It's been many a week (it seems) since I have blogged, and my only semi-plausible excuse is that we are busily getting ready for our trip to the States! We leave on March 23rd, less than a week away, and oh my, I still have many miles to go before I sleep!
Though this time in the States will be much shorter than our trip in 2007 (we took 6 months then and are only taking 2.5 months now), it still requires a fair amount of organization and planning. I won't go into the laundry list here, but we're just plugging away and hoping and praying that everything will get done before next Tuesday morning. John particularly has a lot of work to do in order to leave the business in other hands for 2.5 months. He is making progress but has been getting up really early every day in order to get solid work done!
I am trying to manage the home front: clean out the cupboards, frig, and freezer; organize and sort clothing so we know what to buy when we're back in the States; taking inventory of the house and household items, also for shopping purposes; thinking about homeschool questions and making plans to talk with people and attend a homeschooling conference when we're back in the States; and then there's the packing! In the midst of this, of course, life is going on. Spilled milk needs cleaning up, the girls and I are reading the first Boxcar children book together, there's the constant picking up of toys and meals to be made and laundry to be done. Whew!
But it's worth it! We are truly excited for this trip. For one, our girls are a bit older now and should (hopefully will!) travel a bit smoother. Also, it's just fun that they know a bit more of what's going on and they themselves are excited to see our family and friends back in the States. The other day I asked Clara Anne what she thought we'd be eating in the States.
"Jiaozi, Mommy. Maybe we'll eat jiaozi!" I mentioned that I thought that was pretty unlikely, except, of course for whatever we make ourselves!
"Well, then, egg and tomato--my favorite!" Well, Clara Anne, we probably won't be eating much of that, either!
"Zha ji liu?", she asked in a hopeful voice. (This is deep fried chicken strips). Probably the closest guess! I thought it was funny that all three of her suggestions were Asian foods!
So, the travel day is quickly approaching and at the end will be my dad, waiting late at night to pick us up along with all of our many pieces of luggage. We estimate it will be about 30 hours travel, door to door.
If you feel so led, we'd surely appreciate your prayers--not just for the travel to go smoothly, but for our entire time in the States. We'll be taking the girls into a lot of situations which are familiar and beloved to us, but completely new to them. They'll be seeing lots of new people, and probably getting a lot of attention. In the meantime, John and I will often be busy relating to others. My prayer is that we can find a good balance of family time and time relating to others, being sensitive to the girls' needs and feelings while at the same time spending time sharing with others. Also, our schedule is quite full, with plenty of traveling (we estimate about 7,000 miles). We love road trips, so that sounds fun to us, but we do hope that all goes smoothly with our vehicle, time in the car, and even not getting lost!
I hope to give a quick picture recap of our trip to HK on my blog if time allows before we leave. So look for that, and in the meantime count down the days with us until March 23rd!