Monday, August 31, 2015

Kansas City Girls Weekend (plus a couple of guys)

I have the best sisters.  When our family decided to come back to the States for medical care for Sarah, my sister who lives in Minnesota began looking for ways that we could get together.
My other sister lives in Kansas City, which is just about half-way in between central Arkansas and the Minnesota sister.  So when my nephew came down for a week of "grandparent camp", my sister cooked up a plan for a girls' weekend in Kansas City.
We are such party animals.  Our girls' night out consisted of eating at the Blue Koi (try the basil ginger chicken - yummy!) along with my brother-in-law and nephew.  Then we went back to the hotel and shelled the purple hull peas I picked up at the farmer's market that morning in Arkansas.

My Minnesota sister needed some good Southern food for a presentation at work, and she couldn't get purple hull peas way up north.  So in less than thirty-six hours, the peas I bought in Arkansas were shelled and shipped up to Minnesota!

We finished our brief time together at Benetti's Coffee Experience before each of us hit the road again to head home.  Some of us had more adventures on the way home than others, but everybody got home safely.  So grateful for the amazing ladies in my family!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Zoo Day

One of the best things about our unexpected return to the States is the opportunity to spend time with our extended families.

 We chose to come back from our trip to Dallas a little bit early because my nephew was hanging out with my parents and we wanted to be able to see him.

 A trip to the Little Rock Zoo was the perfect way to spend last Friday...

and to celebrate God's gift of family.


We were given the opportunity to share with the AWANA kids at Shady Grove Baptist Church last Wednesday night.

They got a taste of translation when they re-enacted the story of the four friends bringing a paralytic to Jesus...

then they had to pick the best Lavukaleve verb
to fit the action of the four friends.

We loved singing a Lavukaleve song together, answering their many questions, and sharing about the Bibleless People Prayer Project with this fun and enthusiastic group of kids and adults.

More than anything else, though, I think the village game we taught them will be remembered for a long time!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Catching up with DFW...

The last few days, I've chosen to invest in my immediate circle of people, which means that I haven't opened the computer.  But I'm catching my breath this morning and posting pictures of some of the lovely people (who encourage and support and pray and give in all sorts of ways!) we saw while in the DFW area last week.
Tuesday started with breakfast at the house of our former SITAG boss.  We just love Uncle Jan and Aunt Debbie so much!
After breakfast, we drove to another one of our favorite places, Barnes and Noble, to meet with Cathy.  We met Cathy as she led the preschool story time at Barnes and Noble just after we moved to Dallas in 2006. 
Now she has a cute grandbaby that we got to pass around and snuggle while we visited.
Then it was off to a Solomon Islands lunch to reconnect with sweet Cynthia who was getting ready to head back to SITAG.  More time with our wedding buddies was a treat, too!

We enjoyed eating supper and catching up with Jim and Bobbie before we drove back to our rooms and crashed for the night.  We're always amazed at how generous people are with their time and energy whenever we are in town.

Wednesday morning, we met with our state-side supervisor.  Marla fixed us a yummy breakfast and took time to answer our questions and pray for us before we left.

Then, we were off to visit a former student and his adorable family.  I love how getting older erases the dividing lines of age.  It's no longer teacher and student, it's two couples who love spending time together watching their kids play together.
Our next stop was an AWANA kick-off night, more pictures to come...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Full Day, Full Hearts


When we make these quick road trips, we NEVER have enough time to see everybody and do everything that we want. 

So we cram our days as full as we possibly can. One of our kids wisely said (as we were pulling out of yet another driveway and wiping the tears away), "Mama, I'd rather see people for a little while than not at all. 

We appreciate SO much everybody who got up early or rearranged schedules or let us rush out the door so that we could spend a few minutes catching up and hugging necks.  
We're grateful for the many places we've lived and the many activities we've experienced and the many friends we've made. Even though it means that our hearts are scattered around the world. 

We started Monday morning at our favorite coffee shop on furlough:  White Rhino Coffee House.

After we visited with friends and said hi to our favorite barista,
we headed farther south to visit with Edi and her husband.

We felt welcome before we even walked in the door!

And now we have a new favorite coffee shop, The Grind.

We may or may not be biased since Edi is the barista,

but if you are driving on Interstate 35W near Grandview, Texas, it will be worth your while to stop for a bathroom break even if you don't like coffee.

Plus, they make ice cream on the spot using liquid nitrogen!

But it IS loud.
Leaving friends is always difficult, but we needed to move on to even more friends.
And time with this bunch was short and sweet.

We ended our day with this crazy crew and enjoyed catching up.  Their girls are all grown up and teaching school now. It's so fun to watch God take each of our gifts and talents and unique personalities and use them for His glory!