Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kid Update April 2011

Ethan (4 1/3)can write his name, and form all letters by copying them. He loves to write notes to people! With his improved verbal language, we can now understand him much better as he asks all sorts of questions and shows great thought. He has a good throwing arm and a great sense of humor (his speech therapist says he's the silliest child she's ever worked with). He still uses some British terms, like “sweetie” (for candy) and “biscuit” (for cookie), and can not answer the common question "Where are you from?"

Josiah (7 1/2)is our natural teacher in the family and loves explaining things to Ethan. He loves to run and is so happy to now be playing T-ball. His spelling is on a 5th grade level and he easily keeps up with Naomi in all our 3rd grade home school work. He still enjoys playing with his stuffed animals, but also likes to read Hardy Boy books and help me cook. He is quite the comedian and loves entertaining our family with his antics. He is anxious to go back to America to see relatives and toys he'd left behind 3 years ago.

Naomi (8 1/2) – sings constantly, often making up her own songs or lyrics. She also remembers tunes incredibly well, some after hearing only once, others after years of not having heard them at all. She is fascinated with cursive writing, and so I've begun teaching her the cursive alphabet. She reads every minute she can. After having read every Enid Blyton mystery we own, and all the Little House books, she's now working on Nancy Drew. Naomi is great at batting and is loving baseball. She says she’s liked living in different countries.

Things I Miss...

about America:

  • my bread machine
  • my electric mixer
  • having a car
  • my pastry cutter
  • Root beer
  • Cool whip
  • Always understanding everybody
  • Being able to easily read all price tags and signs
  • Endless water supply
  • Hot water on demand
  • Mexican food
  • Big libraries
  • Wearing seatbelts
  • Not standing out as different
  • air conditioning and central heat
  • One-stop shopping at places like Wal-Mart

about Great Britian:

  • Gorgeous old architecture everywhere
  • Libraries within walking distance
  • The Thames
  • Green
  • British vocabulary and accents
  • Orderliness (queuing!!)
  • Zed
  • Ginger beer and lemonade (fizzy)
  • Ginger cake & mince pies
  • Buses and trains
  • Zebra crossings
  • River walks and other paths
  • Cycling
  • A keen awareness & interest in European & world affairs
  • Tea with milk and sugar
  • Choir-singing (me and Naomi)

And what I think I'll miss about Jordan:

  • Best fresh pita bread ever
  • Fresh hummus
  • Fresh falafel
  • Palm trees
  • Cheap taxis
  • Very international church
  • Spacious house
  • Sunshine
  • Modestly dressed women
  • Camels, sheep, donkeys & goats
  • Crazy driving
  • Bakeries
  • Roman ruins and Biblical sites
  • Arab music
  • tea with mint
  • being next door to a corner shop that carries (almost) everything!

But of course, for everywhere, what I miss (or will miss) the most is dear people. Family who have known me my whole life. Friends that I've made recently, and friends who I've known for years. And godly, Bible-teaching, hospitable churches in every home we've had.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trust in the Midst of Darkness

Our year in Amman is winding down, with a departure date now set for
June 22. Everyone assumes this means we have a “next step.” We don’t.
We’ll have a 24-hour layover in Rome (YAY!!) and then arrive in D.C. on
June 23. Thankfully Steve’s parents are gracious enough to let us crash
at their place in Lexington, VA, while we get our life sorted.

Steve had applied to many graduate programs, hoping to do a PhD in Islamic history next year, but most have said “no.” It’s a bad time to need a funded program, as everyone’s finances are so strapped. We still have two possibilities, but I don’t know how much to hope for. One would be in Tennessee, the other in Exeter, England.

It’s not a fun place to be, in this desert of uncertainty. With loans to pay back and 3 kids to care for, the stress can overwhelm us. We alone do not have the means or the strength to endure, but we have a God who knows no bounds and works all things for good. The hard part is trusting him through these dark valleys, and surrendering all plans to him. He might very well have something completely unexpected in our future. May we have the grace to accept whatever it is.