Friday, October 14, 2011

Some house-in-progress pics!

Hi, everyone!  We've been here now for almost two weeks and progress has been made!  Not by leaps and bounds or anything but in keeping with a positive attitude, progress nonetheless!  :)  So, we are still not in our house yet but are hoping to by this weekend.  We shall see!
Here are some pictures of our house for your viewing pleasure.  ;)
Judah showing the new wall color.  Our living room yet to be painted the new wild green and my favorite room in the house so far, our spacious kitchen with cabinets we were able to pick out and our landlord paid for!  (It was an absolutely empty room before hand.)
A kind of random hallway; it leads to a half bath at the end to the right. Long narrow bathroom.  Our new stove.  We had NO idea it didn't have a knob to set an exact temp in the oven when we bought it.  Apparently, its only settings are "grill" (kind of like our broil but on the topmost rack), little flame and big flame!!!  Ha!  We are going to buy an oven thermometer and see if it will work for us.
Luke building a buffet the Robinson's are letting us use.  Eventually it will move to the dining room end of living room.  Elijah enjoying his legos in his new room!  
Our room with our new bed spray painted a dark brown and an armoire we are borrowing from the Robinson's to store our clothes until we can purchase our own.  Picture of the "lovely" floral tile in our bathroom.  ;)
Our "laundry room" part of the bathroom.  Need to get an electrical outlet installed in order to get the washing machine working.  Praise God the Robinson's old one is still functional!  We're hoping to get a dryer sometime and put it next to the washer, build a wall to separate the laundry area from the toilet and put up a counter and cabinets above to complete the space.  Luke atop a ladder helping Scott puncture a hole through the concrete wall in order to install a vent for the stove.
Elijah helping Luke install the slats the mattress sits on.  No box springs in this country.  Our roof from inside the attic: they are clay shingles!  That's it!  I was so incredibly surprised that there was nothing else there and that they apparently keep the rain out.  The are interlocking-ish (the lay on top of each other) but still, so curious.
Me by our new stove and showing that I like the green we chose for our living room.  :)  It is a bit wild but I'm thinking its going to look fab once we furnish the place.
View from our back patio.  The part to the right of the fence, with the swings and a good bit of the land behind the little play area are all for our enjoyment--what a blessing!  We apparently have two orange trees, a fig tree, a couple of plum trees and an unknown fruit tree.  And a view of our huge back patio.
The boys enjoying the swings for a bit as I go around taking pictures. :)

Well, more pics to come as the Lord provides for more!  Pray for the funding to buy couches, tables/chairs and everything else we need to make this a home!  

Janice :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Second Leg and Arrival

Well, we arrive at Heathrow around noonish and figured we'd find our gate and then get something to eat.  We soon discover that our gate is hidden this maze they call an airport.  We walked for what seemed like forever, up and down multiple escalators (big pain as Judah is still not sure about those moving stairs!), through a few eating areas, did I mention it was REALLY crowded, too?  Yes, super, crowded.  Anyway, we start entering an older, less impressive section of the airport and eventually find our gate in what must be the ugly step-sister gate of all gates!  We were there an hour before boarding began but the area was totally empty.  Felt a bit strange.

There was one little deli shop near our area but it didn't have anything we wanted so we walked all the way back through the maze to one of the main eating areas and bought ourselves some sandwiches and drinks.  Heading back through the maze was really when my bad mood hit!  I think I was just extremely tired and didn't like having to walk so much and through so many people, with two, at this point, very energetic little boys all just to get a bite to eat which ended up being edible but that was it.  Plus, I was super bummed to have lost the cardigan that I had just bought a couple of days before.  I realized it after I went through the security check in Heathrow.  It is somewhere in that airport--maybe someone found it and is being  blessed by it--oh well!

Well, we make it back to the gate as the boarding time began.  They take our boarding passes and we wait in a little area for the buses to be ready to take us to our plane.  We board the plane, I fall asleep almost immediately--praise God for Luke, he was my hero for taking care of the boys on that flight!

We land in Lisbon after our 2 1/2 hour flight, go through customs with no problems, locate our luggage and trunks fairly easily and start taking loads outside where our teammates where waiting.  I didn't get to see them until our last load (someone had to stay with our stuff and the boys while the loads were being taken outside) but when I finally make it out our reception was lovely; Jenni and her girls were jumping up in down as we all made it outside--so fun!

Here is a picture of us just outside the doors of the Lisbon airport:

Of course, I'm looking horribly HUGE as I always do during my pregnancies!  Totally worth it, of course, just not so pleasant!  I always look forward to loosing all my baby weight after giving birth.  :)

Well, a forty-five minute drive and we arrive at our house to drop off our trunks and take a look at our "new" home!  It is cute, little older home just a minutes drive from The Haven.  Since we didn't have any appliances (no fridge, stove or anything) or any furniture for that matter, we had planned on staying at The Haven for a week or so until we were able to make those purchases.

After looking at our house for a few minutes, we head over to Vineyard side of The Haven.  On the door was this adorable picture the little girls of our team leaders had drawn:
What a fun little welcome sign!

How we've been doing
We've been here now for four full days and are feeling great!  The first few nights were a little rough with the boys dealing with jet lag but last night (and I think the night before) they slept through the night with no problems, Praise God!

Yesterday, we went to an appliance store and purchased a fridge and stove for the kitchen--YEA!!  Today I look forward purchasing our beds!  I imagine that we will be able to move into our house by Friday.  We don't have any furniture other than beds at this point but we trust God will provide for those things in his time.

Next up will be a post with pics of our house!  The view from our back patio is really amazing.  :)

Blessings to you all!  I will be back on in a day or two!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Excitement, planes, delays, roaches and bedbugs...

Well, we made it!  I am currently sitting on a super comfy couch at The Vineyard side of The Haven (the duplex where our missionary families stay during their time of refreshment here. The other side is aptly called The Orchard.)  What a blessing this place is!  It is wonderful to get a taste of what we offer to our incoming families.

Soooooooooo, excitement, planes, delays, roaches and bedbugs.
To be completely honest, we had a very grace-filled trip.  The stories I'm about to share might sound rough to some but we really never felt stressed (ok maybe one time but that wasn't on our first leg!) and had a pretty nice trip when all was said and done.

Well, the title of this post really mostly pertains to our first let of our overseas journey.  
Everything went as planned: we got to the airport on time, checked in our luggage with no hassle or surprises, said goodbye to the grandparents, got through security with ease (my hair gel that I had forgotten to put in a check-in even made it!), made it to the gate in plenty of time to let the boys get some energy out, all was well. :)

Time came to board the plane and with excitement we headed to the front of the line thanks to having little ones.  The picture above is of the boys enjoying our wait time while the rest of the passengers came on board.  Brittish Airways has little kid packs so the boys opened theirs quickly to discover a fun little activity book, pen, playing cards and I can't remember what else!  We were thankful.  :)  

The one bummer thing was that the AC was not on.  Apparently, the back AC only comes on when the engines are on.  So, we sat hot waiting.  Weeeeeeeeeeellllll, we sat, and we sat and we sat, sat, sat sat.  And because of the heat we weren't happy about that! ;)  ( Dr. Seus inspired--thanks for bearing with me.)  ;)  We ended up waiting on board for about two hours--so not fun, but oddly enough the boys did great.  There was a little girl in the seat in front and they'd played with her a bit, we played cards, took potty breaks, and waited as best we could.  At some point during that time, we hear reason of our delay: there is some sort of "little red bug" infestation in the rear cabin and so far they haven't been able to get rid of them.  Hmmm....I start laughing.  Little red bugs?  And they don't know what they are?  On a plane? SO random!  Well, eventually, they discover that these "little red bugs" are, can you believe it, ROACHES.  Yes, apparently an infestation of them.  How they were just contained to a few seats in the back and it was an "infestation" I have no idea.  

So, about two hours later they have the rear section of the plane de-board the plane (we were just five rows in front of this so called "infestation"!) to 1) be able to remedy the situation (they had all these very official looking guys come onboard trying to figure out what exactly these bugs were and exactly where they were) and 2) to give some relief from the heat for us, by now, very sweaty passengers.

SO, we de-board.  Judah exclaims, "that was so much fun," as if that was it, we got on the plane sat a while and got off, done.  :)  Not quite.  We then begin our second waiting phase at the gate--much cooler and lots more room for play.  And play our boys did.  Here are some silly pics of that wait time:

At some point during our second wait ( I think, it could have been during our on board waiting but I just can't remember) we find out that it wasn't just roaches but BEDBUGS were found in six of the back seats as well!  Ha!  Really, not sure what I have to say about that but I felt bad for the gobs of complaints that had been and were going to be logged against BA.  Not too good for publicity to have roaches AND bedbugs on board!

Well, about an hour and a half  or so later we are able to re-board the plane.  The six bedbug infested seats were removed and the frames were covered in black bags.  It was about 10pm when we finally took off.  A four hour delay!  We were SO thankful for our long layover in London, we didn't have to stress about the delay at all, we knew we would still have plenty of time.

Emergency in Row 49
Judah fell asleep pretty quickly after re-boarding (he was wiped out!) but Elijah didn't fall asleep until 1:30 that morning!  He was kept awake by Kung Fu Panda 2.  I tried to sleep here and there but not much of that was to be had by me.   At one point, I had fallen asleep to wake up minutes later to a cry for help across the aisle from me.  I quickly look over and this little Vietnamese woman's husband was splayed out on her lap with a dazed look on his face.  I call out to an attendant no where to be seen and another passenger goes out to find one.

Well, they come and after quite some time and lots of attendants huddling around this man trying to see if he was ok (his wife spoke no English and he wasn't talking), giving him oxygen, propping his feet up and trying to cool him off with wet paper towels, they conclude he simply had some sort of minor heat stroke.  He eventually started talking and was able to sit up and drink water.  And I'm not kidding, that really did happen.  Seriously!

So many firsts on this flight for me!  I'm just glad he was ok and we weren't going to have to make an emergency landing somewhere!

Well, I tried to sleep after that big event but just couldn't get comfortable.  Eventually, breakfast was served, cleaned up and we were landing in London!  Four hours later than expected but thankful to have made it thus far.  The boys slept pretty much most of the way--what a blessing!

I will write about our less exciting second leg and very exciting arrival in my next post tomorrow.  I am fairly tired and need to get to bed!  

Blessings to you,