Wednesday, June 20, 2007

All discombobulated

Since updating last (3 weeks ago??) I feel like I've been all over the world and have had so many wonderful experiences. But I'm a little out-of-sync. And we are leaving Quebec in a mere 2 days. I'll go back with the aid of these pictures and try to remember what we've done in the last few days.

This is how the boys occupied themselves the last time I worked on this blog. They must have played in these two boxes for 20 minutes. It was the day that Mark was driving back from his whirlwind trip to Buffalo to get our visas stamped. I was thankful at how great they got along and played together.

The night before the fam took me to Vermont to catch my plane, I snapped this picture of Joel being cute in his Colts pj's.
Saying good-bye at the airport. I was very hesitant about leaving (and Jack was having a little trouble too), but the boys left me there and reassured me that everything would be okay. I didn't have any doubts about that, I was just worried that 10 days was too long to be away. And I was right. I don't think that I will ever be able to do that again. 5 days maybe...definitely not 10.
I was stuck here in Vermont airport for over 4 hours waiting for clearance from Detroit because of bad weather. There were terrible storms in Burlington as well, so I'm sure that we were delayed by the weather of both cities. I had a great time meeting people and passing the time chatting. To make a long story short, I missed my connecting flight in Detroit and had to get a flight the next morning to Columbus. Jodie Blackburn and the kids met me at the airport after they got done at church. It was so nice to see them, and I immensely enjoyed my time with Jodie. We packed in so much in such a short time--and every minute was good--I left there (on Wednesday) encouraged, blessed, and happy. Jodie took me to the Cedarville exit in Springfield and Dan picked me up there.
I loved spending time with Jake and Lydia and meeting Claire for the first time. She is a wonderful baby.

Gwen, I had fun talking to you, too. You probably thought I would never stop!!
Dan and I left Thursday morning (in a rented van as the car started overheating right away). We listened to Rock of Ages and got in the spirit of the coming reunion as we drove to Indy to pick up Rich, Aracely, and Noelani.
We had such a good time. There wasn't too much organized--a game, concert, mumu, and the rest of the time was just left up to us how we wanted to spend it. So I think talking made up most of the activities.
The last night was the mumu. It didn't "work" probably because of having too many differing ideas of how to put it together.
Here everyone is looking on with anticipation to see if success was reached.
And this is where people started laughing as the raw meat made it's appearance. In my opinion, it was a HUGE success, because we were reminded of who we are as MK's (people able to adjust, work together, and make something work that could have been a disaster). No one complained or rolled their eyes. They just got to work figuring out how we could cook the raw stuff and still eat it. Big grates were brought in and guys worked to grill the meat over open fires. I think some of the veggies had to be discarded, but I think everyone ate til they were full. And there were lots of "storying" and laughing that night around the mumu pits.
This is Dan and Jared and Jeremy.
Here are all the '85-'90 people.
Good-byes on Sunday morning. Here are Vince and Lori pictured with Rich and Dan.
It was really fun to have Aracely and Noelani there too. They were real troopers and just dove right in with everyone and enjoyed themselves (I think). And Noelani got the award for the best traveller. She was EXCELLENT in the car--never complained and we barely even knew she was there because she was so quiet.

I went back to Dayton for the next couple days. It was a nice time. Thanks, Dan, Gwen, Jake, Lydia, and Claire for letting me stay. Jake, Lydia, and I read a lot together, played outside, and tried to play Memory. Aunt Jill was a little too distracted to play Memory that night. Sorry!
Thanks for the ride to Columbus, Dan. I really appreciated it. Mark met me in Burlington very late on Thursday night (another delay--this time because of a problem with the plane and we had to walk to another gate and switch planes). Tim and Barb watched the kids and Mark and I stayed two nights in Burlington because we had to have some recall work done on the van in order to import it. We had a marvelous time together. Probably the best part of my whole trip.
We brought a book back from Borders for each of the kids, and they were engrossed immediately. This picture was not posed.
I was afraid that our lilac tree would blossom while I was gone, but I did get to enjoy a couple days of my favorite fragrant flowers.

We went to the park the next afternoon. Joel sees this little girl there often. Her name is Arianne.
Thirsty boy!!
The family that reads together.... This wasn't posed either.
Saturday Mark had to go back down to Vermont, again, because of the car and our desire to import it. He had difficulties and thought for awhile that he would be stranded there and have to have someone come get him. I'll let him tell about his troubles. Mark had to preach on Sunday, so I tried to help him out by starting his PP presentation for him. I worked basically all day on it and only got about half of it done. He was thankful for that much, but I was disappointed that after spending the whole day on the road, he had to come back and work a ton more.
Darwin came back to Quebec for the wedding of a friend. He found time in his busy schedule to have lunch with us before heading back to Venezuela. Another girl from our church came too. We ate outside in the shade. Melissa, Mark, and Darwin went to visit Anne, who is in the hospital. They stayed there for a couple hours, playing cards and generally cheering her up. Melissa came back then and spent the rest of the day here. She played with the kids in the water (see below) and ate supper with us.
The kids sure miss Darwin.

Later that night after the kids went bed, we had a calendar planning meeting with Michael and Marie (church members and doing an internship at Credo this summer)
This little turtle sandbox has become Joel's favorite thing. He loves pouring water in and out of cups.

The kids last day of school was Wednesday. They were bummed that it was raining because they were supposed to have an all-school picnic in the park. Oh well, they had fun picnicking inside.
Mark received his permanent residence card in the mail yesterday!!!! One down, 3 to go. It's been a long process and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Getting ready to go means spring cleaning for me. That's how I spent most of yesterday. I dared to move the couches despite the treasures I knew I would discover there. It's just too embarassing to say all that I found, but the important thing is that it's very clean now. Joel kept the day from becoming too boring. Here he had a coffee break (well, a juice and cookie break) so that I could do something uninterrupted for the lenght of time it took him to devour his snack.
I had forgotten that my curtains are white and not gray (smile)

Well, I hope to keep writing throughout the summer. Can't wait to hear from each of you. Leave me a little note here in the comment section, if you feel like it. Simone, I love the blog. It's so fun to see your kids. Please keep it up!!

See you next week!!