Go… Wait… Go.

That is what the last few weeks have been like for us here in TCI. We start something only to see it be put on hold, start again, stop again, and so on.

We have patiently been waiting for a huge shipment from CEF headquarters full of curriculum, promotional items, CD’s, tracks, songs, devotional books… pretty much everything we would need to start a new chapter. We personally do not have much in supplies because we left it all with the St. Kitt’s chapter. But we didn’t anticipate it taking this long to get our shipment in. Fortunately that shipment arrived two weeks ago. Unfortunately we have yet to clear it from customs. Fortunately we were able to get a letter that waives the majority of duty we would owe. Unfortunately we need to have the pastor who got the letter come with us to get the shipment and he is a busy man. Fortunately he and Sean were able to go up to the customs office last week to get our stuff. Unfortunately there was a mix up with the billing from the shipping company and they will have to wait until this week… hopefully.

We scheduled a Good News Club training with a church for last Tuesday. This is the club we are currently helping with and we needed more volunteers from the church. We were hoping to have our teaching materials in but they were stuck at customs of course. Regardless, we were excited to have our first training take place but Sean received a call that afternoon saying the training was cancelled. We will be trying again in the next few weeks.

Three weeks ago Sean ordered an idling sensor and a visitor to another church/school kindly brought it down from the States with him. When the mechanics replaced it, the problem became worse and our vehicle would randomly die several times while driving it. After a few days the mechanics said even though the part SAYS it fits our car… it does not and we needed a different type. Of course, nobody on the island had the part we needed and the companies back home didn’t have it in stock either. So Auto Zone had to order it and then Sean’s mother sent it to us. As of last Friday our vehicle is working great. A three week long problem here would’ve been fixed within a few days back home. Life on an island!

Other things have happened though! Sean taught a memory verse and Bible lesson in the main service at our church here, Harvest Bible Chapel. It was great to show everyone what we do! I wanted to take a picture of him, but it was kind of hard to do while holding a baby!

Maddy officially started homeschool kindergarten the first week of October. She is doing great! And last week she started soccer! They have a 5 – 7 year old group of girls that practice Monday afternoons and play a game on Saturday mornings. She is having so much fun!

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Riley-Grace has hit a few milestones too. She was really into watching us eat and would move her tongue around like she had food in her mouth so we tried some rice cereal with her. She loved it! But after a week we discovered she wanted more! We gave her a teeny taste of guacamole and she went crazy wanting more… this was after nursing and cereal! So we fed her a slice of banana mushed up… you would have thought we had been starving her! So even though it’s a month early (she will be 5 months old next week) she is now eating table foods and thoroughly enjoying them. She also outgrew her infant carseat and has moved up to the bigger convertible carseat. She has so much more room now and doesn’t cry as much when we go places… who knew?! And last week she started rolling over from her tummy to her back… which means no more swaddling, at least not her arms. It was a rough few days but the last couple of nights she has slept through and it seems like she is getting used to having her arms free.

DSC_0009Watching big sis play soccer… so serious!

DSC_0009First rice cereal

And last week I turned 31… how did that happen? Sean made me delicious food and sent me off for a facial. Maddy spent some of her own money buying me pink roses. I got to take a nap, amen! And I finished the night hanging out with Sean watching Duck Dynasty. It was a wonderful birthday.

Hopefully we will be able to clear the shipment this week and get the ball rolling on some training!

 

Our Turks and Caicos House

We thought it would be fun to show you our house! We get so many questions about what our house looks like we wanted to do kind of a “home tour” for everyone. We so wish we could give you a tour in person but a slightly goofy video is the next best thing right? We also included pictures for those of you who can’t (or don’t want to) watch a video. Of course, the video shows a lot more than what the pictures can.

Some things to know, we started the video in the car because we wanted you to see what our neighborhood kind of looks like… and it’s hot so you can definitely hear the AC blowing full blast!

Also, we are a little cramped but when we get an office and move all of our CEF stuff into it, we will have more room for storage.

The house is not super clean and it’s not quite where we want it yet. We still have some organization and decoration to do!

And, I think I sound silly but oh well!

Enjoy the cameos from Maddy and Riley-Grace!

 


Here are the pictures…

DSC_0445Our Living Room – and the TV came with the house 😉

DSC_0447The kitchen and dining area

DSC_0449Kitchen

DSC_0450Our bathroom with double sinks!!

DSC_0451Our bedroom with mismatched pillows and Riley-Grace’s changing mat on our bed!

DSC_0452Another view of our room

DSC_0454Maddy’s room… she made her bed by herself. Can you tell? 🙂

DSC_0455Another view of her room. Eventually the girls will share it.

DSC_0457The girls’ bathroom

That’s it!

 I hope you enjoyed our home tour!

 

Goodbye America, Hello Turks & Caicos!

Just a quick update…

We are leaving for Turks and Caicos! Last Friday all of our belongings (except what we will be packing in suitcases) was brought to the Conway shipping yard and is currently on it’s way to Miami, where it will be put on a boat for TCI.

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Sean and his parents getting our things on pallets to send off

Sean will be flying out of Pensacola bright and early Thursday morning and will be in TCI by mid-afternoon.

We have a house, a 2bed / 2bath.

And we “might” have a vehicle but we are working out some logistical things with payment at the moment.

When Sean gets there he will begin setting everything up for our family… utility deposits, getting the vehicle (buying it, registering it and insuring it), internet, cell phones, basic groceries and moving all of our things in once they arrive from the boat.

On September 10th the girls and I will fly to TCI with the help of Sean’s mother. I couldn’t imagine getting through Miami airport with a 5 year old and a baby by myself! Then we will all be back together and settling into our new home, in a new country with our new baby.

It’s crazy to think the time is now here. The last 9 months have been a whirlwind to say the least! We were sad to leave St. Kitts in January… it was so hard to say goodbye to our home for the previous two years. But in April we settled into Montgomery, our home for five years, and it was wonderful. We moved there after getting married, had Maddy there and loved our friends and family dearly. When we came back for just 3 1/2 months this year, it was home again. We went back to our church, had Riley-Grace (with the same doctor even) and life was “normal” again.

Leaving a few weeks ago (we have been in Spanish Fort now for three weeks) was rough on all of us… but especially on me. When we left for St. Kitts everything was so new and exciting. I didn’t fully realize how hard it is to be away from loved ones… to miss births, marriages, graduations and deaths… and how hard it is to simply live in another country (even if that country has running water, electricity, restaurants and beaches).

But now we know.

We are excited to be moving to TCI but are going with our “eyes wide open” so to speak. We are eager to get ministry developed there and to see God work, but we realize no matter how beautiful the country may be, it is part of the “call” to miss so much back home.

So we would very much appreciate your prayers, not only for safe travels and for Sean as he gets everything set up over the next two weeks, but also for our family as we adjust to a new “normal” in TCI.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, emails, letters and support! The next blog post will be written from Turks and Caicos!

So Much to Celebrate!

The last month has been a blur but we are celebrating two wonderful things the Lord has done! First, and the most important, is that Riley-Grace was born June 4th at 4:16pm! She weighed a whopping 9 lbs 7oz and was 20 inches long!

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The Story

Nothing “too exciting” but for those of you who wanted to know what happened, here you go.

It was a Wednesday morning and we dropped Maddy off at VBS and headed straight for my regular 38 week appointment. The week before I was only at 1cm so we weren’t really expecting much. I had been having contractions on and off for a couple of weeks but did feel like something was different that morning. Although they still weren’t too painful or regular enough for me to even bother timing them. However, my doctor checked me and let us know I was at 4cm and was in labor! Unfortunately, Riley-Grace, just like her big sister, was still way high. In fact, despite my water breaking with Maddy (at 4cm too), laboring for 16 hours and pushing for over 2 hours, she NEVER did drop and I ended up needing a c-section. It seemed as if history was repeating itself so we all decided to go ahead with the c-section. Plus, we knew on top of everything else, Riley-Grace was not going to be a small baby! So my doctor suggested we move up the c-section date (which was scheduled for the following Monday). Sean assumed he meant Friday… but he suggested 4:00 that afternoon! I was ALL ABOUT having a baby that day… Sean was fairly shocked to say the least!

So we called Sean’s mom, went to Target for a few last minute things (Sean was so nervous my water would break in the store), picked up Maddy from VBS and went to the house to wait until time.

At 2:00 we headed to the hospital to register and get ready for my surgery. Riley-Grace was going crazy in the womb… the poor girl had no idea her world was about to be rocked! The surgery went great… aside from be very nauseous and needing four bags of anti-nausea medicine. Riley-Grace had barely made it out of my belly and she started SCREAMING. It made the whole room laugh… her lungs were working just fine and she had no problem letting us know how angry she was at disturbing her!

She beat her sister by 3oz! (Maddy was 9lbs 4oz). She was and still is very healthy.

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I stayed in the hospital until Saturday… c-sections are no cake walk that’s for sure. But overall I have recovered much faster this time, than with Maddy.

At Home

Fuzzy. A Blur. Sleep Deprived. That pretty much sums up the last few weeks! Riley-Grace is nursing well but has issues with Reflux… which the doctor gave her some medicine for. She is a much more “alert” newborn than her big sister who literally slept all the time. So, it’s taking some getting used to for Sean and I but we are hanging in there. One day we will sleep at night again and then we will miss these days! In fact, it’s going by so fast. She will be a month old this week! I feel like I’ll blink and she will be Maddy’s age! We are all so in love with her and are trying to soak up as much of her sweetness as possible. Maddy is a very proud big sister too! She is a great helper and just adores Riley-Grace!

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Sometimes I stare at her and can’t believe after wanting her for nearly four years, she is finally here! I am so grateful to the Lord for blessing our family with her!

Other Exciting News!

We are also celebrating all of our one-time support being raised!!!! As of Saturday our match was made complete! Just in time, because it expired on Monday! All we need to raise now is our additional monthly support. It’s so awesome to know all of our moving expenses, visa costs, plane tickets, etc have been covered! All of it! Wow. Hopefully we will be at 100% of our support in time to move to Turks and Caicos in August. We are very eager to get there and start working. And now with all of our one-time support taken care of we are that much closer to going.

Thank you so much for praying for our new daughter, her birth and first weeks at home… and thank you for praying and giving toward us going to Turks and Caicos! We feel so blessed in SO many ways!

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Great News – A Matching Donation!

We are still getting ready for Riley-Grace’s arrival over here… she IS coming sometime in the next two weeks!

But we have some exciting news that we wanted to share with you! A wonderful couple has generously decided to give a matching gift toward our one-time expenses for Turks and Caicos. They will match, dollar for dollar, every donation up to $12,000 given until June 30th!

So, if a person gives $500 toward our one-time costs, that gift is then doubled to $1000!

The one-time expenses are for basically the cost of moving to Turks and Caicos… plane tickets, visas, a vehicle, shipping, etc. Right now, we need $8100 to complete the match, before June 30th.

We rarely use this blog to ask for donations but we felt we MUST get the word out about this! Please, would you consider giving toward this match? And would you please join along with us in prayer for the match to be reached by June 30th?

We still need to raise additional monthly support separate from our one-time costs to move. So if you are considering joining our monthly support team then know this is a separate way of giving altogether. But having all of our one-time expenses covered will help us tremendously. We would then ONLY have to focus on raising our additional monthly support… which could allow us to move to Turks and Caicos in August (our goal).

We are so excited to see how the Lord will use this match!

You can donate online or read instructions about giving in other ways by clicking here. Please specify that your gift is toward the match!