Thursday, August 9, 2012

Whirlwind Tour '12

So at my last post...we were announcing to our friends and family our decision to get out of the military as we trusted in God to provide for us.  Not long after our decision we were offered a job and over time all of the details fell into place.  Let me give you a brief overview of the past 12 weeks.

1.  We moved into a new house.  This big change happened at the end of April and the amazing movers packed us up and delivered all of our things in 12 hours! Whew...we were exhausted just watching them :)  We spent the following week trying to unpack and say goodbye to dear friends who were preparing to leave the island.
Hayden apparently thought
we were selling our base
house.  This is the sign that
 he wrote on our front porch
telling everyone we could
now have an "open house".

5 men+ 9,000lbs+12 hours = Fully Moved!

Our new house...empty and ready to
become our "home".

2.  At the beginning of May we were blessed with a trip home to the states to visit family and friends, some of whom we haven't seen in 3-4 years!  In 26 days we covered 7,000 miles!  Needless to say it wasn't exactly relaxing, but it sure was a blessing to be able to spend so much time with our family! Especially for our kids:)

One of our many stops on our road trip.
Playing checkers with Nana at
Cracker Barrel.

John and I were blessed with many
hours in the car together.  This was
his job...driving :)
Celebrated John's graduation :) 
Our kids got to spend time with their
cousin Penny for the first time in 6 years.
Oh. The memories they made! :)

We never pass up the opportunity
to see a Cardinals game :)
We were able to treat our Okinawan
family to St. Louis treats...Gus' Pretzels
and Ted Drew's! What a joy it was to
show off our hometown to our dear

John teaching Hayden about fishing.

Hayden was so excited! He's been
looking forward to fishing for a long
time.  Love these boys!

If only this pictured how
much he giggled over my
crazy faces :)
Camping with John's family was
such a blessing.  The kids had a
wonderful time and I survived
"roughing it"!
The kids' pie party! This is something they
will never forget!
Working on the crust with Dude.

Paper dolls with Grammy :)

Our kids had such a wonderful time
with all of their grandparents.  

Don't worry.  I got your back.

3.  We returned to Okinawa to an unsettled house and John officially starting his new job :)  Just like anything else it was a bit overwhelming at first, but I think each week he is learning how to do his job better.

4.  Mid June I took a team of 7 girls (6 teenagers, 1 adult) to the Philippines for a mission trip.  I was so blessed by my husband for encouraging me to go on this trip and that I could rest assured that our kids were doing okay while I was away.  (There were however nights where our children ate FamilyMart for dinner).  It wasn't just my husband, but three friends really surrounded our family with tons of support and babysitting so that John could still get some work done while I was away.  We are beyond blessed by Jenni Rea, Valerie Patmore, and Ann Alexander...each with different gifts, but all with servant's hearts.  My trip to the PI will need its own post :)  Too much to cover in this one :)

5.  Our new Worship Pastor and his family (the Beams) arrived at the beginning of July, so we have been blessed to show them around and try to help them get settled.  We are excited for our church family to grow together in this new season.  Our kids are loving their new friends!!

6.  And then there was our "pounding"...we were thrown a "Welcome Party" from our church family along with the Beams family.  Can I just tell you that the love of Christ is overwhelming!  We were beyond blessed and blown away by how encouraging and supportive our church family has been!

This is just one picture of the many goods that we were blessed with!
7.  John was gone for a good bit of July for a youth camp and not long after he took a team to the Philippines. Although we are used to TDYs, which is what we still call it when he is gone, we never like for him to be gone, so we sure were happy to have him home by the end of the month.  July has come and gone and part of me is looking forward to the school year so that we can have a fairly normal routine again.

This summer has brought us much growth and thankfulness.  We have been challenged in this new season in many ways.  We are used to being the ones taking care of others in need.  Now it is us having to humbly ask for/accept help when we need something; special American treats, someone who can help translate for us, or simply just accept others generosity.  I wouldn't trade this choice that we have made for the world.  When we first told everyone of this decision a friend simply wrote "Jehovah jireh", simply translated "God will provide".  I am so thankful for that simple statement.  God is faithful and he continues to provide for our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and it has been a true blessing to experience God in this whole new way of life.  It is an adventure.  And I look forward to seeing/understanding more about God as we continue on with life as He stretches us and molds us.

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