We have been back in the US since mid-July, so it’s about time for a quick recap! First we spent a couple of weeks with my gracious parents, their home stocked with toys, bikes and scooters for the kids to try out (special thanks to a very kind friend, Mary, who garage-saled and gave many of those fun things).
Then we spent a week at Gull Lake Ministries in Michigan where we met up with almost all of my mom’s side of the family, including my Grandma Porter whom we surprised with a 90th birthday party.
My sisters and I also met up with college friends, which was a sweet time while we were there. We were to head to northern Wisconsin the following week, but the kids came down with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Daniel and Carys the worst. Even now, six weeks later, their toenails and fingernails have finally finished falling out. They have certainly handled it better than I would! We ended up not getting to go to visit Wendy and Steve in Wisconsin, which was disappointing for all. We did go the following week to northern Michigan to spend a week with Jamie’s family on a small lake in Traverse City. More pics to come in a later post!
The kids were still dealing with sickness, but we had a good time anyway. We moved from my parents’ home into a rental home in Wheaton on August 1st between trips. It has been a lovely home for us to be in while we are here, and we are so grateful! It is owned by my brother, Brooks, and his wife, Emily, and we are their first renters. It is such a joy to be just a couple of blocks from cousins and family. So many have given or lent items for the home to be furnished while we are here, and each dish, curtain, or bed is a reminder of the kindness and generosity of our loved ones. The neighborhood is full of dogs, and every morning, the kids pull down the drapes and paste their noses to the windows to watch the many doggies that are walked up and down our street. People have been very friendly and welcoming. We made the decision to enroll Eliya in kindergarten at the school two blocks from our house.
Her teacher, Mrs. Young, is so kind and so good with the kids. I was feeling sad though, that Eliya would be missing out on the great “Kids Corner” Bible study on Wednesday at our church. The day before the Bible study started two weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to ask Eliya’s teacher if we could take her out on Wednesdays to go to Bible study. To my surprise, Mrs. Young was enthusiastic about it and encouraged me to go for it. She said Eliya is doing well and is bright and will be fine to miss one day a week of kindergarten. Thank You, Lord. I felt so blessed by this and it put my heart at peace a bit since I had been struggling with our decision so much. We have settled into a bit of a routine now, the kids are sleeping well, and we are all pretty healthy again. I did come down with a pretty severe case of mastitis (yes, I do feel like a cow) that knocked me out for two days or so. I have not been that sick in a long time, and I am very thankful to be back on my feet again. I think Jamie is glad too. 🙂 Speaking of Jamie, what a trooper he has been. In our time being back, he has done so much to help with the kids and also take care of the many logistical things that we need to do for Africa Inland Mission, including taxes and insurance paperwork. We both have been meeting up with friends and people who are interested in what we are doing in Kenya. I am enjoying a number of special park dates where I can chat with old and new friends while the children are enjoying themselves. Jamie has been doing research and writing, but a fair amount of his time is taken up with helping with the kids so we can both have time to catch up on things like dentist appointments and things that are harder to do in Kenya. I’m sure it’s always a big question, “What do missionaries do on home assignment?” I guess we wonder the same things, but honestly, our children keep us hopping these days, and between caring for them and meeting with people, there seems to be very little time for much else. We will be traveling to Michigan and New York next week, spending time with family and visiting churches and ministry partners. It is a joy to meet with those who have been praying for us and are eager to hear what the Lord is doing in Kenya. And it is wonderful for us to have the chance to hear what has been going on back home as well.
My time is nearly gone. Actually, I should have left the library five minutes ago. But lest I never post this, I must just include some two-year-old twins pictures as they celebrated their birthday on Labor Day. I’ll end with these for now and try to post again soon!