Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friends & Family {not a goodbye}

~Once we returned from Colorado, we resumed packing for our cross-country move.
Our house became more messy and chaotic; I fixed snacks & meals from food still in our freezer (how did we overlook all this chicken?!)~

 Little by little, our garage filled with boxes!!
  We considered moving July 4th weekend since we were free to move whenever we wanted, but thought people would be out of town for the Holiday. We settled on the weekend of July 11th, partly because both boys had school-related business/activity as early as July 15th; partly because Richard was to report to his Colorado office July 18th.
As it turned out, many people planned to be out of town July 11th weekend, and invited us to "farewell" get-togethers instead!  We hoped God had moving helpers lined up for us.  :)
In between packing, cleaning, and making plans, Richard's parents from SW Missouri came to see us, June 27th.
I don't normally stay home when Richard takes our company site-seeing, but I was concerned about being "on schedule" with our move. We had a nice visit in the midst of  the "packing hubbub". :)
They're going to miss visiting us in Illinois, as it's a bit closer to SW Missouri than Colorado Springs, you know!? :)

 Sunday evening after company (June 29th), we got together with some friends we had been in small groups with during our 9 years at Community Bible Church (Swansea, IL).
 It was a sweet time of fellowship, and we went home crying inside ("look what all we're leaving behind!").
 Honestly, we now had only a week and a half in Illinois, and time was short getting together with friends. We weren't able to say "goodbye" to all of our Illinois friends, due to our short official notice & whirlwind move, and the timing of others' vacations.  It would have been nice to see everyone ....but not possible.
Seeing how Richard's family lives in SW Missouri, my family lives in Northern Indiana, we weren't sure when we'd see our Illinois friends again (besides on Facebook).  :) 
A friend reminded me that there isn't ever a "final goodbye" in Christian's lives. It's, "Until we meet again."    :)   :)  
 Antonin enjoyed a couple of play dates with his buddies ... and now I'm realizing he wore the same shirt both days.  lol!!  Packing up the house and cleaning out the freezer, I didn't always notice what my kids were wearing. As long as they had clothes on their backs, instead of on the bedroom floor .... 
A friend from church, Laurie, came over one day to help me clean and pack the kitchen.
What fun, and a great help!   :)   She told me that I was on target and doing great. I took her word for it since she's a [now retired] Military wife, too-well familiar with preparing for moves.
Laurie gave me tips and pointers, and because of her, I continued to be right on target with the cleaning and packing.  I now felt comfortable with the packing/cleaning process, since I had a list. 
{Our girls played while we worked ....  :)}

Our military friends and neighbors, the Larsen family, were headed to Alaska, moving one week before us! The kids & I stopped by for a few minutes during packers' activity, so that the children could say their goodbyes. These were the children we cared for while their mom gave birth to their youngest sister. 
Our children's personalities have always seemed to mesh well- they will miss playing with the Larsen kids.
( two other children besides baby sister, not pictured). 
Friends from church threw a pool party for Ashlyn. I thought this was very sweet, considering I had hoped to have a half-Birthday party for Ashlyn so she could enjoy her friends "one last time" .... but was so consumed with the house & moving, I couldn't seem to pull a party together.
We're so grateful!

Speaking of swimming, Carter (a friend from school) invited Antonin over to swim several different times before our move. The last swim date, Carter brought over snacks, water & books for the move. What a thoughtful gift!!  Antonin is going to miss his Illinois school friends.
After Ashlyn's pool party, we prepared for more family from SW Missouri.
Richard's brother, Darren (& girlfriend, Andrea),  and Richard' sister, Christi's family!!
They were here to celebrate the 4th of July in St Louis one more time (with us here).

The cousins are the same ages, and have so much fun together. I was glad they were able to play around the boxes and clutter in our house! I didn't think to take a picture of the sleeping arrangements- lol!  The boys slept outside in a tent, and I think they loved every minute of it. :)
When we received house inspection information that there could be 7 occupants in our Belleville home, I laughed.   :)  Little do they know how many we've fit on our property at any given time.  :)

I didn't accompany everyone to the St Louis parade, being so focused on packing ... but joined in later that evening for fireworks. We took the Metro Link, then walked to the fireworks.
We didn't realize July 5th would have been a better night (less party crowd), but it was certainty an experience we won't soon forget. LOL!!  [in the past, we've seen fireworks from the Illinois side of the Mississippi River ... but the location of fireworks changed this year due to road construction].

There was now just one week until our move ....
it was a bit overwhelming to think about the moving details ahead, but prayed God would give us grace and strength, moment by moment- and He did!
Three days before we packed the moving truck, we enjoyed pizza & salad with the Kim family from our church's small group.
We'll miss this sweet family! Perhaps one day our paths will cross- who knows where! 

A relaxing moment within the "moving chaos".   :)

While I got together with friends at Chevy's Restaurant two evenings before moving day, Richard and the kids enjoyed a meal provided by another church family member. This way, I didn't have to worry about fixing food for my family on the evening I was out with friends. What a blessing!!  :)

I enjoyed time with my sisters in Christ, and was touched by their sweet words and the following gifts (pictures below). Of course, the most valued gifts are my friends themselves- how I treasure their friendships!

All are welcome at our table in Colorado Springs!   :)   :) 

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