Saturday, September 16, 2006

Leaving Nepal, Coming to United States

The second half of August was a busy, bittersweet time. After much prayer we decided it was God's will to move back to the States. Goodbyes were sad, but also happy as we knew that many of the friendships we made were lasting ones and we plan on seeing many of our coworkers again when they return to the States as well.

Here are all the ladies at the farewell party with one little man...but he didn't mind since he got to play and be held by all of them!

Josiah may get angry with his parents one day for posting this picture, but his mommy couldn't resist sharing how cute he looks naked! Here he is on the hotel bed the day before we flew out of Nepal, and is enjoying rooming in with his parents.

For the first time in 5 months Josiah got to see his Grandma and Grandpa VanKampen again. Despite jet lag, he was thrilled to be loved on and interact with them. He also got to meet his only cousin, Sydney. We were tickled to see how well they can already play together.

Josiah's Grandpa VanKampen seemed to hog him for a little while. He didn't mind a bit, though.

When arriving in Fulton, Kentucky on Labor Day, Josiah got to meet his Grandmother and Grandaddy Dixon for the first time. Grandaddy actually beat Grandmother to the moving van and got to hold him first to Grandmother's disappointment. But she did get to give him his first John Deere ride, even if it was just a riding lawnmower! He immediately grabbed the wheel...a true Dixon boy!

Daisy, who was Kris and Tonya's dog before going oversees (and now Kris' parent's dog) has been very curious and sometimes jealous of Josiah. He giggles when he gets brief kisses, but long ones bother him about as much as they do us grown ups!

Grandmother and Grandaddy Dixon want Josiah to visit every day. Tonya doesn't mind because she can get very available babysitters for the first time ever! He is already very used to them and loves to see them when he comes over.

Here is our family of three in front of our future home, deep in the country! It is the third house down a one mile stretch of road, and is sitting on lots of farm land. We have a lot of work to do in it before we can move in, but Tonya's dream has always been to fix up an old house! We hope to be in it sometime in November and are staying in a small apartment on Kris' parents property in the meantime.

Josiah's Uncle Kyle and Aunt Leah (although they wish not to be called by those "old sounding names") have enjoyed getting to know him as well. When we eat at the dinner table, he reaches for anything he can get his hands on to taste, even if he's suspended in mid-air while trying to do it! At 6 months, he is eating green beans and carrots, and is excited about each new taste!

Here are three generations of Dixons climbing onto the combine. We thought Josiah would be scared of the loud noises, but he actually enjoyed one hour of combining corn without much complaint (as long as he could grab the wheel, of course!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

July/August in Nepal

This month Josiah is experiencing more new firsts. He loves to play on his tummy and reach for objects by rolling to them. He also likes to be social by making strangers smile by giving them big grins!

Josiah loves to be with Mommy so he can cuddle. He is starting to cling more and gives funny kisses when his mouth is against people's cheeks.

Kris had the opportunity to spend 2 days in Nepalgunj and Bardia, a village area outside of the city. Here he is with his friend's parents in front of their house.

Kris visited a local Nepalgunj church plant while in town. The church met in this room.

This is Kris' friend's wife. She cooked him Nepali food that he really enjoyed!

This is Kris' friend, Hem. He is working hard to start new works in Bardia and other villages surrounding Nepalgunj, many of them consisting of the same people group we are focussing on. Kris was able to start a partnership with him and our company so that he and others on our team may begin trainings for him and new leaders who work under him.

While Kris was away to Nepalgunj, Josiah and Tonya stayed home and led life as usual. Josiah went to town eating cereal at 4 1/2 months and always opens his mouth to grunt for more before Tonya gets a chance to spoon it out of his bowl!

Even though Kris stays busy, he always finds time to give "zerburts" to Josiah, who giggles while receiving them.

By 5 months Josiah can sit briefly by himself without support. He is very proud of himself in this picture!