Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November. It was a fun, busy, and eventful month. We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.
We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month. Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight. He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now. We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.
We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.
Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed. Whatever the relationship, we had an enjoyable evening there one night. She had also invited my sister and her husband, my niece, and another set of cousins.
We had an unusually warm November, so one day we had a picnic on the front porch. That was a lot easier than going off to a park, though that would have been fun, too.
It was great seeing Suzanne and Theo working together with their kids. They are doing a fabulous job at parenting.
One of the warm days we went to the Learning Tree Farm. This is an interactive farm where kids can actually touch the animals. They have pigs, sheep, donkeys, cows, ducks, goats, chickens, and, of course, barnyard cats. Our Tera Girl loves animals so she never gets tired of going to the farm.
Our next stop was Sebring, FL where my parents live.
We just happened to be there during the election.
My dad is a political guru, so he was a good person to watch it with. We had some good discussions while we were there. As this is not a political blog, all I'm going to say is, I wouldn't have been happy with the outcome no matter who won.
We had some good times with Dad and Mom including going out to eat, attending my dad's Sunday School class, and just being with them. The time there was just way too short. We have a lot of friends in Sebring since it's our mission's retirement center, so my dad suggested having an open house one afternoon. It was good to be able to catch up with a lot of people that way.
After Florida, we spent a week in Michigan with Daniel and Kelly. Unfortunately Kelly and I shared a cold, so we were both feeling a bit miserable. During our week with them, Suz and Theo, Tera, and Kiah came up for an overnight. John's brother, Dave and sister-in-law, Debbie, and their four kids came down from Wisconsin the same weekend, so we got to spend some time with them.
Daniel took some time off work to show us around. We got to see where Daniel works.
We couldn't visit Kelly's school, but I think that John and Daniel went to see it (outside) while I stayed home on the couch with my kleenex. We went for a hike along the Huron River, saw downtown Ann Arbor, went to some great used book stores, and ate out.
Then it was back to Ohio for another week. One night when we were out we saw a Christmas tree lying by the side of the road, so Theo picked it up and took it home. We helped them decorate it.
My nephew, Jeremiah, and his wife Heather were in town from Colorado, so my sister had us over to her house one night for supper. We actually got together with them a number of times which was great.
We had time for more baby snuggles.
And some Christmas baking.
That week included Thanksgiving. Our nephew, Seth DeValve, plays for the Cleveland Browns, so his family had rented a house in Cleveland. His parents and brothers and their families came from CT, MO, TX, and NC. John's brother in WI came down and another brother lives in Cleveland. So everybody but John's mom was able to be there! When we came on vacation we didn't expect that we'd get in on such a big family gathering!
Suzanne and her cousin, Jacob, are only three weeks apart and their sons are two months apart. Why yes, that would be spit up because that's what babies do. :)
The day after Thanksgiving, Daniel and Kelly came back down to Ohio and we had a family Christmas. We had hors d'oeuvres for supper and exchanged gifts. Tera helped everybody open theirs. And Hezekiah got his first ever Christmas gifts.
The very next day we said our sad goodbyes and headed for Pennsylvania where we spent the night with our good friends, Ed and Sharon.
The next day we got to go to our supporting church, which is the church we attend most when we are on home assignment. Later that day we drove to Connecticut where we spent our last week with John's mom.
And now it's back to the craziness that's our lives here. We are super busy, me with work and John on his doctorate. The end is in sight and deadlines are looming. In the meantime, he is really involved in a stressful situation at our church.