February 6-12, 2018 ~
The trip up to Virginia was nice and went very smoothly. We spent the night in South Carolina to break up the trip. Everyone did very well and remained peaceable and quiet...which, if you've ever experienced being in a small space with 9 people for fourteen hours, you will know what a largely appreciated blessing this is! *giggle*
Each day was beautiful and different in it's own way. Through time spent together we realized that we have so much in common. We played games, and music, cooked together, and made trips to town. Preparation day was a lot of fun! The night before, our Fathers talked Logan and I into doing a "Challah baking competition!" It was fun and I must add that Logan makes very delectable Challah with a rather beautiful presentation...in my opinion, he won for sure!
The girlies (Rebekah, Haven, and Irelyne) did a beautiful job of setting the table for Shabbat!
Haven and Irelyne are in the picture below- These girls are two peas in a pod, if I do say so myself! It is such a huge blessing for me, as Irelyne's older sister, to observe and see such a sweet and genuine friendship between these two. I love them both.
The amazing Melody Noris swooped in on Friday afternoon to start making Irelyne's Bat Mitzvah dress! She stayed with us over the weekend. My whole family really loves Melody and we go back pretty far- her and I have shared many crazy sewing marathons and party adventures together!! It has been nearly a year since the last time we saw each other, but I love so much how time and distance doesn't change a thing in our friendship. When we get back together it feels like we never missed a beat....and those really are some of the best friendships! Melody is a gem!
We went and picked out the fabric for Irelyne's dress a few days before arriving. Everyone had an idea in their mind of how the dress would turn out but we never could have dreamed up the results below! Melody is an incredible visionary and seamstress!
One evening (just after Shabbat) Melody, Irelyne, and I had planned on going to Joann's fabric store (about an hour away) to buy more lace for Irelyne's dress. Upon hearing of our intentions, Blake (The eldest of the Smith sons) expressed his concerns for us going alone at night and offered to take us and look after all of us. Honestly, I was really blown away...in a very positive and appreciative kind of way. It was really nice to have Logan and Blake watching out for us...I felt like I could let my guard down a little bit because I was confidant that they had tabs on all of us. The ride to and from the fabric store was fun and conversation was rather lively!
Our original plan was to leave Sunday morning. The Smiths really wanted to take us to a Japanese restaurant near their home. Amazingly enough, they talked Dad into staying one more day and leaving on Monday morning instead! So, on Sunday afternoon we all loaded up (in like five different vehicles) and went to Farmville for lunch! It was wonderful and I fell in love with the town!
Afterwards, Logan asked to take some of us to a coffee shop in downtown Farmville called, Uptown Cafe! It was an awesome experience and I totally loved all of the feels...plus the company of our little group was just perfect! I had the best chai latte of my life and quite obviously would completely recommend it to everyone- it was very good!
After tea and coffee Logan took us on a little walking tour of the town. It was neat, the day was simply beautiful, and as always- I enjoyed taking many pictures! I seriously have a thing for neat looking towns, quality time with friends, and photography so this was pretty perfect!
That evening, after touring around town, we all fellowshiped. Haven and Irelyne had worked on a "Things to do together" list for when we came! They completed the very last thing on our last night- they made a cake together! It was really yummy too!
We also said our goodbyes to Melody that night. I'm so thankful for the time we had with her. It was such a huge blessing! Upon her arrival, and once Melody and I had embraced one another, Haven exclaimed, " Irelyne! That is a picture of how you and I will be when we are their age!" I thought it was THE sweetest thing ever! Haven said the same thing, once again, as we hugged before Melody had to leave. Someone suggested (I don't recall exactly who) that we should capture that moment in a picture so that we would remember it years from now!
I really connected with Shaina that last evening and....well, really into the morning! We stayed, conversing by the fire, until 2:30 the next morning! After showering I must've only slept for two or three hours before we had to get up and finish loading the RV. I was and am so excited to have found someone that I relate to so well. It really amazed me how similar we truly are!
Just being real for a moment- I honestly have to pause often and thank God for the lifestyle that He blessed us with. I do wish that I would have been blogging more to record our experiences during the five years we lived on the RV. The Father really has graced us with the opportunities to meet so many amazing people and families that I don't know if we would have met otherwise...and we've been able to do it and experience almost everything together as a family. For that, I'm grateful.
Saying goodbye is always tough, especially for the children. We were all so blessed and thankful for the time we had to get to know these amazing people better. They are a huge blessing. For the time being, all of my siblings have gone back to on going daily texts and Skype calls! lol
As for us....we are back home and doing the daily life sort of things for the moment....until the next upcoming trip. The next trip will be to England...unless something else comes up before then. We never really know!
Praying that everyone has had a blessed shabbat!