Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm Still Here (Again).......

I know it has been awhile since I last blogged, but lots going on around here! We have moved to another city in Germany- about 8 hours from our previous city- and are busy trying to get settled in our new surroundings.
Lauren Kiley has started her 2nd school since being here in Germany, and let me brag just a little on how remarkable she is at "adapting". Really, it's just that God has blessed her with the amazing ability to make friends easily and also to be very "social"!
Leonard and Abigail are just hanging out with me here at home for now. Leonard will start "Schule" which is the official school in the Fall and Abigail will go to a preschool then also. They are all three enjoying a little more space in our apartment, and have found some American neighbors who have lived here in Germany for a few years. Lots of kids live in the apartment building, so it is nice to have everyone making noise and not just us :)
Len is busy with nightly Bible studies and House Church, and this past Sunday we attended a local church that we feel might be where God is leading us to go for fellowship on Sunday mornings. Please pray that this will be confirmed over the next few weeks of visiting at this church.
Summer (well, Spring at least!) has finally come to Germany and it feels good to be able to go out and learn about our new city with such beautiful weather. This past weekend we made a video for the kids that shows more of our new city. We are hoping that churches in the states will use this video to show during mission times at their VBS this summer. There is a link on my facebook if you want to use it!
As always, we have good and bad days where we miss those who are so dear to us. But it is always the Lord and your prayers on our behalf that get us through those days! Thanks so much! Love to you all-

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Zum Gebortstag, Lauren Kiley!

Well, yesterday my oldest child celebrated her 9th birthday here in Germany. Wow. Not only is it amazing that I have a 9 year old, but that we are celebrating it in GERMANY of all places! What a story she will have for her own children one day. We took her and 6 of her friends to an indoor play-place here in Lörrach, where they played and played for several hours. Then one of her friends came home to spend the night with her. This little girl is special because she speaks both English and German fluently- her Mom is American and her Dad is German. I told LK that it was cool that she and her friend could speak in both languages, she said "No Way Mom! We speak only English and it is SUCH a relief!!" Sometimes I forget that learning the language is not only hard for us big people, but for these little ones, too.
We were also able to skype with the Sunday School Class at FBC Union City today so they could sing Happy Birthday to her. That was so sweet. At first she was very emotional and wasn't sure if she could talk to them without getting upset, but she loosened up and was able to chat for several minutes with some old friends. It made her day! (Thanks, Chapy and Carol for getting that all set up.)
I am so blessed to have such a beautiful daughter. She is always so protective of her siblings and looking out for their safety and welfare. She has literally "saved" them from various predicaments!! She is doing so well at this present "life-change" and even though she would go "home" tomorrow, she is making great friends, learning the language so well, and striving to be the best at where God has her now. And, although her current title at home is "Drama Queen", I don't think I would want her any other way. Love you LK, and look forward to many more years watching you grow into a lovely young lady.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What I Miss (and Don't Miss!)

I have seen before where other m's (and people living overseas) post what they miss about being out of the States, and what they don't miss. Essentially, what we love about living life abroad and what we don't love! So, I have decided it's time for me to do an "initial" list. That way, in 3-4 years, I can look back and see if I really do miss these things or if I have learned to fully adapt to my new culture. So, without further ado:

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN GERMANY(therefore don't miss from "the other side"):

--Eating healthier! We eat more fruits/vegetables and less fast food than when in the U.S.
--The Yogurt! They have every kind/flavor you can imagine. (Some being quite gross, actually, but they are all healthier here.)
--More family time together. We are not near as "busy" as we used to be. I love that we are home together every night!
--Learning a new language. Is it hard? YES. Do I get frustrated? YES. But, hey, call me a nerd, but I love learning!
--Learning a new way to "do" church. This will be a post all in itself at a later time :)

THINGS I DON"T LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN GERMANY( henceforth, I miss from "the other side"):

--My washer and dryer :( Laundry here takes about 2-3 days rather than 1-2 hours like it does in America.
--Playing the piano at church. However, I did get a nice keyboard for my birthday and am so excited that I get to play again!
--Even though we do spend a lot of time at home now, I do miss some of the restaurants that I love (Outback, Mexican!!!, "my" Chinese :))
--The convenience in the States. Everything here is, well, difficult. Enough said.
--Of course, the only "real" thing I miss is my Family and Friends. Our friends, who are m's on even ANOTHER side of the world :) said it best and I hope they don't mind, but I am sharing their hearts with you today. Because their words express so well how we feel everyday-- "....We are so thankful for each of you and are glad we have people like you to miss…this kind of sadness comes from a happiness found in knowing you all! So, we miss you…we are thankful for you…we are where we need to be! Somehow that all fits together and makes the tears of a 5-year-old worth it in the long run…For his glory…together."

With all that said, and I am sure I will say this a hundred more times while we are here-- We are where we are supposed to be for this season of life and regardless of how "hard" it may be at times, I wouldn't have it any other way.

P.S. Thanks "twins" for letting me "steal" your words!! Love ya!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Still Here.......

So it has been a long time since I updated here.....lots going on the last few weeks and to be honest, just not motivated to write it all down. Not sure if anyone actually reads this, and if they do, are they really interested in my mundane life??? I am striving to be honest and transparent here.....
We had a good Christmas as we spent our first Christmas EVER away from our families and friends in the states. We were blessed afterwards with my parents and my brother and his family coming in to see us for a few days during New Year's. We had an awesome time showing them around the area and even made it up the mountain for a little sledding. We had 7 kids all together, and heaven knows things are never boring when 7 kids are together!! We did miss all the other "Simpsons" as well as Len's family during the holidays- maybe they will all take a trip this way soon!!
The kids start back to school on Monday after being out for 3 straight weeks. I think Abigail has gotten a little used to being at home and maybe somewhat hard to convince that she has to go back! We'll see come Monday.
We have officially decided that we will be moving to Dresden, Germany after our language study ends here. We are excited to be joining a family and a journeygirl who are already at work there in the city. We aren't sure of the exact date yet, but please be praying for us, especially the kids, that the move and adjustment once again will go smoothly. I think we are all ready to go and get somewhat "settled", although I have a feeling the life of a missionary is never "settled".
We did receive some Christmas boxes and cards from several of you- Thank you so much for blessing us as you have done so much since we have been here. We are so thankful for all the prayers and love you continually show us while we do His work here. May God bless you too!!
Well, that about wraps up what is going on here.....hopefully, this finds you all striving to be who Christ wants you to be in this new year! Love to you all!