Tag Archives: family

Meier Wire #54: Meier Family Deliveries of 2013

Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up after many months of silence.  My writing endeavors have been limited to reminder notes for the daily basic things of life and random posts I’ve managed to put on Facebook.  I have to admit that only about 50% of the witty and charming ideas I have thought of putting on Facebook actually make it there. Usually, my thoughts hit on something especially “Facebook” worthy at a moment when I cannot access my computer.  By the time I’ve actually sat down and logged in, I can’t remember what I had wanted to post several hours (or days) earlier.

So, when I think about writing for my blog or attempting to work on re-writing the first few chapters of my dissertation, it usually becomes a fleeting thought that never quite materializes in during the busy, awake time of my day.

The last time that I attempted to update my blog, I was still pregnant with my fourth child.  We were expecting another boy.  We had decided that his name would be Seth Adrian Meier and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have any major complications in giving birth.  We were also praying for God’s provision since our health insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs. We made our final road trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break and returned to Lake Jackson, Texas to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s and to await the birth of our son.

FamilyPic FamilyPic_cousins

(Cristina’s side of the family took pictures in Gainesville, Florida)
White – Philip’s family / Red – Cristina’s family / Black – Anita’s family / Black with design – Tim’s family

Christmas_MKMeier1 Christmas_MKMeier2

(Christmas / Maternity Photos – December 2012)

Now, we are nearly half way through 2013, and our fourth child is nearly five months old. The months in between have brought many adventures our way.  If I were to summarize the highlights in a series of Facebook posts, it would probably look something like this:

*New Year….Baby on the Way.  We can’t wait.

(39 weeks pregnant)

*Luke had a blast at his firefighter birthday party. I can’t believe he’s four already.  I’m glad I didn’t go into labor today.

birthdaycake birthdayboy

*Uh-oh.  I found out that I do have placenta accretta and will not be allowed to go into labor naturally.  They are going to schedule a c-section for January 17.

*Praise the Lord! Seth Adrian Meier was born with no complications.  My placenta came out without any problems.  I am looking forward to going home in a few days. I am grateful for my mother being at home with my other three kids.

Seth_waves Seth_unhappy

Seth_mommy

*Jared enjoyed celebrating his “half” birthday at school today. He’s five and a half today (January 25).

Kids_withbaby

*My mom went home after her three week stay.  I miss her already.

Mommy_baby

*Grace keeps getting ear infections.  She might need to get tubes in her ears.

Grace_sick

*Valentine’s Day is so busy! I’ve spent so much time making valentines for all the kids in Jared’s kindergarten class and in Luke’s Cubbies group that I hardly have time to make anything special for my family.

Valentine's Day1 Valentine's Day2

*We’ve been discovering the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate missionaries worldwide.  I might even try to make some Irish soda bread.

StPattysDayFamily IrishSodaBread

*Grace is the first in our family to start seeing a chiropractor. I never would have guessed that these adjustments would work so well to help clear the fluid in her ears.  The ear specialist agreed that she doesn’t need ear tubes and that her hearing is perfect.

SweetGrace

*We enjoyed Easter with the kids this year.  No one was sick this time around.

EasterFamily EasterTrio EasterBoys EasterEggHunt

*Grace turned two years old!  She loved being dressed up as a lady bug for her lady bug birthday party.

Grace_birthday

*Seth is 100 days old today (April 27)! It’s the only time I dress up in my Korean hanbok to celebrate the occasion.

Seth_100Days

*BCS had a successful auction and was able to raise a lot of money for the school.  Several scholarships were donated so that more students will be able to attend in future years.

BCS Auction

*We celebrated Stephen’s birthday at school today (May 1).  Jared’s kindergarten class came to his office to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.  Jared made a birthday cake for him all by himself.

Stephen_birthday

*Another school year is quickly coming to an end.  Jared graduated from kindergarten on May 21. We are so proud of our eldest son.

Jared_graduationpic

*The weather is finally staying warm enough to bring out the pools.  The kids are excited about this summer.  Jared is already planning on what he wants to do for his sixth birthday.

Summer_banner

So, there you have it.  That is a rundown of the most important events that have happened this year so far.  I look forward to adding more posts in the future.  I hope all the writing ideas that formulate as I’m driving or folding clothes or making dinner actually get typed at some point in the near future.

Meier Wire #53: Harvesting Joy in 2012

Meier Wire #53
Harvesting Joy in 2012
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

(Note: Although I wrote this in late November of 2012, I did not post it for another eight months. Please pardon my delay!)

I recently went nearly 10 months without posting a single post on our family blog.  Then, I posted 16 different posts to try to make up for the lack of communication.  Two weeks later, I began planning my next batch of blog posts.  After all, there are only two months left in the calendar year and my brain is already flowing with a number of ideas for posts.  Of course, the ideas come easily when there is so much going on at this time of the year.  Harvest activities, festivals and “hallow’s eve” kick off the beginning of the holiday season.  Just as soon as I’ve sorted through the Halloween candy, it’s already time to think about Thanksgiving plans and Christmas.  Throw in a national election and a pregnancy that is coming into the final 10 week countdown and I become a very busy momma.

So, feel free to read about our fall activities and updates. October and November have been fun months of busy activities and celebrations that I am looking forward to sharing with you.

Recent topics:

1) Grandparent’s Day Relived (Family News)
Although Grandparent’s Day was officially listed on U.S. calendars in the month of September, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has traditionally prepared a special celebration in their honor during the month of October.

2) ACSI accreditation (Ministry)
Under the supervision of Stephen Meier, BCS recently accomplished something that no other Christian school in the United States has yet to achieve.

3) Hallelujah on Halloween (TCK Views)
A lot of churches around here have taken to celebrating “Hallelujah” night in the place of Halloween.

4) Monster Dash into the wind (Family News)
This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature.

5) Weather or not in Lake Jackson (TCK Views)
I grew up without any seasonal changes, so I’m not a person to be disappointed by snowless winters and a lack of a real spring blossoming or fall foliage.

6) A Homecoming Update & Prize Winners (Ministry)
At Brazosport Christian School (BCS), their annual homecoming event was supercharged this year by a fund-raising event set to deliver prizes to a few lucky participants who took the time to donate money to the school.

We hope you are doing well as the year draws to an end and the holiday season begins.  Feel free to e-mail, call, Skpye or post us.  May God grant each of you peace of mind regardless of how you feel about the national election results this year.  God is in control of everything; even the United States electoral process.

Sincerely,

Cristina (for the rest of the MK Meier family)

Stephen, Cristina, Jared, Luke, Grace and Seth-in-the-womb

Traveling East in 2012

September 2012 – After moving to Texas, I had assumed that we might take some time to travel around the state and get to know it better.  What ended up happening is that we’ve spent more time heading east than we have going any further west of Houston.  Our biggest attraction to heading east of Texas happens to come in the form of family location.

Stephen’s sister and her family live near Mobile, Alabama.  My three siblings and their spouses and families live in Gainesville, Florida.  A few days before our week-long spring break in March, we made a last minute decision to travel east to visit them during our vacation.  So, we packed up and traveled east.  We spent one evening in Mobile with Stephen’s sister’s family.  They have four children.  Their second and third children are close to Jared and Luke’s ages.  Their fourth child is about six months older than Grace.  So, our kids always have a blast visiting with them.

Our second day of traveling brought us down to Gainesville where my sister had been able to secure a guest apartment at their apartment complex for us to stay during most of our visit in Florida.  It was a great time to meet three new members of the family.  First of all, my sister, Anita gave birth to her second child, Eliana in mid-November of 2011. My youngest brother, Tim, had recently married the love of his life, Briana, right before Christmas of 2011.  I had never met her outside of Facebook contact.  Around that same time, my brother Philip and his wife, Chrissy, had finalized the adoption process of a precious little girl from China.  So, it was the first time that I got to meet little Li Rose.  Jared and Luke also enjoy playing with their cousins, Noah and Josh.  It was also the first time for Grace and Eliana to meet each other.

During our visit in Florida, I also had the opportunity to travel down to Ocala and visit with my grandfather, Bill Lassiter and his wife.  It was a short visit and the Meier kiddos basically napped the whole time we were there, but it was fun to sit and chat with him the way I used to when I was in college.

At the end of our one week vacation, we stopped in Mobile again on our way back to Texas and spent one more night with the Blanton family.  It is always so hard to leave their home, because our visits tend to be so brief.

We’ve already decided that we will make another one-week trip east before the end of the year.  I will be too far along in my pregnancy to travel anywhere for Christmas.  However, my doctor has authorized my travel plans for the week of Thanksgiving break.  We are excited that BCS allows for an entire week of vacation for Thanksgiving.  Besides seeing the family that we visited in the spring, we have an additional couple of family members we haven’t visited with in a long time.  Just this past July, my parents (Steve and Helen Cobb) moved to Gainesville, Florida after leaving their missionary home of 16 years in Guatemala. My father has not spent time with my kids since before Grace was born.  Jared had just turned three and Luke was a year and a half when they last visited with their “Papi.”  They last visited with their “Mimi” when she came to Ecuador for a few weeks after Grace was born. 

Here are the general plans for the trip:

November 16  (Friday) – Thanksgiving vacation begins at the end of the school day

November 17 (Saturday)  – Leave Lake Jackson, Texas and arrive in Mobile, Alabama

November 19 (Monday) – Leave Mobile and arrive in Gainesville, Florida

November 23 (Friday) … yeah, we’re traveling on Black Friday – Leave Gainesville and return to Mobile, Alabama

November 24 (Saturday) – Leave Mobile, Alabama and return to Lake Jackson, Texas

November 26 (Monday) – School is back in session until Christmas break

I heard the bells on Christmas Day…

Bells are ringing this Christmas, but they aren’t Christmas bells.  Actually, they rang eight days before Christmas and I didn’t even hear them, because they were ringing in Costa Rica while I was in Texas.

The wedding that took place on December 17, 2011, all began with one of those stories where boy meets girl.  Only in this story, boy and girl weren’t that interested in each other until they had parted ways for several years and then found each other again on Facebook.  They had attended the same high school together in Guatemala and shared the common factor of being third culture kids (TCKs).

He had been born in Honduras, lived in Ecuador and Guatemala all his teen years, spent a year in Iraq as part of the National Guard and spent most of the rest of his time in and around Gainesville, Florida.  His parents were both from the U.S. but had been missionaries in Latin American countries his entire life.

She was born with dual citizenship as well.  Her father was from Costa Rica and her mom was from Canada.  They had been missionaries in Guatemala until they moved back to Costa Rica.  She had moved back to Canada.

As their relationship bloomed, there were many visits back and forth.  He visited Canada.  She made a trip to Florida.  Then the engagement and preparations for a wedding took place.  Where to wed?  The answer seemed simple enough.  Her family was in Costa Rica, so that was where she wanted to get married.

Briana Flores arrived in Florida early in December so that she could become Mrs. Timothy Cobb legally in the U.S.  Then they had the ceremony in Costa Rica a short time after that.  After their honeymoon, they will return to the U.S. and Briana will begin the process of becoming an official U.S. citizen.

Tim Cobb kisses his new bride, Briana Flores.

Recently, a Canadian friend of mine who married a Texan, explained to me some of the complications she was going through just to get a green card so that she could start working in the U.S.  Even though she had legally gotten married to an American husband in the U.S., she is not allowed to get a job until she has that green card.

“It’s no wonder there are so many illegal immigrants!” she told me.  “They make it so difficult for people to become legal citizens.”

She had to visit a specialist doctor whose office was more than an hour away from home to verify that she is healthy.  I guess if you are going to have immigrants, you might as well have healthy ones.  There are blood tests and fingerprints and paperwork upon paperwork to legalize and notarize.  And when that is all done, you have to sit and wait and wait until everything gets processed by an immigration office.  Then there will be a special interview scheduled with both my friend and her husband to verify that they really did get married to each other.

When will she be able to apply for actual citizenship after she gets her green card?  According to my friend, it could be about seven years.

Now my youngest brother, Tim, and his lovely bride, Briana, will begin this adventure together.  Will they be able to handle it?  Oh, yeah.  They are TCKs.  Forging the world of multiple cultures is engrained into their nature.  They may not have a lot to start off with, but they’ll have each other.  And they have “Emmanuel” God with them, walking beside them through every step of the journey.

Merry Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Tim Cobb!  Here’s hoping “ya’ll” might come over to Texas to visit a spell with the MK Meier family someday.  Ya hear? Yi-haw!

Marching into April with Grace

It is often said that “time flies,” but it usually doesn’t seem to apply to me when I’m in the last month of my pregnancies.  The month of March seemed to last forever as Stephen and I speculated whether or not our third child would arrive before or after the month’s end.  As each week went by, it became more and more certain that our child did not want to be born in March. 

For those of you who received our birth announcement on Sunday, April 3, you will know that our baby did arrive this past Saturday on April 2.  Now that we are home from the hospital, we’d like to share the experience (and some pictures) with you.  

Grace Erin Meier

Please browse our blog to find out more about the following:
1) The Birth of Grace Erin Meier (our little GEM)
-Family News Link
2) From Texas to Thailand: Which way will the Mk Meier Family be heading for Stephen’s new job next year?
-Ministry Link
3) The March Flood of 2011 in the Meier Home
-TCK Views Link
4) Financial Challenges and other prayer requests
-Home Page Link

Thanks for taking the time to stay in touch with us.  We especially appreciate all the e-mails that were sent after the birth of our daughter.  They were very encouraging and I look forward to responding personally to each one of them soon. Feel free to e-mail us, write a note on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog, give us a call on our Vonage phone or call us up on Skype. We’d love to hear from you.

Blessings in Christ,

Cristina, Stephen, Jared, Luke and….debuing our little GEM (Grace Erin Meier)

Financial Challenges and other prayer requests

It has been an amazing three years living in the faith that God will provide for all our needs.  We knew that moving into this ministry in Ecuador meant a huge drop in pay and a huge leap of faith in trusting that God would provide the money we would need for living here.  One of our biggest challenges has been keeping renters in our townhouse in West Virginia.

Our first year in Ecuador, we continued to pay our mortgage for an empty home for eight months before a renter was willing to sign a contract.  That renter stayed in the apartment for a year and four months before she left.  That brought us to a big financial burden at the end of our second year in Ecuador.  This burden was made greater as our financial supporters found it difficult to continue to support us at the same level.  Fewer and few donations have come in this year than the other two years.

Fortunately, we went only one month without renters that summer.  However, the renter only stayed for two months before leaving unexpectedly.  Between the months of October 2010 and February 2011, we had no news of renters interested in home.  Finally, we received word that someone was interested in moving into our townhouse, but that she wanted to wait until April to move in.  She gave a deposit to our realtors in order to insure that our home would not be rented to someone else until she was able to move into the townhouse in April. 

In spite of the financial burden we’ve had since then, we’ve been able to pay our bills in the past six months without any renters, but our debt has been increasing instead of decreasing ever since. 

We are now looking at the same level of debt that we had when we first moved to Ecuador and it is hard not to be concerned about the next few months of our future.  Please pray for us to continue to stay at peace with God’s provision during this time.

Homecoming Flowers for Baby Grace

Some other prayer requests for our family include:

1) Stephen’s grandfather (his dad’s father) passed away last month.  Pray for God’s joy and peace for the Meier family as they grieve the loss of this loved one.

2) Cristina’s brother and sister in law started the process of trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  However, the entire process has come to a standstill and it appears that they may not be able to adopt a child after all and will not be reimbursed for the money they have put into the adoption program thus far.

3) Kurt Meier (Stephen’s brother) continues to heal from his accident last month.  Keep praying that he will return to full health and be able to go back to work. 

4) Cristina’s quick recovery from giving birth and for the entire family as they adjust to being a family of five.

Fall Expressions from the Mk Meier Family

The end of another month didn’t exactly bring us fall weather, but it did give us a few days of extra relaxation.  Traditionally, Ecuador celebrates “Dia de los Difuntos” (Day of the Dead) as a federal holiday.  They also decided the day that follows this holiday, which is Cuenca Independence Day (one of the major cities in Ecuador), also deserves to be a holiday.  This year, those two days of November second and third fell on Tuesday and Wednesday.  A couple weeks before prior, the president decided that Monday should also be considered part of that holiday in order to give everyone an extra long weekend. 

Fortunately, our school had already planned to take that day off.  So, we were not caught by surprise with the last minute change in holiday scheduling by the government.  I hope to take the extra time to finish up my grading (first quarter grades are due next week) and try to get some more research done on my Ph.D. dissertation while also hoping to get some additional rest now that I’m in my 18th week of pregnancy. 

So, please browse our blog links to find out more details about what has been going on in the past month with the Meier Family.  Read about the following items:

1) An Election of Reflection (Ministry)– Cristina has been working with a group of students in the school’s civic club and the senior U.S. Government class to simulate a mock election that reflects the issues in this year’s election in the U.S.

2) Stephen’s Upcoming Recruitment Voyage (Ministry) – as Stephen looks for a new location to serve God in the area of school administration, he is planning on attending a conference in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of this month.

3) Experiencing Dora Live (TCK Views) – read about a birthday party that included a real, live and very Latin Dora.

4) The Nanny with the Chicken Pox (Ministry) – the past two weeks brought an added challenge to Cristina when her boys’ nanny came down with the chicken pox.

5)  Pregnancy Update (Family News)– although we still don’t know the gender of our little “tummy package,” here is a brief update on the developments this month.

6) Meier Boy Accomplishments (Family News)– read a brief update in the lives of our two toddlers