Team Retreat

We had a really nice winter vacation this year--2 weeks at the end of February and the beginning of March.  Because of #3's upcoming arrival in April, we knew the April/May vacation was not an ideal time to plan any big trips, so wanted to go to Italy to visit Eric's cousin Britta for a week.  We have LOTS of pictures from that trip and will post a few blogs in the days to come.

But first...our team has been hard at work here in Albertville.  Language study has been difficult, yes, but there have been other issues surrounding our team as well that have really worn us out.  Christmas vacation, due to travel and such, was a fun time but not really restful for anyone.  Our team has enjoyed a lot of time together but not much "down time" these past months.  So it was decided to head south to a missionary retreat center for a weekend of team time.  No processing, no business, just fun and relaxation.  It was great!  After the initial hiccups of rental car debacles, traffic jams on the autoroutes, a prolonged IKEA stopover (to eat meatballs which may or may not have contained horse meat, we later discovered), and a snowstorm, we all arrived safe and sound at Entrepierres, a small stone village in Sisteron set aside for missionary retreats.  Their largest building, La Grange, was big enough for all 16 of us (plus Katherine) to settle into.

We enjoyed wonderful meals in community, games, a Sunday morning worship service, walks in the snow, fires in the fireplace, relaxation, and kids' entertainment.  Just what everyone needed!  So blessed to be a part of this amazing group of people.

 Maggie and Ben helping Daddy out with some Sunday morning worship

 The kids all played so well together!  They loved crafts, dancing, singing, Ipads...
 An outside view of our place, a beautifully converted and renovated barn, with some lovely scenery behind.
 The kids all enjoyed some Narnia retellings by Aunt Katherine, as well as (for Anna and Elise) a crochet project
 Meals in community...a bit chaotic, but lots of fun and very yummy!
 Playing hide and seek as only 4 and unders can..."hiding" as a group behind the kitchen door.  REALLY great hiding spot. :)
 The kids spent a lot of time standing in the window behind a living room couch, hiding behind the curtains and popping out to give puppet shows and concerts
 Girl time snuggling with Aunt Sarah on the couch