Stephen's sister and her family drove down from New Jersey to spend a little time with us. That was special, as we'd just spent a weekend with his other sister the weekend before. Here are some photos from those visits:
We played at the beach and had a good time. We made plans to meet again before we left so that we didn't have to say goodbye just yet (it's sooooo hard to say goodbye!). From there we spent the evening with old friends, dear friends, also from New Jersey. It was so exciting! One couple brought their 3 girls, who are very special to us. When we were a young married couple in the pre-kids era of our lives, we used to spend as much time with these little girls as we could! It was great to see them after so many years and see that they were a little bigger but a whole lot more grown up! What a joy that brings. Here's a photo of those sweethearts!
Our dear friends Mike and Tammy came too, bringing along their 3 girls who are so gorgeous and sweet! Our boys had a great time playing with the girls. And time with these friends is just always too short. It was a tearful goodbye, with promises to meet up again at the beach some day! I actually think this year will be the longest we've gone without seeing them. The kids are excited to be pen pals! This is a photo from the last time we got together about 6 months ago (I didn't get them all this time!)
And our gracious hosts were Ed and Nixie. They have a special place in our heart, too. While we lived in NJ we were part of a small group bible study in their home and we learned much from them. We learned about marriage, parenting, and living a Christian life. They've been great role models and friends to us for many years. Ed is now pastor of Atalanta Road Alliance Church there in Delaware, and he invited us to speak at his church for the Sunday night service. We enjoyed hearing him preach in the morning about the Resurrection and then spent time with friends all afternoon.
At dinner we went to Friendly's with my in-laws we had seen the day before. I'm really blessed to have such great in-laws. Stephen's family is pretty fantastic! My 2 nephews and 1 niece who were there are super smart and sweet (and silly) and I always enjoy seeing them. They've grown up over the years since our wedding when they were all little squirts! They are almost all taller than me now! Steve's sister and her husband are always a joy to see. They've welcomed me to the family from the beginning. They have lived the city life and always bring a great perspective to me on the world as I grew up in a suburban town in Texas. Anyway, we had a good dinner and rushed off to the church to speak. We were totally excited that their family joined us for that. It helps to have family in the audience supporting us!
Many people at the service blessed us after with kind words and encouragement. We said a tearful goodbye to family and friends as they departed and then we left the next morning.
And now we're home to a house that needs packed up! I have just 8 days now to pack it all in suitcases. Wow! I better get off the computer and get to work...