While Tom’s in Asia

Tom has been gone for one day short of three weeks today. He just messaged me that he’s through with his first flight and is getting ready for the long second flight. We’ll go pick him up around 6:30 tonight. We are eager, eager beavers! It’s been a good time at home. God was close to us and answered our prayers and met all of our needs. Two ways in particular that I felt his protection: while Mom and Dad were visiting, I got a flat tire (Dad was in the car!). I would have really struggled with that situation on my own, but Dad changed the flat (I took a lesson :)) and I got the tire replaced the same day with mom and dad there to take care of the kids. So thankful for that provision. Also, a source of worry for me has been Claire’s bus stop. Because I had the littler kids at home and Claire leaves two hours before they do, it wasn’t possible for me to walk her all the way to her stop. It’s common in our area for kids to walk alone to the bus stop and the neighborhoods around here are quite safe…but I just never had peace about it. I got her a phone so that she could text me when she was safely on the bus. She carried a whistle and I walked her across High Street and watched from the corner as long as possible. Still, I had a lack of peace. There is a bus stop just two blocks away from our house, so I called transportation to see if they could make the switch. They told me it was impossible. The bus was full and they would deny my change of stop form.  I almost gave up at that point but decided to make one last attempt by calling the school. The administrative assistant that I talked to at Dominion said that if transportation said no, that was probably the end of it, but that she would send an e-mail over there. The NEXT DAY, someone came to get Claire in class and gave her a bus transfer. She got to ride the new bus home that same day!! It is such a relief to me- I can’t tell you how happy I was to get that news! Now, she simply walks a few blocks down in our neighborhood and is at a stop and on a bus with kids she knows- even her good friends Maddie and Kate. I KNOW for certain that God made that happen because I felt like I was up against a brick wall at transportation and it just happened so quickly and easily after I called the school. I called them and thanked them profusely and felt like a big weight of worry lifted.

Dad and Mom, thank you so much for coming for the Labor Day weekend! We had a wonderful time with you and it was a welcome change of pace- the first few days when Tom left, the days dragged by but time flew after the Hocking Hills trip. Here are a few of the big and little things we did while Tom was away…

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Taking off on Saturday. Eliza felt pretty privileged and special to ride up front for sure! Mom rode in my car so we could chat.

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While in Hocking Hills, we took little day trips to all the different important sites. The kids thought it was the best. thing. ever. to ride in the back of the motorhome.

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It was actually pretty fun! 🙂 And great to have our kitchen with us for making lunches and beds for taking naps- with air con no less!

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See, he loved it?? He could not understand why he had to be the only one buckled up though! 🙂 We did let him out a time or two, I admit.

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Our first afternoon in Hocking Hills was drizzling rain. We took a short walk to Old Man’s Cave. The woods were so beautiful in the mist and fog. The air was so fresh and good.

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After the cave (which I actually didn’t take any pictures of! This was just a little waterfall on the way)….we found a picnic table, dad made a wood fire in a grill, and we roasted hotdogs and had a feast with lots of garden veggies. I haven’t seen Silas eat that much in ages!

It was an interesting night back at our campsite (Betsy’s grandma generously let us camp in her backyard since the local campgrounds were full for Labor Day weekend). The kids loved playing in the stream there. We had a long night in the tent- mostly sleepless for me with lots of rain coming in the holes. We all woke up pretty damp and groggy. We sure were happy to crawl into the motorhome for a nice hot breakfast! Thanks, Mom and Dad!! 🙂

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Sunday morning, we headed to Ash Cave. It was still misty/slightly rainy. Silas could not have had stinkier, dirtier feet and shoes after this day! Aren’t mom and dad cute?

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Ash Cave was my favorite. It really inspired awe. It looked like a primeval forest- really untouched and stunning. The mist and fog made it seem even more magical.

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In the afternoon, we had another picnic, took naps to make up for the rough night, and went to a shopping area for ice cream and browsing antiques. Here we are, back at “camp” (otherwise known as Mrs. Kempton’s house!).

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We had Lois “over” for taco salad that night and then sat around singing with her. She’s a talented musician and writes great songs and poems. The kids LOVED the songs. The moon was so pretty that night and we had a nice little campfire with smores over by the trailer.

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Monday morning we packed up our stuff and made one last long stop before the drive home. This is Rock House. There are a bunch of caves in there where people used to live (see the tiny guy up high in a cave entrance?). I was a nervous Nelly for my kids up there with those cliffs. They got a bit exasperated with all my gasps and arm grabbing.

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I really love this picture of Dad and the kids

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We ended our time together with a last picnic- partly outside, but then chased into the camper by a downpour. Thanks again Mom and Dad for the wonderful time!

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Driving back to Columbus went great- such a quick trip. I love to see the girls giggling and talking back there. We stopped for some Sonic slushies to celebrate an easy trip home.

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Back at home, Eliza made this cute scrapbook page to introduce herself to her class. She drew to show what she loves. (that’s sushi on the bottom left, Thai flag, cooking utensils, paper and pencil, bike, and books.

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The next day, look who else came to visit!! It was short and sweet- they stopped in for one night on their way from their big Alaska trip to home. It was great to see them and hear some about their trip- although we still need the full report! They took us out to Smiths for Italian food in our neighborhood and the next morning had breakfast with us and walked the kids to school. So good to see you!

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The week went by quickly with church, a bike ride, trips to the library, homework, and reading (I’m reading Ramona books with Silas and Rules with Claire and Eliza). One evening, we went to meet my friend Eve and her boys at Batelle Darby Creek Park. Here the kids are looking at bison out in the pasture. It took a long, hot while for us to find one!  After this, we founded a shady playground for our picnic.

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The prairie out there is so beautiful and smelled like flowers. It’s easy to picture how it was before settlers came here.

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SUSHI night due to the kindness of a friend. 🙂

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Eliza with her banana chocolate chip muffins. We tried to take them to the neighbors but nobody was home. Oh well, more for us! haha

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Rumikub and tea after supper.

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Silas showed the girls this cool science experiment he learned at school with milk, food coloring, and dishsoap.

We memorized three scriptures together. Silas and I were laying in bed practicing them this morning and except for a few hitches, he’s got them down…

“Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth, worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him with joyful songs; know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

“Oh God you are my God, earnestly I seek you. My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I’ve seen you in the sanctuary, beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:1-4

We love these verses now and it was so nice to practice them in the mornings and evenings and have them on our minds and close to us as we went through our days without Tom.

Our time was not all perfect. Sometimes I got all task oriented and ordered the kids around and realized that I needed to lighten up (we told each other jokes when that happened). Claire got sick. Silas had some “issues” that I won’t go into except to say that I was a very frustrated mom several times. It was hard to keep up with everything at home and get my RMM work done. And we all had our times of grumpiness and missing Tom. It was always so good to get messages or calls from him. He started his trip in Bangkok, then went to Laos and ended in Bangladesh (flew back to BKK just for one night before flying home).  I was worried about him some in Bangladesh since it’s more dangerous there on the roads and the chances of getting sick are higher- plus I heard from him a lot less frequently. But he weathered it well and really enjoyed the time. I’ll let him tell you more about it when he gets back.

Thanks, Lord for getting us through this time apart and bring him home safely tonight!

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2 thoughts on “While Tom’s in Asia

  1. I love all of your posts! I’m going to have to remember the telling a joke idea the next time I’m being too task-oriented!

  2. justcandice says:

    Hi Red Pumpkin! I’ve missed you! 🙂

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