I’ve been working on this CA post for some time, so it may seemed fragmented, but hopefully not. :-)
Thankfully our week started out in CA with some couples coming to where we were in Mission Viejo. This helped keep somewhat of a decent nap schedule for the kids. We stayed with a couple who are ministry partners. I only met her once four years ago, and this was the first time that Gary and I met her husband since she got married a few years ago. She is a second grade teacher, and he is a Kindergarten teacher, so of course, that was a good connection. We really enjoyed staying with them and getting to know them more. Ethan enjoyed riding on this rocking horse at George and Lynn’s house. It didn’t matter how far back you rocked, it didn’t flip over. Really cool! Even Gary got on it. For some of you in Budapest reading this, you may recognize a few of these CA faces on this post. It was fun to meet Beth’s husband, Gabe, and their little girl.Aria and Ethan are posing for the camera whereas Sienna would rather play with the flower in her hair.On Saturday, we drove up to Ventura County, which took us around 3.5 hours (should have been about 2 hours without kids). We have some friends who drove down 2 hours from Bakersfield to meet us. None of us could find the place they wanted to meet, so we ended up on the beach. That worked out perfectly. We didn’t think we would make it to the beach at all while in CA, so this was our chance. It was much more child friendly than where Kristine originally planned for us to meet. The kids played in the sand while we all stood and talked for a few hours. Course, I thought to put sunscreen on the kids, but Gary and I forgot to put any on, so both of us got burnt. Ethan and Ellie played well in the sand together.Ethan’s tent came in handy for Sienna to get out of the sun and wind. I think my mom actually bought this for us to put Ethan in outside in order to keep him out of the sun. But, this has been his bed for the past 5 weeks.It was quite windy, but Sienna loved looking at the water coming in and out.
We went to speak at a church the next day that we’ve never been to. They had a service, then Sunday School, then another service, so we were there for 4 hours. We took Ethan and Sienna out of their room to be outside during the SS time while we talked to people, so it wasn’t too long for them. After church we went to someone’s house for lunch. The weather was much warmer than forecasted, so we were able to eat outside. It was a beautiful (but hot) day. The couple invited the pastor, his wife, and some others over for lunch, so we enjoyed getting to know them all better. The pastor’s daughter played with Ethan most of the time which was a blessing.
We went straight from there to see Robeson and Natalie. Natalie taught in Budapest, and the last time I saw her was our wedding. It was fun to see them, along with her mom that I hadn’t seen in years, and meet their little boy. I felt segmented in my thoughts while trying to catch up because of Ethan or Sienna. I’m not a good multi-tasker (at least when talking is one of the things involved). They took us to a place to eat fish tacos on the pier, so it was nice to spend a little more time with them. By the time we got back we had been out for over 12 hours. And, Ethan didn’t have a meltdown! That was great considering he went to bed late the night before, we had to wake him up that morning, he didn’t get a nap, and he went to bed late that day.Benjamin coming over to see what is going on and why this other child is sitting in his Neemommy’s lap. It was so fun to see Natalie again!We went out to eat with everyone and I had my first fish taco (which I’ve seen in CO and NC since then, so I guess it’s becoming a popular thing, or I just never noticed it before).
We left the next day to go to Lake Arrowhead to meet my relatives. This is my mom’s cousin that I’ve not seen since I was about one year old. It took us about 3 hours to get there, and we could only stay a couple of hours since we were speaking to a group in Mission Viejo that evening. It was so nice to meet Jerry and Bam after growing up hearing stories and seeing pictures of them. We left there and went to Mission Viejo to where we were spending the night and basically put the suitcases in the house, changed clothes and walked out the door to go to a dessert where we were speaking. I loved getting to spend a little time with my relatives and hated that it was only a few hours when I’ve basically never met them before.They had a great view of the lake!
We spoke to two groups during the evenings while in CA, and each time we were able to change Sienna into her pajamas, nurse her, and put her down in the car seat for her 7:00 bedtime. Ethan just ended up staying up past his bedtime in both cases. On Sunday and Monday, we were out for around 12 hours straight each day. Are we crazy or what?!