Monday, August 20, 2012

August highlights

Samuel had a wonderful time with his grandparents:

We also celebrated his second birthday a bit early so his grandparents could be there, and Doug made an amazing train cake for the occasion:

Norah had her first bath at home:

We were also blessed by a friend coming over and taking some family photos of us and newborn pictures of Norah:


We are tired, but doing well. It's definitely an adjustment caring for two needy little ones, esp. in a place that doesn't feel like 'home' yet, so we really appreciate your prayers for us. Doug particularly has a lot of demands on his time.

God has been providing opportunities for us to get to know our landlady and her family as well. She loves to hold Norah and can't say enough about how cute she is. =) We are praying that they would come to know the Lord. Her husband was in the hospital for over a month and even though he is home now he requires a lot of care which is a major stressor for her as she runs her own flower business as well.

Tomorrow is Doug's big "Back to School" event, where we will meet many of the parents of our youth and try to set a tone for the new year. (The kids are excited to meet Norah too). Please pray for him as he is changing up some of the 'normal' ways he used to do youth ministry. We are so thankful to have such a supportive chaplain as well as 2 volunteers already! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Welcome Norah Gerlinde!

Our little girl is finally here!!!!!

This is the announcement our church in SC made to show the congregation after Norah was born:

Doug's parents have been here (they leave Monday) and Samuel has been loving the extra attention. He is fascinated by Norah and enjoys hugging and holding her (for 3 seconds) =).

We are tired, but so enjoying getting to know our little girl.

School starts up for our youth next week so Doug also has a lot on his plate with planning youth events for the upcoming year.

We'd appreciate prayer as we adjust to being a family of four, the lack of sleep, and balancing life with ministry.

We love and miss you all!!!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Contact Info

Sorry it's been a while, we're still waiting on internet/home phone at our house.  Once we do get it, it will be cheap to call the U.S., so we're looking forward to catching up with many of you!

We do have a military address now:
Doug and Heike Riddle
CMR 405 Box 1726
APO AE 09034

Sending anything to this address costs the same as it would to send it within the U.S.

We also have cell phones:
49-151-465-457-42 (Doug)
49-151-465-457-40 (Heike)

Samuel's favorite thing about Germany: Eis!

--A house of our own and wonderful neighbors! We are really enjoying settling in here.
--Our stuff arrived just in time to get it organized!
--God has provided not only a welcoming, loving community in Baumholder, but He has provided many physical needs as well (including furniture).
--A warm welcoming community in Baumholder! (Have I said that already? It's worth mentioning twice at least!)
--Samuel seems to be well adjusted, although he does obviously miss his family back in the U.S.

A few prayer requests:
--Would really be helpful to have internet and a home phone. A lot of Doug's job requires good communication and things like health insurance are VERY difficult without a way to call the States. When we called again last week, we were told it could be another 4-6 weeks.  Heike is feeling isolated as well as we have one car and there isn't much she can do in our little village without driving somewhere.
--Jaymes, Heike's cat, is really sick. She is having liver problems. Would really appreciate prayer for her.
--AND of course, our baby and labor and delivery. Our due date is in ONE WEEK!

We love and miss you all and pray and think of you often!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Settling in...

God has provided a house!  We officially moved in a few days ago and are enjoying having our own space. It does feel a bit like camping as we don't have much furniture yet, much less towels, sheets and blankets, etc.--but the other CSM missionaries have been so kind and generous to us and are either giving or letting us borrow those kind of essentials.  A couple people in the Baumholder community itself have also been generous (even if we had just met them!) and we have been already been given a table, chairs, a coffee table and a couple bookshelves as well as a futon (which serves as Heike's bed for now) and a full bed (which is Doug's bed for now).

Went to an info session yesterday at the hospital we're going to deliver at. After an hour and a half, I definitely began to doubt that I actually speak German. Yikes! But thankfully at this hospital they are used to Americans; even though it's a small hospital most of the staff can speak at least a little English. It was pretty nice, interesting how different it is from the U.S.

My OB is really nice, and the baby is growing/doing well. Unfortunately, our littlest one has recently decided my right sciatic nerve is a comfy place. I can manage the limping and limited mobility but the shooting pain is not so nice. Hope she moves soon. Poor Samuel doesn't really get why his mommy can't play as much with him, but so far he is handling it okay.

Samuel continues to do well. Our landlady (who has a teenage son who is away during the week at school) LOVES him and 'taught' him how to play in muddy puddles so that is one of his favorite things now. [This really makes me pray for a washer and dryer soon!]

We had a middle school "Eis Cafe" (Ice cream) date today and that was fun. One of the girls that came is sadly leaving in less a week-so hard to see them struggle with all this transition.

Our internet will be slow/limited for hopefully only another month, and then we'll have a home number and good internet. That is why I can't really post pictures here, but we've posted a few on facebook with our new phones. =)

We do both have cell phones now: our numbers are: 49-151-465-457-42 (Doug) and 49-151-465-457-40 (Heike)

THANKS so much for your prayers! Please continue to pray as we try to settle in before the baby comes as well continue to minister to this hurting community. Doug particularly has a lot on his plate-and it's hard to get much done with limited internet, no printer/scanner yet, and he's been driving all over the place trying to pick up furniture and find a good washer and dryer and fridge with a freezer. He feels like he's got at least 8 plus hours of paperwork to get done as well. It will obviously take a while to settle in, but we want to be at least a little ready when the baby comes and it just takes so much time to get stuff done right now.

We LOVE and MISS you guys!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome to Germany

"Ama?" "Ama!" Samuel's head pops up next to my bed. I reach over and hug him and he lays his head on me for a second. He doesn't usually stop to snuggle, so that was a present for me. Then he's off again.
It's 9 something AM, and Samuel has just slept from about 9PM - 9AM, his first time sleeping through the night since we've been in Germany. Hurray! Praise God!
We've been in Germany 1 week and 1 day now, and what a week it has been. All of us have been sick, and I still am. Samuel has definitely regressed some, melting down often and being fussy and cranky and not listening. Doug has been congested and tired, but he's been amazing, doing a great job of taking care of both Sam and me.  The missionaries here have been so supportive and encouraging, it's been such a blessing to get to know our team here. Currently, we're staying in a Cadence hospitality house near Ramstein, but we'll be moving to a hospitality house in Baumholder on Wednesday.
I've been able to use my German a lot already, a significant amount of it being on the phone calling about places to rent. There doesn't seem like there are a lot of options, mostly because of the size of Baumholder and the tiny German towns around it. We looked at 2 houses yesterday, one was definitely a no-go and the other one a possibility. We're looking at another one on Monday.
Our first priority has been to get a military I.D. card. We can't really do anything until that happens. Officially renting a house, driving a Cadence vehicle, getting a P.O. Box, getting on base and shopping on base-just to mention a few things- all require an I.D. card. Getting a cell phone, etc. requires a bank, which we can't get until we have an address..... We've done what we need to to make that happen, it's just a waiting game now; it's hard to be patient when we are so limited without it.
I'm 33 weeks along now, and have my first OB appt. here on Tuesday. I've been told they do ultrasounds every visit, so I'm excited about that. Medical care is much cheaper here then it is in the U.S. I may also have a sinus infection. =(

Doug has met the youth group in Baumholder already as well as the chaplain he'll be working for. The chaplain is super supportive and has a big heart for his people. We are very blessed to have a guy like him at 'our' base.

That's probably enough for now. Thanks for all your prayers, please keep it up! We are so thankful to have such a big prayer support behind us. 

Journey to Germany

Sometimes I like to write in list form. That way I don't have to be creative. =) This is an idea of how March 25th-the day we flew to Germany-went.

Night before: Samuel is up crying and feeling sick.
3AMish - Samuel finally stays asleep
3:30ish - We finally fall asleep
7ish - Doug gets up
8ish - Heike gets up
9ish - Call from pilot friend who bought us the stand-by tickets [Hereafter referred to as pilot]. 2:30PM flight we’re booked on out of Greenville is suddenly full. There was 12 seats available, now there is none. Can we get on an 11:45AM flight? Mild panic ensues as we try to get ready.
9:30ish - Pilot calls back. He looked at the flight wrong, it’s not an 11:45AM flight, it’s a 10:15AM flight. There is no way we will make that. Okay, we will try at 2:30PM.
12:00PM - Leave for airport. Get checked in, through security
2:30 - Flight delayed
3:00 - Really nice lady at the gate lets us get on plane first. Steward looks at us carrying 2 pets and says something about only one pet being allowed on plane. We respond that we have checked 17 times with different personnel at United, the limit is 4. He says he will check with the captain, but it will probably be fine, but we should sit together only on the right side of the plane. So we go ahead and sit down and get settled. 
3:15ish - Steward comes up and says one of us has to get off the plane with one pet. Now. They are already behind schedule. Hurried discussion about who should get off. Heike gets off with Jaymes, and bursts into tears.
3:30ish - Nice gate agent tries to rebook Heike a ticket. She is unable to because they had already given her a seat. Have to call pilot and he has to rebook her. Get in touch with Pilot (who is also in an airport trying to catch a flight with his family). Rebook flight for 6:15PM.
5:00ish - get paged by nice gate agent. Flight is canceled due to problems with aircraft. That was the last flight out tonight. Flights tomorrow are completely booked. Heike may not get out of Greenville till Monday. Able to book flight from Charlotte to Dulles for a 7:45PM flight. It takes an hour to drive to Charlotte.
5:15ish - Doug's parent's drive Heike to Charlotte. Doug waits in a customer line in Dulles for over an hour and has to change Samuel's diaper 4 times. Samuel goes through 2 pants with bad diarrhea and then starts screaming each time he goes to the bathroom because of bad diaper rash.
6:30ish - Heike goes through security in Charlotte and prays to get on plane. Doug searches the airport for diaper cream.
8:00PM - Heike gets on plane with cat in tow.
9:15PM - Heike gets to Dulles and runs through airport to meet Doug and Sam. Boarding time is 9:10PM.
9:40PMish - We all get on the plane together! Ask young girl if she can move so we can sit together. She eventually decides to move and the three of us (plus 2 cats) are sitting together on our way to Germany!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We made it!

After quite the adventure, we made it to Germany and had a wonderfully warm welcome! 

The three of us are sick, so we're going to bed now, but just wanted to let you know we're here safe. THANKS for all of your prayers!