Saturday, August 30, 2014

miles on the car, memories in the heart

move out of house - haviland #1, haviland #2, Wichita, Missouri, Charlotte, Ocean Isle, Wilmington, Kill Devil Hills, Mechanicsville, Greensboro, and, finally, JAARS! The past few weeks have been an amazing experience for the whole family as we have seen so many places and spent time with so many people, new friends and old. In every place we laid our heads, we felt loved, at peace, and blessed to be there. The van held up well, even pulling the trailer, and the kids waited to get sick until we moved into our apartment. (How accommodating of them ;-) The first night here, Patrick and I were nearly comatose on the couch, and Hannah commented on our lack of energy. I said, you know why we're so tired? It might seem like it took 2 1/2 weeks to get here. But really, its been 2 1/2 years. Still a bit surreal. My kids are probably too young to remember the last few weeks, so the pictures are for them :-) 

Alas, our pictures are backwards. So this is from the end of our trip, at a brief but special stop to see Brett, Jess, and Isaac in Greensboro. We had lots of fun at the children's museum! 

At the beautiful Maymont Park in downtown Richmond. 

the equally beautiful boardwalk in the town of Duck, NC

trying the famous Duck Donuts. Which really are worth the hype! 

The end of a long. long. long. day. We had left Ocean Isle in the morning, drove to Wilmington and toured downtown, then the battleship, then went to spend the night with new friends, some fellow AIMers. The next morning we got up early and drove 3 hours to catch the ferry at Cedar Island, to Ocracoke, then spent a few hours on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Then drove another little while, caught another ferry, and stopped to eat supper (below) at the Mad Crabber, drove another little while and pulled into Kill Devil Hills. And, thats what happens when you open the trunk. Our car was pretty interesting, after a few days of beachiness, with wet swimsuits, beach toys, water shoes, and shells shoved in every available nook and cranny. I tell you what, you do not want to leave wet sea shells in your closed up car for too long. It does not smell good! 

I have to confess, I didn't really eat much of this, I just wanted to have the experience. 

Cape Hatteras 

waiting for the ferry 

The battleship North Carolina 

thankful that this is not how we will be getting to Africa! 

a little downward dog, anyone? 

 Really good times at the beach with my family 

the very definition of ornery

I'd like to pretend goodbyes didn't happen because I don't like to think about it again, as if that makes it any easier. I doubt I'll forget, but the kids need to know. 

we had a very special time participating in VBS at FSBC Pratt. I shared alot on FB, so I won't repeat. It was a really crazy week, as we were in the process of moving out of our house and then staying with family, but I am really glad we were able to share so much with those kids, it was a special experience. There we are, in the middle. It was a bit third world actually, when we took the picture. Everybody sort of mobbed the middle, and Caroline got trampled! 

at our commissioning service, with Pastor Steve, members of Patrick's family, and the missions committee all up there with us. 

Thank you for taking the time to check on us and share in our adventures. Many many thanks to all the wonderful people we shared a meal, a home, a prayer with, over the last little while. More than ever, we know we we are not going alone; we are so grateful for our team, and for the Body of Christ.  Patrick starts orientation on Tuesday, and we start school, my first year with 2 kids in school. 

ps. Aug 30, the day I posted this, the Joshua project people group of the day, in the upper right hand corner, was a Swahili speaking Islamic tribe in Kenya. Helps me remember why the goodbyes, why the traveling, why the "sacrifice." So all may know, and praise His great name! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

the last post from kansas. On our way to North Carolina soon!

as the last 3 weeks have been crazy busy and the next 4 will be even more so, just wanted to share some special pictures that capture this last month. 

we stopped in Minnesota en route to my Mom's, and enjoyed not only going to church, but also tagging along with FBC Worthington's annual summer outing to the water park. 

We have already missed many friends in Minnesota. I'd like to go public with Jessica's promise to come visit us in Africa soon. You can hold her to it! 

the world is blessed by generous, hospitable people like our friends and partners Wally and Susan Johnson. Thank you for letting us stay with you, staying up half the night to talk to me, and then taking care of my kids the next morning!! 

 Some of the fun things to always experience at Grandma and Grandpa Bob's, at the oh-so-beautiful, private, very nearly luxurious ;-) place they call home : Gibi Lake 
Archery lessons 



Chip (french fry) eating. As I always say, Kenora had food trucks before they were cool. Of course, they only served french fries. but really, that's enough, right? Hannah finally embraced the vinegar. Maybe there's some Canadian in them after all! 


time with great grandma "Nana" 

breakin' it down on the beach 

catching crawfish 

birthday parties. hannah had 3 cousins and 2 new friends come join her, and grandpa bob made a fish pond, where all the kids took turns fishing for prizes. 
popsicle eating 
minnow catching 

Blueberry pancakes. blueberry pie. blueberry jam. and pain old blueberries. this was a special birthday breakfast for me, actually, and lara was able to make it up for a few days as well! 

puppy play time for my animal lover
silly time with Auntie Lara

relaxing on the beach 
or, when its a little chilly, relaxing under towels! 

sister time! 
being so worn out you fall asleep during supper and sleep through a very loud rendition of Dancing Queen, and even louder thunderstorm, and bonfire with smores. 

 Thank you, mom and Bob, for a really special visit! The kids really are good travelers. On the way home, Hannah asked how much farther, and I told her 5 hours. "Only 5 hours? That's so short!" Thats my girl ;-) 

 We will be leaving this house day after tomorrow, and staying with family while we participate in VBS at our church the following week. Then we will head to NC, spend some time with family for a few weeks, make a trip up to Virginia, and then get settled at JAARS just in time to start pre field technical orientation on September 2. We are very excited. Including our Canada trip, we will be sleeping in approximately 14 beds over 6 weeks. I am thankful its summer, it makes the packing/traveling/keeping the kids distracted so much easier! We have a commissioning service tomorrow and lunch at church, then we start vbs on the same day we're supposed to be moving out, so i didn't want to leave the packing till last minute. (because i guess it is already last minute.) So we have the clothes that fit in a suitcase and the toys that fit in a backpack and the car. The kids are pretty good about not getting bored; they went outside and made a garage band, except in the front yard. Drums out of bricks, microphones out of sticks, and a keyboard. They were playing for passers by. 

It has also been immensely helpful, as usual, to have some family nearby! They can bring a birthday cake over when I have no chance to do that myself! 

There are many many things we love so much about Kansas. We will miss you.