Thank you to so many who sent me messages asking my whereabouts. Nothing bad happened, I assure you. In fact, good things have happened in my absence. In many ways, the good stuff is the reason for my not blogging. Here's a summary of the summer blessings we've experienced the last few months:
- We hosted our 5th Annual English Camp at the end of June with a record number of participants again this year. It was exhausting, but also exhilarating, to have so many young people interested to learn English through Bible lessons, songs, sports and class interactions.
- My family and I traveled all summer in the US. It's part of our "work" but also a delightful adventure where we spent lots of quality time with my dear parents and lovely friends, saw some beautiful sites in America and ate a ton! :) Our girls are Americans, but they don't know much about the American culture. One day when they're a little older, I would love to take them a cross-country road trip and show them more of their country of citizenship, up close and personal.
- I took our girls for the first time to an American county fair and we experienced together this rich, gooey treat - deep friend cheesecake. The verdict: it was okay the first bite, but even with 6 people sharing it, we couldn't finish this uber-sweet dessert. We went for the experience.
- I enjoyed the rare times I get to spend with girl friends, whom I don't see very often. I was able to reunite with old college friends and roomies. It was a treat to hear of their walk with the Lord and God's faithfulness in their lives. I was able to talk about our life and adventures in Croatia, too.
- My girls got to meet Olaf's illustrator. If you don't know who Olaf is, don't feel bad. You're just one of the very few who haven't been
torturedblessed by little girls' singing of songs from the movie Frozen.The illustrator is pretty cool and even sketched one for my girls. He is a dear brother in the Lord.
- I've been reading and studying some. I was able to share my heart with a group of missionary wives about things I've learned in the field the last 16 years! Yes, friends, I am now one of the "old" missionaries among our colleagues. And I still feel like I'm a novice at this. :)
- My family and I got to meet a real-life astronaut. He is a dear brother in the Lord and had the "difficult" task of photographing God's creation from space. In fact, he wrote a book about it called The Work of His Hands. Here's his inscription for my girls. Isn't that special? I highly recommend it! He is going out to space again next year. He shared some real experiences in space that resonated with me as a missionary. I would most like never know loneliness like he does when he's literally alone in space (he has a colleague in the space station, but they're working in opposite sides, so they don't get to see each other often).
- My girls got to experience summer camp for high school and junior high for the first time. This is close to our heart because hubby and I worked with the youth back many moons ago. We used to organize the fun games during camps that our girls got to experience. And get this, one of the Jr Highers from our time as youth workers is now a youth worker herself. And she had my little Jr Higher in her group. What a testament of God's faithfulness, in a circle of life kinda way.
- Finally, the biggest event in our family that has contributed largely to my absence here is that I started home schooling our two oldest. It was a difficult first week and a half. But I think we've found our groove. My girls are still taking music and Croatian Language in the local public school, so it takes time to juggle our schedules to accommodate these classes. All in all, so far, I am enjoying it. It's a lot of work, but it's also so rewarding. I love having the girls home and that we get to interact more regularly about what they're learning.