We have about 6 weeks left of our Home Assignment. Time is going by fast--as it always does--but it has been productive and full. We're having a great time. Our hearts have been rested and rejuvenated and filled with love and fellowship. Here's a synopsis of our activities:
- Presenting: Our main "job" while in the States has been to update churches and supporters on our ministry in Dar. So far, we've done about 22 formal presentations. We have at least a dozen left. We've gotten a bit tired of hearing ourselves talk, but we have to remind ourselves that people listening to us haven't heard it 21 times before and hopefully still find us interesting. We've also had lots of other informal times of fellowship with people.
- Preparation for Presenting: Slideshows developed, prayer cards put together, etc.
- Scheduling: See above. Each presentation takes at least 3 or 4 emails each to get set.
- Doctor and Dentist appointments for all of us.
- Shopping. Massive shopping. I love this, but I am a pretty big cheapskate so it's hard for me to spend so much money at once! I have to remind myself that I've hardly bought anything other than groceries during the last two years, so I'm making up for lost time. What am I shopping for? Clothes in the next two sizes for the kids, new towels, birthday decorations, chocolate chips, Parmesan cheese, pre-school activities for Grace, wet wipes, taco seasoning, school supplies (soccer balls and uniforms, graduation supplies), a juicer, a DVD player, tick repellent for the dogs, sunscreen, hair spray.... there's more, but that's all I can think of for now. Some of these things are available in Dar, but it's so much cheaper to buy them here. We get to take 12 pieces of luggage with us on the plane (for free!), and I guarantee they will all be full!
- Traveling. So far we've been to San Dimas, Santa Clarita, Moreno Valley, Long Beach, San Jose, Redding, Concord, and Quincy. All I can say is, thank goodness for those little DVD players that attach to the back of the car seat! Josiah is not a good car traveler. Barney helps significantly.
Let's see. What else? Lots of great family time. Making up for all the time without grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Celebrating lots of birthdays even if it's not that person's birthday. (When we celebrated Grace's birthday three weeks later with my family, Grace said, "It's my birthday again? I must be turning five!") I've been taking advantage of all the extra family members around to try to get ahead (or rather, caught up!) on my MA classes. Oh yeah, and Gil and I finally started watching "Lost." Very important, you know, for re-entry into American culture.
We're soaking it all up. I struggle with the lack of routine. My kids no longer have a schedule or a regular bedtime, but I remind myself that this is just for a season and really, they are doing great. Some days are really busy, but other days are not. My husband is more relaxed than he has been in a long time. God is good. He is filling us up and getting us ready for the next season.