A couple weeks prior to leaving, we were able to get a new van--well new to us. It is a 2005 Honda Odyssey. It is so amazing how much space we have! What a provision straight from God! God also provided in a special way. Three days prior to leaving, James decided to sleep until 6AM! That was 10:30-6:00!!! I started to feel like a human being! I couldn't believe my 5 week old was sleeping that well. He did go a little shorter over our trip, but what a great feeling!
Our first stop was Clarks Summit, PA, after a "layover" at my in-law's home in Ohio. Being graduates of Baptist Bible College, it was our priviledge to watch Ben's younger brother, Ethan, and his girlfriend walk across the stage to earn their diplomas! It was great to see our former professors, dorm parents, and even some classmates. We are so proud of their accomplishment and can't wait to see how God will use what they have learned in ministry. Ethan and Samantha will remain at BBC; both working for the college. We will miss them with such a long distance between us.
One of the best parts of traveling 10 hours (+ several hours of stops) was staying with some of our closest college friends, Josh and Michelle! Their son, Jude, loved Leona. The love was definitely mutual!!! They played really well with each other. Michelle was an inspiration to me as a mom. With the two of us being teachers at heart, it was great to see how much the two of our children have learned from our teaching. Both Jude and Leona know so many things beyond their age level! It just goes to show that when you make learning a part of everyday life, children will just eat it up. Jude's love for books was such a reflection of the great job Michelle is doing. I had been missing those quiet times with Leona for MONTHS and her example really spoke to my heart to get back on track with one-on-one learning time with Leona. It was great to see the men bonding too! Of course they got out some kind of potatoe gun (or something like that) and shot it in the back yard!! It was also great to hear their testimony of God's provision and hand upon their lives in SOOOOO many ways! What a blessing it was to be with them. It felt like our friendships had never skipped a beat!
|Leona and Jude (2012)|
|The 2 families|
|Jude and Josh|
On our way back to Ohio, our air conditioning stopped working in our new van. It made for a very stuffy ride, but luckily it was later in the evening and cooled down with an hour or so. By the time we got to Ohio, we were totally wiped out....especially this Momma of a newborn!
I was especially grateful for the help of Ben's family. They are such a help and encouragement to me and my family. They really helped make our trip more doable.
The night we got back, we got word from my mom that my grandma was taking a turn for the worse and hospice had more of a role in her care. We decided to take another day off from traveling to kind of feel out what was happening with her before we headed home. Basically my grandma had started the downhill process that would lead to passing away... it was just predicting when the time would come. My grandma had struggled many years with hip/back pain, alzheimer's and heart problems. Honestly, though I was losing my grandma, I was relieved for her to be done with the pain her body had caused. God answered my prayer that I would be able to go to the funeral as we couldn't just stay for a long period of time waiting. I knew my body couldn't take traveling 8 hrs. again with a newborn.
God also knew that staying around Ohio meant I had help with my kids as I recovered from the traveling. Staying in one place was a HUGE blessing. Not to mention, Leona got to attend Norton Baptist Church's Mother-Daughter banquet with my mother-in-love, Cindy. They had a great time.
God definitely took care of every detail. We are so grateful!