Greetings to you all from the bustling metropolis of Winthrop, Minnesota! Just kidding--Winthrop is probably just over 1000 people, but it does happen to be the home of John's sister Mary. We have had a whirlwind week with some memorable moments and are glad to have made it here to visit briefly. Here's some highlights of the last week:
Enjoying some 80-degree weather in Rock Valley--in March!! It was such a treat to simply step outside, into my parent's lovely backyard, toss the Frisbee around, and let the girls play and run on the grass. Though, strangely enough, grass was such a new sensation for Clara Anne that she insisted on putting her shoes back on. Chloe had a great time playing on a blanket on the grass in the sunshine. John also took Clara Anne to play at the new kid's playground equipment at the public park, and so we have added some new words to Clara Anne's vocabulary, like "slide" "merry-go-round" and "swings." Fun times in the glorious weather!
My brother Mark and his wife Beth stopped through Rock Valley on their way to a week of vacation with Beth's parents. Clara Anne was so excited to play with her cousins again, and we let her stay up late and savor every moment. Then John and I did a little savoring of our own and stayed up late talking with Mark and Beth. Time shared together is more precious than sleep! What a blessing!
Last Saturday we had dinner and stayed over with some great friends who have five children. Clara Anne and Chloe felt right at home, right away! I helped to prepare some food in an authentic Asian style; it was so fun to eat with chopsticks again! We had a wonderful time sharing together and again went without some sleep in order to prolong the conversations. Unfortunately, when we went to bed around two am we disturbed Chloe who then woke up and played until . . . 5am. Yikes! I never knew she could play in her crib that long! Does she do this every night and I just don't realize it since we're not usually in the same room?! The worst part was that we had to get up at 7am to get ready to lead a service--John sharing the message and me leading all the music. Thankfully, when we are weak, He is strong! The service went well and we enjoyed our time with the brothers and sisters. They also had a fabulous potluck for us afterwards, with my favorite: roast beef and mashed potatoes! Yummy!
Monday evening marked an historic moment when Mom and I put the final page in the scrapbook. WHEW! I just hope my mom will still enjoy scrapbooking after this project--it sure felt like work to me! We basically worked on it every spare moment for a week. PTL it's finished! It had to get done because on Tuesday we needed to do some shopping and on Wednesday morning we drove up to John's mom's home to visit for a few days. So it got done at the last moment, hallelujah!
After a relaxing time at John's mom's home the last two days, we drove today to Mary's house. Tomorrow we will see John's sister Sarah and his brother Andy and family. We have been keeping quite the pace!
This post wasn't very interesting thematically, perhaps, but it gives you a glimpse of our recent activities. I would like to ask you to keep on remembering our kids as we take them through so many transitions. Clara Anne, recently in tired moments, keeps asking to "go home." I was showing John's mom some pictures yesterday of our home in Asia and when Clara Anne saw them, she immediately recognized them and said, "I need go home. Help, please. I want to go home." I am honestly not sure how to deal with this other than to "talk up" the things we are going to do next and reassure her that we are going to stay here for awhile. Plus, after this weekend, we go back to Rock Valley for one night and then drive all the way to Richmond, VA. Lots of transitions ahead! We all need some supernatural grace! Thanks for thinking of us!
Pictures next time . . .