We have arrived in California! We are thoroughly enjoying our visit. Praise God, our trip out on Monday was pretty uneventful, as much as a flight across country can be. The girls did really well, even though neither one of them slept much at all. By the time we arrived at my mom's house and got them to bed, it was going on 10:00 (midnight their time). Then of course they woke up at 4:00 and 5:00 AM (which is their normal 6:00 and 7:00 St. Louis time). But now they're both on kind of normal schedules, so that's a blessing.
On Tuesday we just relaxed and napped a little, catching up on some sleep. I've been to two of the Bible studies I used to be involved in and the whole family went to soup and salad dinner and the Lenten service at church last night. It's been great to see our family, friends, and church family. We have a couple playdates and meals with friends planned. Don had lunch with a friend and is enjoying being able to study lots of Greek. Yesterday Hannah got to spend a couple hours with her friends at St. John's preschool. What a special experience! And of course, Noni and her girls are just soaking up every minute they can.
We're really looking forward to this weekend too. On Saturday, we'll spend the day with some of our out-of-town family members who are able to drive up for the visit, including my brother and his wife, driving in from Las Vegas (Happy Birthday Christopher!). We're praying that Don's brother Dave (whose birthday is also soon) will be able to join us, but he's been pretty sick. My grandparents and a few sets of aunts, uncles, and cousins will join us as well. Saturday night and all morning Sunday we'll attend a total of four church services. It will also be such a blessing to see and visit with many members of our church family. Sunday afternoon will be an open house for us to visit in a more casual setting. (Thanks Larry & Pam & others!)
Monday, if the weather's nice, we really want to go over to the coast. As Don put it, we want to get some sand between our land-locked St. Louis toes! And one of my favorite foods in the world is the award-winning clam chowder at Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach so a trip to California wouldn't be complete without it!
And finally, another huge blessing for us is our visit tomorrow with our dear friends, the Marmolejos. Sadly, Anissa's grandfather passed away, so they're here in Bakersfield (from Texas) for his service. Three of their four children are our godchildren and we just love their whole family, so we are really looking forward to visiting with them tomorrow.
Our visit is already going by too fast and we are enjoying every minute of it. We're praying that everyone stays safe and healthy and for a safe trip back to St. Louis on Wednesday. Oh - it's about 30-40 degrees warmer here and apparently we are missing the worst weather St. Louis has had this winter so far. There's about 2 inches of dangerous sleet, snow, and frozen rain on the ground with more to come tonight. The schools and much of the city are shut down. Our friend reported that she saw 7 accidents on her way to work - a 3.5 mile stretch of freeway! Yet another reason to be glad we're in California this week!
Blessings to all - we're so happy to be here!
Stacye, Don, Hannah, & Elizabeth