Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE trip, week 4

Friday, July 1st began our 4th week of vacation/support trip
We drove from Harrisburg to Kenansville, NC, where most of my family live and I grew up (the first 10 years).
Saturday we went to Topsail Beach with a bit of family--our crew, my mom (who was in town from Arizona), my dad, stepmom, sister, sister-in-law, and niece.The big kids had a blast! Jenna thoroughly surprised me with how she would jump through waves. Rylee and Asa took their turns, but they didn't last as long as Jenna.She made friends with another little girl who was playing nearby. I love it!They dug a big hole and took turns getting buried in the sand.They built a sand castle.
They watched a crab along the sand, picked up some shells, and just ran around!
Thankfully, my sister-in-law's parents own a beach house where we could clean up. The only way I can handle the beach and all the sand is if I can rinse off thoroughly when we're done playing. I'm definitely more of a pool girl. But, I like going to the beach when we're in NC.
Jett was covered head to almost toe for his first beach adventures.He took turns sitting with my mom and then my dad. Then, Joel headed inside with him for a nap.
I had the privilege of preaching at my childhood church on Sunday. It was such an honor to share God's Word and talk about His heart for the lost.
My niece and sister-in-law sang a precious song right before I shared. It took me a moment to gather myself. Lots of my family came into town since we were sharing at church. But, I was a little busy enjoying everyone and didn't take many pictures. Bummer!Monday we went swimming at my aunt/uncle's pool. I spent many summer days in this pool growing up!
My sister, Margaret, helped the girls with their diving. Margaret will add the 7th grandbaby to this side of the family in another few weeks! (My sister Jessica is below, holding Jett.)
Later in the day we had a barbecue to celebrate 4th of July. We played a bean bag toss game and ate some yummy food!
The kids enjoyed a ride around the neighborhood on the golf cart to finish off the evening.
It was great to be with my family.We drove down near Jacksonville on Tuesday to have lunch with my brother, who is now back in the area after living overseas for 8 years and in Alabama for 2. It was good to spend some time with him and catch up.
We had dinner than evening at a BBQ place--my favorite NC food!
I miss my family very much and always enjoy the time I get to spend with them.
My mom, who was in NC visiting from AZ when we arrived, decided to drive back to TX with us. (Did you get that?) So, we did a little 2 car caravan through the southern states. Then, we stopped in Louisiana to stay with my aunt/uncle for a few days while Joel took my mom's car and came back to work.

Guess what day it was when we were in Louisiana? Yep, Cow Appreciation Day for Chick-fil-A. You didn't think I'd miss it this year, did ya?!
Three years running...dressing up as cows for free food while traveling!
We went to the science museum in Shreveport while we were there...and, Chuck E. Cheese's.We are all glad to be back home. And, we've pretty much settled back into our "normal" life now. We're trying to enjoy what's left of the summer. Just four more weeks until school starts! Aaaack!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

THE trip, week 3

No pictures of the ice cream social yet. I forgot to email and ask. But, trust me...we had one. It was fun. We had an ice cream sundae bar with lots of toppings. Near the end of our come-and-go time, Joel went down to the youth room and invited all the teenagers to come up and make sundaes. That doubled the attendance....and was lots of fun!
Saturday we transitioned from staying with the Rowell family to staying with the Mullen family. Dick and Paula, affectionately called GaGa and Pappy, are my kids' Harrisburg grandparents. Paula came to help me each week when the twins were born and would take care of all three on Wednesday nights so I could lead womens Bible study. We are very close friends with Paula's daughter and her kids, who call her GaGa...hence the adoption of the name.
Our third Sunday of the trip was spent sharing at New Love in Christ Church during their Sunday school hour and briefly in the service. That evening Joel flew back to Texas to work for the week (that's how we managed to take such a long trip!).
Our second week in Harrisburg was more kick-back and relax. The kids loved playing with GaGa and Pappy's Legos, craft supplies, and toys. We had a few playdates and went to some local attractions.We went to the Hershey Story Museum with Terri and Jaxon. Our kids really enjoyed playing at Jaxon's house the previous week, so it was fun to let them connect again...and really nice to have some time to chat with Terri again.The kids even got to make a chocolate bar in the Chocolate Lab!We went over to my friend Sommer's house and got to play with her two girls. Sommer kept my kiddos while I had lunch with another girlfriend, then we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's. It was a hit!Pappy's mom, Ms. Evie, came out to the house to visit for a bit. She got to meet Jett. She adores kiddos, especially babies. I think she was pretty delighted to hold Jett!We went to the Whitaker Center Science Museum with our friends Chrissy and Tyler. You might remember Tyler from my posts requesting your prayers for him. Tyler is in the last phases of treatment for cancer. He's doing great and it was a real treat to spend more time with them! The kiddos all played so well together.We also spent time with my friends, Heather, Jonah and Julienne. Heather is Paula's daughter and my very good friend. Unfortunately, I didn't take too many pictures while we were at their house playing. It was a series of those so-casual-you-forget-to-take-pictures visits. I did manage to snap this very grainy shot of Miss Priss, who is too cute for words!
It was a good, fun week. GaGa spoiled me with her help and care of our family. The kids missed Daddy a lot more than I would have imagined. I think it was a combo of him being gone and us not being in our normal place. They made posters to welcome him back and after some flight delays, he finally rejoined us at 1am Friday morning...the start of our 4th and final week of the trip.