31 December 2015

Sweet N is 6

My girlie turned 6 this week, but we did most of the celebrating a couple weeks ago when we were still in the States so that she could have her friends and her grandparents with her!

Just look how pretty she is...

And her celebration at school...


And she had been dreaming of a party at Chuck E. Cheese for months. We had never done 'paid' parties in two years. With a newborn and a move I knew I wouldn't be able to pull it off for Hudson's Birthday (they went bowling, I stayed home with a one week old) and N chose Chuck E. Cheese. So that's what we did. I though it was gonna be crazy, but it was fun!

Love my girl. And LOVE who she is growing up to be.

29 December 2015

The Journey: Moving As Six

It was months of hard work preparing for this day.

A year of work, truthfully.

And now the time had come.

The night before everything was laid out.


5 of the carry ons.


2 more of the carry ons. (Do the two little kids count AS carry ons? Cause they probably should…)


Clothes laid out. I liked to do this as a child and I still like to do it FOR my children.

I {heart} preparations.


Car seat ready for baby to be inserted.


Check ins. Breathe deeply.

12 trunks. 4 roller bags. 4 car seats.

ALL FREE, glory!


Some dear friends spent half of their Christmas Eve loading us up and driving us to Denver.


Yes, we needed a special vehicle. Because moving overseas with a family is special. Ha!


Here is is! The whole fam and all of our stuff. This the official MOVING picture! I love it. Starting a whole new life…


All those bags had to make it to the check-in counter somehow…


So thankful for their help!


Check-in is always quite stressful. We almost had to pay for one of the bags cause they said the baby shouldn’t get a whole bag. But he was supposed to. And he did in the end. But seriously, whoever made the rule that babies shouldn’t get as much baggage allowance as other kids NEVER HAD A BABY! They require more stuff than big kids! So silly…


Did they have any idea what we were doing? Hard to say…


It was a little hard keeping them calm and contained during check-in.


But before long the bags were checked and we just had a few things to take on the airplane with us.


I promise I didn’t put him through the scanner. I just needed a safe place to set him for a sec while I got my things in order. He wasn’t a fan. Seemed liked a good option at the time. (He’s the fourth kid… what do you expect?)


Denver airport has a train. Just to make things more fun/complicated.


Lil’ A was riding on my back. It’s easier than chasing her. Can I get an ‘amen’?


This guy was oblivious. To him, it was just another day…


Since the baby had to be with me, that meant Mike got A and a big kid. We have to split up now because our family is officially too big to fit in seats next to each other on any airplane.


That left me with Sweet N and a snoozy newborn. Nice.



We switched planes somewhere and A refused to be roused.


Even as we boarded. Tired little girlie.


The big kids have definitely crossed over into the ‘very easy traveler’ stage. Glory!! They can put movies on themselves, feed themselves, and they only require the occasional chaperoning to the bathroom.


Mister B is still so small, he sleeps a lot and is generally so easy. He spent most of his airplane hours swaddled on the floor of the plane. This really freaked a lady out at one point, but I assured her it was fine. Once again… fourth kid!


We had a long layover in Amsterdam and knew it would be best to get a hotel room to rest in. Problem is our family is too big to get one room… they forced us to get two for six people! Oh my. They obviously don’t know how flexible we are when it comes to sleeping arrangements.  Oh well.


I had the boys with me and we snuggled in and slept for at least several hours.


And then we relaxed a bit.




When we woke it was Christmas day! The hotel staff had slipped a card under our door. So kind.


Soon we were all well rested, cleaned up, packed up and ready to go again.


Spare time for some Christmas day photos in the Amsterdam airport, which was very empty.


Our kiddos cheered up this Duty Free shop worker who spent her holiday working.


(In the meantime, my parents had wrapped up all loose ends in Colorado for us. They had loaded the van with mostly our things and their small amount of things and started their road trip home to Ohio. Merry Christmas from the road!!


What a gift they have been to us through this whole process. Don’t know what we’d do without them.)



Merry Christmas and off to our last flight to our new home…


Waiting at the last gate… all screened up… (wow thank you Amazon for your incredible Black Friday sale on Kindles!!)


More floor time for my happy baby.


Arrival in Africa! Three kiddos on the bench (look closely for the small one).


And this one exhausted in the backpack once again.


The kids and I watched from a distance as the luggage carousels started moving and bags started coming off. I didn’t dare believe that all of our belongings would arrive… BUT THEY DID… It was a (day after) Christmas miracle! What a beautiful sight that full cart was to me.


We had quite the crew of helpful new friends awaiting us outside the airport. Before we knew it, our huge amount of things and all the family was kindly loaded into several vehicles. We drove about an hour across the city to our temporary home where these helpful new friends carried all our things up stairs to our place. A lovely, well-equipped and clean apartment awaited us. Cards, gifts and groceries made us feel so welcome.

We made it. Now begins our new adventures.

Thank you God for traveling mercies.

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