Friday, December 16, 2011

Nursery, Christmas Decorations and the Big Wait!

So after what felt like a million hours of work we managed to get the wallpaper off and the room painted! This is the finished product complete with everything baby girl needs! Now what? We wait! She could make her arrival any day now!

In the meantime the we've decked our halls and are looking forward to time with family in friends while we wait for this little one! Here are some pictures to prove that the room is finished and to share a bit of our home with you! Merry Christmas and next time you read hopefully we will be able to introduce you to the newest member of the Hoover family! YIPEE!

Making an entrance!

Changing table and crib- isn't the paint color so great! (Valspar Signature in Violet Smoke in case anyone is wondering!)

We have been so blessed that all of the furniture in the room has been given to us! Also, check out the beautiful blanket on the back of the rocker- Thanks Mimi!

Advent candles

Garland and candles (along with our stash of candy peeking out at the bottom of the table)

Our Christmas trees- I think it needs more lights, but this will have to do.

Glittered candles (up cycled thrift store candles! Much cheaper than buying them new!)

Here are a few photos we took back at Thanksgiving so that we could capture our growing family- literally!

Baby Love

Tea time (remember this 100 year old tea set I lugged back across the Atlantic?)

Behind every strong woman is...

Tea party with daddy!

I hope you've enjoyed a little glimpse into our life. Thanks so much for sharing this past year with us from Liberia and back. We're so blessed to know how many people who have loved us and surrounded us with support as we have readjusted to life here Stateside. We are excited to see how God works in our little family in the next year! Please keep following this journey!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Long Time No Blog

So I've been really bad about blogging on this blog. Truthfully I've just had other places that I needed to invest my time. I promise I'll get better, but how soon that will be is still in question. I thought I might throw my faithful readers a bone though and upload a few recent pictures. We've been settling in a bit here in the sleepy little town of Stanley and finding our way around. Last Sunday afternoon we went out to a local park with lots of trails and a lake- ya know, typical park stuff. We did a little light (very light) hiking and took a few pictures. I thought I'd share some with ya'll! Enjoy!

An altered pic. of Kyle and I.

Balancing on a rock- not easy as my center of gravity has drastically shifted these days.

Pregnant belly out in nature!

Wild at heart Kyle.

Pretty red leaves

Belly shot (also known as the amazing disappearing feet trick)

Leaves and light...I heart fall...sigh...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before: Baby Girl's Room

So last time I posted I refused to show you shots of baby girl's room. Well, I'm making up for it today. We plan on starting to work on it within the next week and overall I think it will be an easy transformation. We are opting to paint over the wallpaper rather than stripping it. Quite frankly because it is the easiest way to go about it. We're still trying to decide on a color maybe frosted clover? Here take a peak at another of the rooms potential colors, twilight mauve.

Back corner where her crib will be (excuse the pile of stuff on the floor!)

Closet and built in shelving (note the 1970's era linoleum in the closet)

Other window and corner where rocker and changing table will be.

Not much else to report. We are still trying to get used to this whole 9-5 business. We went on our first church hunting adventure...we'll let you know when we find the right one...We can hardly believe that we are almost under the 3 month mark before baby girl is here! So much to do! EEK! Double EEK! So needless to say between work, baby, finding a church, traveling to showers, teaching an EQUIP International intro to well drilling night, and Kyle's engineering test we've got our hands full. Not to mention the Holidays! Somehow in the midst of all of this her room is going to get transformed and filled with all of the little misses things.

Yes, is going to happen. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Newest Residents of Stanley, NC

Hello folks,

What a month it has been! Here's just a few things we've done:
-Traveled from sea to mountains (we saw so many faces that we love!)
-Bought a truck (a 15 year old dream Kyle fulfilled!)
-Got a job (well, Kyle did!)
-Moved to Stanley, NC (yes, this is a real place)
-Unpacked all our worldly goods (we didn't have much but boy was it a hassle to move)

We're getting settled in here in Stanley. We've been here just over a week and well, it is all very strange. Stanley is a small town- which you probably figured out when you murmured to yourself, "Where the heck is Stanley, NC?" Stanley is just Northwest of Charlotte. Kyle's job is in Charlotte only about a 1/2 hour from our house. God really blessed us with a good location and a good size little rental house complete with a front porch and sunroom! Plenty of room for adult Hoovers + Norb's cat + baby girl Hoover.

Here are a few pics of our new abode. It is still a work in progress so don't judge. We are limited on funds and so we will make improvements as money allows. For now this is what we've got!

Front of the house- hard to get a good shot, plus I didn't have my shoes on and the grass was wet.

Front door in need of a wreath or something...I'm workin' on it!

Front porch swing! I'm working on a table and chairs to match the pillows. It will be nice to sit out here in the fall, spring and summer!

Kitchen (the wallpaper is going to be painted over at some point...some point...), at this point I don't care what it looks like I just care that it is functional!

Our little kitchen table. Complete with hydrangeas from the yard and some wood carvings from Liberia.

Spare Bedroom/Kyle's office, most definitely a work in progress. It is kind of sad right now. Anyone is welcome to come and stay, but give me a month or two before you expect greatness from this room. I've got a few ideas up my sleeve!

Our bedroom. Isn't it comfy looking? I've got some ideas for the headboard, but all in good time. The room is much bigger than it looks here. Eventually it will also house my office- another work in progress.

Master bath- it is bigger than it looks, but I didn't want all of the ugly bathroom stuff in the picture. Please ignore the butterflies on the outlet plate. They will be gone soon.

This is the book/sitting area of the living room. We need a chair or two to round out this space.

This is the other side of the living room. Couch-less as you can well see. Hopefully that will be remedied today! Our couch should be on its way and then we can move the t.v. into the room and hang some art or something.

Our sunroom- aka Norb's cat new favorite place when he gets here. We have plans to make this a comfy space.

So that is just a little peek into our new space. We like it. It is more room than we've ever had! You might be wondering, "Where are they gonna put the baby?" Well, there is another room, but I want to share that one with you later as we begin work on it to make it a proper baby space. There is also a second bathroom, but to be quite honest it aint' much to look at so I thought I would save you some eye strain and leave it out. Come visit us and you can see it in real life!

In other non-house news:

Kyle started his new job the day after Labor Day. The job is moving along and we'll see where it leads in the coming months. Hopefully it will provide him some good professional opportunities. He is studying to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam at the end of October which will allow him to become a licensed engineer on top of being a professional geologist. My husband is so smart. Pray for him as he studies for this test- it isn't easy from what I hear!

As for me and the babe, we are doing well. We go to our first official midwife appointment here in Charlotte (Fort Mill, SC actually). We're at 25 weeks so the time is counting down! EEK!

(25 week belly)
So that is what is up in baby land. We are going to start on her room by the end of the month and we've got 3 baby showers ahead- what a blessing!

So to finish out the month of September we'll be doing a few things- looking for a Church, moving the Norb's cat,

(Remember this guy? He's been bitter since we returned, abandonment issues I think)

down to his new Stanley home, and entering the world of painting and wallpaper removal. All of these things have potential to cause massive earthquakes in the Hoover home. Prayers needed.

I hope that you've enjoyed the tour through the new Hoover house. It's comfy albeit couch-less (which hopefully will be remedied by the time you read this!). I'll try to post as I make changes.

We've been so incredibly blessed this past month. Although changes seem like they have come at the speed of lightning we are able to see God's hand in it all. We are unsure what God is doing to be quite honest, but it is clear that He is leading and providing so we step forward in confidence even if things don't look like what we expected.

We've got new phone numbers and address. Let us know if you need that info. We'd love to get some (non-bill, junk) mail in our new mailbox!

Much Love,
The Hoovers (all 3 + the Norb's cat)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Life Right Where We Are

Welp, I thought a little update would help break our blogging silence.

Here are the highlights:

-We are just finishing up a a three week long road trip. Whew, we loved every minute of it, but we're worn out.

-Mama and baby are doing well at 23 weeks! Baby girl whomps around most of the night and day!

-Kyle landed a new job with an engineering firm in the Charlotte area.

The devil is in the details so stop here if you were just interested in the highlights!

We've ended our road trip and are turning our hearts and efforts towards the next stage in this journey. God has really blessed us since we've been back Stateside. We've truly had a great transition full of fun and rest. We are confident that God has supplied a job for Kyle in the next season of life for us. What a blessing in the midst of our terrible economy. It's truly humbling to see God supply our every need.

Some of you, I'm sure, are wondering what our plans are long term. Quite frankly we are wondering that ourselves. Short term we will be moving to Charlotte, Kyle will start his job, and we will welcome our baby girl into the world around Christmas Eve. Kyle is working towards his licensing as an Engineer and I will be staying at home with baby girl and using my doula skills as God leads me in the community. As our friend Blama in Liberia would say "This is no small ting (thing)" and we long for your prayers.

Our vision long term is to work with EQUIP International here Stateside supporting missionaries overseas and training missionaries preparing for the field here in the Sates, but that is a long term vision and we are anxious to see how God will work that out as it would be a self supported position. Pray that we would be intentional in preparing for whatever lies ahead for us with EQUIP's ministry in the coming years.

This blog is still going to stay active. Maybe even more active than while we were in Liberia. I plan to update the blog with a new (and better than the current) look. We want to share our lives with you. I don't mean just pictures of our daughter, although brace yourself for those, I mean stories, thoughts, and snapshots from our daily life. If there is one thing that we have learned from our time in Liberia it is that God calls us to live a life full of the Gospel right where we are, whether that is in Liberia or Charlotte or anywhere else in between. We hope that through our triumphs and failure of daily life you will be encouraged to step out in faith to serve a God who cannot fail.

We've been so richly blessed by those of you who read this blog. Please continue to read and be blessed.

Peace Folks,
Kyle and Jessica

Monday, August 1, 2011

Life As We Know It

Kyle is home.
Baby and mama are healthy.
God is good.

Here's some photos that prove that!

18 weeks!

19 weeks! (almost half way!)

It's a girl! Good thing because we bought her a 100 year old tea set in France...or rather her Daddy did! However, her name will be kept a super top secret secret! SO DON'T ASK! Just kiddin' you can ask, but we ain't tellin'.

Baby girl waving! Look at that hand!

Looks like she sleeps like her mama- curled in ball with her hands up near her face. Oh and guess what? Her mouth was moving the whole time- wonder who she gets that from? No, for real- I can't handle that little hand on her chest...I know she looks like an alien skeleton baby, but come on she's already a cutie.

In other non-baby related news: We were able to snaggle a new car and we love it! By new I mean "new to us", but really it worked out perfectly (and by perfectly I mean that we had enough money to pay for it out right and we have no debt from it!) and I think we will be driving our 2004 Subaru Forrester for quite awhile. Look how red and shiny she is...sigh...

We're heading to the beach in less than a week for some Hoover family time! Then we are going to be making a grand tour of Western NC. So Andrews, Asheville, Marion, watch out the Hoovers are coming your way- and there are three of us now and two of us are always hungry- ok, make it three of us.

After our traveling is done we hope to have a better idea of where we will be settling in. Currently, Kyle has a strong job possibility in Charlotte, but in the meantime we are going to enjoy friends, family, food and A/C.

This blog is going to be transitioning over the next couple of months to a blog about ministry, family and life right where we are (wherever that might be!). Because the fact of the matter is that no matter where God has us it is a calling. A calling that we hope to fully embrace and live for His glory. We hope you will keep reading and seeking ways to follow God's work in your own life, community and around the world.

See ya on our grand tour!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Story You Need to Read

Again, apologies for the silence, but blogging just hasn't been at the top of my to do list since I've been home!

Quick update:

Life has been good since returning to the U.S. I've gotten into pre-natal care with some midwives in Chapel Hill. Everything looks great for baby and me! I have been able to spend quality time with family. The only downside is Kyle's absence, but that is all about to change in approximately 30 hrs.! Kyle returns home tomorrow evening! YIPPEE!

Kyle's remaining time in Liberia was fruitful and we are so thankful that he was able to return for these last 6 weeks. Kyle and I wanted to share a story from these last few weeks in Liberia. A word of caution before reading- this story is hard to fathom for our American minds but it is very real in Liberia. Satan is at work in visible ways in Liberia and we wish we could say that this woman's story is unusual, but unfortunately it is not. That is why, among other reasons, the work of the Gospel in Liberia is so important. This is a story that I think will bless you and open your eyes to the reality of life for Liberian Christians.

This story is taken from an email from Kyle to his mom a few weeks ago.

During our time here in Liberia - there have been several occasions when I've had opportunities to see a little deeper into the real lives of Liberians. One of those came a few days ago when I was sitting in the office with Joe S. - my Liberian counterpart and all around great man. He is an elder in a small church plant along the "Guinea Road" which in this literal society is THE 10 km road to the Guinea border. He is level headed and a very good elder - and as such usually finds himself in the middle of things. Sometimes he shares stories with me - and on this day he shared with me a situation going on with a young lady that had just come to his church. This young lady was running away from her grandmother who had inducted her into one of the secret witchcraft societies that underlies everything here in Liberia when she was 12 - taking her away from her parents. Witchcraft here is not the tree hugging type like it is in the USA - its very real and involves human sacrifice and cannibalism. Over eight years she gave her little brother to the leaders of her sect for sacrifice - and probably others not of her family - she was asked for her sister and she refused - she was asked for her mother and she again refused. She then had to flee at age 20 for her life - and with no family she was on the streets. She made her way to the Guinea Road church where some of her family were and she confessed her sins and became a believer. She said she wanted to have a Bible - and asked if anyone could provide her with one - so she can read it and for just a bit of comfort - Bibles are not easy to find here. I went home that afternoon and was thinking about this story and how I wished I had a Bible to give - but all I had was my own and well - I wasn't ready to give it up yet.

In the evenings I have been (trying) to clean up our house at our little place in Ganta at which point I found a Bible someone (Kyle's mom) had insisted I take "Just in case". It was that little blue NKJV Bible with the flip cover and tiny letters (and magnifying glass) you stashed in our stuff before we left. I gave it to Joe yesterday. Its now in the hands of that young woman.

Just goes to show - you never know what and how things will work out - and for us Reformed theology folks - that God's Providence works in large and small - and in over-packing luggage.

Thank you for being insistent!

Kyle is returning tomorrow with more photos and stories to share from his last few weeks in Liberia. Please be praying for us as we process this journey and turn our eyes towards what God may have in store for us for the future. We look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sad News

Hi folks,

Nothing much (overall) has changed in the past week. Kyle is still in Liberia and I am still adjusting to life back in U.S. We can feel your prayers and are so grateful for your encouragement during this time! It hasn't been easy and this morning Kyle called to share with me some sad news. Our friend Victor lost his son to cerebral malaria. His son was only 11 years old. Please keep this family, as well as Kyle, lifted up. I wrote several months ago after another EQUIP Liberia staff member lost his newborn baby to malaria about the way death, even of close family members and children, is so common in Liberia. You can't help but feel helpless when these situations occur, but for so many Liberians this is a fact of life.

Please pray for peace and for Kyle as he is alone and in need of encouragement (hint, hint)

Kyle and Jessica

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jet Lagged

Hi folks,

Sorry there has been a gap in the blog. Kyle and finished our amazing trip to Europe and went our separate ways last Sunday. Him, back to Liberia and me home to North Carolina. We both made it back. Kyle is back in Ganta working hard. I was greeted by lots of family at the airport. I will be spending time with different family members for the next five weeks as I await Kyle’s return in mid-July. So that is a brief update. Please keep Kyle lifted up in prayer he has a lot of work to cram into these next few weeks.

I also wanted to share some pictures from our trip. We were so blessed to be able to take this trip. It was such a wonderfully sweet time for Kyle and I. Even baby cooperated and I wasn’t sick really at all the whole trip! We took our time, saw the sights, ate good food and just enjoyed each other! Such a blessing! So enjoy a few pictures from our most recent adventure.


When in London…have tea, right?


Gorgeous flowers with a Union Jack to add a bit of patriotism.


We make that old tower look good.


That crepe was good. Wasn’t it Kyle?


Taking a break at Westminster Abbey.


Beautiful English garden in St. James Park, London


American cemetery in Normandy


My giant hat and I. Kyle LOVES this hat.


My best French philosopher face while standing by Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s grave.


Stuck inside of the Louvre pyramid.

There you go folks, a little glimpse into our trip!

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