It's been awhile since I've blogged, and thus I face the dilemma of mommy bloggers everywhere: so many things have happened, do I try to cover them all? Only post stories that have corresponding pictures? Just choose a few highlights?
Well, I haven't decided yet! But for tonight (in the 15 minutes before I go to bed), here's a few bits and pieces of news to share. . .
My mother-in-law has arrived safely back in the States, but not until after being delayed for thirty-six hours in the capital city! There was a cold rain which turned to snow the morning that she left, and when John brought her to the airport it seemed like maybe she would get out ahead of the weather. Alas, no. She boarded the plane and they sat on the runway for nine hours! Finally they were allowed to deplane, given supper and a hotel for the night, and then the next day began the nightmare task of rescheduling everybody's flights. She finally arrived back in Minneapolis after stopping in two extra cities, a day and a half later than planned! We were thankful that she was able to contact us a few times throughout and it seemed the Lord was helping her to feel at peace despite the circumstances. I felt so badly that we couldn't help her more--that's no fun! But she did great and found her way and arrived home safely, PTL!
Just before she left, John and I were able to get away for an evening at a new hotel in our city, just to have some time together. We considered it a sort of "marriage retreat" and enjoyed the uninterrupted time to talk. We made some significant plans for the next five months, which was really helpful as well. We're headed back to the States in March of next year, so we want to use these next months to the full! The retreat was great--we were only gone from home about 24 hours but what a blessing it was!
Some of the changes we discussed we've already put in place. For one, Chloe started attending local kindergarten this week! (More like preschool, just structured playtime.) She has gone two days now and is doing quite well, adapting pretty quickly. She cried the first day but then the teacher suggested that Clara Anne come to join Chloe and help her get acclimated. So we've done that for two days now and I think tomorrow it won't be necessary. Already today Chloe was speaking the local language, interacting with the other kids, eating her lunch and drinking hot water just like the other kids. PTL! It seems like she's doing well.
Another big change is that we have begun bed-training Christin. She is now staying up to be part of family devotions in the evening and then goes to bed with the big girls. She will share with Clara Anne for now on the bottom bunk. So far, so good--the first night she sat up once but didn't get out of bed, and tonight she was bothering Clara Anne but after I spoke to her once, she went to sleep. Let's hope that continues!
Now that Christin is in a big-girl bed, we are transforming her room into the school room. When we were in the capital city last weekend, bringing my MIL to the airport, we spent some time at IKEA and got some furniture to outfit that room. Even now, John is putting chairs and a table together! We moved the girls' bookshelf from their room into that room, and also have a comfy armchair set up for read aloud time. I'm excited about it! In a day or two we should be settled in there, so I'm looking forward to continuing the reading lessons with Clara Anne that went on hiatus when Grandma was here.
On not-such-a-fun note, in doing some switching of seasonal clothing I discovered that not only did some clothes smell musty from being stored in our (especially this summer) damp basement, but some things were actually growing mold. The only choice was to pull it all out, wash it and dry it thoroughly. In doing that, it was time to go through my crates of baby clothes and give most of them away. So I've been doing laundry, laundry, laundry this week to get all of those clothes clean again! I must have missed spring cleaning this year, since we're doing it in the fall!
Another part of our new schedule is a re-committment to a firm bedtime and early wake-up, in order to help the rest of life go smoothly. And 6 am comes pretty early for this mama! So I'll sign off for tonight, but look for some pictures soon! We sent my MIL home with more than 400 pictures from her 3 weeks here; there are some real gems in that bunch so I'll try to get a few of them uploaded soon. But for now, good night!