Monday, November 17, 2014

Today Was One of Those Days...

...one of those days when living 1,000 miles from your family just stinks.

The day started with a call from my dad saying "I've got a bit of news..."  I knew right away it was bad news.   Rob and Ada and the kids had been in an accident last night and although most of them were fine (praise God!) Ada had suffered a broken neck.

No, if I was there, there isn't much I could have "done", so maybe the ache in my heart was purely selfish, but oh, I wanted to be there!   To hug Rob, to hold Ada's hand, to kiss my nephews and niece and love on them... to rejoice with family that we still had them all and that the precious life inside of Ada was still lively and kicking.

But I wasn't there.   The beautiful part of that though, is that they Did have family there to do All of those things, and to do it so sweetly and at just the right time.   I am So thankful that God had members of our family in the perfect places to serve Rob and Ada when they needed it most.

I could pray though, and I did.  And Keenan and Moriah and Caleb in their simple, sweet ways did, and my family in Florida did, and Philip in another state did, and Dan in Kenya did, and our house church did, and my neighbor down the street did... and He heard, and He worked.

A thousand miles is not too far for Him.





*** Here is the story, borrowed from Rebekah***

Words cannot express how thankful we are today! Yesterday Rob and Ada came to visit for the afternoon so we could take some pictures. After Gospel Meeting, they had an accident on the way home on the snowy roads. The EMS brought them back to St. Thomas hospital (never was I so glad that we live two minutes down the road from the hospital!) to assess them. Rob, Brayden, Josh and Galina were all fine. Ada had some tests done, and was sent to London in the middle of the night. Her baby (she's 22 weeks pregnant) is fine. Ada broke her neck though and is in surgery right now in London. We are so thankful that the Lord preserved their six lives. We are so thankful for family who loves them and who has either been close enough to help, or who has been praying from afar.
Please pray for Rob and Ada that the surgery goes well (she went in at 2:30) and that Ada will recover well.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:8
Above is the verse she asked me to read to her while we were in the ER last night. She said, "I'm just putting my name in there - Ada, pour out your heart before Him."
*** Update on Ada ***
We just got off the phone from talking to Rob and Ada.
Ada says she's feeling better and that she's in less pain. She's hoping to go home in a couple of days although she will have a neck brace on for a long time. Of course she wanted to hear how her kids were doing since she'd only seen them for about 10 minutes before she went into surgery... But she's doing better!
Thank you so much for all your prayers. Rob is staying with Ada in London, and Brayden, Josh and Galina are now with Mom and Dad Woodford in Norwich.


Sledding!

I don't think I said yesterday, but by the time it was all said and done, we had about four inches of snow! Philip said, as we were driving over snowy roads, "It seems like we should be Visiting here, not living here." It Does seem surreal that we live in a place with snow again! =)

Philip is out of town for a few days for some training, but the kids and I (after finally outfitting them all with the appropriate outdoor wear), bought some sleds and tried out a small hill not to far from our house!   I have to admit, my expectations were pretty low....the hill is not very tall, or steep, and I figured I was going to have to push them all the way down the hill! =)  Surprisingly though, they Flew down the hill and went quite far and we all had a blast!   Take a look..

This girl's got steering skills! =)

The boy's first run down

I love the progression of Keenan's facial expressions =)

=)

Pure Joy!  Moriah Joy!

Getting ready to steer that sled!

Dream come true for this boy to be able to sled near HIW OWN HOUSE!

These pictures make my heart so happy

Look how far Moriah went!

Keenan actually took this one, I really like it!

Caleb and I, thumbs up!

Off we go!

I LOVE this picture of these two!

Moriah made a snow angel when we got home (and immediately regretted her choice to do it without mitts on!)

Yay for winter fun in November!

First Snow in Wichita!

Yesterday morning, we woke up to the kids saying, "It's snowing!" I was super excited to hear that, but didn't immediately jump out of bed, because I figured it was a few lazy flakes, flittering down and not covering the ground at all. When I Did look out the window, I was shocked to see it coming down steadily, and about 2.5 inches on the ground!

The kids could not WAIT to get outside!!

Out our front door!

Super happy kids in the backyard...yes, we had a lot of winter gear to add to this picture, as none of them had boots, and only one had snow pants =)   When we went to the store, we discovered that everyone else had the same idea!    The pickings were SLIM!

Keenan's snow angle (I love the pom pom indentation on the top!)


Our cute little moose

YAY!    
The wind (once we went around the front of the house) was pretty brutal, so we didn't stay out too long.

Keenan learning a new life skill =)
He was so excited to try it!

Our kids have MUCH to learn about living in a place where it snows.   Keenan didn't know that it was called "shoveling", and he also didn't know what I meant by "insulation" when we were looking for boots. =)   They're going to learn fast!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Caleb's 3rd Birthday Party

 We had Caleb's birthday party yesterday.    Despite not going to the farm, and me not having any real backup plan for fun after that, I think everyone had a great time!    We had lots of good food, a ton of balloons (thanks, Keenan!), all our friends (most of whom had never met) meshed really well and it was a super fun time!

 Caleb wanted a Curious George party....

Cupcakes

...topped by the mischievous little guy himself

 Dipped Pretzel Rods

 Books for favors

 Some of the girls (Moriah with our neighbors, Alexis and Allison) coloring some Curious George pictures

Our little monkey and his big brother

 We had to get creative with tables to fit all the kids!


Time for candles and Happy Birthday!


 Happy boy

 Blowing out three candles is a big job!

 Smiley Cora

 Nora and her mom, Sarah

 All the kids!

 Present time


 Just chillin' after some people had left and the older kids were downstairs

 Scott helping Caleb figure out how his new drill worked

 Maddie taking a turn

His gifts from the party

Thank you to all of our friends who came to the party - it was a wonderful time celebrating our little monkey's birthday!

A fresh out of the bath picture that night... I LOVE these curls!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

First (Random) Wednesday at Our House

We have had the privilege of attending "First Wednesday" multiple times since moving to Wichita.   It is a large gathering, started by and usually hosted by our friends, the Stephens, on the first(ish) Wednesday of each month.    There is usually a speaker... quite often a visiting missionary and is attended by most of the residency, medical students and anyone else who wants to come!   This month (to my delight) we were asked to host it at our house.  

Dawnita Stephens and I made three huge lasagnas and everyone else brought sides and desserts.   It was a full, happy house!   Our whole house church was here, along with about a bunch of people I had met once or twice and quite a few I'd Never met!

The speaker was awesome.   I can't give any details about her except that she was a doctor from an African country (in order to protect her safety as she is a Christian in a closed country).

Here are a few pictures of the night!

Food line

Dining room

Living room

Looking back to the dining room

Downstairs

Everyone seated to hear the speaker!  
Turns out we can fit quite a crowd in our basement! =)

We love being able to open our home to others, and look forward to many more opportunities like this!

Signs of the Season

Woowhee! Wichita has COOLED off!!  

The little pond is our backyard has been frozen for several days now... with ice thick enough that the kids can stand on it!

We have decided our outdoor runs are over (it's just too cold and windy and too dark by the time Philip gets home from work now), so we got a membership at the YMCA and are really enjoying working out inside!    The kids like it too, because they get to go to the Kid Zone!  =)

It's also time for Operation Christmas Child boxes.   One of our kid's favorite Christmas traditions!

Packing up all the boxes

Caleb in Keenan's huge coat after checking out the ice on the pond

Caleb's birthday party is tomorrow.  It was supposed to be at a farm... with a petting zoo, pony rides, a hay ride, face painting, etc... BUT it's going to be waaaay too cold, so instead, we will have a ton of people in our warm, cozy house, eating chili, hoping for snow in the afternoon!