Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya' hear!!

Sorry everyone...I know it has been a few days since the last post. We do have things to share but it has been just a little busy around here. I took some great shots today in garbage city. I even got some video of Meredith working on a loom with some of the girls in the sewing center. But...can't do that right now. We are headed out very early in the morning for a trip to the Mediteranean Sea. It should be a great time getting away from the city life for a few days! I will post as soon as we return!
Thanks for visiting...ya'll come back now, ya'hear!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stacey Joined a Mom's Blog

I recently was asked to join a mom's blog ( I had to write an introduction to our family and my life as a mom so far. Below is what I posted to that blog. I wanted to include it on our family blog because I have never written down the whole story and I wanted to be able to keep it in this "computer scrapbooking!"

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, for 16 years and we have 3 beautiful (and very animated :) children. Twenty years ago Matt and I began our romance. We married during our sophomore year of college and immediately began ministry together. Oh if we had known what God had in store for our journey together!!! It is so comforting to look back and know that even when we don’t know what our future holds, we can have confidence in Christ who “began a good work in us and will carry it to completion.” When Matt and I had been married for 3 years we decided to start our family. We thought that would be an easy and painless task. It turned out to be just the opposite. After trying for a year we finally conceived and soon miscarried. Two months later…a second miscarriage. We had so much sorrow and grief over the loss of these precious babies and wondered if God had children planned for us. Eight more months of trying and waiting brought us to the great news that we were expecting for a third time. At last, God saw fit to allow the pregnancy to be healthy with no complications!! Nine months and 70 POUNDS  later we gave birth to our first born, Meredith! Obviously after losing two babies and gaining 70 lbs with the third, we were ready for a break.

When Meredith turned three we were ready for another newborn in the house. Again…waiting…waiting…third miscarriage…more grief…many doctor visits…waiting. At this point we thought, “Well God, do You just want Meredith to be an only child?” We decided that that may be the plan of God for our family but a bigger family was always a desire in the back of our minds. When Meredith was 5 ½ we conceived for the 5th time. This pregnancy was healthy, easy and caused only a 30 lb. weight gain which resulted in our second born, Madison. At this point in our journey to build our family, we became very relaxed in our thoughts of conceiving quickly. This relaxation turned out a surprise conception! I had been working out diligently and eating very little to lose all of the baby weight because we were planning a trip to Brazil when Madison was three months old. After returning from Brazil, I became very sick and thought I had some kind of parasite from bad food. Oh no…this was no parasite! Baby number 3 was on his way! First, shock…followed by more joy…followed by cancer resulting in more uncertainty in our lives. When I was 7 ½ months pregnant, Matt was diagnosed with liposarcoma in his thigh. The last two months of the pregnancy were spent with him in two surgeries and radiation. During this difficult time in our lives, God gave us such peace and reminded us that He is in control and our lives are in His hands. Our third child and only boy, Matthew Ray, came along just one year and two days after the birth of Madison! Whew! What a roller coaster ride!!!

These last four years as a family of five have been a whirlwind and a joy! And God has continued to lead us on new adventures with Him. Just 15 months ago, we began a new chapter in our lives as He led our family to move overseas. Being a mom overseas has its difficulties, but I love getting to see my kids learn and grow to love another culture.

Our oldest, Meredith, is now eleven. She is such a joy and always has been. She has always been quick to obey and has such a tender heart. It has been amazing to watch her approach these pre-teen years with such spiritual maturity and consistency! Our middle child, Madison, is five. She shows leadership qualities, is creative, verbal, photogenic, and our most strong-willed child. :) Our 4-year-old baby is Matthew Ray. He is a typical boy who loves running, jumping, climbing, sword fighting, boxing, sports, and making every sound to go with all of the activities listed above. He also holds his mother’s heart in his hands and can make her melt! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Yes, you have read the title correctly...Friday is Mother's Day in Egypt! Mother's Day here is BIG!! All children are expected to visit their mom, bring gifts and make this day VERY special for her. As we have been walking and riding around the city over the last two weeks we have seen so many "Mother's Day" signs all over store windows.
McDonalds has even gotten involved in the celebration. I called one night last week to order McDonalds for supper (yes, they deliver here and yes I know this is not the healthy meal that I NORMALLY cook for my family :). Anyway, I ordered a combo meal for Meredith and the man on the phone congratulated me and said, "With every combo meal you receive a McDonald's make-up bag!" I said, "Excuse me? You said MAKEUP BAG???" He responded, "Yes, a McDonald's makeup bag." Tooooo funny!!! We all had a great laugh over that one and knew that the story had to be added to the blog!

I believe the McDonald's makeup bag has to be one of the most unique gifts I have ever received for Mother's Day but I never get tired of the unique creations that my children make for me! "I love you, my sweet little ones! You are such GREAT GIFTS from God to me!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Maybe This is How They Built the Pyramids

The weather is so nice right now so we are able to open our balcony doors and feel the nice breeze the desert air brings. Tonight we opened our door to see something we had never seen before. Below you will see several men pulling a new sign to the top of the building with a rope to advertise a dermatologist's office. You will hear commentary when you watch the video that explains it all. We were watching this event with one of our Egyptian friends and she thought it was so funny that this sight was new and amazing to us. We explained that we come from cities with few tall buildings, much less cities where men pull signs up with old ropes for advertisment. I guess seeing such a thing gives us a slight peek into how Egyptians might have worked together to build the ancient pyramids!

We didn't stay up to see the finished product(they work late around here!) but we did wake up to see a nice, shiney new sign on an old, dusty building. (:

A Preacher in the Making

As many of you know our kids love to pretend and use their imaginations. Tonight's imagination time was centered around Matthew Ray preaching. We just happened to catch it on video. I am not quite sure what Madison's sign was about but I did notice that she had drawn a clock on the board. (Ha! All preachers need a clock nearby so they don't preach too long!!!) He was preaching from the book of Matthew where Jesus calms the storm. I think he might make a great preacher one day! What do you think? BTW: the music sound in the background is the "call" that we hear 5 times every day!

One of our favorite things to do....

We have a Chili's Restaurant at the end of street. We love walking down there when we feel the need for an American moment. However, we really don't feel very American on our walk there because we have to walk down a PACKED street of honking cars, people loudly speaking Arabic and we often dodge a donkey cart or two. Once we are there we love sitting in the outside eating area near the Chili's playground. The kids love the playground and usually make many Egyptian friends. Here they are with a group of little girls having a birthday party. No, they weren't invited but they were asked to be in every picture and Meredith ended up with several cell phone numbers of the girls she met! So, we call it an American night but now that I have written about it, it doesn't seem very American????

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Two Handsome Men!!!

I just love these two handsome guys! Everyday it is a joy to wake up and see these two precious men in my life. What makes it even better is that they both love me so much and love to tell me all of the time! What more could a woman want???
Matthew Ray is the spitting image of his daddy. This top picture is Matt when he was 3 and the bottom picture is Matthew Ray at the same age. It is remarkable to me how much they look alike! If I hadn't actually birthed Matthew Ray I would wonder if I had anything to do with him!! :)