Friday, August 26, 2011

Family Gathering.

We had a great weekend in New York with Nat's family... I'm only a week late in posting:).

(Nat's immediate family)

Our big reason for heading up was to celebrate Nat's grandparents 60th anniversary. Since all my grandparents have been gone for years, I think it's pretty neat Nat still has three grandparents alive, let alone celebrating 60 years of marriage!

We also got to spend time with Nat's immediate family for two days. Swimming in Grandma's pond, playing Dutch Blitz, Spoons (a dangerous game!) and a picnic or two made for two very fun days. The sad part was leaving (of course).

Next weekend is a family reunion on my mom's side (glad it's not this weekend!!) and then I think we have to say good-bye to summer.


I actually do like autumn though and in order to get in the spirit of things, Nat and I went on a date to a cute store nearby (Cottage Crafters) in hunt of something to hang on our door. Cottage Crafters is unique in that there are 50+ vendors who bring their stuff in, price it, and then leave. So it's so nice to browse and look around without someone pressuring you to buy something or having to say for the umpteenth time, "I'm just looking." Nat and I spent a delightful hour oohing and ahhing over cutesy items before settling on an item. We also went second-hand shopping and we both found something, so I would say it was a very profitable date:).

It's been a good week:).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Full Steam Ahead!

We're not ones to sit back and let the grass grow under our feet so in keeping with tradition, Nat and I plunged head long into projects immediately after returning from Africa. We did give ourselves a day to recover... naturally:).

Thankfully jet lag worked in our favor and we really only had it for a day, which was absolutely lovely. My first Sunday back at church was mostly spent with little kids. They really grow up on ya when you leave for two months! I also got to hold Jackie's little guy - finally:). He was born right before we left for Africa so between getting ready for a big trip and the teen girls, there was no chance to say howdy to him:).

Nat started back to work right away too which was a good thing since two of the guys on staff took a group of teens on a missions trip to West Virginia and another man joined staff that day. Of course Nat had a pile of stuff to sort through; two months was a long time for accumulation to take place!

We did break away last Thursday for a quick anniversary trip to Washington, DC. We had a rather short list of things we wanted to see, bu ended up only going through 2.5 museums. Yes, we are those people who read every. little. thing! It was so nice to get away, even though we were just "away" in Africa. The big difference was the lack of seven other people on this little trip:).

Saturday morning we left DC bright and early in order to come home for a very sweet friend's wedding. Traffic had other ideas though:). Thankfully we made it home just in time to change and go over to church. I wish I had a picture of Jen's wedding but they are all on my husband's phone and he's currently on the phone:). It really was a blessing to see though since my friend waited for God to bring the right man into her life. Most girls get discouraged waiting after the age of 25; Jen patiently waited several years past that age and it was well worth it!

Another very dear friend of mine traveled from Tennessee to Pennsylvania for the wedding, so we had her over for lunch on Sunday afternoon. That was priceless. Our friendship has endured over the miles, but it sure is good to have a 5-hour-face-to-face chat every now and then too:).

Today we had yet another couple over for lunch. They too are from Tennessee and were up for a brief visit, so we were quick to jump on having them over. There are too many friends I have said, "see ya later!" to in the past month that it makes me long for Heaven when there will be no more goodbyes.

Tomorrow I'm connecting with two more friends; Wednesday is my normal babysitting day (gives my dear sis-in-law a break!); Thursday I hope to see another sister and her two kids; Friday and Saturday we'll be seeing Tierany (Nat's sister) and the rest of Nat's family up in New York; Sunday it's back to church and then.... Monday. I'll start back to work after three months and I'm looking forward to it!

So in the midst of keeping up with people in real life, you'll have to forgive me for not being as faithful to this blog as I would like:).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Sweet Home.

Nat and I were often asked on Sunday at church, "are you glad you're back home?" and of course the answer was a big yes! As much fun as living out of a suitcase is, there really is no place like home! One of the joys of coming home was finding fresh fruit at the store. Plums, peaches, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, and mango made our weekend:).

We have been using jet lag to our advantage and we're trying to be more disciplined with our morning routine. Easy for Nat; not as easy for me! One perk is getting more accomplished and still having the whole day ahead of me:).

Yup, it feels good to be home!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

From Africa To America.

Well, we're home! And my rising time of 4:45 AM this morning proves that jet lag is no respecter of persons:). I slept very well on the flight from Jo-burg to Amsterdam and managed to stay awake all day yesterday (yeah!), so going to bed at 9:30 was a welcome treat. Actually, being back in our own home was a welcome treat!

We greatly enjoyed our 7-week trip to Africa. Of course most of our time was spent in Botswana, but the remaining week was spent in South Africa. As my husband and I left Botswana, we were asking the Lord to continue to teach us through the other two missionary families we were going to be staying with and He really answered our prayer!

Tuesday night gave us a great opportunity to listen to some sage deputation advice. We had a 5.5 hour ride home (as in the missionary's home!) so we took the time to ask one question and that got the missionary going:). He talked fast and Nat typed fast. So many practical tips for deputation that we just didn't think of and the Lord knew we wouldn't ~ so He let us hear it from someone who had "been there, done that." Why reinvent the wheel when we don't have to?

All in all, Africa was a great experience for us. Now to go apply it all.... :)