Monday, May 18, 2015

On the road again...


We are unexpectedly taking a road trip.  I'm so thankful we have the flexibility for Aaron to work in his portable office,
 


and the kids have been champs at starting the new school year earlier than anticipated.
 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Other Side

After a little bit of time to catch our breath, get library cards, request new checks, all that good "moving in" kind of stuff,

we zipped off to visit Aaron's grandparents in their new home. 


Last summer they moved out of the house they had called home for almost sixty years.

Now they live in a lovely retirement village where everybody knows their names,


and soon everybody knew our names, too!


I hope I look this good at 88 and 90 years old.  Time with them was so precious.

Then we took a quick trip over to visit Aaron's Dad and Mom #2. 

We're in a season of quick visits with hugs and not a whole lot of time to sit and chat, but this couple were so gracious and made the most of every moment we had together. 
And we're planning on lots more time together in the future!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

More Family Time


I'm so thankful for my siblings and parents who took time off work earlier this week
 
 
and made the effort to come down and spend some time with us for a few days.
 

 
We celebrated my nephew's fifth birthday a few days early,
 

and we laughed and played
 
 
until we thought we would leave puddles on the floor.
 

We paused on the unpacking and settling in

 
to record our memories so we wouldn't forget the sweet times together.
 

Then we slowly began to disperse back to Kansas
 

and Minnesota

 
and Maine.
 
 
But the sweet memories remained.
 

 
And our roots went down a little bit deeper.



The last thing we did before the final sibling dispersed was to break out the cellos.  Aaron doesn't have his back yet, so he grabbed Katherine's half sized cello and made it sound great. 
 
 
Hardwood floors and no living room furniture
added to our great sound!
 


Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day

 

For all of the normal reasons, my heart was full on Mother's Day.
 

Most people are happy to be able to spend time with their mothers and grandmothers and sisters.
 

 
But I, always the one whose eyes overflow at the drop of the hat, sat in church and boohooed.
 


Because I was hearing God's Word in my heart language,
 
 
because I was surrounded by the harmonies of my extended family as we sang praises together,

 
because I was seeing my grandmother for the first time since my grandfather died,
 
 
because I've been blessed with a heritage of imperfect, but godly men and women who loved the Lord and have sought to follow Him with all their hearts,
 

because even "normal" things become extraordinarily special when you don't have them for years at a time.
 


My thoughtful brother bought each of us mamas a corsage for Mother's Day.  That's five of us, my two grandmothers, my mother, my sister, and myself,
 
 
who have had the privilege of nourishing another body inside our own and passing down life to another generation.



Only one of my siblings couldn't make it for the weekend, so we left a space, in age order, of where he should be.  They make me look short!
 


I'm so grateful that my children have the opportunities to build relationships with their great-grandparents.
 
 
After we finished taking pictures and everybody's faces were hurting from smiling for the camera and laughing together,
 


We drove over to see Aaron's mom.  Did you catch that?  How can we possibly be so blessed?!?  Both of our moms and my two grandmothers, all in the same town.
 

More pictures, more hugs, more delicious strawberries straight from the farmer,
 

 
I don't think my heart could be any fuller.
 


Family Reunion

My mom's maiden name is Schalchlin.  Any man that marries into this wonderful family must first learn to spell the family's name.


Last Saturday, the Schalchlin crew gathered for the first time in way too long.  My day began with kids in tow at the Conway Farmer's Market, where we found some gorgeous strawberries that we picked up to take to the reunion.


The day was full of cousins


and food


and stories


and some of my favorite people.



These combs belonged to my great-great-grandmother!






I loved watching multiple generations play and laugh and tell stories together.




The day ended with a family tradition - supper at Stoby's.  Even though we've been gone for more than twenty years, we saw three different people that we knew at this local hangout.  My heart was full!