Thursday, March 8, 2012

Family and Friends~ Visiting and having visitors~ Sickness and health. It has been busy lately.

My dad and his brother John and their families after my Grandma's Funeral.
Life normally stays pretty full for us but lately it has been extra full.

 The main (and not normal) events lately have been (in order of when they happened): Helping out with hosting homeless people at our church building for a week (around 20 of them), Helping out with our Republican County Convention, Traveling down to Iowa to my Grandma's funeral, Having company come to stay with us (3 families with a total of 16 people), helping out with and attending a Weekend Winter Retreat at our church and All of us but Ken coming down with a virus that we picked up somewhere.
Keren, Martha, Peter, Anna, Luke and Abbi
 Some of the blessings that we have received from these events are: Being reminded of how very blessed we are, Getting to meet and spend time with people that I normally wouldn't get to know in our community, Getting to spend time with others who also very strongly want to get our country back to the roots it was founded on, Seeing my extended family (very nearly everybody on my Dad's side including his cousins), Getting to enjoy time with all my brothers and sisters and their families, Wonderful hospitality of a very sweet christian couple who are friends of my parents, Getting to travel and visit with my parents, Having wonderful friends come to stay with us, sweet fellowship, wonderful spiritual encouragement, laughter and music and staying healthy until pretty much everything was over (we did still have one family staying with us when we got sick and we are hoping they make it home without getting sick!).

Here are some photos....

 I wondered what the funeral home director thought about our visitation time for Grandma. Though we were sad in our missing of her it was also a joyful time as we knew that she was where she wanted to be (and she specifically asked that we would be happy for her), and we had a wonderful time remembering her and enjoying our time together as a family and with the others that came to be with us. All of Grandma's 15 great-grandchildren were there and although they were good, 4 hours of visitation can get long. We were thankful that they did have a special family room.
 Grandma (my mom) spent some time reading stories.

 Sometimes the play got a little rambunctious.

 While in Iowa we were very blessed to have an older Christian Couple from the church where my Dad grew up, offer to let our family stay with them. My younger brother and his wife and my youngest sister did stay with my great Aunt but the rest of us (21 in all) stayed with the Kerkoves. They have a big old farmhouse and are used to having family gatherings and we felt extremely blessed by their hospitality! We had thought we would stay at a hotel but this was so much nicer and we are very grateful.

  The kids and I had traveled down with my parents as Ken needed to stay home and work. It was fun to have that extra time with them and we had fun visiting and spending time together while traveling. It is nice because we all like to travel frugally so we packed nearly all the food that we ate while traveling.

A day after getting back from Iowa we had company come. I think our house was as full as it has ever been but it sure was a lot of fun!

Four families staying in one house can create some close fellowship! :-) The picture above (which I took from Jason and Michelle's Facebook page as I hadn't taken many pictures) is of the Moms; Christy, Michelle, Myself and Carrie. We have four bedrooms in our house (though generally one is used for my office/craft room) and so each couple got a room and little kids stayed with their parents. The 6 oldest girls slept in the living room and the 4 oldest boys slept in the laundry room. We were able to schedule things pretty well with two bathrooms and I don't think anyone had to take cold showers nor did I ever see anyone dancing around waiting to get in.  I am thankful that we have quite a few air mattresses and foam pads as that makes life more comfortable for everyone. Also our hide-a-bed couch came in handy as did an extra mattress and box springs which we borrowed from my parents.

  We had a wonderful time at our church retreat with Christians from our area as well as from around the country attending. I helped teach a rambunctious but fun children's class on Saturday morning (On God's steadfastness), played the piano and violin for song services (so very fun when you have a lot of people singing heartily) and helped out with the food. I also really enjoyed the preaching and getting to visit with so many other Christians.

  Most of our company left on Sunday afternoon but we were blessed to have Jason and Michelle and their girls stay until Wednesday morning. We also we able to spend more time with my sister Martha and kids on Monday before they headed back to North Carolina.

  On Monday Megan started to be sick and then the bug seems to have just kept spreading since then. I had hoped everybody might be better by today as we had planned on going sledding with our homeschool group. That was not to be however so we are enjoyed a quiet restful day at home instead. I think everyone is improving however and we will probably being energetic and healthy again soon!

   I hope you all are doing well!

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