Sunday, November 15, 2015


 I still can hardly believe it, but....

September 22, 2015


(If you missed the "why", read this post.)

Stair step kids...sort of :)

Exploring the woods behind our house

 New past time for the boys: raking leaves!

The transition has actually gone way, way, way better than Jake or I ever imagined. We were expecting the worst, especially for me, so content for so many years in Bolivia! Although it took a year for me to accept the impending move, we can both say without a doubt that it was the right decision for our family at this time. I love all the opportunities for the kids! Joel is in art, Michael is the one who most thrives on interaction with new friends (neighbors, homeschool group activities), Samuel has many more therapy opportunities for his educational and emotional needs, Sophia loves library story time and real baths, and Lydia is super close to crawling thanks to rolling around on soft carpet - something her sister never did on the cold tile of our Bolivian abodes!

Fall at the Collierville Square!

Everyone asks how the boys are doing. They are doing great! They have begged us to move to the states ever since coming last year. I would say the challenges we have are the same as in Bolivia, but it's somewhat easier to deal with living near family support, and just generally less stressful lives here. The English is still a main focus with them. I think that by this point, each one just needs to make a conscious decision to properly pronounce the sounds that are different or not found in Spanish, and to use past tense correctly, sentences without double-negatives, etc., because when asked, they know how to correct themselves.

 At Old West with Nana

And, for sure, all five LOVE time with Nana and Pops (my parents), my sisters the "aunts", and even great-grandparents!

A note found one day...

Biggest fans of Nana and Pops' cookies!
Sophia with Pops at Old West Stables
I finally got to watch my sister Emma with her Grand Entry team!

 Great-Grandpa on his 92nd birthday!

Talk about a crazy time for my parents: my grandparents were moved here from Texas less than 2 weeks after we arrived!

We have found a friendly church, adoptive mom/dad support groups, very active homeschool group (extra bonus: many members have adopted), gotten library cards for both Germantown and Collierville, and zoo and local museum membership (thanks to the grandparents)! There are some lovely parks nearby, too.

 Sophia on the boardwalk at her favorite pace - running!!

Yeah for a double stroller, a consignment store find!

We are rapidly finding our way around and enjoying how peaceful and relaxing it is to drive here. For wheels, my family has almost continually loaned us their 4-door pick-up until we get something else, plus Jake had his 1969 Ford Fairlane trucked in from Washington last month. A speaker at a pro-life conference once told him that would rapidly be traded in for a mini-van once Jake married, but look at us...

 Back from church

Don't mess with "The Soph"!

Both vehicles seat 6, but our kids are small. ;-)

It's easier to miss Cochabamba now, as our time here lengthens. I find that when I close my eyes, I often picture myself somewhere in Cochabamba. I have to make the decision to not "go there" for too long or else risk becoming very homesick. This is where we are for now, and it's a good season.

Our grand backyard!

As for Casa de Amor, the transitioning process was in full swing and seemed to be heading to a happy conclusion by August... And then completely unraveled my last two weeks in country. Casa de Amor really needs and deserves solid administrative support for supporter communication and finance matters. They continue to have to rely on me for certain things, gracious as usual with my big-family-busy-ness. I am blessed to have Rosa as director and Danyelle assisting with the volunteers!

November 3, 2015
The whole crew! :)

Any day now our container of books, wall hangings, and Jake's favorite car will be here, and then we'll really be set up!!