Saturday, June 30, 2012

Touch down Perth!

We are here.. we are here.. did you hear me.. we are HERE! Alas after very long flights and a few fun layovers, time changes resulting in us losing an entire day.. we have arrived!

Jet lag has been brutal.. with the time difference being 12 hrs.. we are completely flip flopped. The first night here we all woke up at 130am starving. (which would be 130pm normally for us) so we all ate spaghetti and meatballs (that someone saved for us) at 130am!

This has truly been an adventure for us and as many of you know because you have talked with us.. we had no idea what to expect as far as accommodations...
 and as many of you could imagine just the change from living in your own house being completely self sufficient to living in 2 connecting rooms with a "kitchenette" that is shared with about 4 other rooms, coin laundry that is open only a few hours a day with a sign up sheet and community bathrooms outside of your building has been very humbling.
 (for instance. Jojo completely wet through his pjs and all his blankets in the middle of the night day 1 and it took us 2 days to find out about laundry and get it washed and taken care of.)  We have met several other families and that has been helpful to us to see families that have transitioned and are doing well! Its called Faith and Flexibility!!

We have been walking around Perth locating stores and took a train ride to Ikea to purchase a few things that we couldn't pack (such as bedding, toiletries) and today we took the kids for an early morning walk to the McDonald's to play in the playplace.

The weather here has been about 40's F in the morning warming up to upper 60's F by mid day. We have been told that this is unseasonably warm.  It has rained a couple of times in the first few days and today we are just thankful to have a sunny day to hopefully dry our clothing and Jojo's blankets!! Without central heat the chilly mornings have been pretty cold for us.. but we just bundle up and have a cuppa tea and we are pretty good :)

The kids are doing great.. excited about the new surroundings, eager to meet some new friends. We have met several of my classmates and staff and everyone is super nice! Our housing is still pretty empty but people have started to move in today.

I had a look at my school schedule and its going to be a very busy couple of months.. praying for a smooth transition and for my "mommy brain" to transition to school mode!! thanks for all the prayers so far. Even though things at times have been tough we definitely can tell people are praying for us and we are grateful!

Here are a few pics from our time so far:
We were given 2 rooms and decided to put all the beds in one room and make this one a living room area

other end of the living room area

family bedroom :)

community Kitchenette

outside common area (doors to the bathroom are to the left)

hallway to other rooms (our door is to the right. outside the kitchenette area)

Abbie making a face at McDonalds (she's not licking the glass)

We went for the playplace and the free wifi (which was almost too slow to do anything :( )

Friday, June 29, 2012

Me Good Mate Noel

So on our way to Perth we had a 6 hour layover in New Zealand, a place I haven't been to since 1995. Whew! Feelin old. New Zealand was my first backpacking adventure; right out of high school, looking for adventure, young and scared. Within 3 weeks of my trip I got hit by a car hitchhiking on the motorway and my foot blew up to 3 times the size. After the hospital and the US embassy contacts I was introduced to Noel Carter. Noel was an adventurer who worked on oil rigs and was building a 42ft. sailing catch. That summer I helped him finish and launch Red Zone and afterward learned how to sail and scuba dive. So when he heard we were going to be in Auckland for a few hours, Noel and his lovely wife Bronwyn didn't hesitate to get up at 5am and drive 2 hours to the airport to spend the time with us and take us around a bit. It was great and a much appreciated break from the extensive plane trip.
City of Auckland

On top of One Tree Hill

Abbie freezing. It was pretty cold.

After getting caught in the rain chasing sheep in a paddock.
The sheep.

At a nearby butterfly place.

Josiah pretending to be a pirate.

Noel remembering being a pirate.


Good friends. Thanks guys!

Monday, June 25, 2012

California Dreamin'

WOW! the last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement and stress and fun! We are currently sitting in LAX airport waiting to board our flight to Australia via Auckland New Zealand.

After packing and packing and packing and then re-packing.. our leg of our trip from Chicago to LA went well. We also just checked our 8 bags in LA with no problems and security was relatively easy. We have yet to have our carry-ons weighed but are hoping that process goes smoothly as well.

Today we spent a large chunk of the day hanging out with my (Heathers) cousin Brett and his wife Michele and family and our good friend Sunday at a beach club near their house. our plan was to completely wipe out the kids with sun, water, sand and fun! I think mission was accomplished and we are so hoping that the kids knock out for the majority of our first leg of the trip of 13hrs!  We had a blast in Cali and we could have definitely stayed a few days!

We appreciate prayers for the rest of our travels!!

Here are a few photos from the last 2 weeks of our time in Chicago and today in Cali.
Bruce's flight lesson before we left Michigan (birthday present)

Keeping cool in the Chicago heat wave!


fun in the sun!

Abbie Sandwich!

Our little troopers at LAX! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

run forest run

Back 9 weeks ago Bruce and I in the midst of the craziness decided that we would train for a 5k.. actually that Bruce would train me.. (since he is one of those people that genetically can run with no problems.. me on the other hand.. not so much. )

We decided to try to couch to 5k program that starts you out slow and then increases your running time in increments to make it easier. the more Im finding out about running the more I realize its a mental game and a breathing game.. once you can master both.. you can run.

you know those people whom you see running with a smile on their face and it looks as if they are almost floating with glee.. ya.. thats not me. 

We set a goal of running a 5K in downers grove for the cause of Rwandan street children. 

This last Saturday the race came and the first mile and a half was brutal.. I think I was mostly fighting off anxiety that "oh my gosh Im running a 5k" feeling. 

I missed seeing the marker for mile 2 and mile 3 and as we were passing a person who was directing people along the course I heard the words. "the finish line is about 1/2 mile up" I couldnt believe it! I got excited picked up my pace and then thought... I still have a 1/2 mile.. I need to calm down! :)

as we were about 1 block from the finish.. Bruce's parents (who were bring the kids to meet us at the finish) had taken a "wrong" turn and ended up driving up to the very block we were at at the exact moment we were passing it.  so they started honking and although they hadn't parked and made it to the finish line.. the timing was perfect!!

We finished with a time of 42:08 (which my goal was to be under 45 mins :)  )

My amazing hubby who coached me was running military style.. running ahead and then circling back to get me. so he indeed ran further than a 5k!

It was an amazing experience and although I dont particularly like running.. I think I will try and continue.. because it has to get easier right??? :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Back in Chi-town

Well, it wasn't easy but we finally managed to pack up everything and get to Chicago. Stopped in Battle Creek to have lunch with some good friends that we haven't seen in a long time. Then we made the mistake of taking the Skyway a little too close to rush hour (3:30? really?) and spent the next 2 hours battling Chicago traffic. Still, God is good and now we're at my parent's house with our luggage and our few storage items already safe in the attic. -Bruce

Whew!! that was a long couple of months and I can hardly believe I am sitting on my in-laws porch writing this with 9 days to go before we board a plane to our next adventure!
It was sad to leave our home, our neighbors, our church and family and friends. Honestly, I spent most of my time pressing down the emotions of seeing this great house that we were blessed to live in be empty as the day we moved in and hugging those who are dear to us and those who have become dear to us.  At the same moment we are stirred with excitement of the future of the new unknown places we will visit. Its almost an addictive feeling of freshness.. We are so excited to meet my fellow students and the staff and excited to meet the community we will spend the next 3 months in.

Monday, June 4, 2012

you cant take it with you.....

things are moving right along.. garage sale over.. donations bagged up and now just starting to look at packing our luggage thats going with us.. its gone fast.. its been exhausting but we are so excited to start the next chapter.. 9 days left in MI and 19 days left in the states!!
next comes the poopy part of having to say goodbye... :(