If you saw the short note that I posted last week you know that after being very ill for several weeks, Art's mom passed away. She was a great lady who had been through a lot and was very tired and ready to be with Jesus. We decided not to try to drive all the children 20 hours to New York. Instead, we took them 4 hours to my parents house and the next day, very early in the morning, Art, Emelia, and I got on a plane, and then another plane. We arrived late afternoon and the calling hours at the funeral home were that evening and the next day with the funeral and burial on Friday. We wanted to stay a few days and spend some time with his dad and other family. Our flight left Buffalo at 5:57 am and we made it to the children by 11, visited cleaned up and ate a celebration supper for Chelsea (more on that in a minute), got on the road by 5 and made it home by 10:00 last night. We were all very glad to be home!!
While we were gone, Chelsea participated in a state 4 H competition that was held at the University of Arkansas campus which is not far from my parent's house. She competed in the Fashion Revue category with the dress she made last fall and got second place! She also competed in a reporting competition which she was required to write a newspaper article. She wrote about the drought conditions in Arkansas and she won first place! She was very excited and won a trophy and a backpack. Not bad for her first time competing at the state level.
Anthony turned 7 while we were gone. We celebrated his birthday with cake and presents the day we left and mom and dad took the children to Fun City on his birthday. Today for lunch I finally made him his favorite homemade pizza that was supposed to be his birthday supper. Poor little guy was also sick with a virus while we were gone. He ran a fever for 4 days. He got to spend his days resting and watching movies on nana and papa's couch. Thankfully it wasn't too serious and none of the other children got sick.
Emelia was absolutely amazing! She fell asleep every time the plane took off and stayed asleep until it landed. She was an angel the whole time we were at the funeral home and surrounded by strangers (although I did have to sit in the next room with her during the service.) She slept pretty good at night even though it was quite warm and there was a lot of traffic noise at night. She was a wonderful ray of sunshine to a lot of people during a time of great sadness. It's times like these that really make you stop and think how short and precious life is and that we need to make the most of the life the Lord has blessed us with. Although Monika has gone on to a much better place than we are, it is through her children and grand children that a part of her still lives on this earth.
We are home and trying to get back to normal. We have been gone so much it feels like we have missed most of the summer. There are a lot of chores to catch up on, errands to be run, and planning for school to be finished. I also have several reviews that need to be written. But, the goal for tonight is to get to bed early and get a good night's sleep!