Thirteen Things that were waiting for me when I got home at midnight last night (with all four kids in tow!)
1. The time change (ugh!) Our bodies thought it was three a.m., but that didn't stop #3 and #4 from getting up at 5 a.m. (after all, it was 8 a.m., right, Mom?).
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Can you guess who had a birthday?? Thanks to my sister, Sarah and her dh, Dale, for this pinnacle of porcine perfection!
I'm so grateful that the missing dad stuff is ameliorated by having lots of family around (a rare treat for my brood). Yesterday, we were able to splash, lunch and bowl with two of my nephews...and the youngest spent the night, giving my ds1 a much needed companion to "boy around" with!
This is the nephew I know the least...he was born after our western exodus, but I'm grateful that our lack of physical presence in his life doesn't make him cool or reserved around us. On the contrary, I was the recipient of several warm and snuggly, "drive by" hugs yesterday evening that warmed my heart!
Despite my technophobic nature, I'm counting email (and long distance phone cards!) as some of my biggest blessings this week. I've been able to IM with my dh, and email back and forth. With reasonable calling card rates (and much confused English!) I was even able to get a bit of a birthday treat placed in his German hotel room (although not the treat I was trying to get there!).
I'm thankful at all of the support I have while traveling here...and all of the support that I'm receiving from my friends via email and calls from home.
I'm very thankful that my husband doesn't travel like this all the time, and that we'll all be together by the end of next week!
In the two weeks(!) since the surprise party, we've:
- Finished out the school year, with all of the requisite parties, teacher gifts, etc.
- Taken the kids to soccer clinic every night.
- Attended a Family Life Ministries Weekend to Remember in Litchfield Park's Wigwam Resort. (Shameless plug: this was a great weekend! Every married couple should take the time to attend!)
- Rushed home from said weekend, cleaned, oriented the housesitter, packed.
- Sent my husband off on a massive (three week European business trip)
- Flown cross country with my kids.
- Hung out with my mom, sisters and youngest nephews.
- Enjoyed time with my in-laws.
- Gotten a pedicure.
Okay, so the last one isn't an excuse for not blogging, but it was pretty darn nice, and I won't scare people away when I attend church in open-toed shoes tomorrow!
I'm still catching up, and probably will be well into July when we're ALL home together and back to something approximating normal--just in time to gear up to start homeschooling again (more on that later). This is basically just to let my blog-reading friends know that I'm still among the living. Also to let my desert rat friends know that while yes, Phoenix is a DRY heat (compared to Fl's icky humidity) that 90 degrees STILL feels much better than the 112 I left, and I'm not slathering myself in lotion multiple times a day to combat my eczema!
Needless to say, all of my sneaky baking (Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, carrot cake, brownies, New York cheesecake), shopping, and plotting didn't leave a lot of room for blogging last week. Not to mention, that dh occasionally stops over here and I was afraid that I would spill the beans! Oh, and there was also the small issues of my son's birthday, and the baby contracting pneumonia (!) and my back going out from holding him so much.
Obviously, I don't get all the credit for making this evening happen. My older two children helped to "erase the evidence" of baking by cleaning the kitchen and hiding the party goods the other night when I was preoccupied with back pain and with holding the feverish and wheezing little one. Our best friends rustled the kids (including the sick baby) and decorated the house while I took my husband out to dinner. They also provided most of the drinks for the evening. Others brought fruit to share, lifegaurded while the kids were in the pool, or brought amazingly thoughtful, generous and unexpected gifts. We were surrounded by so much love and support that I found myself overwhelmed by the feeling.
It's funny...we never planned on living where we live for as long as we have (almost nine years now). It's not what we would have choosen, and we have continuously pursued jobs closer to "home" with every door being gently closed in our faces. But we've put down deep roots in this dry and arid land...and I'm grateful for the changes He has wrought in our lives and in our persons over the past eight or so years.
It put me in mind of this beloved passage:
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I guess the hubby wasn't the only one who was "gotcha'd" last night.
Happy (very early) Birthday, Sweetheart. I love you. I'm so grateful my lines have fallen around you.