Saturday, July 31, 2010

Where in the States are the Amors?
Cape Cod: Sunset on the Beach

One evening we went out to the beach to roast hot dogs and watch the sunset. The bonus was that while we got to see the sun set beautifully on one horizon, the moon rose brilliantly on the other horizon. God’s artistic work in the sky!

Of course, we also roasted marshmallows for s’mores.  The kids were great so that we could hang-out until late into the evening.

Anthony holding the moon
Me and my amazing man!
Sisters: Sara, Alexis, Me, Christi
Watching the moon rise with Masami

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where in the States are the Amors?
Cape Cod: Whale Watching

One morning in the middle of the week, Granny and Mor Mor offered to watch the kids so that the adults could go whale watching.  We really got an amazing show!  We came across a whale that was active right on the surface of the water.  We got to watch as it rolled around smacking its fins on the water.  We got to see its nose and tail and much in between.  The pictures kind of speak for themselves:

Me, Christi, & Bruce

After whale watching, we had a nice lunch together at the Lobster Pot.  Then, we walked around and perused the shops for a bit.  It was a fabulous adult day out without the kids.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where in the States are the Amors?
On Vacation in Cape Cod

My mom bought a house in Cape Cod about two years ago and this was our first chance to get to see it. This week was one of the first things on the calendar when we began to think about our trip this summer. It was really important to my mom that we come experience the Cape and have a family reunion. So, three of my sisters came too with their partners and my niece and nephew for a full week of fun in the sun.

Most days were spent at the beach.  We explored a few different beaches: ocean side and bay side.  None of these kids live near the ocean, and therefore don’t get much time at the beach.  It took all 4 of them some time to get comfortable in the sand and waves.  However, by the end of the week they were all having a blast braving the beach.  

 Alethia especially loved playing in the sand, collecting rocks and shells, and finding other kids to play with.

Masami found happiness in rolling around in the surf.

We all enjoyed soaking-up some vitamin D and getting refreshed in the cool of the water.  It was wonderful to see the kids having such a great time.

 Nap time was always nice and long after a full morning at the beach.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Germany House

               We are all getting more and more homesick.  Alethia would bring-up things about Germany from time to time when we began this journey.  Now, just about every other day, she asks to go home to “my Germany house.”  We talk about what she misses and what we look forward to when we go back. 
               The other day after I had helped Alethia go potty, we were washing hands, and she casually said, “A lot of different houses, a lot of different soaps.”  I thought it was cute.  It was her little way of assimilating our travels.  I’m glad she is getting this opportunity to experience lots of different houses and people and different ways of doing life, but we will all be thrilled when this trip is over and we can do life our own way in our own Germany house.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Where in the States are the Amors?
Susquehanna, PA

My step-sister Kristi and her husband Kyle moved up to Northern Pennsylvania a few years ago to help out with a retreat ministry there that Kyle’s family started called The Loft.  Several family members bought plots of land next to one another to make-up the camp ground and moved onto the land to help get it all going.  They really started with nothing on the land and have had to put in tons and tons of work to live there and make it ministry ready.  They still have a lot they are hoping to do, but it is a beautiful area.  They have groups come throughout the year for retreats and events.  So, here’s my little plug for them: If you are thinking about organizing a retreat, consider The Loft in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania because this family has an incredible heart to serve and foster a fun and meaningful time for your group. 
             This was our first opportunity to go up and see Kristi and Kyle’s house and The Loft property.  It was so great to see it all and get time with them.  Their kids, Mia and Micah, made for great playmates for Alethia and Masami.  They are great kids…thoughtful, kind, silly, respectful…and Alethia fell in love with them (and their toys J).  It was the worst goodbye yet for her.  As we were getting ready to leave, she was crying and begging for them to come with us.  She gave everyone multiple hugs and kisses.

Here are a few pictures highlighting our time:
Alethia & Mia

The view from their house
Kristi & Kyle
All 4 kiddos getting ready to roast marshmallows
The Boys
Kristi & I

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Travel Days

               Another travel day.  This one is no different than the others: bittersweet.  We always feel a sadness and a loss when we leave.  It is hard to say goodbye, especially when so often we don’t know when we will be back.  It is incredible to reconnect with people and to get a little peek into their world.  We have been blessed by so much great hospitality and so many opportunities to make new friends and to build onto old friendships.  So, when it comes down to saying goodbye to another place, another home, another friend we are sad.  We are weary of parting.
               On the other hand, we can’t wait to see the people at the next stop.  Many of these people we haven’t seen in years.  Another place, another home, and another friend that we haven’t seen in a long time is exciting.  We are making such great memories as we travel and spend time with people. And that is the sweetness. 
               Travel days also make us think more about home in Germany.  What a blessing it has been to get to make a trip like this, however, we are getting travel weary and are ready to be settled and sleeping in our own beds.  We are ready to put the suitcases away and have our own space.  Most of all, we are ready to get back to ministry and are missing our students and our life back in Germany.

Where in the States are the Amors?
Lancaster, PA

We had a fantastic time in Lancaster. We arrived on Saturday evening at an old friend from high school’s house. Ellen and I, we soon did the math, hadn’t seen each other in 9 years! We have both gotten married, graduated college, moved around, and started our families since then. Her first, little Simon, is just 2 months old.

It was so great to get caught-up and get to know her hubby, Chris. Alethia was especially taken with their dog, Bernie, a big Labrador.

We spent Sunday with my grandparents. It was a nice, mellow day going to their church and then having a big meal at their retirement center. Then, we played a game of dominoes while the kids napped. Grandpa Ken quickly made the kids feel comfortable with his teasing.

On Monday evening, Ellen invited several friends over for dinner and to hear about our ministry. It was great to meet new friends with some common roots as me and to see an old friend, as well. Ellen, Aaron and I were all on Operation Barnabas together in the summer of 1997. It was really fun to see Aaron again and meet his wife and son. I got to “play” with all six of the pre-schoolers while Anthony shared about our ministry with their parents. Bernie did a good job of helping me keep the kids entertained. And when they were done with Bernie, they decided to roll down the “hill” (kids have great imaginations!) in the backyard. It had just rained, so they all got nice and wet. Our time went by fast, and before we knew it we were packing-up the car again. It was hard to say goodbye. Once again, I find myself wishing that the world wasn’t such a big place.

Masami & Simon

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Where’s the Lincoln Log?

While we were at our friends’ house in Ohio, Alethia got to play with their old toys. This is how she got introduced to Lincoln Logs. She really enjoyed learning how to stack them and build little towers.

This morning we decided to spend an hour sightseeing since we were so close to D.C. The Iwo Jima Marine Corp Memorial was just a short, sweaty walk from our hotel. As we were walking up to it and pointed it out to Alethia, she said “They’re catching the flag, Dadda?” We explained to her that they were actually putting it up.

From the memorial there is a good view of some of the other big monuments in D.C. Anthony and I were picking them out saying, “There’s the Washington Monument, and there’s the Lincoln Memorial and the Capital Building.” Alethia interjected, “Where’s the Lincoln log?” as she strained to find it in the distance. That gave us big grins as we explained that it wasn’t a Lincoln log, but the Lincoln Memorial.”