In light of the fact that I am about to spend the school year in Central Asia teaching these dear kiddos, my gracious parents allowed me to travel out to Denver to visit both sets of grandparents. Yes, I realize I just announced a huge new stage in my life quite casually, but I think instead of explaining what I'm up to, I'll just try to keep track of the adventure along the way. ;)
I took Daria (17) and Alexander (13) along as company, and they sure kept me awake on the 12 hour drive! They definitely kept me laughing, and we had a lot of good conversations along the way (probably 60% of it in Russian, which I loved!).
You know you're good friends when you're willing to share straws! This was taken somewhere in a rare non drought-scorched location in NE.
We spent the night in North Platte NE, and stayed at a great hotel (thanks Dad!). We enjoyed the pool, stretched our legs in town a bit, and finished the night with pizza--it felt so strange to get just one pizza--and some intense watching of the Olympics; it was women's gymnastics finals and we were pretty pleased that the U.S. and Russia ended up taking the top spots on the podium!
Our first day or so in town were spent with my mom's parents, Nana and Papa. I love my Papa's keen sense of humor, Nana's laugh, and the amazing love they've always shown me.
Papa and I share a love of history, and I think his tales of adventure from his travel to 51 countries has infected his grandchildren with a similar love of travel!
Nana always remembers things about my life, even little things, and never forgets to ask about them. She's a world champion hugger, an inspiring housekeeper, and my favorite person to play "Hearts" with. We often laugh ourselves to tears together!
Later in the week, Daria, Alexander, and I picked Cassandra and Jaynie up from a worldview camp in CO Springs, and then swung our way back up to Aurora CO to spend a day or two with my dad's mom and her sister-two of my best friends!
No, this is not me on a bad hair day. We went to the zoo. Sorry to disappoint you, but all pictures of me on a bad hair day are strictly classified!
Giraffes make me smile. They are a funny mixture of graceful elegance and understated comedy. But how can you look at such an intricately formed beast and not know it was designed by a great and Creative Being?
I've always loved seahorses.
Go ahead, enjoy the expression of the fellow on the far right. I laughed so hard when I looked back through my pictures!
Grandma and Alexander spent well over an hour working on a puzzle. I loved the way he would find a piece that fit, and would look up at his "new" grandma with a happy crinkle around his eyes; her beautiful happy laugh rang often through the house during that time!
My beautiful grandma. Though she suffered the loss of her beloved husband when my dad was only 7 years old, she didn't give up and worked incredibly hard to be the best mom possible to her three boys. Best yet, she is defined by a deep and growning love for Jesus; it is a great joy to me to be sisters in Christ with my grandma and aunt!
Aunt Jean brings a new definition to the word "sweet." Gentle, compassionate, always ready to put the best light on people's actions, Aunt Jean has taught me so much about loving unconditionally! She has always been there for my daddy, my uncles, and my grandma since my grandpa died, and has a beautiful servant's heart. The very mention of the name of Jesus brings a light to her face and tears to her eyes, and it is beautiful to see her hunger for His word.
As you can see, I was blessed by a wonderful time and some great memories and pictures to carry with me overseas. I am so blessed by my grandparents and their love for me!