Thursday, December 28, 2017

Last USA Blog (for awhile!)

It is Thursday morning, and we are heading to the airport in 3 hours! (Our flight doesn't leave until 10:15 pm - yuck!) Here is a look at our last few days in the USA!

You just never know what Blu & Shade are up to...

All of this needs to fit into one suitcase..

Nope, didn't happen. Off to the store for another trunk!

One last date night thanks to Aunt Caity babysitting! And all my clothes were packed, so I stole some of Bmaw's!

A last pedicure! I splurged and went for the deluxe milk and honey pedi!

Getting spoiled by Bmaw!

Oh, how we will miss these two!

I don't know what kind of in-laws YOU have....but I have the kind that for the last 5 months gave up their house, their bed, their kitchen, their car (at times), their (*insert other things I stole that they never knew Bmaw's shirts...lotion...etc.. !*), babysat our kids, gave us extra work, and I could go on and on. We are forever grateful for your SACRIFICES and your TIME for the last 5 months. We love you!

Thanks for joining our family on this journey from A(merica) to Z(ambia)! See you "that side!"

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Books of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year! If you're a reader, that is! Because I know you've been waiting with bated breath to hear my book recommendations for the year! I am sticking to 3 categories this year: Best Nonfiction, Best Christian Fiction, Best Secular Fiction. So without further ado, here they are!

My Best Nonfiction Book in 2017 is Cockpit Confidential by Patrick Smith. I'm a little bit of an airplane nerd. (My family is laughing right now, saying, "a LITTLE bit?!") I research plane crashes in my spare time (this is an apparent "disorder" according to my friend Amy!) So when I stumbled across this book, written by a pilot, answering a common person's questions about all things airplane related, I was hooked! It has made me SO much less afraid when flying...and also made me spout off random airplane facts to anyone willing to listen!

My Best Christian Fiction in 2017 award goes to Mead Mountain by B.K. Dell. When I want to tell Blu all about a book, then I know it is a good one, because Blu's not that into books...or reading... Mead Mountain was an incredible Christian novel about faith that really got me thinking about several deep topics!

I read SO much good fiction this year - many intense topics and many books that have stayed with me. It was REALLY hard to choose a favorite, but I'm going to give my Best Secular Fiction in 2017 award to Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It is a saga of orphaned twin brothers, and it is set in Ethiopia, India, England, and eventually the USA. It was gripping and definitely one of my favorites of the year!

I got a new Kindle Fire for Christmas - ready for some great reading in 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Activities!

We have had a blast in the week leading up to Christmas hanging around the house, packing up our 15 trunks, and spending time with family!

Because we just LOVE to drive so much, we decided to get in the car after supper one night and drive to Comanche, Texas in our pjs to see the light show!

My boys on the Polar Express!

Such a neat show set to music!

On Wednesday evening, we headed over to Shade & Caity's for supper! Cason and AJ having fun with Blu!

Me, Caity, & Bmaw!

Love it when Blu is with his brothers!

On Friday, we spent some time out on the land!

On Saturday, Paw and Cambree went deer hunting! Paw needs a partner to nudge him when they see a deer and he's napping!

Got one! It took us a little bit to track it, but it was so exciting!

Dragging him home!


On Sunday, we went to Rocky Creek Baptist Church to worship - the church my Grandma went to when she was a little girl in the 1940s!

Then, we went to the graveyard to see the graves of my great and great-great grandparents!

That afternoon, we played tons of family games, starting with Bananagrams!

And Pictionary! (Boys won :(

And Settlers... (Blu wins...always...)

That evening, we got dressed up and went to the Cowboy Church for the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with Paw & Bmaw!




Blu and his clone

We filled a pew!

Afterwards, we came home and had snacks, a fire, played a Christmas game, and watched classic Christmas cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s!

Christmas morning came early....5:17am, but the kids decided to let us sleep until 6am! Thanks, ya'll.

It was fun seeing the kids so excited for us to open the presents they got us!

Cason spent most of his money on his Mama... :)

Look at my beautiful necklace!

Here is our final stash! Blu got a new phone cover, screen protector, Catan expansion game, wallet, a mechanical card shuffler, back scratcher, travel pillow, and TONS of American candy!

Darbi got a bath set, Beyonce perfume, necklace, travel pillow, Kindle fire, Bible, travel book, and some chocolate!

Caedmon got a new iPad, case, travel pillow, watch, headphones, oil pastels, etc.

Cambree got a new iPad, case, brush/mirror, earrings, bracelet, gum, etc.

Cason got a new iPad, case, harmonica, TMNT balloon, Harry Potter figurines, a watch, etc.

We had Christmas lunch at Caity's parents' lake house, which was beautiful and delicious, and had a great afternoon visiting! We snuck in a game of Settlers with Paw, Bmaw, and Shade, enjoyed a snack supper, and had an overall wonderful day celebrating Christ's birth! We leave for Zambia in 3 days!