Thursday, July 31, 2014

An Eventful Easter 2014

When we received our new visas this spring the next available bus was not until Sunday, Easter Sunday. 

We had already been away from home just a week shy of 3 months and we all were ready to get home, even if that meant we would travel on Easter Sunday.  So we bought tickets.

We had a little fun dying eggs and enjoyed eating them Easter morning.  I bought the boys a few Kinder eggs to hide.  They had fun with that, and it goes to show that you don't have to have a big elaborate egg hunt to make a child's day.  I was really wishing I had our resurrection eggs this year, but didn’t forsee us being away from home on Easter or else I would have put them in our bag.  I really missed doing it this year.

We had attended an international church while we were waiting on our visas and they had a kids program.  Calvin loves, loves, loves Sunday School, Wednesday night church etc, so he was thrilled to have a class he got to go to.  They were preparing a song to sing at the Easter service and Calvin wasted no time learning it.  He was worried we wouldn’t be there for Easter, so when we found out what time our bus left we decided it would be best for me to take the boys to Church and Marvin would go ahead and bring our bags.

Calvin did a great job with his song and the service was a gift.  It was so fun sitting in a room full of people from all over the world.  A little taste of heaven.

We grabbed some subway sandwiches the day before and had a bite to eat before our bus left, then began the long drive through the mountains.

Both boys got sick, why is I always forget they get motion sick after I have fed them?!?!  So we were all on puke alert at the slightest cough, or noise they made, but thankfully they both eventually fell asleep.

Just a year ago foreigners were not allowed to pass through this border but recently they opened it, so we were the first to test this out.  Maybe it’s the reason why Marvin got to have a nice long conversation with the folks at passport control.  We all waited nervously for him to come out and join the rest of us.  Thankfully about an hour and a half later he came out.

It was a memorable Easter, and one we will never forget.  We are so thankful to be back in Nineveh, and so thankful for the visas we had been given.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our New Apartment

We have been so blessed by our new apartment.  It is a 5 minute walk to Marvin’s office, which also has a little grocery store in it, which we frequent for basics and the staff already knows our family.  It is only 5 minutes from the school Calvin will attend this fall, and we are hoping close to a preschool Micah can attend.  Only 1 minute away from to several buses and marshrutkas, walking distance to a park, 5 minutes from a track where I can run.  We are loving our new location and have enjoyed meeting our neighbors and being close to a few friends.

We moved in May and I have not hung a single picture.  That is very unlike me, but we wanted to wait until we returned from vacation before we completely settled in.  (We packed up things should we not be able to return.)  But I’m excited to finally unpack some things that we had left packed up when we moved in May.

So here’s the bare bones.

Our entry way has lots of storage, just like our old apartment, I love that everything has a place, in small spaces I’m often overwhelmed with clutter.  I’m thankful to have a space to store and hide all our art supplies and my crafting supplies.


Our apartment also came with a fish tank, and Marvin enjoyed taking the boys to pick out a few fish.  The boys each wanted goldfish, I like the neons, and Marvin picked out a few fun fish as well.  Some of the fish Marvin picked out were guppies.  We knew we might have baby guppies but as we noticed little bellies getting unusually bigger we were sure we’d have babies soon.  One day after dinner Calvin and I were able to watch one give birth to few fries, and then they were promptly eaten, we were cheering on the few who managed to swim to the plants, but after a few minutes the other fish promptly found them.  Marvin has enjoyed “sea scaping” and finding a few rocks and water plants for it.  It looks much better than the fake little plant that was in it when we moved in.


The Kitchen has some quirky aspects to it.  I like that it is big and has plenty of storage.  It has some deep drawers that fit my pots and pans, I’ve loved that when I’m cooking but I literally have zero counter space, so I’m learning how to clean as I cook so we can eat shortly after dinner is finished.  It’s a stretch, but slowly maybe I’ll learn how to be a neater cook.


Another unusual area in my kitchen is a little high counter/bar area.  We’re using it as our coffee/tea bar, because I couldn’t figure out what else to do with it.  All I need to figure out is adding a power cord so we can add our electric tea kettle and it will be perfect.


Our living room came with furniture which is actually comfortable.  Our new chairs make the perfect napping place.


I have no idea what to do with this coffee table.  What would you put inside?



Our bedroom gives us plenty of room to move about and there is plenty of room under our bed for storing suitcases.  As we were packing up I realized the abundance of suitcases we own probably isn’t normal.  I’m sure most of you don’t have to figure out where to store 20 suitcases.


The best part about our room is that it has a closet.  Friends who live abroad will understand what a novelty that is.  I am so thrilled have a walk-in space that has so much storage space.


Off our room is a little space we plan to use for an office for Marvin.  It has a little nook that will be the perfect place for a small desk and will give him a place to escape when he needs to work from home.


The boys room was honestly the reason we rented the apartment.  They have two rooms that are joined together.  The first room is their play space, school desk, and where they store their clothing. 
Then you can enter their sleeping room from the play room.  It already came with bunk beds and a couch and our crib fit perfectly.


So far they haven’t touched that tv, but they keep asking us about it.  J


Our bathrooms are very nice, clean and after living where we stored our things, I was a thankful to have a floor where I didn’t mind stepping out of the shower onto. 
 The tile however is Interesting.  One of the first days here Calvin was taking a bath and he made up a song about how God tells us to love one another and how it isn’t nice to kill things.  Micah took a bath next and while he was bathing he was making shooting noises.  They are such different boys those two. 
But what we really love about our bathroom is the toilet room has a sink!!!  And there is a fan in the bathroom.  (KD, see it is possible!)


The people who did the remodeling made some excellent choices and added some extras that make living here very comfortable.  I am so grateful, we are able to live somewhere where we aren’t having to make repairs every other day.

A lot changes in 6 months

Cousins December 2013

Cousins July 2014


Tuesday, July 22, 2014


When we returned to Nineveh we had rented a one bedroom apartment to store our things, and well most of it was taken up by our things, so if living in a one bedroom apartment wasn’t already cramped we added a bunch of stuff to make it even more cramped. 

We also discovered that the toilet broke, while we were in the states so we had to haul buckets of water to the toilet any time we needed to flush.  Knowing it was only temporary made it a little easier, and knowing how other friends have to use outhouses in the winter time helped me deal with the buckets a little better.

We decided to wait to find a place until we had visas to live in Nineveh long term.  We anticipated starting Marvin’s work visa paperwork when we returned, but the lingering New Year’s holiday made it impossible to finish before our visas expired.  So instead of finding a new place, we exited the country and waiting for visas.

When we returned thankfully we were able to find a new place rather quickly.  You have no idea how thankful I was to find a dust free, clean, spacious place with a working toilet.  I now understand why all my friends are always outside, and go on walks frequently.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Revisiting Christmas 2013

I know it’s July, but I wanted to document our Christmas this past year.

We did a little traveling right before Christmas.  It was a sweet gift to be able to see some dear friends, who happened to be a few hours from us.  We were so thankful our schedules worked out to see each other.

We drove through some crazy weather that trip.  Ice on our way to see the S Family, the lots of snow after catching up with the W family.  The boys enjoyed both.  :)  Unfortunately we left Wichita when we were experiencing some warmer weather and I forgot everyone's hats and gloves.  I'm thankful for all the hats and gloves we were able to borrow for the boys to enjoy the white stuff.

The boys helped Grandpa cut down their Christmas tree.

Then we were able to see a lot of Marvin’s extended family at his grandmother’s house.  It was fun to catch up in real life.  I am so thankful we can stay connected via facebook, because his family is pretty fun.


We were able to spend Christmas this year with both sides of our family.  Something that hasn’t happened in 5 years.  I think that just made it extra special.

We were able to spend Christmas morning at my parents’ house. 

We read the Christmas story, ate some yummy cinnamon rolls and watched the boys open way too many gifts. 

Their excitement was fun and they were literally bouncing off the walls with excitement.


This year our gifts to them were physically small, games for their leap pad devices, because we couldn’t pass up the awesome deal for a leapster for Micah so he has something to do while his brother is playing on his leap pad.  So I am eating my words publicly because we actually bought our child a video game.  Let me tell you it has been a blessing traveling with those things.


My brother and sister were there and it was fun to see what my sister made this year, she’s pretty awesome.  I wish I had a picture of what she made us, they were special places close to our heart.  I still love them Natalie.


We traveled north to see Marvin’s family around lunch time.  All his brothers were there.  We hadn’t seen his brother Carl in 4 years, I am so thankful we got to see his sweet smile and excitement over Christmas.  It’s always one of my favorite parts of Christmas with his family.


I just took in the fun of being with his family, his brothers teasing each other, cards around the table, while the little ones played. 
Lots of fun and of course Marvin’s mom always finds the perfect something for everyone. 

The holidays we get to spend with our family are pretty special.  We are so thankful for the memories of Christmas 2013.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


It's been a long time since I last posted anything, but here's to catching up this blog.  :)

While we were in Istanbul this winter/spring we ventured out to a park famous for it’s tulips.  It was still winter when we found the park, but it was still beautiful, we had lunch at a little sandwich stand along the water before we made our way to the park and even saw a few dolphins out for a little family swim.

While we were there we talked about how fun it would be if we were in Istanbul one year when the tulips were blooming, but didn't expect to still be there this year. So when the tulips started blooming we had to go back.

We were so glad we did.  It was stunning.



And of course the boys remembered the awesome playgrounds, so they tolerated all the tulip gazing.


Thankfully the boys were a little too young for this one. That thing is a little too high for my comfort.