13 December 2011


I thought maybe our children would grow up knowing wherever mom and dad are, they are home with us. And there's definitely some truth to that. But this trip I noticed how much Elisha's home is in Kitale and he knows it. Most of our trip back to Texas he would ask off and on to go home. Not that often but when he was sleepy, hurt or being disciplined. It's been interesting to watch his transition this go around. But I like it that home is Kitale. It's home for us all and I already miss it!

Our trip from Kitale, Kenya to San Angelo, Texas was broken down into four phases. We first drove from Kitale to Nairobi and stayed the night. We made it in 5 hours which is crazy fast these days. Thankful for semi good roads now. We let the kids run around in a few different malls then got a good nights rest at a guesthouse. The next morning we left the guesthouse about 9am. Our flight was at 12 but delayed and we flew at 1:30. We then got into London that night around 8 I think? By the time we got our bags and caught a bus, we ended up at our hotel with plenty of time to let the kids take a bath, wind down, and watch some British cartoons. We booked our hotel on hotwire.com and got a sweet deal. For $50 (plus taxes) we got a 4 star hotel that usually is $300-$400! London is crazy expensive. I'm pretty sure our dinner cost as much as our hotel for one night. I'll remember to pack stuff for dinner if we do that again. Our third leg of the trip started the next morning. We had plenty of time to wake up and get ready without making a mad dash for the airport. Our flight was at 11:40am so we were there a few hours early. We made it there with time to relax at starbucks where I had my first cup of Christmas joy! I went for a gingerbread latte. The kids ran up and down the terminal and got out their energy. The kids were wonderful on both flights. The timing was great since they had their naps on both flights. The first flight was nice since it was pretty empty and we had a bulk head with an extra seat for Claire. The last flight though was packed and we squeezed into three seats. My sweet husband took care of the kids a lot of the second flight and let me sleep. He has a hard time sleeping on planes as oppose to the kids and I. We flew in and flew through customs and picking our luggage's. Thank goodness. I felt like it was never ending, standing in one line after another. Thankfully most airlines and security is aware of the challenge it is to take that journey with two littles. They did great though. The only incident we had was the last hour of the last flight. Elisha was stir crazy and jumping on his seat causing the woman behind him to mess up writing on her entry form into the U.S. Whoops. I felt bad but also I felt like banging my head on a wall at that point. It's really crazy to think we sat in a plane for that long with a 4 and 1 year old. God's grace is sufficient! We flew into Houston where my brother and his family live. My parents were able to come pick us up at the airport and we all stayed at my brother's. It was so nice to walk into their house to a nice Texan meal they had prepared. My brother cooked out steaks and for dessert my sister in law had peach kuchen with blue bell ice cream. Hello heaven!

Our children SO enjoyed getting to play with their cousins. My brother has five boys, the two youngest being the same age as Elisha and Claire. It was really really great to be back with family after almost a year. Crazy this is the longest we've stayed in Kenya. I know, its not long in comparison to how long most missionaries wait to visit the states. I'm a big baby and given the opportunity to come home for Christmas, we took it! We were planning to not visit until the end of the summer and I had no idea what a break we needed after a pretty intense year. A lot to unpack but more than that, a lot to give Jesus praises for. I've already wrestled through the guilt of feeling like a wimpy missionary for not staying longer than we have. It was guilt though and not conviction. BIG difference. I guess having two little ones and how much we love mine and Bud's parents, its hard the longer we go not seeing them. The last time my parents saw Claire she wasn't walking. That is just nuts. But it's one of the hardest sacrifices we make to do what we do and I can't complain one bit.

We stayed one night in Houston then drove the next day to San Angelo. I think that was the hardest leg of the trip. Our kids had to sit in car seat which they hardly ever do in Kenya. They were exhausted from being tied down and in a limited amount of space. They slept half of it and we took a lunch break which helped but we spent the last hour of it listening to them scream. Claire is so content and easy ninety percent of the time but that other 10 percent is brutal. She is a drama queen when she decides to be! We finally made it though and it is so relaxing to be back in San Angelo. That evening we went over to Bud's parents and we were all thrilled to see them again. Our kids especially enjoyed playing with their Nene and Poppa again.

The day after we stayed at my brother's house, their youngest had to be hospitalized for RSV again. Please pray for him as he is still in the hospital. Our kids are now congested with runny noses so I'm praying they didn't catch it. Please pray good health for us all! We only have a short time here and the last thing we need is any winter sicky stuff.

I've got pictures to update on from the past couple weeks but they're currently on the computer that has to be fixed so in time I'll post them. For now though I plan to not post as much and focus more on our family. As nice as it is to be back in America, it's full of the commercialized Christmas. We have no problems with giving gifts, we enjoy giving gifts to friends and family. We do however have a problem with letting the gift giving consume our lives and our kids'
minds. So, we're keeping the main thing the main thing by celebrating Jesus. We're keeping Christ in Christmas. I wanted to start an advent calendar, making homemade ornaments with the kids from the website: truthinthetensel.com. With all the traveling it didn't happen this year. They'll probably understand it better next year anyways. We plan to read some stories from the bible leading up to the Christmas story. We also are starting the tradition of having a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day. What are some things you're doing to keep the main thing the main thing?? Please share! And we hope you're having a wonderful season this year full of joy and thankfulness for all Jesus has done.


Lauren said...

Just amazing to see all of the transformations with, in and through you guys!

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