Sunday, December 3, 2017

Full House, Full Hearts

After an unfortunate miscommunication at Thanksgiving, we decided to have Jane and Amos and their family over for lunch and a little Christmas celebration today.   Their whole family had never been here before - two sets of kids, but neither Jane or Amos (or little Bahati), so it was a big (exciting) deal to finally have all Nine of them here at once! =)

We met them after church with both our vehicles and they all piled in.   Jane (unbeknownst to me) had made a TON of food (even though I had Four batches of chili waiting at home!)    She made amazing African rice, chicken, beef and fish...soo good! 

All ten kids at the table

After lunch it was time for presents
(Jane said they didn't need anything but that they would like some Christmas shirts)


The first family picture I've ever got of them
(Back: Amos, Jane, John, Roger, Patricia
Front: Justus, Bahati, Michael, Gabriel)

This picture makes me so happy =)

Amos took this picture of Jane and I

After gifts, the kids all headed outside and Philip and I sat and talked to Jane and Amos.  It was the best talk we've ever had with them!   Most of what Amos said had to be translated by Jane, but we got to know him a lot better and he is a very like-able guy with an incredible story of survival when he fled the Congo as a young man.   (Since my mom was also born in Congo, he feels that I am his "African sister").

* Update:   Amos is doing much better physically, has regained most if not all his memory and is hoping to go back to work part time in the next couple of weeks.  Jane has a cleaning job that she enjoys at the Kansas Spine and Specialty Hospital and they have moved to a newer, bigger house with five bedrooms and two bathrooms.  God is so good!

I texted my Tanzanian neighbors down the street and mentioned that we had some Ugandan friends over if they wanted to stop by and say hi.   The wife, Jackie, did come by and within seconds of her walking in the door, they were all animatedly speaking Swahili, and did so for the next 40 minutes or so!   Wow.   That made my heart so happy.    Jackie actually had tears running down her face several times as she listened to them talk.

Here is a very special picture of me with some of my "African family" in Wichita <3 p="">

After Jackie left, Jane and Amos made a point of having Philip and I sit down so Amos could thank us for helping take care of his family and visiting him while he was in the hospital.   (He has only recently started to remember what happened during that time).   It was very humbling and we feel honored to be part of their lives and count them as family.

There was so much food left that we were able to feed 15 people at our house church gathering tonight with it and still had left overs.   How wonderful it was to share food from Jane with some of the people who have prayed so much for their precious family!

I got a text tonight from Michael saying that his dad wanted me to know it was exactly a year ago today that he had his accident... Wow!   I love how God works details out.   How blessed we are to have this family in our lives.

It's Beginning to Look/Taste/Feel a Lot Like Christmas...

The day after Thanksgiving, the kids and I decorated for Christmas!

The "Before" picture

Cooper was still here (how cute is he??)

 After (don't mind the wonky star on top)

 Tree, fireplace and mantel

These fun photography themed pieces on the mantel were a gift from Wendy

 Over the couch
(I love this quote from "Elf" and Moriah made the cute little mitten canvas!)

Some fun decorations on the photo shelf

The weather was GORGEOUS so Philip and the kids got the lights up later that day!

The kids spent a baking day with Wendy last week:
(All of these photos are from her)




...and then it started to get crazy..

Caleb's finished masterpieces

Goofy pants


I guess he wasn't done...

...then they started decorating themselves!

Wendy must have more patience than I (she also ended up doing laundry as a result)


Belly art!

Hulk frosting

While Philip and I were at a Christmas party last night, their babysitter, Leigh Ann agreed to do this with them!

Each kid decorated a side and Leigh Ann did one side

Love this tradition

We had a great time at the residency party...

 Selfie by the tree

 I got to chill with Joia (and then she took a nap in my arms) <3 p="">

 So glad Devin and Melissa are back on the Via Christi team, it's great to have them at parties!

Love this one outside the restaurant

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Philip had to round on Thanksgiving day, so we didn't make plans to travel.

While he was at work, the kids and I went downtown to watch Gabriel and Michael (and some other friends) run in the Say Grace 5K.

Gabriel and Micheal at the front of the pack before the starting gun went off

There they go!

We really didn't have long to wait for them to come back through the finish!

Gabriel, running hard

Come on, Michael!

Gabriel's finishing time

Michael's time

Posing with them after they'd caught their breath with the sign the kids made for them

Our day was relaxing, since we weren't hosting and didn't need to be anywhere until 4 pm.

I made cheesy potatoes, a fruit tray and roasted some veggies to take:

Don't these look so good??

I even got in a nap with my favorite six year old...

One of the many reasons I am grateful =)

Our friends, Stacy and James (we are in the same CC group as their family) changed their plans last minute and ended up being in town, so we decided to get together with them!

Shot of their family
Stacy, James, Tristan, Sara, Abby and Joe

All of us at dinner - it was So delicious!

The adults had a great time chatting and the kids played in the basement.  

Joe set up this mammoth train track for Caleb and we could barely tear him away!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving we had - thank you Stacy and James for hosting us!! =)