Maybe if I just jump to updating everyone, you'll be distracted enough to forgive my lapse in blog postings. I don't really know where to start and that makes things that much harder. Our last few posts informed you that our move to Mississippi has been a difficult transition. Difficult is a mild word. We are still adjusting. I kept hoping that at some point God would clue me in to the reason behind all the difficulties, I would make the spiritual connection, and be that much better for the experience. However, He obviously is still working on me. So I keep my head down and push through, knowing that He walks with us and all these things have come to pass for His glory, in His time.
Let me focus on the good things. There have been good things and that is worth noting. My job is phenomenal. I love, love, love my students and am surrounded by the best collegues. The school system that the kids are in is unparalleled. Spending time together has helped us weather the uncertainties of this journey. All seven of us are adjusting and we have each other to make it a bit more pleasant.
We have thouroughly enjoyed rediscovering Mississippi and our beautiful surroundings. We've been canoeing and kayaking down the Okatoma River. We took this trip right before we moved to Orlando. The twins were 5 and I had to keep telling them to sit still for fear of them flipping us over. Josh was so small, he was swallowed by his orange lifevest. This time, no one wanted to ride in the canoes with mom and dad. Everyone wanted their own kayak to stear down the river. Kristina caught on in a flash and we had to repeatedly shout to her to slow down and wait for us.
Keep your eye on Samuel at the back of the canoe in this clip. We laugh until we cry everytime we watch it.
Two weeks ago, we made our way to Vicksburg for the day. We loved the rolling landscape. The kids spent the day running up and down valleys that had once served as battlegrounds during the Civil War.
Last weekend, we drove into New Orleans to shop the French Market and stroll along the river. We wandered the Quarter browsing shops and visiting historic St. Louis Cathedral, dined at our favorite resturant Cafe Masperos, and grabbed a dessert of powdered benigets at Cafe De Monde.
We stuck close to home this weekend. Saturday was Kristina's 13th birthday. It is the first time she can remember celebrating her birthday on her actual birthday. Until the adoption, she had believed her birthday was in April. A big hug and kiss goes out to missionaries Babushka Lela and Michelle who never failed to acknowledge our daughter's special day while she was in the orphanage. We can't begin to thank these two women for the tireless work they do day in and day out to minister to orphans in Kristina's internot.
We spent a simple day together, letting Kristina choose a resturant for dinner. We presented her with an MP3 player, something she's been asking for since the day she arrived. Maw Maw and Paw Paw showed up with gifts in hand and a cake made by special request (pink cake with white icing and yellow flowers). She glowed the whole day. The blessings of family.
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.