Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Crying at Crest (...and then, there was cake!)


After a week away, and then a couple of days of playing catch up, with laundry AND rest. We finally got back to doing more educational type activities.  Kees is LOVING his Jesus Calling book, we've read tons of bible stories lately, and I've answered darn near 3,000 questions, I swear! 

One of my favorite, yet most frustrating, conversations was over the picture that accompanied the "tower of Babel" story. In the picture, there were people tripping and falling off the building after the languages were confused. Kees kept asking specifically what happened to each person in the picture. Keep in mind, none of those questions relate, at all, to the actual account given in the bible, so I feel like I'm just making stuff up! I explained that to him the best I could, but that just opened the door for more questions. You know who else asks a lot of questions, his dad! And these are the times I feel like HE is the one that should have to answer these types if questions!!! Cause he sure didn't get that from me!

He loves this book so much that he wanted to read the whole thing. We took a break to eat, so we didn't read it all yet, but at this rate...we will!


Busy kiddos, washing Kees's Rastacarian.

Kees doing work on the Thomas laptop, and watching for the water to boil. The brown on Kora's face is make up.

There are a few staples we buy, like almond milk, apple juice, cheese, eggs, bananas, and veggies. We were out of some of our favorite foods, so while Kora was napping, Kees and I went to Crest. 

The reasons I cry get sillier and sillier. On this day, all it took was an Asian lady in the parking lot. I didn't talk to her and she probably wasn't even Thai. But it reminded me of Thailand, something about her smile and demeanor. Which jerked me back to reality, I don't live in Thailand anymore, we're not going back (to live, in the immediate future). 

This is not the life I had planned and frankly, sometimes, it just doesn't seem fair! But you know what else isn't fair, God's grace. It's all about perspective, and while I'm still mourning, what was and what wasn't to be, I can't dwell! And, it DOES get easier. Each time I'm reminded, and I have a bout of sadness, I notice my recovery is much quicker and I'm staying in my new reality more and more. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking of Lot's wife, looking back. It's my choice to be paralyzed looking back, or to press on. 

Despite it all, I'm confident that we chose to leave (Thailand) in direct response to God. I've had varying degrees of clarity in relation to the timing and reason why, but I can always trust that the path ahead is secure and it's part of a bigger plan. My plans are small and finite, but not God's! Amen!?!

So those moments, that cause me to pause, that remind me of my past, they are also reminders of where God has brought me, that he's never left my side, and he's carrying me forward. I rest in Him!

And what better way to rest in him than eating cake with my little munchies. I love  Cookies N Cards in Norman. Some of you may remember the ladies night for my birthday, which included the cake tasters club, it's a weekly thing on Thursday. I'm trying to take advantage of as many of these as possible while we're in Oklahoma! Doug was feeling sick and do was Grandma, so it was just me and the kids.

Not very long before we left, this happened...

They were so excited, can you tell?

They eventually woke up and enjoyed the cake. The place was packed out, so we had to sit on the floor!

Kids were thirsty, the one time I didn't pack drinks for them, so I shared my Dr. Pepper.

After we got home, Kees felt like doing school work, so we did, foam sticker mosaics and a number workbook.

Oh the laundry!


We got back late Sunday night, slept, then scurried out the door Monday morning to go to a Senior adult luncheon. We were able to share about our ministry with GoodSeed. They even made sure to include our kids in the invitation! 

We brought strawberry shortcake goldfish crackers, but we were also pleasantly surprised with the best cinnamon rolls ever!

Out friend, Connie, unlocked the closet and got cars out for our kids. Kora kept her baby close by.

We were there from 9 to at least 1 or so. I was so tired after, so I took a nap with the kids, then we got invited to go with Grandma (Sheryl) to take Alex for his birthday dinner. He didn't know we were coming and he was so excited to see us. Made my day! Although I'm 99.9% sure the excitement was for Doug, it still made my day!

Alex is 13 now! Crazy!

Some more Red Lobster pics, why are those cheddar biscuits so good?!? And why do I have zero self control? I never have room for dinner after eating half a dozen biscuits, give or take.

This was one of those dining experiences that makes you rethink going out in public with children. From start to finish, I was on edge. Kora was a little "busy", she finally settled down by Grandma, but fell out of her chair, which led to crying. The waitress felt sorry for us and asked if the kids wanted to see the Lobsters. Good thing I packed in the biscuits, cause if I had been hungry I'm not sure I would have been able to eat much. In Kora's defense, she was so well behaved the last time we were there and I'd say most of the time when we're out, but this just wasn't our day.

Alex had jumbo coconut shrimp...

When we got back to Grandma's, I attempted to tackle laundry. And I snuggled with the kiddos, and I guess we had room for Fritos, because I have pictures of us eating some...

Quick confession: I love doing laundry. Not sure if it's a product of living overseas without a dryer and now I just love the simplicity, or if there are other contributing factors. But I also think it's one tiny productive thing I have control over. When you're a nomad, and you have little control over your surroundings and schedule, the act of doing something measurable goes a long way. So, being "home" and getting some things done was pure bliss!

Banana, laundry, Fritos. I should also mention that I forgot Kees was eating this banana and dumped the laundry right on top of him. He thought that was pretty funny.


Whew! After our long trip, then a busy-ish Monday, Tuesday was a catch up day, in a big way! More laundry, re-stocking the fridge, unpacking and situating our stuff at Grandma's place. It was nice. As close as we get to being "home" these days. So thankful our family has put up with us so graciously. We're a mess sometimes, most of the time, maybe all of the time, if I'm honest.

Apparently Kora was pretty busy this day! Lots of pictures of her doing what she does. ;)

We found out Grampa was nearby for a conference and convinced him to come eat dinner with us! We had Thai food, I made Doug go pick it up, I did not feel like take Kora out again! The food was amazing and the leftovers lasted for lunch all week! Yum, yum!

Grampa was happy to see the kids and made sure we knew Gramee was ready for them to come back to their house. (We did go back, later in the week!)

Fake Cousins are the BEST!

Okay, real cousins are good too.


I almost never see my cousin Justin. And this trip, we made it happen. I don't think I've ever been able to sit down and have a real conversation with his wife, April. Needless to say, it was long overdue, and I very much appreciated them hosting us. Not to mention their new-ish baby boy is a miracle and so, so sweet.

We ate hamburgers, good ole American beef! And the kids loved playing on Justin's boat! Kees kept talking about "driving" the boat.

After hanging out for a while we walked to the park! Such a good time with family!

We left Justin's, grabbed some Sonic drinks (happy hour!), and headed over to the Bain's place for Taco Casa and games. The Bains have 4 boys! So there were plenty of toys and lots of fun!

Aunt Valeri and Aunt Betty came over too!  I'm usually not too excited to play games, I think it's a combination of having limited attention span and poor coping skills. We play a different version of Apples to Apples, maybe "Bad Apples". I think I won, but I have memory problems so I can't say that with extreme certainty.

Kora is a sass ball, and Carson has a look of mischievousness that is so endearing you'd never suspect him of anything. Him and Kora had quite a few exchanges from rolling around laughing all the way to Kora's bite warning cry. Whatever they were up to, they're cuties. Connor and Caleb shared all their stuff with Kees. Cousin time is always fabulous!


Our last day in Texas was cram packed for this Momma, but Doug and the kids did get a nap!

We were at Saginaw Park Baptist church in the morning. We got there early, set up our table, then went to Sunday school. I went to Moma T's (maternal grandma) class. It was FULL! Kora went to her class, but Kees stayed with me. Doug went to a men's class.

After Sunday School we were with the kid's club, and let me tell you, it was teacher's paradise in there. It ran so smoothly! The kids knew exactly what to expect and how their schedule would play out! So awesome to see, and my favorite part was how little leading the adults did. They facilitated perfectly. The kids led the music, this program is owned and operated by those kids and it was so cool to see. That took intentional work by the adults running the program, and I know those kids will easily step up to lead the church when their time comes. Awesome, awesome!

They sang six songs, great lyrics, hand motions, and everyone sang. I joined in with gusto, Kees looked at me like I was a crazy person, but for once, no one else did. 

Doug and I were able to share with the kids about our ministry with GoodSeed. These kids have skyped us and prayed with and for us. Always great to be there in person!

After we finished up, we headed over to "big church", do people still call it that? Perhaps I should say, the adult worship service. You get the idea, we had about ten minutes to share, and had quite a few people talk with us after.

We loaded up the van, and when I say "we", I mean Doug. Moma T took us out to eat at some place that had "Dixie" in the name. It was awesome, anyplace that has breakfast is alright in my book.

We had just enough time after lunch to let Moma T take her car home and for me to drop Doug and the kids off before we headed to my "cousin" Kim's bridal shower. I swung by to get Moma T and we got there just in time.

Okay, Aunt Betty, is a very good friend of my mom and her sisters, we've always called her Aunt, and we see them every time we're in town. They ARE family. Kim and Keith are her kids, our cousins. So, not technically blood relatives, but we love them! Kim is getting married in March.

My cousins, Kandalynn and Kathryn hosted the shower, their mom, my Aunt Valeri made THE punch. It's so good, but you have to baby sit it. 

I also got to visit with a newer family edition, Sarah. She's good friends with Kathryn and Kandalynn, so she's family too. It was great to catch up with her!

After the shower, I took Moma T home, and visited with her, Aunt Nette, and Aunt Betty, until it was time to leave to pick up my family to go eat dinner with the Knights. We packed our stuff, again, and loaded up. The kids were a little groggy from nap time.

We were already late, and got stopped by this train, then, road construction! We ended up being late, but our hosts were nice about it.

Janette made some yummy chicken chili and we had cake for dessert. Troy is the children's pastor at Saginaw Park, I already mention how great their program was, and they are great hosts to boot!

I was so sad we had to leave early-ish, but we had to get back to OKC because we had a Senior Adult luncheon the next day that we were sharing at. 

Doug was a trooper with all that driving, I slept on the way back! ;)