Monday, October 21, 2019

Maya turns 3!

 They say that as your kids get older, the time goes faster. This has definitely been true, especially with the second child! I can't believe we celebrated Maya's third birthday yesterday. We started off the day with chocolate chip pancakes and Maya opened one present. At church, Maya was old enough to go to kids Sunday School for the first time and she celebrated her birthday there! After her naptime, she opened the rest of her presents and we skyped with grandparents and Papa (who is on a trip to the U.S. right now). Then the girls had time to play with the new toys while I baked cupcakes for the kindergarten the next day. We finished the day meeting friends at McDonald's for dinner and cake. It was a fun day and the girls had a blast!

Maya has grown up so much this past year! She is now fully potty trained, is going to kindergarten (pre-school) like her big sister, has started speaking German and her personality comes out more and more. She loves to be silly and make jokes or say things that she knows are contradictory to what everyone else is thinking or saying. She loves her big sister and even though they frustrate and annoy each other sometimes, they are also each others' best playmates. Maya can be a little hesitant to try new things, but she is become braver every day and going to pre-school has helped with this. Overall, she is easy going, sweet and full of joy. Happy birthday, Maya!





Frauenrüsttag

 Late in the spring, a friend from church (and now a member of our church planting team) came to me with an idea. She had noticed that many of the young women in the church mostly had relationships with other young women and that the older women also weren't very connected to the younger ones. She wanted to give women of all ages a chance to connect and develop intergenerational friendships, perhaps even leading to mentoring relationships where the older women could teach the younger women from their life and spiritual experience. So she and I began working to plan a daylong conference in the fall for the women of the church.

We chose the theme "encouraged and strengthened" - encouraging one another and being strengthened by God. We filled the day with game time, food and connection time, worship time and several talks. We intentionally invited women from the church to speak, instead of inviting anyone from outside, so that the more experienced women in the church could share from their own wisdom with the rest of us. We also offered a card making time in the afternoon, where the women could make their own card and then write an encouraging message to someone. We had three "vendors" there with tables for the women to visit - one women who owns her own sewing business, one who makes bible verse cards, and representatives from an organization that offers post-abortion counseling for women and men.

What I enjoyed most was watching the women connect for the first time. During the "speed dating" game we played at the beginning, I enjoyed watching the women smile and laugh as they discussed the questions on the screen, shared about themselves and made new connections. I also really enjoyed working with my friend for all those months and seeing this day come to fruition. I hope a new tradition has begun and we will turn this into an annual event for women, perhaps even bringing together women from several area churches to connect, share and encourage.


Card making time

Beautifully sewn items handmade by a woman in our church






Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Time Away

This month, after a busy summer, we finally were able to get away and take a vacation for a week. We decided to try going to a hotel where all of our food was provided, and we found this to be an incredibly restful way to vacation with little kids. Not having to cook and clean for a week was a real treat! The kids spent a lot of time in the pool and at the beach, and we each did lots of reading. (We each finished a book on vacation - I can't remember the last time that was possible!). Overall, we were really thankful for the time away, and we returned home refreshed and ready to jump back in.

Here are a few photos from our trip:

We ate lots of ice cream...

Vacation hat!

Posing with the local camel

Mexican food night (Maya's hat is a little big...)





The kids enjoyed participating in a few kids activities, including crafts and cookie making