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Ten Things

So it’s been an absolute roller coaster these last two months.

Apparently too much for me to write about? I’m usually one to do a lot of processing here, in writing, but I just couldn’t quite get there.

I think it’s been a long enough break. So time for some catching up:

1. We went to Mexico City at the end of October and it was amazing. Not because it’s a super glamorous place, or made our hearts go pitter-patter, but because we both felt deeply that it was the place we had been praying about. And the partnership.

2. I didn’t bring my real camera, because I hadn’t quite figured out what it would be like to care for my kids well in that crazy mega-city, and thought it best to be undistracted by things like aperture and shutter speed. Little did I know, the lack of those options could be equally distracting! I have some pictures, and I’ll post several… but they leave something to be desired.

2. Penelope loved Mexico. She still thanks God for the “orange train” nearly every night.

3. Arthur hated it. In an all-consuming, unhappiest-we’ve-ever-seen-him kind of way. But when we came back, he hated California for a full 2 weeks too, so we think it may have just been a phase.

4. After Mexico City, I increased my hours at work to help another department. It meant cool things like a raise and benefits, all while my kiddos are napping in the afternoon, but you know… that’s a couple less hours in my day. Life is a little busier, but not in a bad way.

5. Next up came an evaluation having to do with our little girl. We still haven’t wrestled through what it looks like to respect her privacy, and still be transparent about our lives, but we’re working on it. We learned a lot about our quirky (ahem. awesome) Penelope, and some unique challenges that she’ll have… just in the way she’s knit together. It’s the kind of thing we need to dive headfirst in to – gathering info, figuring out what kind of support and help is going to benefit her most, and what that means for our family. Our kind and compassionate missions agency agrees. They want us to put everything related to support-raising on hold for six-months. They were kind and quick to reassure us that we are 100% part of the reach global family, and they want to support us through this journey – but that it’s most important at this point to take care of sweet Penelope.

6. Number 5 is really, very hard for us. But we’re learning (again, and again) to trust. And hope. And wait. Pray with us?

7. Then came Thanksgiving. At just the right time, truly. We shared a meal in the barn, and then played shuffleboard in our hallway. Obviously.

8. At the beginning of this month, Casey finished the final lap of his degree. Oh the sweet, sweet feeling of completion. He technically graduated yesterday. There was much dancing in the streets.

9. Now we prep for Christmas. Isn’t this just the best time of year?

10. Why you all check this thing – pictures of the kids. Here’s a random smattering:

The compound pumpkin carving contest. We attempted (successfully) to bribe the judge. Yes!

barn shuffleboard: first edition

turkey table

zoo trip

stirring some dry beans very seriously.

Look for a full newsletter later this week, and more regular blog updates!

summer rain

I had forgotten about these pictures. They’re a few weeks old.

The kids, I think, had forgotten about rain alltogether.

It’s been awhile.

And as an added bonus… my niece Allie (and her Mama) were trapped on my porch till it passed..

The Purple Umbrella

So.

One day Penelope sweetly requested permission to call Gigi (my mom). Gigi and Papa moved a few weeks ago so Penelope has been missing them. I dialed straight away.

GiGi: “Hello?”

Penelope: “Hi, Gigi. I need a purple umbrella.”

Gigi: (laughter) “Excuse me?”

Penelope: “Yeah. I need a purple umbrella.”

[Insert THUD. That’s the sound of me falling over. I had never heard of this deep, deep longing. But oh the boldness. Oh. Dear.]

Gigi: (near hysterics) “Oh, okay hon! Anything else?”

Penelope: “Nope. Seeyalater, Bye-bye!” (click)

[THUD.]

So I quickly called my mom back and attempted to backstroke as quickly as possible explain that I had no idea what Penelope was up to when she called. And that she really didn’t need an umbrella. And that I’m sorry I haven’t taught Penelope any manners I’m sorry Penelope was rude and/or demanding. And let me go get her, so that she can apologize, too.

I don’t know if Gigi heard any of that, though, because she was too busy laughing. Laughing. Laughing. Laughing.

And apparently ordering a little something online.

Heaven help me, Penelope clearly did not learn her lesson on this one.

And I had no idea a purple umbrella could bring one little girl so much joy. So here are the pictures, Mom… of the happiest (and most spoiled) granddaughter on the planet..

Covering her face with sheer excitement. A present for her, indeed.

Victory lap #1

Victory lap #2

"Mama, I'm singing the umbrella to sleep."

Oy.

Field trip

Casey’s dad is a firefighter.

But not this kind of firefighter (though, there is an engine at his station):

No he put in lots of years {read: countless brushfires}, so he’s earned a place at a different kind of station. He works on the fireboat. Therefore, we enjoyed a nice little Christmas Eve cruise.

Can you tell Casey was having a good day? (yay!)

Thanks, Gramps!