Guangdong Gals reunion (day 4 ~ July 13)

Sunday started out with a large catered breakfast for us all. We enjoyed the fellowship of one last meal together before folks had to start heading home. After we feasted, we had a worship service together in Mike and Wendy's basement. (Wendy figured that with the sheer size of our group ~ 48 folks, ten of them two year old girls ~ getting out the door on time to their church may have been a hassle). Stephen (Darby's dad) is a worship leader at a church in NC and he led us in singing a few well known praise songs. The combination of the view of the mountains, the fact that I treasured the time we had spent together, the realization that we all came together despite different denominational backgrounds, and the ever present spirit of our heavenly Father brought me to tears. It was a moving experience and I know that I wasn't the only one wiping back tears.
Doug (Marisa's dad) then gave a touching message on relationships in Christ and we followed by participating in a Love Feast led by Cindy (Caroline's mom).

Following worship, we all headed upstairs and outside to try and capture one entire group shot. Cindy (the photographer in the group) has promised to get those to us soon, but with four kids to shuttle around she's been a bit busy as late. Then came the dreaded moment when folks started heading out. Two families left immediately after the worship service and another left about 30 minutes later. It was much like that last day we spent together in China, our goodbyes lasted all day as more families headed off to catch different flights home.

Shortly before lunch Nellie noticed that the inflatable pool was still full of water and wanted to swim. Her dad wasn't sure where her bathing suit was at the moment and decided that she was still young enough to get away with "skinny dipping." Of course you put one kid in water when others are around and before long you have others wanting in! Kylie noticed that her friend was "fwimmin'" and rather than drive up to get her suit from the other house, we decided to let her follow Nellie's lead. After all, it was Nellie's house and "when in Rome..." Before long there were five little girls splashing around in their birthday suits.

Caroline and Kylie splash Mindy, Mickey and Carlisle as Nellie and Grace watch on.

After the girls were properly "pruney" we headed in for lunch. Shortly after we ate four more families headed out and then there were just three of us left. Marisa's family and our family were in for the long haul and we chatted outside until a storm blew up. That gave us the opportunity to go in and help Wendy regain some order in her home. The rest of the evening was spent with the eight kids playing together while we remaining adults talked.

Monday we finished packing up, ate breakfast, packed sandwiches for the road and headed home. Ian and I were both somewhat sad for this trip to be ending and yet excited to get back to our sweet dog Maya and a somewhat "normal" schedule. And there is always another trip to China to look forward to!

Miles driven on our road trip: 1207
Gas money spent: $227.07
Joyous memories of time spent with family (both "blood relatives" and China family): PRICELESS!!!


The Kvalvik Family said...

How funny! That has got to be fun! That's neat that you guys had a reunion. We haven't had anything like that for the Jiangxi girls. Did you guys organize that yourselves? And CONGRATS on the new baby! Can't wait to see pictures.

Jeff and Valerie said...

Wow have you all been busy! I am loving all the photos of the girls. VERY CUTE!

Congrats on Caleb! Wow. How can I see a picture? Do I need to wait awhile? I am sooooo happy for you and look forward to following along. YAY!!!!

I am not online much as I took a new manangement position at our preschool (I am sure you know what that can be like) but I still try to get on and at least read!!!


Hope that summer is going great for you.

Our Journey said...

I have enjoyed reading the posts about your visit - it's SO great you all could get together - you know you all were very close to where we live!! GREAT pics (I love the one of the girls on the fence!) I hope our group can all get together one day - you're right - there's a great connection with those families!! Thanks for sharing!!

Laurie said...

What fun pictures! The b-day suit once cracked me up!! Glad to hear you guys are having such a great time!!

Anonymous said...

Love the birthday suites! That is hilarious. The boys look like they didn't know weather to laugh or run! Looks like they were getting splashed!
Love Aunt Cici