Sweet February

It's been a long time since our last family update!  From the time we last blogged, we've been all over the country (like most months this year, sigh).  First off, Eric flew to Michigan for the last week of January to begin working at a hospital in the southwest corner of the state.  The kids and I stayed home.  We enjoyed some time with Grandma, story time at the library, and free passes to the Phoenix Zoo!

Here's Maggie, enjoying her favorite part....the Fisher Price play farm.
Maggie and Ben getting reacquainted with the baboons.  Overall, after three safaris the zoo was a little anticlimactic, but still an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Then Eric returned home and we immediately left for Michigan.  Our route took us through El Paso, San Angelo, OK City, and St. Louis.  It was a fun break to spend a few days with Mariah, Jonathan, and especially Sierra in San Angelo!

 Three cousins in a tub. :)

Once we arrived in Michigan, we were blessed to stay at a family's house--they are currently working at Tenwek Hospital!  We took over their place and very much enjoyed some "space of our own" for a few days.  While there, we visited the Bast family in Holland....

 ...made Valentines for an upcoming party...
 ...and watched our first real snowfall, eight inches!
 The Dykstras also drove down for a dinner visit, and Maggie and Levi became fast friends.

Then after a week in MI, it was on to Nashville.  Mimi and Bapa had prepared a Valentine's Party for all the grandkids, and we arrived just in time!

It was great to be back in Nashville.  We got to see Clayton and Teresa, recently returned from Hawaii (hard to meet up when one of us in in Kenya and the other in Hawaii...).  Autumn and Mags hit it off right away.

 And then just playing around with cousins, always a good time.
 Meanwhile, Ben is on the cusp of his 1st birthday!  Two teeth, almost walking...we'll see what the next year brings!


I laugh every time I see this.


A Knock on the Door

(Some of you read this on Facebook, but the blog is where stories like this live on into posterity)

Friday night, we had gotten in around dinnertime to a hotel in Oklahoma City, "The Economy Inn".  It wasn't great, but it seemed alright.  After the kids were asleep, Maggie on the 2nd bed, and Ben in the pack n' play, Rachel and I sat in the bathroom on our laptops for an hour before hitting the sack ourselves.

Hours later, I hear a knock.  Really, a knock at our door (it was motel-style, door opening onto the parking lot)?  Another knock.  I stumble out of bed, and open the door a bit, squinting at the light.  "Hello?"

A lady is standing there, roughly my age, with a turtleneck sweater, some jewelry, and I think some slacks.

"I'm Jenna.  You called me."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did." (in an annoyed sort of voice)  She then begins to check a text on her phone, or something.  "And why are you whispering?" she says in a rather loud voice.

"Because my kids are asleep," I whisper back.

Something dawns on her face, and she walks away.  I stumble back to bed, and check my phone.  It's 4:51 a.m.

Later on, it struck me as odd that she didn't seem to think that being greeted by a disoriented man with no shirt who didn't recognize her was weird.  She did, however, think that me whispering at 4:51 a.m. was weird.

Who was this woman?  All Rachel and I could come up with was escort/prostitute/CSW.  But she didn't really look like you'd expect.  Maybe some don't.  Or a drug dealer.  I asked the question on facebook and got the suggestions of "Amway" and "Sleepwalker".  Aunt Linda asked the humorous question of what would have happened if Rachel had opened the door.  The less humorous part of that would be my absolute lameness of laying in bed while I let my wife answer the motel door knocks in the middle of the night.

Thankfully, Maggie went right back to sleep, and Ben never woke up.  Good thing I whispered.  Things could have gone much different on multiple fronts if I hadn't.  Apparently.


My Round Trip

Monday:  Start at St. Joseph, Michigan
Drive to Grand Rapids, stay with Alex and Tabitha

Tuesday: Fly to Phoenix via Detroit
Land in Phoenix and drive to El Paso, TX
Stay with Melissa and Alfredo Gonzalez

Wednesday: Drive to San Angelo, TX
Stay with Mariah and Jonathan

Thursday: Stay in town
Update blog a wee bit since I've stopped running for the day

Friday: Drive to Oklahoma City, OK
Stay in hotel

Saturday: Drive to St. Louis, MO
Stay with Peter and Nancy Phan

Sunday, Drive back to St. Joseph, MI