Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Fun Weekend with Family

We enjoy our kids and grandkids so much and probably the hardest part of being in Niger is being away from them.  So we are enjoying every loud, crazy, cuddly moment with them that we can get.

Last week we were in Michigan with Daniel and Kelly and their twin sons, Levi and Everett.  They are three months old and at that age where they smile with their entire body.  They are so cute and what's nicer than sweet baby cuddles?




On Thursday we walked around a park with Levi and Everett in the stroller.




This park wends its way through some of the wetlands that feed into the Huron River. 




The nature walk is quiet and peaceful (at least on a warm Thursday afternoon!).




Friday we drove back down to Ohio.  Then on Saturday Suzanne and Theo, with their three, Tera, Hezekiah, and "Heavenly" and us met Daniel and Kelly with Levi and Everett and the Columbus Zoo.  This was Tera's third birthday celebration.





We were quite the crazy crowd with six adults, five children, two strollers, and a wagon.  Thankfully we managed to keep track of everybody and everything throughout the day and didn't have any major meltdowns. 



We saw lots of animals.



Had lunch together.



We took some pictures with the grandchildren.

 

And saw more animals. 



After about 7000 steps, I had to sit out because of the pain I'm experiencing with the plantar fasciitis.  That's more than I could have walked a few weeks ago, so that's a good thing, but I've got a ways to go towards complete healing.  While the others went on to see more animals, I sat on a bench and people watched.


 

It was a great family day!

The next day, Sunday, was Hezekiah's dedication at church.

 

It was a nice ceremony in which Suzanne and Theo, along with the church, promised to to raise Kiah in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.

 

 

Sunday night we went to a concert in the park.

 

 It was actually three churches who worked together on it.  We were so surprised to see a friend who lives in Virginia!  She and her family were in the area visiting her grandparents.

I let Tera play with my camera.  Some of the pictures turned out pretty crazy.



But she got some good ones, too.


 

And that pretty much sums up life with the grandkids ... crazy, but good.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Home Assignment So Far

We left Niger on July 7 and since our arrival back in the USA we have been focusing on resting and spending time with family.

We spent our first week in Connecticut with John's mom.  We also saw quite a bit of his brother and sister-in-law and visited our sending church for our first Sunday back in the US.

Then we spent two wonderfully relaxing weeks at our rental home in the Poconos.  We rent an apartment at the Missionary Retreat Fellowship which rents furnished homes to missionaries and other full-time Christian workers in need of a rest or a home during home assignment.




We feasted our eyes on the green all around us, did some shopping, and mostly just read or worked on fun projects. 



John did do some work the first week, finishing up his corrections on his dissertation.  He has now sent it to several people (me included) to proof-read it.  When he gets it back from the proof-readers, he'll send it to his supervisors and when he gets their ok's, it goes on to the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.  They will then let John know when his defense will be.

Last week we headed to Ohio to spend time with Suz and Theo, Tera, Kiah, and their foster daughter to whom we'll refer as "Heavenly".  We really enjoyed spending time with all three kids, though all three were a bit under the weather with a cold. 


 





One night we went to the county fair and had a good time there. We were getting stuff out to the car when we came out to see Tera all ready to go.  She was a bit disappointed when we told her she had to ride in her seat.




 We saw animals and went in the arts and crafts barn. 




Both Tera and Heavenly got to choose one ride, but they (Heavenly especially since Tera doesn't really have the concept of money yet!) are saving their money for a bigger event later in the month, so they didn't ride everything they might have liked to.  As we were walking down the midway, I looked back to see where everybody was and saw this.

 

Tera was having a "moment", aka over-stimulation melt-down, and Theo was talking to her.  Both Suz and Theo are so good with their kids, but Theo has an incredible way of bringing calm to tense situations (he'll be a great cop!).  He is firm, but always fair, gentle, and kind.  I seriously couldn't ask for a better dad for our grandkids.

We also spent a good deal of two days combing through Heavenly's hair that had become badly tangled.  It's not my story to tell, but the end of a very long story is that it looks great now.




This past weekend we came up to Michigan where we got to meet Levi and Everett, our new twin grandsons.  I'm starting to be able to tell them apart, but I really have to think about it before I make my guess!

  

  

Daniel and Kelly are also rocking this parenting thing.  They are so calm and involved with both of the boys.  I don't think God could have picked better people to parent twins!  Kelly is such a good mom and I couldn't ask for a better mom for our grandkids.

 

We get more grand-baby time next week before heading south to view the solar eclipse, for meetings at our mission headquarters, and then on to Florida to visit my parents.