Monday, May 30, 2011

TN Suprise Baby Shower!

Our wonderful support team in TN gave Loren and I a surprise baby shower! What a joy it was to celebrate with them. They have blessed us beyond words. THANK YOU FELLOWSHIP SUPPORT TEAM! You all are amazing! Yes- Alaina could fit into the baby swim hat for our little boy. ;-) Plus the team got us a suitcase to pack all the baby items back to Ecuador with! They also gave us money to buy a stroller with a car seat in it! How thoughtful they are!! We had yummy treats to snack on. What a treat! The women of the group parted ways with the men as they had an encouraging time for Alaina. Different women shared advice about being a mom and they read scripture. They also had a prayer time. It was so meaningful. The cake they had was so beautiful! It was a joy getting to see all these friends for a great party! These ladies were in my small group while I was in college! When I first met them they were in 7th grade! How time goes by! What a joy it is to re-unite. Here is a picture of Alaina and Jen. Our dear friend Jen Howell took these photos! Thank you for them!

Our American Adventure

It was such a joy getting to go to Morgan & Margarets Wedding! Morgan is Loren's brother. We are so glad Margaret has joined the Holland family! What a treasure she is. Great choice Morgan! We are proud of you! We had a very fast visit to the USA for this celebration. It was wonderful getting to spend time with most of the Holland clan! What a joy they are. Loren's mom did an excellent job with the rehearsal dinner! We had plenty of food and it tasted delicious! She is such a wonderful host and all your needs are always taken care of before you even knew you needed something! I need to learn many hosting skills from her!! We had fun together shopping for the rehearsal dinner and planning. Every second together is cherished! We were able to fly in to TN when we first arrived. I wish I had pictures of the time I was able to spend with my roommates from college- but the camera I took those pictures on must have been stolen from our luggage because I can't find them! The time spent with Lydia & Ross at Cracker Barrel eating yummy breakfast was treasured. We also got to stay and have a big sleep over at Christa & Adam Robinson's house. Charley and Katelyn were able to hang out with us too and our conversations were so meaningful. I miss them so much! We were able to attend Fellowship Bible Church (one of our supporting churches and the church I went to throughout college days). It was a blessing seeing many of our supporters. They also threw a HUGE surprise baby shower for us! They even provided the suitcase for us to take the baby things back to Ecuador!! What a joy they are in our lives! We felt so loved, cared for, and just saw Christ's love oooozing out of them!! THANK YOU FELLOWSHIP SUPPORT TEAM! We had the honor of speaking at North Park Church for both of their services. They have blessed us tremendously and we are excited to be their missionaries abroad. THANK YOU NORTH PARK! We did a lot of shopping between hanging out with friends and family. And a lot of our shopping happened with friends and family so we don't miss one minute of time together! In this photo I am trying to find some maternity pants that fit my small height and expanding belly! Quite a challenge when I can usually shop in the little girls section- but now have a big belly with our baby boy! Our last day in America consisted of being on the phone with LAN airlines. They canceled our flight reservations without our knowledge and we had to contact them to get it fixed. NOT an easy task to accomplish. Lets just say finally a day later we were on our return trip back to Ecuador... and very exhausted!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To have and to Hold!

The Holland family (Loren, Alaina, + baby boy in the womb) get to travel to the U.S.A. this weekend!! We are going for Morgan (Loren brothers) wedding!! He is marrying Margaret who we think is wonderful! We will celebrate with them as they say their vows to have and hold each other from now until death do them part. Celebrating these two will be a blast. We are also looking forward to having time with family and friends and holding them finally in an embrace! We had a gender revealing party for our baby last weekend. We went to our 18 week ultrasound checkup and told the doctor if he could tell to write the gender on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. We gave the paper (forcing ourselves not to look at it so we didn't know) to our friend Renae who made the cake with the appropriate frosting blue or pink. At our party we cut the cake to find out if it was a boy or girl! This dear baby boy is due October 1st and we are looking forward to have and holding him in our arms. Update on Alliance: The school flooded- we were having so much rain that the sewers overflowed plus the rain came pouring in. Thankfully now the school is 'back to normal' with no more water trapped. Thank you all for your continued prayer as we have a full month left of working at Alliance before the school year ends.