Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Enjoying the fall weather

November has been an exciting month full of events. First of all, our beautiful new niece Ellory Joy Schulte was born yesterday, November 24. Praise God Miranda and her are doing great. Ellory is healthy and is already eating and gaining weight. We can't wait to hold her and kiss her! Congratulations Doug, Miranda and Chloe on your new blessing.

We started a new ministry for women and children on Fridays from 1-4 at the hall. Every Friday refugee women and their children have the opportunity to come take a hot shower, have a hot meal, and do their laundry. The first Friday we had 5 families, the second Friday we had about 7 families and this past Friday our numbers significantly jumped to 22 families. We were running full force trying to get everyone's needs met and it went pretty well. Two bags of laundry didn't get done so they'll come back again this week. We also started handing out diaper cards where the mothers can receive one pack of diapers per month from Hellenic Ministries. We have enjoyed being a part of this and getting to know these families. Many of the children I recognize and remember from the family refugee camp. They remembered Ashtyn and they love to play with her.

At the AWOG Christmas Bazaar. Sitting on Santa's lap did not go so well again this year. We'll see what happens in 2010.

At the park with her friend, Rebekah

Ashtyn's first sleepover. She loved it!

October pics

Ashtyn at the park by our house

Mom's birthday was on October 7th. We invited some close friends of hers to our house and ordered Chinese food for dinner. Mom turned 54! Love you mom!

Being silly!

Ashtyn loves to play in daddy's shoes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Santorini in September

It is October and everything is in full swing! The love meals are full, the spiritual discussion continues to be a blessing, Greek language class is in session, I have started back with tutoring, and I actually have started driving a stick shift by myself. Let me tell you this is one challenge in my life that I never thought I would break through. After a year of fear, shaking, car dying, stopping in the middle of the road with my hazard lights on and everyone having to go around me, and poor Matt as my teacher...I actually drove to my parents and back by myself for the first time today. For most of you who are reading this it may sound absurd that this is such an accomplishment. Well, let me explain...some people have different phobias. For example, bibliophobia...fear of books, ichthiophobia....fear of fish, xenophobia....fear of strangers....well, my phobia was (and still is somewhat) stick shift cars. Maybe I should invent a new name for this phobia. Okay, enough of that...
You won't believe this...Matt and I whitnessed a hailstorm in Greece. After 3 days of gloomy, rainy weather Matt, Ashtyn and I were all taking a nap. I all of a sudden heard a massive thunder so I got up and looked outside. Hail was coming down like crazy (ping pong ball size) over the mountain, down the street. I ran to wake up Matt, but he already heard what was going on out there. It lasted less than a minute but this was one thing I have never seen in my life! It was awesome....(except for all the little dents on our car).
September was a terrific month. My sister's family all came to Greece for a visit. Her and Andy have two precious children Jackson, 4, and Zoe, 2. Unfortunately Ashtyn was sick with a high fever so she missed the first week of their stay. The next week we went to Santorini and stayed for 5 days. We had the best time even though it was overcast most days. Ashtyn got to know her cousins and they had so much fun together at the beach. My parents just finished remodeling their house and it is beautiful. We all stayed together in the house except for my parents. They thought it would be too crowded. So they would leave at night and come back in the morning. At least they had their peace at night without three toddlers!

I have so many pictures to share so here is a link you can click on to view our album:

Monday, August 3, 2009

July Family Events

Trying to put on Candy's toy shoe

Beautiful Santorini!

Our girly girl!

Having fun with Uncle Stephen

With daddy at Teenager Camp

Yummy cupcakes and smoothies:) The view from our tent

Naptime usually ended up with a ring of sweat on the sheets...nice!

At camp

Camp, Athens, camp, Athens, camp, Athens...that's how our summer has gone pretty much! Wow, we have been on the go!! Matt has been much more than I. I skipped out on this last camp due to the heat. I was afraid it would be too much for Ashtyn since I have been dragging her around all summer. However, we are going back to camp for clean up on Wednesday and we will be back on Sunday in order to prepare for the Love Meal on Monday. I am posting some pictures of Teenager camp. While we were there Ashtyn's friend, Kella, turned one and had a birthday party on the trampoline there. It was so much fun and a great way to keep the young toddlers contained in one area. Ashtyn loved the cake and smoothies. After teenager camp, Ashtyn and I went for a few days to Santorini with my mom. Stephen, my brother, was there with some friends and it was a chance for me to see him as well as relax a little and take a breath. It was gorgeous! Ashtyn swam in the baby pool everyday, we went to the beach once and she had a blast playing with the dog! I must say Santorini is a difficult place for a stroller because of all the stairs and no ramps...but I met some friendly people along the way and they helped with carrying the stroller up/down stairs for me!
Sorry but all the pics are out of order. I'm having a hard time moving them around.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Operation Joshua 2 and bday gifts!

We are back from our trip to southern Greece in the Peloponese. Operation Joshua 2 was a big success! As a team 44,000 Bibles were distributed to the Greek villages in Messinia, Greece. We stayed in tents located on a wonderful campsite in Kiparisia. It was right on the ocean and the facilities were just what we needed. Every day the teams would work out their day and set off in the morning and come back at night. Some nights were very late. The teams experienced both receptiveness and rejection from the Greek people receiving the bibles. Some people invited them for icecream and coffee and some people, such as a Greek Orthodox priest kicked us out of the village and was beating on the car. This happened to Matt's team! Well the job got done and people have bibles in their hands that they didn't have before in their own modern language. That's exciting! Ashtyn and I spent much time on the beach together. Since the days were so long (6-8 hours of walking) it would be too difficult for Ashtyn. So we remained behind at the campsite with the other moms and children.
When we returned from our trip we checked our mail and we're delighted to receive a big box from Grandpa Gary, Gigi, Uncle Michael, Aunt Miranda, Uncle Doug, and cousin Chloe! Oh what fun! Clothes, cards, teapot set, fun pelican, bathtime toys, family picture flashcards, and a stroller. I have to say the picture cards are a brilliant idea. She has already learned some new names. I try to do a few everyday. Our family is growing and there are a lot of names to learn. Thank you so much for all the gifts. Here are some pictures of our most recent events. Love you guys and miss you!! Happy Birthday to our nephew Jackson who turned 4 on July 6th! What a big boy!! We are off to teenager camp tomorrow.

The beach at Kiparisia

Teams packing up the bibles to distribute

Boxes of bibles

Sweet Essie (Esther) helping...Ashtyn loves her!

The big work tent

Playing in the big tent

Sunset at the campsite

Matt playing beach volley at sunset after a hard day of work

Opening the big box of bday presents

Opening presents with Daddy

One pretty teapot...she loves this! She swings the teapot when it sings.

Learning the family flashcards

She has the best daddy in the whole world!