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.