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The FINAL countdown…

HE’S BACK!!! At 6:30am…his flight landed…and he is safely home.

Rico Suave is finally back from Africa…and I can jump for joy!

I’ve been counting down the days and hours with my kiddos, with my friends and even on my Facebook status…only I couldn’t say what I was counting down too–because no one…literally no one knew he was in Africa. He makes very few requests when it comes to my sharing–but this trip…and the nature of trip…he asked me not to share until he returns. AND HE IS BACK!!! 1. Rico Suave doesn’t like momma to announce she is home alone and 2. This trip just needed to be low key for certain reasons–really the safety of the travelers. They are back now–and I am thankful!!! And I am thankful to be married to a man who is passionate about orphan care and will fight for orphans and for our ministry to move forward for their sake no matter the cost. While I can’t share too many details, the Lord is good–He loves orphans and provides for their sake. When times of unsettlement happen, he will protect those and go before those who represent orphans and widows and see His cause to the finish. We are so thankful. And we are excited to see our ministry in Africa move forward and grow in new ways!

I will say I have never been unsure about an overseas trip until this particular one–and so many times this week I have thought about Jim Elliot’s quote. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” There are many things Rico Suave and this momma are praying about right now–and honestly–this quote is the one thing I keep reciting over and over again in my mind. Rich and I have been on SUCH a roller coaster since the day we met…we had to go through some intensive pre-marriage counseling as this crazy mom wasn’t convinced she was supposed to marry at all as I was certain I was buying a one way ticket to serve overseas–BUT if I was going to marry any one…Richard Maury Young, Jr was the beau I was certain it’d be. And when I left that one way ticket at the cross and trusted the Lord to lead Richard for us–by golly…we have been on a roller coaster more wild and exciting than any story I could have written myself. I have a feeling our next year looks crazier than any before–and I keep telling the Lord I am game for anything…and to please just lead Richard–cause I’m ready to follow.

In the mean time though–I need a breather! I’ll catch my breath with some R&R tonight as I get away with Angie Carlie, Kimberly Chalk and Laura McBrayer…the mommas in our couples small group. We’re having a slumber party–a much needed get away and home on Saturday–just in time to celebrate Father’s day. THEN–in just 12 short days we welcome our 15 year old princess here…I can’t WAIT.

Soooo—my friends always laugh at what happens to us and how much crazy we do when Rico is in Africa. And this past week or so–it brings our crazy to a whole new light…

In the last 8 days–we have…

…made 4 trips to the pool (do you know how crazy this is to take 4 kids 7 and under to a pool by yourself…okay…so the mom reading this with 15 children does it all the time…BUT 4 is crazy for me!)–only 2 of trips I consider being successful. ONE involved someone walking around the pool with my name on a white board telling me to please come to childcare and get a wild one. You can read the crazy here. Nice.

…taken 4 kids to Rich’s family reunion on Saturday–also successfully loaded up gobs of chairs, outdoor toys and the other things they requested our crew to bring (we had to leave after Laney got dragged through mud while holding on to Rosie’s leash)

…got a sitter for Saturday night so I could go to our babysitter’s wedding. Frankie baby decided to go with me at the LAST minute…tears flowing–I took him…but missed seeing the bride come down b/c toddler needed to go potty just as grandparents were being seated. Caused a small scene leaving…nice. Missed not having Rico there with me to laugh.

…successfully made it to church on Sunday with 4 kids in the rain. That was a miracle.

…gotten through 3 children running fevers. Laney’s hit Sunday night. THEN Monday night I was cleaning puke out of my hair, out of the rugs and wiping canteloupe chucks off the hardwoods (just keeping it real so you get the full picture) at 1am as Frankie baby tossed his cookies for the first time…all night long. Posted on Facebook I was desperate for Pedialyte, and at 9am when we all finally came down after a LONG night–several bags of Pedialyte were on my steps. (THANKFUL I didn’t have to drag 4 sick kids to the store that morning!)

…didn’t leave the house for DAYS because of sick ones. Ok–so normally if I’ve had a sick one I’ve gotten a breather or break when Rico came home. But not this week. Oh. My. GOODNESS. It was a LONG week.

…AND AFTER everyone was well…on Wednesday night–Frank and Laney had spend the night company. Sweet princess couldn’t sleep so I bribed her that I take her for doughnuts if she’s try to sleep–I couldn’t bare to wake everyone at 10:30pm and take them home. Doughnuts came in the morning from Dunkin’ Doughnuts as promised.

…Thought I’d go out strong–soooo–I took all the kids to the pool Thursday for a pool play date. Surprised I didn’t fall asleep in the pool lifeguarding my littles. THEN, we doubled our slumber party fun on Thursday night and Parker got to have 2 friends over to spend the night (I was even chosen for a team for Nerf gun wars…don’t mess with momma when she has a Nerf gun). So after our war, momma had a pizza party with 6 littles 7 and under…while she counted down the final hours to when Rico Suave would finally get home. Not one night of having someone come up to spend the night for extra hands…and thankfully we didn’t have to go the ER like I thought we might on Monday night.

…And some where in between we made 2 blackberry cobblers, 1 blackberry pie, cleaned out the van, altered a cheerleader uniform for cheer camp, entertained passerby’s with my blowing leaves (I’m out of control with that thing) and shaved Isaac’s hair…twice (it was so much fun I decided to give him a cleaner shave another night–I’m more out of control with the clippers).

FRIDAY IS HERE…and my man is FINALLY HOME!!! He is plum tired. I’m completely wiped! But momma is taking off. Don’t you worry though…my parents are coming up to help Rico Suave tonight so he’ll have extra hands…and can recover from the jet lag. I can’t wait to get the full details from his trip and share ways you can be praying for our ministry and what is ahead!

Sooooooo thankful he is home safe and sound!!! Blessings to you all this weekend!!!



Sandi - June 15, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Makes me smile cause I think all Mommy’s should get a cape when a child is born because you really have to be Supermom to juggle the daily chaos. After especially crazy days I take a moment at night when all is quiet to check on my sleeping kiddos & seeing their blissful faces makes it all worth while. Praying for health, fun, and rest for you all as you get ready for your new arrival!

Naomi - June 15, 2012 - 11:39 pm

Phew Andrea, I am exhausted just reading all this! Have a wonderful time with your man and your girlfriends! You really need a break!

Jenny - June 18, 2012 - 12:55 pm

Whew! I’m exhausted just reading this!! You definitely deserve a break and I’m glad you were able to get one this weekend :)! So glad your hubby is home safe & sound!