Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ethan's latest

Ethan (20 months) loves music so much! Mom Gertz plays piano a LOT because she's now the main pianist for her church. Whenever Ethan is nearby, he runs to an open spot in the living room and begins dancing in circles to her piano music. It is so cute! Unfortunately she can never see him because her back is to him while she plays.

Ethan also adores going on walks. We established a bit of a routine as we took family walks for 45 minutes or so after numerous dinners. Then one night, we took a shortened version of it and Ethan disapproved! Even after we'd turned around to go home, he continued on. When we mention anything to do with walks, he runs to get his shoes and then stands by the door just waiting. If we don't open it quickly enough, he begins whining and pointing.

It used to be that I could let him play outside and trust he'd stay nearby. But now he takes off down the dirt road just as often as he plays in the yard. Tonight we'd gotten back from a long walk, but he turned around and started off again. He was a ways down the road and I kept calling to him, reminding him that we were going to begin dessert. But he turned his head around and laughed as he kept walking straight ahead. I think he would be happy if we just permanently lived outside.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Naomi's writing

Naomi has just finished writing about 12 thank you notes, completely on her own. Her words are:


Anyone want to guess how to interpret that? I'll post the answer in a few days =)
I'm so excited that she's writing on her own initiative finally. She read a story about kids having a "tag sale" and really took to the idea. She's been making signs and labels for her own ong0ing tag sale ever since. She's just learned how to write the symbol for "cents" and now we tell her that the Brits don't use cents! She gets to learn about pounds and pence! All part of being a "third culture kid."

We're moving --- again!!

We're moving to England!

I feel like God has breathed fresh air into us, finally ending a long waiting time and letting us move forward. We have been praying for so long (and despairing at times) for guidance as to our next steps. Steve has been unhappy and frustrated doing work that doesn't suit him, and has longed to get the training he needs in order to fulfill his passion of reaching Muslims for Christ.

Now Steve has been accepted by Oxford University to study for his master's first and hopefully his PhD afterwards, over a period of 5 years. He will be studying Arabic and Islamic history, and with his degrees, wants to teach the history of Muslim-Christian interaction in a Christian college or overseas seminary. We will fund this first year ourselves with savings and loans, and then pray that scholarships and grants come through for the following years.

School starts on October 13, so this means that we're leaving the U.S. in just 7 weeks. Our heads are spinning. But at the same time, we're so excited. I'm grateful to have lived in Scotland already so that I have a better idea of what I should take with me (there were many things I wished I'd brought when we arrived in Scotland). The kids like the idea of riding bikes and buses instead of driving a car. I'm hoping to get in better shape by walking a lot. I'm also hoping the kids remember these coming British years better than they remember our one year in Edinburgh (which is fuzzy for them to say the least). We're looking forward to attending our Oxford church, Magdalen Road Evangelical Free, and renewing friendships we made there 10 years ago. We'll also be a lot closer to our dear London and Edinburgh friends.

Our concerns are:
*finding housing
*getting financial help
*receiving Ethan's passport in time
*figuring out how to pack our lives into a few boxes!

And it will be hard to leave our dear family here, as well as new friends we're just starting to make at our current church. I've grown accustomed to the ease of American life and I've enjoyed occassionally having access to my favorite foods and restaurants. I know I will be frustrated by not having a car. But at the same time, our 2 years in Lexington have prepared me for this transition. I have not always had my own car here, and we have not been in an urban area with our favorite stores and restaurants.

So here's to fish and chips, tea and biscuits, and the locale of our engagement! Oxford, England, here we come!