl Kaisa. He loves her and is constantly telling me so.  And when he wants me to hold him and I cannot he tells me the Kaisa carries him (thanks a lot kid).  






Quite a few of the group.

Overall, it was a lot a fun and great to do with our church family.

Honestly, this is just some of my backlog...but I have to get other things done tonight, so this is what I am sticking with at the moment.  Still working on our first trip to Nepal to set up the beginning of what will hopefully become an orphanage and school.  This has begun me on a deeper journey in my devotion and prayer life that has really been great. Praise Jesus that he has removed most of my fear and it slowly moving me forward to take this huge leap of faith.

All of this has also started my desire to adopt again and work in orphan care again.....but that is a whole different post (actually several different posts).

For my family and friend, I pray you are doing well.  I miss you more than you know, but I am doing well.

Blessings,
Laurie 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Watch Out World

I can't believe it...where did the time go?  Sam has officially turned 8 years old.  I can still see that tiny boy I so longed for in the big boy I now have.  So I feel a need to record what he is like now because it goes so quickly.  

Samuel is:  strong in character and body, amazingly smart (3 languages folks), handsome (mommy is worried about the future), hyper at times, heart of gold, likes to debate with his parents (not a good sign for the teenage years), wears his emotions on his sleeve, has amazing theology, comes up with amazing insights and then wants to talk about cars in the same instance, trying so hard to figure out this brother thing (and really does love his brother), loving (even when mommy is crabby), hungry all the time, scatterbrained at times, the best 8 year old dancer I have ever seen (amazingly, I have seen many), a boy with rhythm, a math lover, someone who can push my buttons more than most, the most amazingly adaptable child, a good friend to people, and a child who really does want to please God.  

Watch out girls
 What is happening in Samuel's life right now?
Samuel and I are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together.  He has just started 3rd grade in Norway and is doing amazingly well with the language and getting new friends.  He is starting to sound Norwegian (something I never thought this momma would say).  Samuel can name sports cars by looking at them (when I have no clue).  He is thrilled to bike to school or go to the skate park.  He talks about and prays about the orphanage that we will be starting Nepal at least once everyday.

The party at Grebbestad with Farmor and Farfar this past weekend
Sam still sucks his thumb and plays with his hair when he is really tired...not so often, but still.  We have seen it a little more with the beginning of school.  I was thrilled to catch the picture below when the boys were watching a movie.


Andreas and I are continually blessed by this amazing child.  Of course he pushes the limits and can drive me insane at times, but the truth is I wouldn't want life without him.

Acting Cool!


The other day I was putting Sam to bed and he said, ''Mommy, I'm so glad that you and Daddy are my parents and I don't want to return you.''  (I will be reminding him of this when he is a teenager!)

Sam,
You are my wonderful boy.  I am so proud of you and adore you.  You drive me insane sometimes, and I am sure you feel the same about me sometimes.  I know I expect a lot from you, but you can do it.  I praise God everyday that you are my son.  You show me Jesus in so many ways and show me my shortcomings also.  I will continue to ask God for strength to be a better mom, and to always show you how amazing you are.

I love you,
Mommy

Friday, September 07, 2012

Wondering?

Okay, so I have had friends asking and guessing and many of you are right about what is happening.

No, we are not adopting again...yet...yes, I did say yet.

No, we are not moving again.

No, I am still not getting a job...yet (well, I would say a stay home mom is a full time job...)

YES, we are finally making solid plans and framing out our journey to start and run an orphanage and school in Nepal!  Can I get a big YEAH!!!!!?

Many years back the Lord placed in my heart a desire to build an orphanage...but not just any orphanage.  It will be family style.  We will be searching out Christian couples that wish to dedicate their lives to these children (looking for Nepali couples, but may include other nationalities as well).  It will be like foster care (which isn't allowed in Nepal), but in a compound that (in my dreams) includes several houses to house the Family Units, a school (for the whole community), and many other classrooms for adult education and ''others'' that simply need a place to live and would like to help out.

Why family style you ask...?  Well, I love children and orphans in particular.  My heart always cries for those children that will never get adopted for one reason or the other.  They will never get a chance to experience what a family feels like, looks like, acts like.  Even in adulthood they will never have sounding boards in the parents that so many of us have.  So I wish to give them this.  Not only that anchor of Christ, but a place that they can come back to and feel ''at home''.  If we can show these children what a stable family looks like and acts like then they can go on to build their own families without having to figure out how to do it on their own.

Even though the orphanage will be great, I believe that the school section will make more of an impact in the community.  However, we will take it all one child at a time and trust that the dream the Lord put in me so many years ago will come to fruition.  It really isn't my plan, it was given to me and I must see it through.


'' And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for .  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.'' Luke 11:9-10

''The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life'' John 4:14

'' A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers.  For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then it comes to an obstacle.  And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle.  Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever.  Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God?  Then keep paying attention to the Source and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it.  The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles.  Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty.'' 
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)

The projected date for our first trip is February 2013.  Please pray with us that we follow ''the Source'' and not our own fantasies of what we think we can do.  

Blessings,
Laurie   

Friday, August 31, 2012

Six Months to the Beginning of a Dream

My husband keeps reminding me that it is only six months......!!!!

For those of you who know me really well you know that we have had a dream for some time to do something totally out of our comfort zone and totally bigger than us.  We believe that God has guided and asked us for our total devotion and trust to pursue this dream.

We have been dreaming and waiting until we knew it was time to begin...well here it is, and I am T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D.  Yes, you read that right.  What if we fail?  What if we haven't listened correctly?  What if...what if...what if....?

Because the honest truth is we cannot do this on our own.  We cannot take on this huge project in the security and privacy of our own home.  We cannot keep ourselves safe from ridicule or the looks of YOU ARE CRAZY!

We need to remember who we are doing this for.  God does not always work within our common sense of what we perceive to be rational.  God definitely asks us to move our of our comfort.  So here is one big leap.....

Laurie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Country, New School, New Language

Samuel's first day of school was Monday and we are incredibly proud of our brave boy.  He met his teacher early and then we went to the front to stand in with all the other students.  There are between 4 and 500 students.  We went to his classroom and Sam was introduced to his deskmate.  She is a Ch*nese girl who will keep him in line! She seems incredibly smart and focused (today she let Sam have it for coloring the wrong space), but he seems to like her anyway.


Sam and his teacher Ingel Anna
Then it was time for David and I to leave and Daddy stayed (Sam chose Andreas because he could understand the language the best).  Andreas kept me up to date with sms on how Sam was doing.  He was just Sam and we are so thankful that this has been an easier transition than we thought it would be.  So far he has been incredibly upbeat about his school (even though it is in a different language, it is grade 3 instead of two..which he would have been in in Sweden..and all new people and school).  He says he understands most everything, but when he doesn't he just tries to do what everyone else is doing.  Sam even chased the girls on his first day there...that's my boy.  

We understand that there still might be some hard transitional days but Samuel is passing with flying colors.  He is truly amazing!  This child has had tons of transitions in his life and he seems to take them better than anyone I know.

Praise Jesus for my Sam... he continues to amaze us and show his precious heart and quality.

Blessings,
Laurie
(please forgive the blurry pics...the lens is broken and we need a new one)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

# 97,503


Well, adventure number 97,503 was today.  Andreas preached his first sermon in the Mysen Methodist Church.


Of course everyone was smiles, so I hope they all felt good about their new pastor (but for some reason no one speaks about him around me...funny).  However, I think it went well and we are excited to be here and in this church.  

In a way it seems very surreal... did I ever in my life expect to be a pastor's wife, serving in NORWAY?  I think the answer to this is a big fat NO... but that doesn't mean it's bad, just that God has different plans for my life than I did.  So here we are on this adventure, waiting to see what God has in plan for us and all the others here.  I am so glad I can trust Him to do what is best and not follow my own leadings.  Two adoptions, and a life full of the ups and downs (like everyone) has taught me that.  Unfortunately, sometimes I forget and start to fret and worry... that is when my wonderful husband reminds me just how faithful Jesus has been simply because He loved us.  I need to keep that in mind as culture shock and being away from all that we know sets in.  

Now on to adventure 97,504...tomorrow Sam's begins school!  Pray for him as he adjust.  He makes friends easily, but there is a slight language barrier and it is always hard to be the new kids, when others know each other.  

Blessings,
Laurie

Monday, August 06, 2012

Hangin in Norge

Well there are no pics today, but we are officially in Norway!  I know that I have been a bit quiet, but I have been enjoying summer with family and friends.  The good-byes are hard, but we are so thankful not to be that far from everyone.

We are really excited to be here also and start ministry...we feel like there is a great adventure in front of us and we don' t want to miss it. Right now we need to find everything among the chaos, including undergarments that seem to be eluding us! (life is full of fun surprises right now).

I will resume regular posts when chaos doesn't reign... Hopefully soon, I don't think I would understand the doctors in the Norwegian psych ward (kidding....really I am).

Blessings to all,
Laurie

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Action Needed

If you are an American citizen please go to http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.se/ and read what is needed to stop a vote on a treaty that will not be good for parental rights.  Please take a look at what is written and then call your senators and representatives.

Today is a double post so please continue to read after you have gone to the link.

Laurie

Farewell

On July 17th, at 12:17 a.m. (one month after Morfar's funeral), Ellysiv Ingegerd Persson (known to us as Mormor or Siv) stepped into eternity to meet the Savior that she knows face to face.  She was not an emotional person, but very practical.  She was frank in what she said, faithful to God and Morfar, strongly devoted to her family, very partial to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, generous, and an amazing matriarch for this family.  

Mormor last year with Johan (Andreas' brother)
Mormor taught me how to make lingon jam, hunt for and clean Chantrelle mushrooms, use the berries and food that nature provides here in the woods, clean and cook fish and even how to cook eel (not that I ever did it again).  She was a grandmother to me, even though I married into the family.  Andreas and I spent a lot of time with Mormor and Morfar when we lived in Sweden the first time and didn't have children.  They lived only 100 yards from our house in the woods and we had tea with them almost every night.  She would always tell me that I was aloud in her kitchen to fix things (that was an honor).

When we moved back to Sweden the second time, they moved into Gothenburg to be near everything they needed.  However, we still saw them often and both Mormor and Morfar enjoyed getting to know their great grandchildren.  Without the generosity of Mormor and Morfar we would not have our children today.  They fully supported us in our adoptions and fully accepted and loved our children.  

Mormor was loved and admired by all of her grandchildren and she will be dearly missed by the whole family.  Yet, we know we will see her again.  Praise Jesus that this life is not the end!

Please pray for the family as they grieve her loss and praise Jesus for her life.  Especially Andreas' mother and uncle as they have lost both of their parents in the span of a month and a half. Her funeral will be held on August 8th.

Blessings,
Laurie




Monday, July 16, 2012

The Man in My Life


Just two short days ago my wonderful husband turned 38 years old.  Happy Birthday my amazing man! We were up at the house in Grebbestad and had a great relaxing time.  

I don't think I would ever be able to explain what a blessing this man is as a husband, daddy, friend, and pastor.  The Lord has taken this good man and made him absolutely incredible.  We met in January of 1996 and I could not be more grateful that he looked my way and wanted to marry me.  I had the privilege of being with him as he gave his life to Christ and the blessing of walking with him as our lives merged and have come 15 years into this long adventure.  He is patient, confident in Christ, amazing with our children, prayerful, kind, great with people, loving, theological and methodical, and incredibly handsome (at least to this wife!)

I am thankful to his parents who 38 years ago gave birth to their first child and then raised him well.  I am thankful to God for Andreas' life and love and passion for people to know Christ! 


You are wonderful my love!  I look forward to the many years and to come on our adventure called life together.
Happy Birthday Daddy from your boys!

Love,
La la, Sam and David

Monday, July 02, 2012

The First of Many

This was the first transition in many for this family.  I spent the week packing the whole apartment and then yesterday cleaning it from top to bottom while Andreas took his second trip in two days to Norway to leave our stuff.  The poor kids have had to find things to occupy themselves while I could not play with them and friends definitely helped out a lot with play time and food.  

I feel like a Mac truck hit me (after all the upheaval) so today has been one of rest for me.  Andreas has been extremely kind and understand and took the kids for the most part of the day for me.  Today began our month long vacation before Andreas needs to be in Mysen.  We plan to enjoy every moment of it and are extremely thankful to God for this time to say goodbye and rest before the next transition begins.  

It is hard to say goodbye to our life in Alingsås, but as of 11:00 pm. last night we were no longer residents in the Alingsås Methodist Church. I cannot even begin to thank all the people that have meant so much to us through the almost 5 years we have been at this church.  The members have been wonderful and kind and I will miss them greatly.  The Lord has blessed me with many friends in Alingsås that I will have a hard time living without.  I am really glad to only be 3 1/2 hours away so that they are not gone from my life.  

The Alingsås Methodist Church.  This was taken in April when my mother was visiting.

It will be strange not to see the yellow and blue flag soon.  It will be replaced by the red, white and blue flag of Norway.  I like the colors....not that I am bias about my own flag or anything!

Alingsås has a floral design school and they were always making the central part of the town look amazing.  I will miss Alingsås... it is a great place to live and am thankful that I was given these years here.
Now it is time to rest and relax and then on to Norway....well the boys and I will have a week at the ocean in Grebbestad first...but I won't rub that in while Andreas is working (I promise!!)

Blessings,
Laurie

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pictures Finally

Here is our house that we will officially have on the 12th of July! We are excited to start our ministry with the Mysen Methodist Church,and excited for all the new people in our lives,but we are also sad to leave all the wonderful friends and church members that we have loved these passed 5 years.

Please continue to pray for our transition, it would be very appreciated.

We thank Jesus for his provisions for us, we are truly nothing without Him.

Blessings,
Laurie

Monday, June 18, 2012

At the Speed of Life

Hello All,

I know, I know...I told you about a house and then didn't post any pics.  They are coming...but not on this post.  We are running at a breakneck pace at the moment and things don't seem to be slowing down right now.  So I have stolen Steven Curtis Chapman's song lyric for my title because it simply seems to fit right now.  

Well as you have seen on my posts we had the final Sunday service for the Alingsås Methodist Church, we drove up to Norway and bought a house last Monday, Wednesday we had Samuel's little ceremony for the end of school and said goodbye to teachers and some friends (pictures to come), then the same day Andreas left for the annual conference in Norway. Thursday I ran Samuel to the hospital in Borås because he still had an infection in his operated ear, we received more medicine and all seems to be doing well. Then on Friday I dropped the kids off with Farmor and Farfar and headed to Norway also, for Saturday to celebrated our 15th (yes, you read that right) anniversary, then on Sunday Andreas and I flew, bussed and drove home, only to go back to Gothenburg today to attend Morfar's funeral.  The speed of life...I am emotionally and physically exhausted right now.  Somehow I need to find the energy to pack and plan a few fun things for the kids before Thursday when we head to Grebbestad and then Friday back to Mysen to sign some papers on the house.  Then we will spend the weekend at Grebbestad because it is Midsommar here.  This is when the Swedes dance around the ancient fertility symbol and sing about little green frogs (no, I am not kidding).  I find it quite amusing actually, but we don't really attend any of the festivals.  

Below I have put up some pictures of our time in Norway.  The pastors and people of the Norwegian United Methodist Church were very warm and welcoming.  They made us feel a part of the conference and even had the fun of embarrassing me by clinking their glasses on our anniversary so that we would kiss in front of them all.  Even though it was embarrassing at least I got a great kiss from the most handsome man ever!

Andreas had arranged to borrow a car on our anniversary and we drove around the area we were staying at.  The area is in North Norway and is called Skånland.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  I would have named this post Norway the beautiful...but that might make a few Swedes wonder about my loyalties (he he he).  I loved the time with my amazing husband and am in love with this man even more 15 years after our wedding.

I couldn't help myself with this pic...
 The Lord has blessed me beyond measure with Andreas.  I have no doubt that the Lord delights in putting to hearts together, bound by love and devotion to Himself as well as each other.  Andreas has been romantic, wonderful, safe and steady, patient and incredibly loving with me.  He challenges me to become better and deeper in my life with Jesus and chides me out of my foul moods.  He is an amazing daddy and I love to see him with our boys.  I look forward to the next 15 years and more with this man that I have the privilege of being married to.  Thank you Jesus for putting us together and for knowing so much better than I did on choices of men!

Some of the scenery as we drove around



The color the water was amazing and clear.  Every turn brought a prettier scene.



After our drive we went back to the conference for an all you can eat shrimp fest.  Yummy!

Then a bunch of people from the conference...including Andreas and I went out to see the midnight sun.  This was as far as the sun set and then it just went back up.  Not life altering to see... but cool.  
 Blessings,
Laurie