Saturday, June 28, 2008

Janz Team Orientation

In the last two weeks, we've had a whole lot of things going on in our lives, but it seems like things are finally starting to settle down for us. After finishing packing the POD and cleaning our apartment (which was much more work than what we thought it would be) on June 14 we then left for Janz Team Ministries' Orientation in Winnipeg the next morning. The week at Janz Team Orientation went really well - as it was great to be able to meet the 27 new Janz Team missionaries who will be heading overseas this fall. We really had an amazing group of people at orientation and it was a lot of fun to be able to meet them in person after having so many phone and email conversations with them over the past few months. It also reconfirmed my excitement about moving into my current position with Janz Team Ministries as Mobilization Coordinator - as it really is a blessing to be able to serve these new missionaries as they respond to the Lord's call on their lives.

After a very busy and tiring week in Winnipeg, we headed to the Atlanta area (where we will be the rest of the summer) on June 22. Overall Caleb did fairly well with the traveling and the new situations he has been in over the past weeks - although the teething pain he experienced on the flight to Atlanta sent him over the edge a bit. We were packed into one of those "mini-jets" that was completely full with high-strung passengers when Caleb decided about halfway through the flight that he was going to have a complete meltdown. I'm sure those of you who have flown with kids can relate - but Sharon and I experienced a profound moment of sheer panic where we doubted whether Caleb would stop wailing at any point before we arrived in Atlanta. Thankfully, we were able to calm him down by changing his "ultra blow-out diaper" and giving him some Tylenol for his teeth. After the past few weeks of craziness we were super excited to be able to set up camp at Sharon's parents and count on being in one place for a while. We are also looking forward to the July 4th weekend as Sharon's brothers Mark and Tom are bringing their kids so that all three Smith-Maynard grandkids will be together for the first time. Knowing Sharon's mom, I can guarantee that we will have tons of pictures from that time, so hopefully that will excuse our negligence in taking photos over the past two weeks.

Janz Team New Staff Orientation 2008

A VERY sleepy Caleb waving good-bye

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Changes, Changes, Changes!

Since our life is defined by changes right now, I figured that our blog should also be receiving a makeover as well. I could probably try to make some deep spiritual metaphor about why we chose the lighthouse theme, but it really was just because I thought it looked cool. We still can't believe that we'll be moving out in two days, but the POD now parked outside of our apartment has helped make that deadline even more concrete in our minds. Caleb (well maybe Caleb's daddy also) was really excited to see the POD arrive on Wednesday morning but we're also a little sad as that is such a strong symbol that we really are moving after all. Over the past week or two, we've tried to say as many good-byes as possible while also packing as we go. It has been somewhat easier to know that we will be returning in August to pick up our car and say some more good-byes, but it also makes it hard because we don't' know for sure who will be around when we come back then.

As far as really important things (Caleb), things have been going pretty well. He is continuing to grow like a weed, as he should be passing the 20 pound mark in the next day or two. He is also starting to eat some rice cereal - but we don't really know what he thinks about that yet. Just recently, Caleb has started to roll over occasionally and he has also started to almost be able to sit-up on his own. We were hoping that he would be able to crawl by the time of the family vacation in August, but he still doesn't like to be on his tummy - so that might be a problem.

Yesterday, Caleb and his parents had a special treat as my parents were able to meet up with us on their way back from their trip to Ireland. They had a 5.5 hour layover in Boston, so we got a chance to pick them up at the airport, have some fun at a nearby park/beach, and have dinner together at Wendy's. It was great to see them again and hear about their trip to Ireland, as we may not be with them again until the beach in August.

As far as our summer plans, our POD will be completely loaded up by Saturday and then on Sunday we will be flying to Winnipeg for Janz Team Orientation. After that, we will be flying back to Atlanta, where we will be spending most of the summer with Sharon's parents. I officially started full-time with Janz Team as the Mobilization Coordinator, so I will be working at of an office that Sharon's parents are going to set up for me in their house. Then we're looking at returning to Massachusetts in the first week of August to pick up our car and say some more good-byes before driving down to New Jersey for Koerber family vacation. It will be great to be with family for the summer, but it will also be a little challenging to be living out of suitcases for the summer - especially since babies require so much stuff!
Caleb is looking quite stylish in his first cap.
Caleb and daddy make a mean bocci ball team...
...but he's a momma's boy at heart.
Wednesday was a busy day with the POD being delivered...
...and a short but sweet visit with Nama and Papap

Caleb's first experience with solids - although that mush doesn't look very "solid" to me