Monday, February 25, 2008

Downtown with Jack

Today was so much fun that I just can't keep it to myself.

But first, can I just say that five years has never gone by so fast! When Jack was born in Cyprus, we applied for his passport as soon as we could get a picture of him with his eyes open. Valid for five years, they said, which sounded like a long time to me back then, but May will be here before we know it -- and this year my first angel-baby will be five. FIVE!

Today was our appointment at the American Embassy to renew his passport. Friends-like-family from church graciously agreed to keep Sophie so I could take Jack downtown on my own, and oh my goodness, we had a blast.

As I've said before, one of my many favorite things about living here is that walking and taking public transportation are a normal part of everyday life. Our journey started at the Tube station near our friends' house.
I didn't get a picture of Jack on the train itself, but on our way downtown I surprised him with the news that first we were going to the Natural History Museum! To see the Dinosaurs!

After getting off the train, we walked through a sub-way (a tunnel-like walkway underneath an insanely busy intersection) to get to the museum.
One very excited boy at one very beautiful museum.
One very in-awe Mommy. (I love Romanesque architecture.)
And one very scary T-Rex.
Who made loud, scary noises.
Still Jack's favorite, though.
We also managed to see a few favorite mammals.
It was a quick visit but well worth it.
Also, going there first meant we got to see more of the city together.
And it gave us a chance to do what Jack has been begging to do for months and months (but what is impossible when traveling with a baby in a stroller, as we most always do): Ride on the top of a double-decker bus. We even had front row seats!
Dream. Come. True!
Before lunch: a little loopy.
After lunch: happy-happy-happy.
After successfully processing his passport renewal at the embassy:
"Can we go home now?"
On the train ride home: pooped.

From start to finish, the day was perfectly splendid. I really loved going on an adventure with my little man. And Sophie was over the moon to have a day with our friends. Sweet Marie even had supper waiting for us when we arrived back at her house!

The kids are both asleep in their beds now, and to tell you the truth I'm heading that way myself soon. Seriously, is there anything as wonderful as a day that works out exactly as you had hoped and planned? Maybe just this: I asked Jack what his favorite part of the whole day was, and of course it was riding on the top of that double-decker bus. (Ah, the joys of boyhood!) Mine was heading home on a packed train, smiling down at my son's upturned face and hearing him say, "I love you, Mommy."

(Yes, yes, I realize that all my vertical pictures posted horizontally. My big man and photographer/computer guru is away this week, and I've spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out what's wrong, but alas! It will have to wait until Matt gets back.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

As a Matter of Fact, We Did

Bedtime reading tonight included We All Went On Safari by Laurie Krebs and Julie Cairns.

Pointing above Tanzania on the map in the back of the book, Jack said, "Look, Mommy, that's Kenya up there. That's where some of our friends live."

Just as I was agreeing with him, he added, "And that's where you and Daddy met yourselves."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Even If You Don't Understand Swahili

The message in this music video, featuring dozens of Kenyan artists and pastors, comes across loud and clear:

Wakenya Pamoja (Kenyans Together).

Where, O Where, Has My Baby Girl Gone?

Hoo-boy, it's official. Sophie turned two this week. I can't believe it! All of a sudden she seems really grown-up to me. Maybe it's the way she insists on having her own cup and saucer (instead of just drinking from her sippy cup) when we meet friends at the Café.

Or maybe it's other displays of her big-girl personality bursting forth:

Either way, I'm completely smitten.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today, Global Warming Is My Friend

I had almost forgotten how good feels to sit outside and soak up sunshine! We've had four gorgeous, warm, sunny days in a row -- it's February in England, people -- so this afternoon while Sophie napped I took my laptop outside to write an e-mail that was long overdue. A cup of tea and a box of tissues at my side, with daffodils and crocuses in bloom and tiny bits of life sprouting up all across our little back garden, it was Mmm-mmm good.

Monday, February 11, 2008

So Much for New Year's Resolutions

So far, my intention to blog more in 2008 about our family's daily goings-on has gone Phhhhhhtt! like a deflating balloon. It's a combination of things, really, but to be honest I've been emotionally caught up in this Kenya crisis, and beyond managing our family's daily goings-on I haven't had much energy -- emotional or otherwise -- for writing.

I suppose maybe just writing that much would have been better than nothing these past few weeks. Sorry about that.

Fortunately for me, I have friends who can not only write brilliantly but also offer great insight about the situation in Kenya. Globetrotter Sue lives in Nairobi and has quite a gift for putting words to what's happening there. Amazing pictures and videos, too! And check out Konings in Kenya, especially this post about ways they're involved in helping families displaced by the violence.

Please continue to pray for justice and peace in Kenya. And if you're inclined to do more to help Kenyans, please consider giving through Africa Inland Mission (AIM), the organization the Konings serve with (and that I was blessed to serve with during my years there).

AIM has established a Kenya Crisis Fund in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by Kenya’s post-election violence. It is estimated that over 250,000 Kenyans were displaced, and 1,000 men, women and children lost their lives. Africa Inland Mission and the Africa Inland Church, their partner church in Kenya, have already begun responding to the incredible needs around them and will continue to do so in the days, weeks and months ahead.

On a much lesser note of importance, thanks to all of you who keep checking this blog. I hope to get back in the groove soon. The year is still young.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Elijah Update (February 6)

For new readers to this blog, the following update is about a strong and brave little guy named Elijah, born February 6, 2007. His mom and I worked together at Rift Valley Academy in 1996-1999. Elijah has Hemophilia B, but more importantly, he has a worldwide prayer support team! Since my initial post about Elijah and his mom's initial update the very next day, posting updates from Elijah's parents on this blog is a small way I can give support from far away and generate much-needed prayer for Elijah's continued growth and healing. So please, join the praying!

Thank you all for joining us in praying for Elijah.
His 1st birthday is TODAY, and we are so excited!
Thank you for all of your prayers for our little boy.

Joel, Judy and Elijah