Friday, May 29, 2009

First Words

Isobel is nearing her second birthday (in August) and I'm eagerly waiting to hear her start using more words. She definitely isn't using the 20 words the average 18-month old is using or the 50 words a 2 year old should have. She communicates using the words 'mama', 'dada' and her own brute strength. I'm not worried about her speech delay yet because I consider it a matter of motivation. She can hoot like an owl, but doesn't say 'please'. Priorities, people, priorities.

Most of our lives are currently spent in language study, either formal or informal. Isobel is my little guinea pig. I find myself repeating every word or phrase when I'm talking to a baby, so with Isobel I just repeat what I've said in Romanian, if I know how. I get practice and she gets some language exposure. So yesterday when Isobel saw Noemi with water bottle and wanted a drink she said 'apa' (Romanian for water) instead of the usual point-and-yell technique. We were so proud! Her first complete word is a Romanian word.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Muzeul Satului

Today we spent the morning with some friends at the Village Museum. The museum relocated traditional homes from various regions in Romania onto their museum grounds. The girls were able to run around and explore while we enjoyed the diverse beauty of Romanian culture. Here's a glimpse of what we saw...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're Legal!

After three days of standing in various lines all members of our family have visas in process! Praise God! That said, these are 1-year visas, so I'm already praying that next year when we renew we will qualify for 5-year visas. The visa application process is expensive both in time and money, and I don't want to spend any more of either on visas than we have to. In addition, I love living in Romania and want to think of it as home, not as the place we're living for the next year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tomorrow's Agenda: Standing in Lines

Today we went to the doctors office to get our certificates of health to submit with our visa papers. We walked and rode the tram across town on a HOT afternoon to get there and when we walked in the door the receptionist told me she knew we were coming but the doctor was not in due to a death in the family. In the split second it took me to wonder how she could know the doctor was not in and not call me and tell me before I schlepped my kids across town she told me that she would be happy to help me out. So today we received our certificates of health from the receptionist. We must have looked healthy:) So, God provided the papers we needed and spared us from wrangling our kids through doctors appointments. All Noemi and Isobel had to do was play with toys in the waiting room.

Tomorrow we (hopefully) submit our visa papers. Please pray that all goes well, all our papers are in order, and the applications are processed quickly. Every time we have an appointment or do any paperwork for our visa process Noemi asks me about it. By now she's used to it so she explains it to me ... "we have to [go to such and such an office] because we have to stay in Romania ... we have to." God has brought us here and I trust Him to keep us here as long as He can use us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Buchurest Spring (Bucuresti Primavara)

Joshua has been sick this week, so I haven't had a chance to write. Isobel's on my lap, assisting me right now:) So without further ado (or tiny hands on my keyboard) here's a glimpse of our beatiful spring. Summer's coming quickly.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Settling In

Every day I feel more at home in Buchurest. The biggest reason I am enjoying our new home is because Romanian culture is so relational. People are open to conversation and to friendship. We are developing exciting new relationships with friends at church. This is incredibly helpful for us in our language study and someday we hope to be a blessing to them as we minister alongside them. Noemi is struggling with the language barrier in her interactions with other children. I so appreciate the Romanian children for their persistant friendliness. God has placed several children in her life who are patient and consistently reach out to her even when she is withdrawn.
I am a detail person, so it's also the little things that make me love living here. I found 'my' fruit and vegetable market. If anyone has seen me raiding the Grubers' garden or shopping at the Stillwater Farmer's Market, they will realize how important this is to me. I love my fresh produce! The vendor at my market is patient with me and after the first time I asked him the correct way to say something, he started teaching me the words for the items I couldn't name. I'm now a loyal customer.
After singing the praises of Romania, I want to make it clear that we do, indeed, miss our friends and family from home. So you should all feel free to come visit:)