Friday, April 29, 2011

We Are Moving!

For about two years now, Anthony and I have been talking about moving.  We found and moved into our current apartment more than 5 years ago, before kids.  We have been feeling like we would really like a little more space for our growing kids and something on ground level with a yard that our kids have access to.  So, we have been casually keeping an eye out for something. 

For the last 5 yrs we have lived in the top apartment of this house

The problem is that we really don't want to leave our village for a number of reasons...the closeness to base, Alethia's kindergarten is here, enjoying the quaintness of the German community, access to great forest trails.  However, not very many rental places come open in our village and when they do, they go fast!  So, we just stayed put and moved a few things around to try to make it more comfortable.

Our Village

Well, this year, between tension with our neighbors (over the amount of noise our kids make) and continued feelings of growing needs going unmet, we finally decided to get serious about finding another place.  In March we began checking housing lists daily and viewing places.  We reluctantly broadened our search to outside our village.  We spent about a month looking seriously before spring break.  With Anthony out-of-town for a week for our big high school outreach camp and me and the kids out-of-town to a friend's house, we took a break on our search.

We all got home late Friday night (two weeks ago) and were exhausted from our travels.  On Saturday morning we decided to start checking housing lists again and found an apartment in our village that was just posted.  We saw it, spent the day thinking about it, saw it again, spent a day praying about it and went back on Monday to sign our contract. 
The New House: not a great pic, I'll get another one up soon!

So....we get our keys this weekend!!!  We have until May 15th to be out of our old place, so we are doing a gradual move.

I just have to say...PRAISE THE LORD!!!  We found a place in our village, even closer to our friends and to Alethia's kindergarten, that has all the "musts" on our lists.  Our new landlord is an older German woman who lives in the apartment above ours and who is really excited about having us and who loves the kids.  Already, as we were dropping-off boxes last night, she was playing a game with them.  We will really get a chance to work on our German with her since she speaks very little English.

Well, as you may be able to tell, I'm really excited about this!  Alethia was not sure how she felt about moving, but after last night, she said to me, "Mama, I'm excited about our new house!" 

So, if you think of it, please say a little prayer for us as we get everything moved and set-up house.  Please pray for God's provision as there are a lot of little costs that add up and make moving so expensive!  But mostly, praise God for his timing and grace as we get into a new place just in time for the kids to have a yard to play in all summer long!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Festivities

We really got festive this Easter week.  Easter is a very big holiday in Germany, so Alethia was hearing a lot about it at school and was very excited about it.  For months (ever since the commissary starting stocking Easter candy in February) Alethia has been asking me, “Is it Easter yet?”  I was happy to declare last week that “yes!”  Easter was upon us.  So here is a window into our Easter celebrations:

This is one of the three eggs that Alethia painted at kindergarten.
Making cookies with Heather (our new co-worker, temporary roommate and friend):

Dying Easter Eggs with Dadda:

Chapel Easter Celebration:

Alethia with her Chapel friends: Akeera, Aleera, and Tameera

 Easter Egg Hunt at home:  Alethia was so excited about it.  I wish I had video-taped it because she was like sprinting to find the eggs even though she was the only one.  It was really precious. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

For my mom’s big milestone birthday this year my sister and I decided to pair our talents and make her a quilt.  I have been quilting for about 8 years now…mostly self-taught, so I’m no pro.  And my sister has really gotten into it in the last few years.  My mom has made it no secret that she wished we would make a quilt for her.  So in celebration of her 60th year we did it.  

My sister chose the pattern and made the quilt top.  The pattern is fashioned after the Tokyo subway map.  The bright colors are perfect for my mom and the theme of international travel fits her.  Little did we know that as I would quilt it, Japan would be suffering mass devastation from the earthquake and tsunami.  Many prayers were sewn right into the quilt as I worked on it.  

Once my sister was done putting together the thousands of tiny squares, creating a gorgeous quilt top, she sent it to me.  I put together the backing, quilted it by hand, and binded it.  It was a lot of work, but totally worth it and I LOVE how it turned out!  

Off in the mail it went…I nervously waited, hoping it would make it on time.  My mom received it before her big day and got to enjoy it on her vacation.  She really loves it, knowing all the thought, effort, and love that we put into it.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Updating a Friendship

So, I'm going to be catching-up on about a month of posts in the next week or so to get you up-to-date on Amor happenings. 

In March, some friends from the States came for a visit.  Eric and I have been friends since high school in Pennsylvania.  Little did we know when we became friends in 1995 that 16 years later we would still be friends.  After he and Carrie married, they moved to Portland where we have gotten to spend some time together as couples on our visits back there.  Anyhow, they got to take a trip to Africa to visit a friend and then stopped in Germany on their way home.

Eric & I (and our friend Byron) in 1996

We were excited to get to see Eric & Carrie and spend some extended time together.  Unfortunately, the day before they arrived at our house, I was down for the count with a bad cold.  I felt bad inviting them into our germy home.  However, they were so gracious!  Not only did they not cringe at my cooties, they pitched-in and helped entertain the kids and were such easy guests to have around.  We really enjoyed getting to know them better and having them see a bit of our world.  It was also fun to hear about their adventures in Africa...somewhere I would really like to visit some day!  And Anthony was super happy to get to take in a game of fussball with them.  We had a sweet time of sharing and praying for one another on their last night with us.  I am grateful for their visit.

Eric, Carrie, Me, & Anthony

Saturday, April 9, 2011

At least it is nice weather!

So, my German energy efficient dryer just got even more energy efficient...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daffodils & Lilacs

Spring is blooming all around us here in Germany...trees are budding, tulips and crocus are blooming, and my eyes are itching...all evidence that spring is upon us!

My poor blog has been greatly neglected for the past month.  Out-of-town visitors, sickness, and a few projects with a deadline have all kept me from blogging regularly.  So, I have a pile-up of pictures and stories to tell you and no time to post them.  Give me another week and I will be back on-line.  Until then, these photos will have to do...

A friend is going out-of-town for a month and would miss enjoying the blooming daffodils and lilacs in her yard.  So, she very generously gave us two big handfuls of flowers to fill our apartment up with the bright colors and sweet scent of spring.  We are loving them!