Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Latest Happenings in the Stilwell Gang

--Jeff’s brother David’s family spent five days with us in June. We really enjoyed the time with them. Both David and Kandie helped us with a lot of things on our “need to do list,” both inside and outside the house. The children had fun with their cousins. We missed Ben and Rebekah, the older two kids, who were taking a module at FBBC.

--Jeff’s brother Jon and his family arrived from Peru for their year of furlough. Jeff picked them up at the airport and we were able to spend a couple of hours together before they traveled to their home (for the year) in Creston, which is a little over an hour from us. It has not worked out to get together again…hopefully soon.

--My sister Kara and her three daughters, my sweet nieces Gwinna (8), Miranda (6) and Anna (3) came for a brief but fun-packed and busy visit. We went swimming, we took the five girls (Kara’s three and my two) to Build-a-Bear at the mall where each girl got to make her own stuffed animal, we got lost and took the scenic way home from the mall, we shopped, we stayed up late talking and just had a great time together. On Saturday we all got together in Omaha at Mom and Fred’s home and enjoyed an afternoon together, including Fred’s wonderful steaks.

--Jeff’s parents have come to the USA for a few weeks. They arrived late the evening of July 3 and left mid morning on July 4th but it was nice to get to see them for a few hours. They are in Ohio and Indiana right now but they will be back this coming week. They will be here (I think) until we all go to a Stilwell family reunion in Minnesota at the end of July. Martha will arrive in the middle of the month. We are looking forward to spending time with all of them.

--Josiah, Jessica and Jennifer are taking swimming lessons this week and next week. The girls love it, Josiah tolerates it but is liking it a little more each day. I really like their teacher…a young man in about his late teens/early twenties, who challenges them in a patient and kind yet firm way. The three kids and I bike to their lessons and back each day…three mile round trip. We are getting our exercise. Today I had to make the trip twice (long story..the kids only made the trip there and back once) and so I am rather sore tonight.

--Our lives have been consumed lately with our bathroom. Perhaps I should explain. We had a huge black mold issue in our bathroom. Jeff had to completely “gut” the bathroom, including the floor and walls. It has been a very frustrating process as complications and problems have seemed to arise every step of the way. I admire Jeff’s patience and perseverance so much! In spite of the project taking far more time, energy and money than we anticipated, I have not seen him upset even once (a bit frustrated a time or two, perhaps). The Lord sent help along the way through Jeff’s cousin Daniel, Jeff’s brother David and Ron Harris (a plumber in our church).

--Joseph will be fourteen on Monday!! I can’t believe he is that old. He is very pleased with the fact that he is now taller than Josh. We are seeing him grow and mature in many ways lately. He is a blessing in our lives. We will wait and celebrate his birthday on Thursday (July 16) evening when Grandpa and Grandma Stilwell and Aunt Martha will be here.

--I could have written a whole blog update on getting lost with my sister and on why I had to make an extra trip to and from the swimming pool on my bike today. I may just do that one of these days…but I will spare you for now.