I have been a bit absent from this here blog for a few weeks now. Yup, I know. Yikes, sorry!
I DO have some excuses, though. Each one of them is kind of hidden, or not so hidden, blessing as well. Ready for the run down from the past month? Heeeere we go!
1. My good friend, Rachel, had a birthday! I headed over to her Foundation and, might I add, amazing ministry in the small town of Tinca. Takes about 1 hr. and 45 minutes to get there. Had a great time with her, her daughter Iza and her partner in crime, Dave. We celebrated with Chinese (I picked it up at the mall in the city of Oradea on the way to Tinca) and ended with chocolate sour cream cake. YUM!
A major highlight of going to Rach’s foundation, in addition to her bday, was…
I got to see Alex. Yes, another Alex. Just something about this little one from the first day I met him a few years back. God seemed to stick my heart to his and I am always out of commission when I see him!
After spending time with Rachel and crew, Caleb and I drove to the Oradea airport to pick up two very special people: Jack and Carol Rothenflue. They are my pastoral care couple from my mission’s organization, Commission to Every Nation. Part of their job is to make regular visits to CTEN’s missionaries. After 3 years my turn came round again – yay, yay, yay! I was able to pick them up in Oradea because they had just been in Bucuresti visiting other CTEN missionaries the week before. I loved being able to drive just 1 hour-ish to get to the airport, instead of the normal 4-5 hour journey to get to the Budapest, Hungary airport. After church, on the Sunday they were here, we drove up to the Black Forest for a campfire lunch with Caleb and Alex. The leaves were SO beautiful up there and the boys totally rocked the s’more thing…again. It was a wonderful visit with them.
After Jack and Carol left our team had an afternoon together at the edge of a local forest. I stuck up a picture of “us moms” in a recent post from that afternoon. There are two photos, though, of Caleb and Alex from that afternoon that I really liked! Jonte, our team’s handyman, brought his art skills, and paint, and made our pack of little boys SUPER happy. Can’t you tell from Alex’s eyes? I made chocolate chip cookies and Court brought a ton of chips, pretzels etc…to share with everyone. It was a GREAT afternoon, even with the mid-sized fit Alex decided to throw because he wanted to bat twice in a row, and wasn’t allowed, in our mock baseball game. Ha ha ha!
Then…came…..THE EXAM. Or, rather, studying my you know what off for THE EXAM. Yes, THE EXAM needs to be typed in capitals each time. Get over it. I lived and breathed my Old Testament 1 material – and maybe, if you asked any of my teammates, also STRESSED BIG TIME this exam. Although I had until Thanksgiving to take the exam I wanted to take it by the 19th of November instead. My brother and sister-in-law were visiting, for the first time, and there was no way in heck that I was going to spend their days here holed up in my room, studying. I ripped the bandaid off and even took it a day earlier than what I had planned. Regardless, I wasn’t doing much of anything else during those 2 weeks prior. E-mails – Facebook – Blog – talking to my family – nothin’. It is a blessing, this exam though, because I am studying something that I really am excited about. Maybe just not excited about taking the exams, that’s all 🙂
Then….TA DA…Benj and Anna came! AAAGHGHGHGHGHGH! Neither of them have been here before, and neither had met Caleb before. So – kind of a big deal visit! I feel like the entire time they were here was just a blur. Went entirely too fast! And listen, all of you who make fun of me for being such an old lady by going to bed so early every night. I think you’ll be very proud to find out that the earliest I went to bed each night they were here was midnight and I even pushed it to 2:30am one night. Ohhh yeah, Kels was a night time party animal. 🙂 Orrr, we were just talking that late or watching movies or helping Anna’s popcorn addiction continue on. Ha ha ha! Caleb got a huge amount of shoulder rides through Marghita from his Uncle Benj, as well as a huge amount of spoiling in terms of candy/toy cars being bought! They also brought some VERY cool things from Zambia (where they are living just now) and Caleb took them to school to let all of his school friends see. See the pineapple leaf crown on his head below? When he took it into school one of the girls, hilarious, says “I don’t need one of those. My mom is going to buy me a pink, princess Hannah Montana crown!” It was so funny! Anna also introduced my body to the severe pain of YOGA. For some reason I asked her to leave me a copy of it. What is wrong with me? I think I am fascinated by the fact that after only 20 minutes, of feeling like I’m doing “nothing” that…
A. I could sweat that much.
B. My body could SUFFER for FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS AFTER.
How? I’m going to get to the bottom of this, that’s for sure. Starting tonight when I do the video again!
Thankfully Benj and Anna were here for Thanksgiving as well! Court and I were so pumped to have 4 of us cooking this year, instead of just the 2 of us! Here are some of my teammates digging into the pies. Unfortunately I screwed up the pies I made in a kind of major way. The pie Anna made, Apple Walnut tort, Amazing. The pie Courtney made, deep dish Apple Pie, amazing. The pies I made – fail. They were all soup in the middle, dang them. Well, at least the turkey I made turned out pretty taste-tastical. Ooo, I like that word, taste-tastical. I also forgot the strained over night in a cloth pureed pumpkin on my kitchen counter. There wasn’t time to run back home to get it. So this was the first thanksgiving I had without pumpkin pie. Good thing I forgot it, probably would have – somehow – screwed up that pie as well! 🙂
So now…Benj and Anna have gone, my next course doesn’t begin until Wednesday so….I have a few days to just enjoy Caleb and Alex (well, and Popesti etc…) I’ll put a post up tomorrow about our beginning of advent today!