Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swinging Isaac

This past weekend, while intermittently rainy, was Father Folk weekend. Father Folk is the music "festival" that takes place at a farm down the hill from us. We went last year and enjoyed ourselves quite a lot. This year Jim and Isaac went down for a bit of Saturday since the rest of us couldn't break away from, well, stuff. Here are some photos Jim took with his Blackberry of Isaac swinging on the awesome rope swing they have down there. I am sorry I missed it...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

At Last- I am Computing on a Whole New Level!

Just one hour ago I received my new Dell Laptop! YAY! Having waited for more than a month since my desktop computer died, it is such a relief and a blessing- not taken for granted- to have my own computing device again. Rebekah may now reclaim her laptop from me and I can learn this new wonder of technology. I am already realizing that, no matter how very wonderful this machine is, it won't increase my typing skills... hmm.

So to catch up. Alex had returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina after dropping Kate and Bekah in South Florida. Bekah had a splendid time with friends, sun, beach and lots of swimming. Kate worked at a Christian camp as a counselor to 13-ish year-old girls, then spent a couple of weeks with friends and wedding dreams. Oh, and missing her Alex terribly. I spent the time, meanwhile, in a sort of withdrawal from the full house we had enjoyed for the month of June. Once the lovebirds are gone... well, it was quite a change of pace.

Making a long story postable I'll fast-forward to last week when our girls returned home. They arrived on Monday. On Tuesday Alex had a long and intense march, at the end of which he ended up in the hospital for several days. He had already purchased plane tickets for a visit up here this weekend, which he extended to cover the rest of his convalescent leave which was granted him upon discharge from the hospital. Alex arrived Friday evening to the delight of us all- and the overjoy of Kate.

We have been blessed by this visit, were able to celebrate his birthday last night, and he will return to Ft. Bragg tonight. At least this time I'll be able to wrap my arms around my sad Kate after she has driven away from her heart once again.

And now, some photos!

Meet our daring little friend, dubbed "evil Knievel". He climbs to the top of the wood pile, he makes death-defying leaps into the birdfeeder, and he fascinates/ frustrates the cats to distraction!

The frustrated hunter.

The blooms in the flower bed are absolutely stunning!

Waiting for Alex to arrive!

Home again.

Tender reunion
together again.

All together at church- only Nathaniel is missing...

Birthday boy!
Jim gave Alex some of his Airborne posters from when he was stationed at Fort Bragg himself,... many, many years ago.

Nothing says, "I love you," like matching Bibles...

So comfortable...

Yup, we are going to miss him all over again. Godspeed Alex.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Catching up on Some Missed Photos

Well, our home is rather quiet now, half of the occupants are now in different states, Jim is working in Philly- flying soon to Chicago, and only Erin and Isaac are here with me. Let's see if I can recap it here.

Our last week with Alex here flew by too quickly. The proposal took place on Saturday, and that evening we had a lovely champagne toast to their future. Sunday Kate had Alex by her side as she showed her ring to friends at church- a few tears flowed along with many congratulations. Those who were concerned enough to ask me if this was indeed good news were reassured by my exclamations of delight.

Monday was Kate's birthday- for which we really had not done much planning... and we had friends over to help us celebrate. (there has been much to celebrate lately...!) For her cake I had chosen the Cinderella theme cake, with Prince Charming down on one knee in front of his Beloved; it seemed appropriate.

Tuesday was somewhat normal as I had to work and Kate had some catching up to do with her Mission planning. Alex went to lunch with the Seminary student who is interning at our church this Summer- again, I'm so blessed to see how our church has embraced our future son-in-law.

Wednesday evening Jim and I took Kate and Alex out to dinner at the Canal Street Restaurant and Pub. Nice place, great food, good wine, and someone else to do the dishes.

In the slide show below, I have backed up to Alex picking up The Ring from the jeweler and showing it to me and Rebekah. Funny, it was impossible to see The Ring without dropping one's mouth open in amazement... (pass your mouse over the individual photos to read the captions)

All of this leads up to their departure for Florida on Thursday. Kate has been needing to get down there and see some of our friends from our church and speak to them about her upcoming Mission work in Ireland. She has also been asked to work at a camp down there and the timing came together perfectly for Alex to drive her down as the end of his leave was drawing near. They graciously agreed to drive Bekah down as well since she has been wanting to see friends and get some beach sand between her toes. So the three of them drove away Thursday, taking a good piece of my heart and a whole lot of prayers along with them.

Friday afternoon they arrived at our friends, the Bucks, and dropped Bekah off before heading to Coral Springs. Staying with friends from our old neighborhood, Kate and Alex enjoyed their final day- for now- together before saying goodbye Sunday morning when he dropped her off at our church and turned his car toward Fayetteville. She had mixed feelings- to say the least- sorrow at being separated from Alex while joy at seeing so many dear friends. I've spoken to both of them and they have a balanced perspective on this time before them. While it won't be easy after being together so much, they realize what an extreme blessing these past weeks have been and that the months ahead will not last forever. There is much planning to do and timing to figure out, so hopefully it will pass quickly.

I've put together a slide show of the photos Alex brought back from the two trips to Kentucky, (with a stop in Indiana on trip 2). As you can see, they had a whole lot of fun with the arsenal on the farm in Indiana, some of which went to Kentucky with them as well. Alex's sister, Jina Mei, appears in these photos, but sadly, no one else in his family does. I've been getting to know his mother already through notes hand-delivered by our travelers and Facebook and can already tell that we have a wonderful relationship ahead of us. We will be more than in-laws, we'll be friends. (again, mouse- photos- captions, you get it by now)