Emmanuel has been able to spend time with both sets of grandparents (and a Greatgrandmother too) aunts/uncles and cousins which has been a real blessing. We spent the holidays in Wisconsin and endured the bitter cold. We enjoyed lots of home cooking and played indoors wherever possible. Christmas is such a magical time when time kind of stands still and memories are made. For example, making Christmas cookies with Grandma Nelson and decorating the Christmas tree. We were so thankful for this time.
Everything related to Christmas Emmanuel calls “Christmas trees!” I think this may be due to the fact that we arrived in Switzerland when all the tree decorations were out and we rode the trains spotting the most beautiful trees.
We then moved onto Providence, RI, where we got stuck in a “bomb cyclone!” This was seriously the most snow I have experienced in a short amount of time. We stayed with Warren’s brother and family and sister, enjoying amazing food and fellowship. We actually went sledding in the middle of the cyclone and could barely see due to all the snow in the air on the way home. It was pretty special to spend uninterrupted time together as happens so rarely. We were able to stay with close friends on our travels. Thank you for opening your homes to us on our travels: Reichenbachs, O’Briens, and Weavers.
|Carousels are so much fun|
|Winter in Wisconsin at Grandma and Grandpa's house|
|He had absolutely no idea who this bearded man was!|
|With Aunt Laura|
|Providence, RI after the "bomb cyclone"|
|Thanks Mark and family|
|Decked out for sledding|
Onto our home in the Blue Ridge mountains where we have been doing serious home renovations and improvements...laying new flooring, painting, general maintenance, buying furniture, etc. lots of late nights, but it looks great and will be worth it. We have treasured times with our friends and church family. We even spent a weekend in Wilmington, NC, with our friends the Bartons and watched dolphins swimming on a beach walk. How fun that was!
|Boating on the Atlantic|
Off to Denver to visit a supporting church, our first church as a married couple, and stay with our dear friends the Peterson’s. I (Lindsey) was able to go downhill skiing at Vail which was like a long lost dream come true. After six years without telemark skiing, it took me about a day to find my turns again. Oh the burn!!! What a full time of visiting old friends, swimming, and driving all over the place. We all felt the altitude for the first few days and after a night of Emmanuel’s continuous drinking...we were handling the altitude better.
|Our Bethany church family|
|Dear friends Dick and Margaret Patty|
|Skiing at Vail|
Then off to see our extended family the Jacobsson’s in Boise, Idaho. We have really experienced what the family of God is through our friendship with them as we live and serve side by side in Nyankunde. What a blessing to reconnect with them and see Dave’s stateside work maintaining airplanes. We went skiing this side of the Rocky Mountains and Emmanuel went snowshoeing for the first time. I love it that God knows what we take pleasure in and gave me the chance to go skiing again! It was great to see the MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, and for Emmanuel to be able to touch “little airplanes” again. He has missed
|A fantastic Korean meal...how many dishes are there?|
|Feeding and trying to catch a goose|
|Dave and Donna Jacobsson|
|That is an old tree|
|First time on snowshoes|
|Visiting MAF in Idaho, YEAH for airplanes!|
Many of you have asked how Warren’s father is doing after his recent stroke at the end of November. He is happy to be back home again and is re-learning how to communicate, as language production is still difficult. We have discovered that his able to sing and enjoy music. We will visit again at the end of February on our way back to Congo.
There have been a lot of funny (and sometimes frustrating) moments traveling with Emmanuel. Everywhere we go (restaurants, church, grocery stores) he greets people with, “I am going on the airplane.” This is usually followed by, “That’s great. Where are you going?” He usually says “I am going on a blue airplane” or “I am going to Kunda (Nyankunde).” Initially he took his socks and shoes off EVERYWHERE, buses, stores, grocery stores, planes...multiple times a day! I thought I was going crazy. He prefers to walk barefooted. He is talking in more and more complete sentences and his English is improving rather dramatically. He still has his preferred phrases in French and Swahili and likes the say “The crocodile va te manger (the crocodile will eat you).” He is talking more and more about his nanny Ziga and our Congolese friends. I think he misses Congo and knows he will go back soon.
Culture adjustment is a real phenomenon. I have experienced it more than ever before, some of it through being a mother of a little one. We drive so much more in America and at fast speeds ( at night and with snow). There are so many options at stores which can feel overwhelming. Cities like Denver are growing like crazy! Cars and homes are so large. People are quite busy and lives are highly scheduled. It has been cold and his has limited Emmanuel’s ability to play outdoors. I have LOVED not having to cook from scratch, the convenience of a dishwasher and ample freezer space, and the availability of particular foods like bacon. I love not having to think so much about security and not traveling alone. We have done so many fun things from boating on the Atlantic Ocean to skiing the Rocky Mountains. What a privilege it is to travel! What a blessing to see family and friends and have time off our hospital routine.
Thanks for your interest in our lives and your many prayers. We are off to Switzerland on February 24th. We would ask prayer for a personal loss we have experienced in Congo while we are away.
|We love Chick Filet!|
|Missionary kids need all their toys at all times|