Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Family, Friends, Fun Fellowship, and Food

We had a wonderful weekend that was filled with fun from start to finish.  On Friday evening David's dad and stepmom came for a visit.  We went out to eat at Backwoods Bayou in Brookhaven to celebrate Mr. Harold's birthday.  We had a delicious meal there and a great night of fellowship with them. 

the boys with Jody (Jo Jo) and Paw Paw Harold 

On Saturday morning my mom drove down and took us out to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  We were getting ready to go out of town so she wanted to see us one last time before we left.  We have definitely not been going hungry since we arrived back in the States.  It seems like all we have done is eat!

having breakfast with Mimi at Cracker Barrel

the boys at Cracker Barrel 

After eating she came by the house and kept the boys occupied while we finished packing and loading the car.  It was nice to have the help.  We then set out on our first road trip for this furlough.  We were heading to our first speaking engagement.  We had plans to speak on Sunday morning at Sumterville Baptist Church in Epes, Alabama.  It was a three hour drive to get there so the church put us up for the night in Meridian, MS.

family road trips are a lot of fun!

We are loving to drive on these wide open interstate roads!  After driving in Guatemala for so long these roads (and cruise control) are going to spoil us.  It is a different world driving here than there and the roads are so much smoother.

Our first stop was for lunch at Chick-fil-A.  Who doesn't love to eat there?  It was just as good as we remembered.

 thumbs up for a great meal

Cruz was a little confused about our trip.  He asked several times if we were in Miami yet.  He kept mixing up Miami and Meridian.  He also kept wanting to know when we were going to cross the border.  On the way to church on Sunday morning he asked if we were still in the States.  Poor boy!  He makes me laugh. 

ready to unload the car at our hotel

They get excited very easy but this particular trip had them more hyped up than normal.  They were overjoyed about getting to stay at the hotel.  You would have thought it was their first time to ever do that. 

After getting checked in they headed straight to the pool.   The water was ice cold so I sat out.  They swam for a short while and then just ran around and played.

"it's cold mama!"

On Sunday morning we drove to Alabama and made our way to the church.  It is located in a beautiful countryside area.  The drive there was so pretty and peaceful.  We had a short meet and greet and then we sat in on the Sunday school hour.  Afterwards David got to share during the morning worship service.   The people there are just precious and welcomed us right in like family.  We had a wonderful time with them and are so thankful we were able to be there that day.  One of the things we love about our job is getting to be in so many different churches while on furlough and the great people we get to meet.  I love this time of traveling and sharing.

historic Sumterville Baptist Church

our family in front of the church

 If you like old buildings then this one would have made you smile.  It was beautiful inside and out!  I just loved looking around at everything and hearing the history stories from the church members.

After the service we drove down the road to the old school building where we had a covered dish luncheon.  Just like the church, this building was also beautiful and had a lot of character.  It was filled with old pictures and historical artifacts.  It was like being in a museum.

this building dates back to 1838 

Having just read two books from the Little House on the Prairie series this school year I was able to point out things to the boys that would have been similar back in that day.  It was like a mini history lesson for them.

 Inside the old schoolhouse building where we had our lunch.  It was a very delicious meal!

David and I with the pastor Bro. Mike and his wife Janice

an old building across the street

 the old community post office building

On the way back we stopped for a bathroom break at the Mississippi welcome center. 

We had plans to fly out of the Jackson airport early on Monday morning.  Instead of driving all the way back to Brookhaven we stayed overnight at a hotel near the airport.  After getting checked in, our friends the Browns drove over and met us for supper.  It was fun to hang out with them again for a little while.

supper with the Browns at a Mexican restaurant in Pearl, MS

After supper we walked across the street for ice cream at Dairy Queen.  The kids ran and played while we sat and talked.  It was a fun, lively evening.

We had a 3:30 a.m. wake up call for Monday morning.  We had an early flight to catch out of Jackson to Richmond, VA.  We are spending the week at a debriefing conference with the IMB.  We are having a wonderful time with missionary colleagues from all over the world debriefing our time on the field, getting some training, and preparing for our upcoming terms.  Our training center is one of our favorite places to visit and we are always blessed when we get to spend time here.  I'll share a few photos about it in my next post.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Getting Settled In

Most of the first week of being back in the States was spent getting settled in and visiting with family.  So far it has been a smooth transition.  We have a great place to stay thanks to the Lincoln Baptist Association and a nice vehicle to drive thanks to the Macadonia Call Foundation.  Our families are spoiling us greatly and making our readjustment so much easier.  It is good to be back home and in the company of those we love.

Here are some random photos I have taken over the past week. I'll start with some photos of family. 

the boys with Aunt Robin and Larsen

the boys with Maw Maw Farmer

the boys with Memaw  Linda

me and the boys with Mimi Margaret

the boys with Mimi

supper at Cracker Barrel with Mimi

supper at Waffle House with Mimi

lunch with Pawpaw Paul

Our family ready for our first Sunday service in the States.  We went to First Baptist Summit, MS with David's dad.

we enjoyed church and lunch with Pawpaw Harold

the boys with Pawpaw Harold

The boys have especially been getting spoiled with lots of fun toys, clothes, and games from family. 

opening gifts at Memaws

My mom has been collecting change for the boys over the past year.  We took the bucket to the local Wal-Mart and cashed it in at a coinstar machine.  They then got to go shopping for something new and will keep the rest for spending money during our upcoming travels. 

Here they are dropping the coins into the machine.  They thought it was a lot of fun!

I ordered our homeschool resources the week before we left Guatemala so they would be delivered our first week home.  We have had almost daily deliveries and it has excited the boys for the truck to pull up and drop off boxes.  It has made me very excited about the upcoming school year.  I will continue to homeschool while we are here (many people have asked me that question).

getting ready for kindergarten and 2nd grade

We have spent a few days swimming at Memaw's pool.  It has been fun for the boys and we look forward to more swim days in the weeks ahead.

They enjoyed getting to go into the Post Office on a recent afternoon and look around while we dropped off some mail.

Speaking of mail, we have enjoyed reading through many cards and letters from churches around the U.S.  Back in the Spring we were featured in several Baptist publications and many churches sent us mail to let us know they were praying for us.  It was all sent to our stateside address and we were looking forward to reading it.  Many churches in Mississippi also send the boys birthday cards every year.  They also got to read through all of the cards they received.  It was fun and encouraging at the same time.

We had the Johnson family over one night to visit.  We ate supper and enjoyed watching the kids play together.  Jackie and Nick were in our youth group back when we did student ministry.

our boys with the Johnson twins

I was so excited to get to go to Porches for lunch last week.  It is my favorite place to eat.

Mimi and the boys at Porches

having lunch with Pawpaw Paul at Porches

The boys took turns playing with my sunglasses while we waited on our food.  These days we'll do anything to keep them entertained at the table.  ha

When you throw in a few shopping trips and visits to Wal-Mart it makes for a full week.  My next post will cover the weekend and our first travel trip/ speaking engagement.  We sure are having ourselves a blast.
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