Wednesday, July 27, 2011

6 months

July 20th marked our six month anniversary of living in Peru. Six months doesn't seem like a very significant amount of time, but for us it has been. This has definitely been the hardest period of time our family has ever experienced. I just took a little stroll down memory lane on our blog to remember our first few months. From our move and first week to first lesson in patience (didn't take long). From my first bout of homesickness to trying to enroll the kids in school to the worst week I've had so far here. What is normal to us now was strange and new at that time.

Through this all, I have just been so proud of our kids. They didn't ask for this and yet they have rarely complained. I know I've said it before, but we freaking moved our kids to a new country and put them in a new school where every single person at that school spoke a language that they didn't understand. Between learning Spanish and the abundance of rote learning in schools here, our kids have worked harder this year in school than ever before. There were days where Riley would come home from school and study until bedtime. And there were days where she would cry because it's just too hard to have multiple tests in a foreign language hanging over your head.

This experience has knitted us closer together as a family than ever before and for that we are grateful. More than ever we understand that we are a team and we are in this together. We have been there for each other on the hard days and celebrated with each other on the good days. Doors have been opened for us to discuss hard spiritual things with our kids and thankfully the outcome has always been more of an acceptance of why we are here.

So, we had to celebrate our anniversary! Our desire was really to celebrate our kids and tell them how proud we are of them. The night was a surprise for the kids. We sneaked and made their favorite American meal while they were playing. When dinner was ready, we asked them to go to their rooms, dress themselves up, and wait for us to come get them. The table was set with candles, our fancy plates (meaning not plastic), and affirmation letters for each kid.


Blake escorted the kids to their seats.


Everyone read their letters.


We enjoyed our lovely dinner together.


We asked the kids what their favorite part and hardest part of the past six months was. Here are their answers:

Hardest part
Riley: Missing friends.
Ford: Learning Spanish.
Brady: English. "Um, Brady, do you mean learning Spanish like Ford?" "No, I like Spanish."

Favorite part
Riley: Finding friends. (She's not social or anything, is she?)
Ford: Being together as a family. (Totally unprompted and absolutely heartwarming.)
Brady: School! Everything! (I want to be Brady when I grow up.)

Another gem from Brady, "I didn't want to move here, but I do."

The kids re-read their letters again.


And then everyone dug into dessert.


When I was putting Riley to bed, I said, "I hope you know how proud we are of you." Her answer? "I do for sure now after tonight!" Small Victory Celebrated.


Erin said...

This brings tears to my eyes! I'm so glad you guys took the time to recognize this milestone and celebrate their accomplishments as a family.

Katie said...

What a fantastic night!! I can't think of a better way to celebrate. :)

Brigitte Erwin said...

This is so incredibly sweet. I love that you bless your kids with your words - such a HUGE impact!

I'm so curious what you made for dinner!

Color Breathes said...

You and Blake are such great parents. You made an amazing memory for your kids that was an equally wonderful life lesson. So awesome!

Sarah said...

We made Poppyseed Chicken with both poppyseeds and cream of chicken soup that we brought from the States! Thankfully the grocery store had sour cream this week- it's hit or miss here.

It was a great night and great celebration! Thanks for celebrating with us!

Breanne said...

this. is. rad. i love your celebration of 6 months. your lives that are insane but right where God wants you to be... the fruit will come soon. keep on keepin' on. love you all.

Anonymous said...

I would have never thought poppyseed chicken, but something like pancakes...interesting! I keep getting all teary eyed when I read your story. Alexa talks about memories w/ Riley almost every day and a couple of days ago Raya asked for a pb&j sandwich "with a piece of orange cheese ontop like Brady always ate"! Miss you guys!

Kimi Finley said...

wow, what an inspiration you and blake are to us as parents, I love it!!! gosh thank you so much for sharing such intimate moments with all of us. I love reading your posts so much.

mrericra said...

just read this post our your 6 month celebration. streams of tears...i celebrate with you in your faithfulness to the calling God has put on your hearts. i miss yall so much and cannot wait to be with you. keep fighting the good fight!