Category Archives: Travel

An Unexpected Trip to Minnesota

It’s true! Sam and I made the long journey from Kenya to Minnesota one week ago. Not at all something we planned so early in our first term in Kenya.

Why are we here? A couple weeks ago, Pete and I took Sam to another mission hospital in Kenya to see an ear specialist who was visiting from the U.S. We had noticed some changes in his behavior that made us think he may not be hearing as well as he could be. We discovered during the appointment that Sam does indeed have decreased hearing in his right ear. Because of his past ear issues, we prayed about it and sought counsel from our mentors before deciding it would be best for me to take him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

We arrived in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan 14 and took a shuttle van to Rochester. Monday afternoon, Sam had a hearing test and Tuesday morning, we met with the ear specialist. He agreed that Sam does have hearing loss, which may be due to a plugged ear tube. He’ll be able to take a closer look tomorrow morning when Sam is under anesthesia. The ear doctor referred us to his colleague who specializes in working with people who have Down syndrome. He recommended Sam have a sleep study to determine if he has sleep apnea, something that is very common in those with Down syndrome and can be very hard on the heart. We were squeezed in for a sleep study on Wednesday night and discovered Thursday morning that Sam definitely does have sleep apnea. Therefore, he has been scheduled to have his tonsils and adenoids removed tomorrow morning, January 22. Pete’s parents will be staying with us at an Airbnb rental house for a few days following his surgery. I’m so thankful they’ll be able to help! And my parents have been here in the last week to keep us company and take us shopping. We will stay in Rochester for two weeks following Sam’s surgery, and then we hope to head right back to Kenya. This is a long time for us to be away from Ella and Pete!

I’ve been told this procedure comes with a painful recovery, so will you please be praying for Sam in the next few days? We’ll be stocking the freezer with lots of Popsicles and Jello, and we’ll have plenty of movies available. I’ll post again later in the week with an update on how Sam’s healing is progressing. Thank you for praying with us!


Our Day at The Happiest Place On Earth!

We’re jumping back in time a few months to share photos of the day we surprised the kids with a little trip to Disney World! We were in Florida waiting for Pete’s work permit to be approved in Kenya and had extra days with zero plans. You guys, this is my absolute favorite place in the world, so when Pete ran the idea by me as a possibility just before we left Minnesota, I got a little excited. Sam’s first visit!

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We made it!

We made it to Kenya! It was a looong journey, but we arrived in Nairobi yesterday afternoon. Our bodies, however, had no idea what time it was. But we’re here! And all our bags arrived right along with us. Praise the Lord!

Pete and Kelly got the truck all loaded up on Tuesday morning for the drive to the Tampa airport. These guys are rockstars. Seriously. It was pouring as they finished packing and they somehow managed to get everything into the one vehicle. I wasn’t sure that would happen.

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Soaking in the Sunshine

After taking a week to wind down from all the working, packing, and traveling, we spent the past week fully enjoying the sunshine!

Ella and Pete have had a few opportunities to snorkel since we got here. Ella’s in love! We might need to get this girl certified some day so she can dive with us.

This guy can’t resist a mirror.

So much water time.

We tried to take a few family pictures on the beach, but Sam wanted nothing more than to be in the water.

Vacation also means lots of date time for Ella and Daddy. She couldn’t be happier.

Life was a little hectic on Mother’s Day this year, so we postponed for a bit. This past week we picked a day and Pete and the kids made it so special for me! It started with coffee in bed and this card made by my loves.

Then they treated me to a morning at the spa with a massage, mani, and pedi. I love when my nails match my ring.

With my book in the shade and this view, I felt very celebrated. It was an amazing Mother’s Day!

Two days ago we took Sam on a glass bottom boat. He yelled each time we saw a fish swim under the boat. I would have been happy only watching him on that trip. He was so happy.

Sam actually liked watching the boat hit the waves more than seeing the fish. I knew he would. He adores the water.

Life is pretty good with this one.

My cozy boys, watching TV with Grover and Abby Cadabby.

We’ve got more family days ahead as we wait for Pete’s Kenyan work permit to be approved. We’ve been told it will be soon, but we won’t know exactly when until word is sent to our team at Tenwek Hospital. We keep praying and trusting it will come through in God’s perfect timing!


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