29 August 2008

Rewarded Anticipation

We looked forward to lots of things this summer for our time in the States.  I especially looked forward to playtime for Isaiah with other children.  He was so happy to be around kids so much this summer--first his cousins in Baton Rouge, then kids at the different churches we visited, not to mention all the wonderful playmates in CA that he met!  So here's Isaiah enjoying some of his special friends, some new, some not new but maybe not remembered, but all really fun!

Isaiah with some of his Slawson cousins, Nevil and Jake (although Jake is a Reaves by surname)
My friend Anna and her 3 year old little girl Emily came and had dinner with us one night at the Nott's.  Anna is a very special friend and Emily is a really great little girl.  

She and Isaiah have a lot in common, including a love for music that they shared with us that evening.

I think they both really love "outside", too.

Emily got a short guitar lesson from Thomas.

And here Anna and I are with our wonderful children!  Thanks for taking the extra effort to come out to "the middle of nowhere" just so we could have some special time together, Anna!  I can't tell you how much it meant to me to be able to talk with you face to face!

Another special treat was having a meal with the Hendersons, where Lala gave Isaiah some of his first, now favorite foods.

Eating his first catfish

And if you look very closely, you can see the remnants of his first oreo on the corner of his mouth.

Playing with Bo, who introduced Isaiah to Thomas the Train and all his friends

With Bo and his little sister Mary Claire, both lots of fun!

When we went to NC, I was very much looking forward to meeting my friend, Ginger's little girl Bella.  Bella will be a year old in September (ooh, I hope that's right--it's hard to remember dates when you weren't there for the beginning!).  She's an amazing little girl, and lots of fun!  Being able to see Ginger enjoying her daughter so much was just as much fun for me, too.

Pausing from play to get a few shots

I even got to hold Bella for a moment!

They had a great game of chase

And we tried a "baby swap" for a picture, but Bella wasn't too sure about her mama holding anybody else!

And then we went to CA, where we met tons of new friends.  As you might have already seen we got to spend an entire day outdoors (besides travel time, of course), enjoying the sequoia trees and then a beautiful lake.

Isaiah sporting his swimwear with one of the girls we met.

Then he was showing her sister how to open and close doors when we got back to their house.

He wanted to be in on all the action!

And when we got to church on Sunday, he was very pleased that everyone was there all at once.  Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from Sunday, which is really sad because I just don't have the words to express to you how much fun Isaiah had.

And when we met my friends David and Cathy, Isaiah got to play catch with Silas and some other little boys at the park.  He was having so much fun that he didn't even want to come to his mama!  (that is really rare!)

Last year I really wanted to find Isaiah some friends to play with fairly regularly.  Now having seen him enjoy the other children so much, I really want to find him some playmates.  Please pray that God will increase my language and open the hearts of some Russian mothers to give us opportunity to build relationships, and of course, not just for Isaiah's sake, but for the spread of the kingdom as well.  God has given Isaiah this amazing personality, and I know that He can use Isaiah's happiness to give us opportunities to be a witness of His grace!