So if you haven't heard by now, Patrick passed the Technical Evaluation! I won't lie: it was a stressful time! He finished everything Thursday afternoon, and it was a full 24 hours before we were called in. That was not a fun 24 hours for either of us! I am so proud of him, and we are so excited to have this milestone behind us and now be ready to move forward. We spent the last two weeks since the TE enjoying some celebrations with my extended family in Charlotte, a few days of rest with our little family in the Smoky Mountains, and then Thanksgiving here in Kansas with Patrick's family. It has been a busy busy month, but I think everybody has done really well. (Except Caroline. She has become an octopus. or a barnacle. or some other really clingy thing that won't let go of me. To be honest, I'm not sure she remembers Minnesota at the moment. Today she was walking around the house we are staying in and out of the blue asked, Mommy, where is my home? Wherever I and her Minnie Mouse are!)
I did not take alot of pictures in Charlotte. I want the pictures, I just dont want the hassle of taking them. But we had to commemorate going to the Panthers/Patriots Monday night football game. My dad took Kim, Lara, Meghan, and Patrick and I. It was fun!
Watching pottery being made
At the Old Mill
The kids were awed by all the activities and entertainment available, so although we were there to enjoy the mountains, we did do some fun things with them the first day. Charlie and Hannah got to drive their own bumper cars, which, as you can imagine, was quite the disaster. But they had fun.
Our hiking backpack did not fit in the car this trip, so we were thrilled to find we could rent one very reasonably! Patrick definitely "shouldered" that responsibility. She is heavy! We did two hikes. The first was uphill and challenging for the kids, up to see a waterfall. The next day was through a wooded area, and to tour some historic homesteads.
We knew that most of the park's 1500 bears would be hibernating, so we were thrilled to see one at the very end of our trip!
Towards the end, Charlie had definitely had enough. He told us he wasn't going any farther.
We were very grateful to have some time together, in the middle of this crazy November.
Thanksgiving was good, although we missed the presence of Patrick's great aunt Jean, who passed away only the week before. Tomorrow, we will be at our home church in Pratt, where we will share a short update and hopefully see lots of you. Then Monday, its back up to Minnesota. Thank you so very much for your prayers and encouragement this last little while. Excited to begin the Advent season this weekend, celebrating the coming of Christ to earth, and looking to His second coming!