This weekend went by quickly and proved to be just as busy as it sounded like it would be. Yesterday and today have been far more relaxed though!
Saturday Mike had a great time kayaking and was able to make it back in time to change his clothes and join us for the Special Olympics Young Athletes meet. In the morning Brianna and Kristopher went with Mike's mom to have breakfast with Santa and seems like they had a fun time there. I spent the morning getting the house picked up and making cookie dough and candies for the holiday's baking and gifting.
After the SOYA meet we had a little down time before Mike took Emma and Kristopher out to the Christmas parade. The lieele ones and I decided we'd stay home and I was able to finish up baking the dough from that morning and we played, got the kids bathed and in bed at a decent hour. During the parade Mike's mom about got run over by our float (she fell and ended up under the trailer) so even when Mike and the kids got home there was another period of busyness with phone calls and such related to that. Thankfully she is fine and just bruised up a bit.
Sunday morning we went to church and the last group to go to Kenya spoke about their trip, then this next group to go was prayed over and 'sent off'. Mike'll be in Kenya for 12 days pretty soon. He's going as a leader on a college group trip but while he's there he's also finishing a project that he started a few months ago getting the pastoral college set up with a computer lab of sorts. He'll also be helping a radio station with some networking while he's down there. He's really looking forward to it and I'm not dreading him being gone too much :)
Sunday afternoon Mike's aunts, grandma, and some of the cousins came by and hung out for the afternoon. It was nice to be able to visit and have our kids free to roam and play. It's always hard to bring them into someone else's home that doesn't have any young kids and be able to let your guard completely down. This side of the family usually gets together on Christmas day in Orlando/Sanford (an hour away), but we decided to invite them over this weekend instead of trying to attend that this year. With all 5 kids we know they'll want to play with new toys and just lay low and not have to be in the car for an hour each way and be told 'no' constantly in someone else's home! It was great being able to visit with everyone and we hope to be able to do this again in the coming years!
Monday we got a surprise! Well, we set it up on Saturday, but a wonderful "online friend" came over, one that I'm SO glad to have been able to meet face-to-face and spend some time with! This sweet woman is a single mom to FIFTEEN. Yes, she's that good :)
My real connections to her are because she has a child that I had and I have a child she almost had! Confused? Not hard to do! When we went to Ukraine there was this doubt in our minds that we'd be able to get Sasha's referral. So RR was 'holding' Daria from anyone committing to ger until we knew we'd be able to get Sasha. When we did get her referral, we didn't realize that there was still a chance that we wouldn't get to adopt her and RR's hold of Daria was released. This sweet momma committed to bring Daria home knowing that she was in pretty bad shape and she jumped right in to try to get her.
Just a week later (or less) when we realized there was no way for us to bring Sasha home, L released Daria knowing that we were THERE and could bring her home quickly. Daria then became Emma and it was great to be able to introduce my daughter to someone else that log]ved her enough to commit to bring her home! (God's timing... Ukraine soon closed to allowing singles to adopt and L would not have been able to bring her home... isn't God amazing?)
We had a great visit with L and two local RR friends came by with their families to meet her as well. It was a lot of fun! I've been told I've never met a stranger, but with some of these RR families, L especially, I don't feel like she was a person I met for the first time... she and I may as well have been friends for life. It's so interesting how the Internet can make friends of people that live on opposite sides of the country (or world!) have such a kinship!
Today was just back to school, work, and play! Tomorrow is Kristopher's field trip to the supermarket then to sing at a local nursing home and have lunch at the park. Lynae and I will be joining them for the day and it should be fun!
Lynae and I have taken naps together twice today now... the weekend wore me out! But I don't think she's going to be quite as excited about going to bed as I am, even if it is getting late!