Here's some of us singing on the first day:
Missy had bought Emma a nurses kit, and "Wuke" was so sweet to play with her, it warmed the very cockles of my heart. I get all coochie just looking at this picture. He looks like a handsome 18 year old to you, but to me he is a handsome 18 year old who was once my sweet baby. Being an aunt at 11 is something I consider one of the greatest privileges in my life. Thanks again, Miss, for keeping the kids.
Here are the Aussies and The Quebecois (hope I spelled that right) having a hilarious time posing for the "paparazzi." You can't see the palm tree in the back ground, but they really wanted that in the shot.
The Fabulous Vancouver Brothers, doncha know. Brittian, I know you're reading this, so comment, dang it! Jazz Hands.
The brothers and the sisters from Bournemouth, England, and Gertine from Amsterdam, and Mark from New Zealand. I was so thrilled to meet Luke and Sue, and can barely believe how connected I feel and how much I miss them. It was great to see Matthew again and be treated to his Riverdance skills, and to meet Anna, who is, as Sues said, the perfect English rose, and who is utterly enchanting. I can't stand the idea of not seeing them again very soon. A story about Luke. We were having breakfast at Cheri's (the sister who kept us in Jax, and who was so wonderfully hospitable) and she invited us to prepare, eat and clean up the meal, and all the while, speak, sing and talk to/of the Lord only. This was a bit awkward at first, but became very natural as time went on. Luke was wonderful and very funny. I think I've said about 15 times since then "Lord, I thought it was bad when you cracked me open, but then....." He had gone on and on about being broken, and beaten, and mixed with others, and put over the fire, and chewed up, and then Bill started saying "Don't go any farther!!! Please!!" Hil-arious.
The ride home. These two children could not have been any better in the car. It was two full days of driving each way, and there was a only a total of two times that Bill and I had to get on to them about fighting or being loud. They were absolutely wonderful. (Yes, Emma is wearing a seat belt. She had fallen out of reach of the shoulder belt at that point.) Bill and I were about this tired, but there was so much to think and talk about that we only turned the music on for about 2 of the 17 hours in the car. So much in our minds, so much on our hearts, and so on the same page about it all. That really is a gift.
Came back to a home life that started in full effect the minute we stepped in the door. Full days of work today, and the next two, and laundry, and deadlines for the design team, and emails to write and Christmas to get started on....oh my. All the same old stuff, and all these new things happening. It's so exciting. I haven't slept well due to the cough that lingers, and is now beginning to take my breath away when it comes on. Headed to the doctor tommorrow.
So many people I have the priviledge to know, and to walk with in this life. Each one of you that I spoke with, new friends and old....my heart leaps with joy at the thought of each of you. How can it hold so much? All the time spent talking, questions and answers, help for each other, caring for one another. Really. It's just amazing. I'm so blessed. My heart sings.
Not only in the words you say,
nor in the deeds you do
But in the most unconcious way,
is Christ expressed by you.
Not in the beatific smile,
or holy light upon your brow,
Oh no I felt His presence while
Your laugh rang out just now.