Thursday, 4 December 2014

18 with 21 years Experience

Let me tell you a story I love...

A long time ago in Wyoming a little boy was born.
He was the very first baby to a man and his wife and they loved him so.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Caedmon's 8th Birthday

Let me start off by saying there is NO way this picture was taken 8 years ago...

NO way. 
Because that's my baby boy and doesn't he still look like this?! 

It makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry a bit because time is passing so very swiftly.
I know, I know go ahead and ask me at about 2 a.m. and I may sing a different tune--such is the nature of motherhood.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fellowship in Scotland

Fellowship dinner, potluck, linger-longer...they're all very similar and if you've ever attended church you've probably been to one.

Mark and I have been in church for all of our lives (a total of 71 years--don't you dare do the math) so we've been to quite a few.

Some dinners are laden with "salads" that have more calories than a steak dinner.
Some are teeming with desserts,
and then you have the yay-hoo who brings a butterscotch pie with RAISINS in it (shudder).

Yay-hoo, if you're reading: sorry to cause offence, 
I'm sure you accidentally bumped the raisin box and they all fell into that perfectly good pie.

In short, all fellowship dinners are different. Throw in a different country and a different culture and there's an entirely new dimension.

Today we're going to visit a fellowship dinner in Scotland--
with nary a broccoli salad in sight.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Airdrie's 1st Birthday

Let me tell you about a miracle that took place last month:
Airdrie Abileen Anderson turned one year old. 

The baby, who at 20 weeks gestation was found to have a brain deformity causing a heartless perinatologist to say, "Something is really wrong with this child", celebrated one year of living, loving, and thriving. 

God is good, indeed. 

So it is with profound joy that I can share with you the details of our precious baby's first birthday. If you've been along on this journey with us for the past 18 months, weeping, praying, and rejoicing with us, thank you. 
Enjoy this glimpse into the celebration of our God's great love and mercy.

Monday, 13 October 2014


LMK bae!

What the heck did I just say?
I promise you I spend half my time decoding this foreign language that is so common on social media.

I'll start with "LMK"
While I'm reading my super lightning fast mind goes ahead and fills in the blank for me:

Lick My Kat

Which we all know is ridiculous because cat is obviously spelled with a "c".

Friday, 3 October 2014

Cake Cakery

In addition to being chief cook and bottle washer, laundress, and general manager of the Anderson household I sometimes like to decorate cakes.

As I finished Caedmon's birthday cake tonight I was reminded of all the cakes I've made...and how much I hate washing frosting bags and tips.

It really started as an "I can SO do that." and then progressed into a thing called Jordan owns a Wilton cake decorating box jammed full of supplies. And then that's where it has stopped and happily has plateaued in that status unless it's October or April.

October and April happen to be the two months when our babies were born--2 and 2, it makes for lots of planning, budgeting, and saving for these birthday-heavy months. I don't claim to be great at the decorating, I just claim cake and frosting as some of my favourite foods.

I am what I am.
It is what it is.

So without further ado; a brief chronology and description of my cake-decorating journey the past 8 years.

Well this is out of order, but the cake I made tonight:
Caedmon's 8th birthday cake,
a Hobbit hole.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Costume Creations

I love autumn. 

Even with the heavyweight holiday of Christmas in winter's favour, fall still sings to me. 
Sweet songs of crisp days, vibrant colours, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, hayrides, apple cider, sweaters, NOT hot sticky summer...

Seriously, folk. I love it.
Each year since we've had babies (and actually before that, although there was nary a digital camera to be found to capture it) we've enjoyed participating in a Fall Festival at church. 

I've participated in one, I've helped at some, I've run several.
Seriously, folk. I love 'em.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Summer Family Saturdays

Sometimes on those rare family days when we're meandering around Scotland
Our sweet children;
Those blessed little fruit of my womb ...

(Well that was awkward, 
I promise I'll never say 'fruit of my womb' again.)

(Also, it sounds like men's undergarments.)

Our precious little lambs,

 start to drive me bonkers in the vehicle...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Strawberry Fields Whenever

How pretty is Scotland in July?
I mean Scotland any time, nearly any place, is pretty.
Nearly any photo you take is instantly calendar-worthy.
But July is just lovely.
That's just a regular 'ol wheat field and it's gorgeous.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Some Summer Fun

July is a somewhat crazy busy month for us, and guaranteed I have photographic evidence of every part. This is true especially now in these here modern days when phones double as cameras and cameras as phones.

I often times confuse the two, calling a phone a camera when I mean a phone and vice versa. 
It's a problem I have. 
I also do this with 

mushrooms and onions 
Wal-Mart and McDonalds. 

Thank you for listening.

The first week of July my mom and sister were here for Holiday Bible Club so when I noticed beautiful hues of colour streaming through our windows at 10 pm one night I had to go check it out!
I'm thankful my momma and sis were there because Mark and I were able to take a quick trip 'doon the brae' (down the hill) and check it out.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Showering in Scotland

Showering in Scotland would be the much the same as showering in the USA. 

Except Scotland doesn't do showers...

I mean I suppose people here have heard about showers, but it's a new concept. They've managed without showers for hundreds, even thousands of years. They've found other ways besides a shower and it's worked out well. But I wanted these people to know what showering is all about, how fun it is, and how it blesses the person who's being showered.

So I'm proud to say I have now given a small taste to northeastern Scotland of what a shower is all about.
No bathtubs or soap required, I'm talking about a good 'ol baby shower.

I think I should never try to be a mystery writer, because as clearly illustrated by the example above, it ain't working out for me.

I happen to have two sisters who are BOTH pregnant, but they are in the USA and I am 5,000 miles away. So when I found out that one of them would be coming over to help with Holiday Bible Club I jumped at the chance of doing the big sister thing and throwing a baby shower!

Me, my sis, our momma, and 2 of my 3 girlies going 'showerin'!

Friday, 8 August 2014

A Year Ago

After yet another of Airdrie's physiotherapy appointments yesterday I spent a bit of time in thought, in retrospect of the past 12 months. More exactly what I was thinking and feeling a year ago, 7 months pregnant.

August 2013-- 3rd trimester

We had been in our new home country for right around 6 weeks and were still adjusting, but loving all the newness of Scotland and the adventure we were embarking on.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Technology: Preserving Anderson Memories

"The Green Book" is a family name 'round these parts.

It is something my mother created when deep in the throes of potty training and sleepless nights. To retain her sanity she would journal each nap time, putting the notes in a green binder folder. As my sisters and I grew up it eventually became something my mom would pull out at the end of the day to jot down funny things we said. For my high school graduation in (ahem) 2000 she had typed and chronologically organised the whole thing and gave me a copy.

To this day when I want a good laugh I can simply go and look up things crazy 5 year old Jordan did i.e.: wash her sisters hair in the vaporiser; get stitches in chin from an incident with a cannon at Veterans Park; jump in a trash can to catch a boys attention only to fall out of it fully breaking her dignity (that may or may not have been 14 year old Jordan).

So I have one started for our children.
But my memory has gone the way of the buffalo these days.
(is that an acceptable metaphor?)
So when something happens that makes Mark and I cackle the iPad is usually within reach to write these down.

Because one of my favourite things to do in life is laugh, I thought I'd share a section straight from my iPad with you:

Things I Never Thought I'd Say:
(and then I became a mother)

- Don't hang on the door knob.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Awa' We Go!

Recently Mark and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We decided to spend a few days on holiday on Europe's 4th most popular island, and I know what you're thinking,
no, wait I don't know what you're thinking...

But I do know it's NOT what you're thinking.
We went to Orkney, Scotland.

Orkney is a magical group of islands just off the northern mainland of Great Britain. We drove up to one of the northernmost points in Scotland, got on a ferry, and traveled to Stromness, Orkney to spend a few days.
We did this whilst my parents were here (SCORE for babysitters!), but we do have a baby. 
And wither goest the cow, goest thou calf. 
But we like hangin' with Airdrie, she's cool.

I will be the first to tell you, I loathe "selfies."
But I made an exception because we made a quick stop by one of my favouritest places in this country: Tain Pottery.
The reasons I am not a fan of selfies are numerous; 
one of them being I look like a gigantic pear in the curved reflection on our car.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Airdrie's Eye Appointment

Six months after first finding out that Airdrie had possible eye problems we saw a specialist today!

Airdrie June 2014
8 months old
Airdrie had an appointment with the orthoptist at the Children's Hospital in Aberdeen. An orthoptist is basically a physiotherapist for the eyes. The specialist we met with was so helpful in discussing with us the problems our AirBear has with her eyes.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Messages Part Dos

Once upon a time I took y'all to a grocery store here in Scotland.
We laughed, we cried, we wondered, but most of all we liked the experience of looking into an everyday part of another culture.

Since that time I've been collecting photos from a few different stores to show y'all more messages (messages being slang for groceries here).

Come, laugh, cry, and wonder with me...

Outside a a chain of the large grocery stores is this lovely little place.
Because fast food joints are a rarity here this is a great thing to us Americans. 
However, they close just before 5 p.m. making the nearest fast food 17 miles away.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Once Upon A Time in Glasgow...

Howdy folk!

(the term "folk" is plural so no need for folk"s" 
Thanks for that error in our education Looney Tunes.)

I haven't posted in forever and ever so when I found this half completed post in my drafts I was overjoyed!

A full post with half the effort!

Y'all just please never mind the events took place in February...

Back in February:
We found out in order to obtain Airdrie's UK visa in a timely and efficient manner we needed to book an outrageously expensive appointment in Glasgow.
So we did, and just about a month after our venture to Edinburgh, again back down through the Cairngorms we trekked.

Wait a minute...'Ol Eagle Eye Anderson has spotted something:

Do you see them?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Our Wedding 5-15-04

On May 15, 2004 I became Mrs. Mark Allen Anderson!
And since the internet and blogging were somewhat of unrefined dinosaurs back then (or at least my knowledge of them was) here's my blog post with my wedding pictures, 10 years overdue.

If you were there see if you can spot yourself in the background, I tried to include lots of those kinds of pictures!

But in typical me form, a few prior-to pictures!

Our engagement ceilidh (party) right here in Scotland at Buckie Church of Christ!
Little did we realise we'd be ministering in the very same church 10 years later.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Nessie is 5, Aberdeen is 3!

Our middle girls, Caithness and Aberdeen, are exactly 1 year and 364 days apart in age!
Here's some fun and games from their combined birthday party in Colorado recently, but I'll start off with a bit of reminiscing...

Caithness Maela Anderson (Maela is an Anderson creation from her grandma's MAry and pamELA) was born April 11, 2009 in Missouri. 

Aw, my little black-eyed pea!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Once Upon a United States Visit

What a fun time we had going back to the USA recently! This was the kids and my first visit back and Mark's second (you'll remember he had an emergency trip back right after Thanksgiving to see his dad in hospital).
Here's a few stats and some fun pictures from our trip:

12,579 roundtrip flight miles
3 countries
4,765 miles driven
8 churches visited
6 states (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma)
2 Taco John's visits
1 Chick-fil-a visit
3 Sonic visits
1 Chipotle visit
1 ER visit
1 herd of elk sighted
MANY mule deer sightings
3 fox sightings
1 MOOSE sighting
3 different Wal-Marts visited (did you KNOW they have Peanut Butter Cookie Pop Tarts now?! LOVE!)
4 -the number of times I tried to pay different cashiers the £5 note I had in my wallet

The starting of packing for 4 children 
this is just the girls, this is not bows, 
or shoes, 
or accessories
girls are high maintenance by nature...

Friday, 11 April 2014

God Gave Us a Little Boy, Twice

April has always been a time of year that has brought many big changes in our lives. 
Some changes wonderful, some the most painful times we╩╝ve ever endured. Today 
marks the two year anniversary of one of the greatest days of our lives. This, however, 
was preceded by one of the greatest times of trial in our lives. It is a story to be told,
and will forever be etched on our hearts.

Caedmon is one of the kindest, generous, and most compassionate boys you'll ever meet.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Airdrie's Second Neurology Appointment

Yesterday Airdrie saw the paediatric neurologist for a follow up visit.

It was a good visit, as we really appreciate Dr. Stephen and her thoroughness and attention.

First, Airdrie is doing extremely well with interaction with people, smiling, babbling, laughing, etc and is right on target as a baby of 20 weeks. This is WONDERFUL news as it is evidence that the rest of her brain appears to be developing normally. It also is a great sign that her intelligence is not affected by the Dandy Walker Malformation. God is good.

Second, it is apparent precious AirBear has a "squint" which is what we in the US would call "cross-eyed". It is uncertain as to the cause; it could be the DWM or it could simply be a muscular issue within the eye. Either way there are steps to take to resolve the issue, some easier than others, but we are being referred to an ophthalmologist for further treatment in that regard. We are also unsure as to how much baby girl is seeing. We know for sure she is not blind, but there are also a few concerns we have in regards to her vision. Again, this will be addressed with the specialist. God is good.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Answered Prayers

It's been
- 19 months since we knew the Lord called us to Scotland;
- 1 year since we got a HUGE surprise that we were expecting our 4th child;
- 269 days since learning there was a problem with our baby's brain;
- and 263 days since our move to Scotland.

Our family has lived a decade or two in the past year. Each day with Airdrie is a day we cherish. I've never before celebrated milestones of a baby with such immense relief within my heart. Yet in the same breath we anxiously await those milestones that seem to be missing.

This Thursday we have a follow up appointment with the paediatric neurologist. Both Mark and I are so anxious to hear what the doctor has to say about Airdrie as well as proudly present those things she can do.
 In light of this and the encroaching anxiety we face I thought I'd timeline the prayers our family has seen answered in the past 269 days.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Venture To Edinburgh

Early this month we had to make a trip to Scotland's capitol city, Edinburgh. 
Pronounce it like "Ed-in-bur-a" so you don't sound ridiculous. 
Ask me how I know.

We were obligated to go because that is where the closest American embassy is and we had to go there in order for Miss Airdrie to become a US citizen, get her report of birth abroad, passport, and Social Security Number. 
We were too worried about that last one, just the first 3; ______ insert political comment here.

While Edinburgh is just under 200 miles away, in Scotland that means a good 4 hour drive. In order to make our appointment at the embassy without hauling 4 children out of bed at 4 a.m. we went a day early and stayed the night at a hotel. This was a super awesome decision on my husband's part because it made for a nearly stress-free trip!

Here are some of the fun sights for you to enjoy a glimpse of Scotland!

On the way down we choose to take the route through the Cairngorm Mountains.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Christmas in Scotland

I thought I'd post about our Scottish Christmas and fill y'all in on the last week and a half of December. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Each day of December began by opening our advent calendar(s). We had our traditional candy-filled calendar and a fun winter scene PlayMobile toy calendar 
(I saved it from the Christmas sale at Kroger last year--90% off BOOM baby!)