Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vacation to Sharm El Sheikh

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In the airport shuttle bus

In the airplane
Sofia and Judah in the plane
 
We were so excited when people told us about the resort area in Egypt called Sharm El Sheikh. The prices are really great and a lot of the hotels are all inclusive. We haven't really had a vacation in over a year so we thought it would be nice to go somewhere to celebrate our one year anniversary of being overseas. I did a lot of research on all the hotels in the area and looked for one that was all inclusive and had great pools for Judah. We decided on Park Inn by Radisson and it didn't disappoint!

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Sofia and Judah by the pool

There were 6 pools, including a wave pool and a lazy river. Two of them were shallow and perfect for kids Judah's age, with lots of play equipment and slides. He was in heaven! There were even some bigger slides for adults which we had some fun with as well.

Pools 2
Pools 1
Awesome pools!

The biggest highlight of the trip was having our friend Mindy come and join us! She was finishing up a two year term living overseas and decided to meet up with us as she traveled back to the States. It was so great to see her again after two years and a big blessing to have here there to love on and help out with the kids! Thanks Mindy! We miss you already!

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Mindy!

We had heard the food at all inclusive resorts could be not so great, but we thought everything was pretty good. One thing I really enjoyed was that inside the big dining room there was even a small dining area for kids, complete with a Toy Story mural, kid-friendly food and a tv playing movies. Judah loved having his own special area to meet other kids and watch some cartoons.

Dining Room
Kids' Dining Room

Gone are the days of leisurely sun-bathing by the pool, but we had a great time playing with Judah and lounging with Sofia under the umbrella or inside with the air conditioning. We were only gone for a little under a week so it went by super fast, but we feel abundantly blessed to be able to take a trip like that and relax together as a family.

Judah

Until next time!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kelly's Visit

There aren't many people in life with whom you become instant friends, but our friend Kelly is one of those people. When Thomas and I were in Cherryville for 3 months before we moved overseas we had a small group Bible study in our house. Kelly and her husband Franklin came to it regularly and we got to know them well. It's funny how you can grow up with people and "know" them your whole life, but not know them that well. That's the thing about small towns. Anyways, we had a great time getting to know them and have become fast friends.

It was an honor for us to host Kelly in our apartment for 10 days back in June. She came bearing many...many...many gifts! A whole suitcase full to be exact. What a blessing! We were sad that Franklin wasn't able to come as well but there's always next time ;) 

Kelly's Visit 1

Kelly's flight over was quite the adventure, she missed a connecting flight because of weather and was delayed by a day, having to spend the night in a Chicago hotel. Then when she got here her luggage was lost in transit for 4 days, leaving her with one change of clothes and little else. Needless to say we had to go shopping for some necessities. She was a great sport about it though. When her luggage was finally delivered to our apartment, it was 1am! Only in the Middle East, and only with Kelly! Haha

Kelly's Visit 2 

We did a lot of the touristy things while she was here and saw some of the most famous sights in our country. Above is our view from the hotel in Petra, Judah being doted on by a nice Arab guy, Sofia hanging out in the room and Judah and Thomas swimming in the pool.

Kelly's Visit 3
Petra

Petra is the most famous site in our country. It really is a must-see if you come here. I would drop a bunch of stats on here but if you're really interested you can Wikipedia it and find out all the details. It's really cool! Here you can see Kelly had fun riding a camel!

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Dead Sea

It really was such a blessing just to be loved on from someone back home, to hear that familiar Southern accent and to receive some goodies - hello SunDrop and Chick-Fil-A Sauce!!

We love you Kelly! (and Franklin!) Thank you for coming and adding so much joy to our lives. We can't wait for you to come back again!


Monday, July 01, 2013

Judah's 3rd Birthday!

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Happy Birthday Judah!

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and Mamaw!

Judah had a special birthday this year because my parents were able to be here! As always, it's even better because it's my mom's birthday too! It was hard to plan anything too big this year because of Sofia and just being so busy, but I think he still had a good time. The theme was Toy Story, is favorite thing right now.

Judah's 3rd Birthday

My parents helped a lot by bringing most of his presents from the States so that was really nice. I kept asking him what kind of cake he wanted and he loves chocolate, so this year he had a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. We had pizza and cupcakes and I think all the kids had fun playing.

Judah's 3rd Birthday 2

Happy Birthday Judah! It's hard to believe you've been in our lives for 3 years now! You're growing and changing every day and your vocabulary has just exploded. You can express yourself and let us know what you're thinking. You're more sure-footed than just 6 months ago and it's fun to watch you run around the playground and climb higher and higher all by yourself. You love swimming at the pool and have no fear jumping into the water or getting your face wet. You're so sweet and caring and often tell us thank you and how much you love us. You're going to be a great big brother to Sofie and already show concern when she cries. You've blessed us so much by being in our lives. Love you buddy!

Family Visit Part 2

One of our favorite things to do when people come visit is to take them to the Dead Sea and this time was no exception! We took Renee last time but David didn't get to go so this was a first for him. Judah of course had a ball swimming in the pools and we all had fun watching him! Sofia and I lounged under the umbrella or stayed in the room with the a/c. We also enjoyed the breakfast buffet!

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The View 

Bath time
Bathtime in the sink with Coco

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Swimming with Babu

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Right before we went to the airport to pick up my parents

A few days later my parents arrived! We were so excited to finally have them here! It was my dad's first visit too so that made it extra special.

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Wahoo! They made it!

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Jet lag cuddle time

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Trying on outfits with the Grandmas

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Breakfast time with Papaw

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Proud grandparents!

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Playing in the tent with Coco

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Last day with Babu and Coco

As always, it was a sad goodbye with Thomas's parents. It was great having David and Renee in town to love on us and of course Judah and Sofia. Renee loves giving Sofia a bath so I joked that she might not get another one until we see them again! She makes it look so easy!

Parents' Visit 1

The two weeks we visited literally flew by. We ate at our favorite restaurants, went to the Dead Sea and just hung out and enjoyed each others' company.

Parents' Visit 2

Next up, Judah's 3rd birthday party!