Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rest of vacation

Well, the Isaacs are back from the West Coast! We had a wonderful time visiting my sister and enjoying the sites and sounds of Colorado, Arizona and California. The GPS said we drove for over 55 hours, and covered 3,545 miles. The only problem with the trip was that it ended up costing us more than we thought, and we had to pay for a new air conditioner compressor back home.

Here are some pictures of our worship service on Saturday night, the beach and the boys with Aunt Laura!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grand Canyon

Here are some amazing pictures of the Grand Canyon. It really was amazing to see.

Wallyworld here we come!

I promised my sister in California that we would come see her this summer! As we all have been anticipating this trip for months, I kept getting flashes of Chevy Chase punching Wally the Moose in the nose. He drove his family across country in the original vacation movie, and it turned out to be quite different than he anticipated.
Well, we are officially at my sister's house in California, and so far I have not punched a talking moose, or anything else. (We did see some elk while we were at the Grand Canyon!)
We have had a great trip so far, and the boys are outside throwing water balloons with their Aunt Laura as I am typing this.

So far our GPS has done pretty well navigating us to Adventures in Odyssey (Colorado Springs), the Grand Canyon, and to my sisters house. The GPS did fail us one time, as we decided to make a quick little jaunt to the Great Sand Dunes in Alamosa, Colorado, and we had a crazy ride. Following Marsha's (the name for our GPS) instructions, we went through some back woods narrow dirt roads, that even had cattle on them. She said we had 4 miles to go when we came to a wood fence that announced only people could go past this point, no cars. We told the boys we were going to take a hike in the mountains, which ended up as a great lesson on God's creation, and they never knew we had originally planned the Sand Dunes. We hiked for about 40 minutes, didn't want to go too far, the boys had just heard about the tragic bear maulings in Montana, so they didn't want to go too far! We didn't see any bears, but Jen and I are pretty sure we heard a rattlesnake a few feet behind us.

Looking forward to going to Legoland tomorrow! It's not Wallyworld, but it will be a blast!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dates w/ Dad

One of the things that Jennifer and I try to do is to have dates with each of our kids individually. Sometimes we do a good job at this, other times we don't! This past week we both took kids on dates and it was wonderful. Jennifer and Caleb went to the Underground Salt Mine in Hutchison. Eli and I went fishing and swimming. Joshua and I went to Sonic and the Museum of World Treasures. We all had great times spending some one on one time with each other. There was great conversation, great laughs, and I had a crazy memory moment with Eli that we said we would keep just between us. (But of course I told his mom!) Joshua amazed me at the museum as he asked for his allowance in the gift shop, and spent all of his money. The amazing thing was that he bought two things...one for Caleb and one for Eli. It was one of those warm and fuzzy feelings for dad.

The dates made me think of mine/our relationship with God. Have we taken time to have a date with our Heavenly Daddy? Have we made special memories in the time we have spent with Him? Have we spent our time and efforts in doing for others rather than ourselves?

I know time is precious, but I also know that there is no more precious way to spend our time than with our Daddy in heaven!

Mark 1:35-37 (NIV)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. [36] Simon and his companions went to look for him, [37] and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

Jesus knew it was important for time alone with His Daddy...what about us?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Update on Ezekiel Isaacs

Well, we have had our little Zeke in our house for about 3 1/2 weeks now and things are going well. We are still supposed to get him into a lung specialist to check things out, but he seems to like hanging out with us! He celebrated his first American Independence Day, and seemed to enjoy the fireworks! He smiles a lot more, enjoys the heck out of his brothers, and seems to enjoy food...a lot!

Just wanted to give an update on what's been going on in Zeke's world!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1st Week in the States

Grandpa and Grandma Isaacs With some new cousins Alaina and Christian Grandpa Bud and the Zekemeister
Aunt Janet snuggling with Zeke. Aunt Chris helping Zeke in his favorite activity.

With Aunt Stacia and Hayden
Uncle Tim

Here is Zeke with his friend Chloe. Chloe and Zeke were in the same toddler group at the orphanage in Taiwan. Chloe lives in Topeka with her forever family-the Cogswells.
Here are the Isaacs and the Cogswells (minus R.D.) and the 2 special kiddos from Taiwan.

Well, Zeke got to meet many family members and many friends in his first 6 days back in the States! He is doing very well. Had his first doctors appointment and it went well. She wants him to see a pediactric lung specialist to really see how his lungs are.

He is very close with Jennifer, always looking to see if she is around. He loves his brothers as well!

He caught a fever a couple of days ago, maybe from exhaustion, or too many people around, but he is doing really well.

Everyone seems to be getting back on track with sleep schedules, so that's working out well.

Here's one more picture that has to be posted.

P.S. I think we will keep him ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Home at Last!

One of the signs amongst family and friends that welcomed us home!

It was a long trip for everyone, including big brother Joshua (with Zeke on his lap)!

Finally, back on American soil! Mom and her boys introducing Zeke to an American pool!

Family and Friends at the airport

Grandma Stein and her newest grandchild.

Mommy rocking Zeke in his room for the first time!

Welcome home Ezekiel Lin Isaacs!

We are officially home! We slept in our own beds last night, which is always good to do after being gone for a while. I slept until about 9:00 this morning, which made me extremely late for the church golf tournament, but I wouldn't have been able to help a team anyway:)

Since the last post, we have been flying, eating, not sleeping much, and enjoying our new addition. Thank you for all the prayers for travel. Ezekiel did wonderful on all 3 plane trips. He didn't cry once the entire way. (I never want to be that father/family that has the screaming kid that makes the trip miserable for the other passengers!) The boys did well too. We left Taipei around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night and arrived in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night. After getting our bags, our shuttle and checked in, we got to the hotel room about 9:00 p.m.--we were wasted, but wanted to make the most of our last night. The boys swam, we ordered pizza to the room, and it took forever to get the boys wound down. We finally got to bed around 11:45 p.m., only to have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get cleaned up-packed up and to the shuttle by 6:00 a.m.

The trip home was relatively uneventful, which we will take. The worst part about the trip home was that lunch in the Denver airport was $44.00 for some sandwiches, a couple yogurts, and a bowl of soup. If you know me, that was very hard to do, but we had resigned to the fact that the boys had been eating too much junk food and our bodies were out of whack.

We arrived in Wichita on time and were greeted by family and friends who came out to meet our new little guy! We got home around 5:00 p.m. and had an amazing barbeque dinner waiting for us. We have 2 more meals that have been prepared as well, and we are looking forward to devouring them as well. Jennifer's family was able to come over and eat with us and then help start getting things cleaned up from our trip. Another blessing. Our yard was mowed. Brandi, our housesitter, deep cleaned the house before she left. We have received blessing after blessing from our families and our church family who have been so supportive of this adventure.

Jennifer and I can't tell you how much we have appreciated every prayer, every thought, every deed, every gift, everybody who has helped make this all possible. We love you and thank our God for you!

If everything goes according to plan, we will have Zeke at church on Sunday morning to introduce him to the church family. He is still a little sick, so we won't be passing him around much, but can't wait for you to meet him.

May God bless your love and kindness shown to Ezekiel and his new forever family!
Jeff and Jennifer

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brother From Another Mother

This afternoon Joshua busted us up by saying, "Now we really do have a brother from another mother!" Leave it to Joshua to keep us laughing. The morning started with Jennifer and Caleb taking Ezekiel to his doctor's appointment. The doctor said he was looking good, and then prescribed 3 more medicines. They have him on 7 different medicines now, but we are not giving him all of it. The orphanage had us purchase an oxygen tank, but China Airlines said it wasn't the right kind so we can't take it. The doctor doesn't think Ezekiel will have a problem breathing on the plane. We leave here at 10:10 a.m. Central Standard Time and arrive in San Francisco at 9:30 p.m. CST.
We then had to finish packing up from our makeshift home at the Holiday Inn. We checked out and then headed to the orphanage where Zeke has lived for the past year. We got pictures of his room, his friends, and his caregivers, but due to privacy issues we cannot post them. Zeke got to play with his friends from his floor on the orphanage for awhile, and showed off to his caregivers that he could walk.
At 3:00 p.m. we met Zeke's biological mother, grandfather and grandmother. That was pretty emotional. They didn't want to give Zeke up, but had to due to financial reasons. They had tears as they saw how big he has gotten and they all held him for awhile. They had a ton of questions about our family, our community, and what we were able to offer Zeke back in Kansas.
We are now sitting in the Taipei airport waiting for our flight. We had dinner in the airport at Burger King of all places. Now, to make sure we don't miss our flight, we are here 5 hours early!!!!!!

We are excited to see everyone when we get back, but due to all of the stuff that they have Zeke on (including Pretazone that weakens his immune system) we are not going to be passing him around for everyone to hold. We hate that we can't let everyone hold this little bundle of joy, but have got to put his health first.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Jeff, Jen, Caleb, Joshua, Eli, and Zeke (our brother from another mother)!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Zeke

Zeke LOVES his baths! We have given him one every day that we have had him. He splashes like this every time.

Here is the Birthday boy!

Here we are at McDonald's for his birthday party. He had his first taste of chicken nuggets and fries ( we are assuming ). He wasn't happy when he was done. He didn't like the cupcake very much, he just wanted more nuggets.

He loves his book. He hasn't put it down, except when he threw it at Joshua's face!! We are still laughing at that one.
Today has been a good day. We stayed in except for going to McDonald's. The boys are just crazy about him. Today he seems to be even more comfortable with us because he is letting his personality show more. He smiles all the time. Well, most of the time. He has shown us his temper today. When I tried to help him eat his cupcake he got mad at me because he wanted to do it himself. He also signed the word "more"! We are going to teach him some sign language to help him communicate and we started with "more". Now that he has that I think we will teach him the word "please".
Tonight we are going to be packing and visiting with some friends that are arriving in Taipei tonight. They are related to friends at our church and are in Taipei for the weekend. It will be nice to visit with some people who speak English!
Please pray for all of us as we are very tired and some of us aren't feeling that great. We are so excited to get home and back into our normal routine.
Tomorrow we will take Zeke to his check up at the hospital, meet his biological family, see the orphanage and then head to San Francisco. We will stay over night in San Francisco and leave to come home early Friday morning. We can't wait to introduce our new little one to each and every one of you.
Love to you all!