Thursday, February 04, 2010

One of My Favorite Families Ever

The blog has been silent, and I've even missed the last two Multitude Mondays--but not for lack of things to be thankful for. Quite the opposite. The last two weeks have been filled with blessings, mostly due to visits from and with beloved people in my life.

We spent last weekend in Memphis with a family whom we have all grown to love. Diane was assigned to me as a mentor during my internship at Kingdom Building Ministries in 2003. It's one of the best arguments I know for the sovereignty of God: we were paired together by someone else, and in fact, I ran across a list that summer that indicated we weren't originally even supposed to be paired. We began in June as total strangers, and ended the summer as lifelong friends. I got to spend the following summer being mentored by Diane in person again, and ever since, we have continued to grow closer.

So, you can imagine my delight when Diane and her family moved from Denver to Memphis in 2007--only a four hour drive away, instead of a plane ride! Over the last couple of years, we've gotten to spend time together as families, which has been so fun. I had long enjoyed being part of her family, but now Steve has developed relationships with them, too, and he enjoys spending time with them *almost* as much as I do :)

We spent the weekend talking, eating, and playing games (mostly Settlers of Catan and Ma Jiang, with a few others thrown in). And then Diane and I got to go to Barnes & Noble Sunday afternoon for a few hours of uninterrupted, deeper conversation. What a blessing to my soul!

Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of all eight of us...and we also didn't get an updated picture of me with all three of her kids. But this photo of the two of us seems light years away from us our first summer together (shoot, I don't have it on my computer...pre-digital camera), or even five years ago.

Anyway, before we left Sunday evening to come back home, a last-minute decision was made for us to bring their almost-eight-year-old daughter XinXin with us for a special visit! It was her first trip away from her family all by herself and she did great. I really enjoyed having a temporary older daughter, and learned a lot of lessons, including: 1) my life is going to change a LOT if we have another child; 2) I really do better with older kids; 3) having an 8-year-old around is good for the ego--sometimes because she makes you feel like a rockstar, and sometimes because her honesty knocks you down a peg or two :)

It was such a delight to have XinXin in our home! We worked on homeschool lessons, relaxed & had fun, and did lots of baking together:

Elijah alternated between being delighted to have a big sister and laughing hysterically at everything she did...and getting mad and trying to push her because he didn't want her playing with his toys. Sigh.

Then on Wednesday, Diane and her other daughter, HanYing, came here to pick XinXin up. So, not only did I get a bonus daughter, but I got 24 hours of extra unexpected time with Diane! (And, HanYing helped me win at Phase 10 :)

Here's me with both girls before they all left on Thursday morning:

These girls and their mama (as well as their dad and their big brother, who I unfortunately did not get pictures of) are so, so dear to my heart. Time with them last week was a HUGE blessing and my heart is still so thankful!


Sandra Leigh said...

What beautiful children!

Danielle said...

What a great time!