Family Ties

We have often been lauded for the sacrifice we made when we moved our young family half way around the world.  We left a safe, happy, Canadian suburb for a country that has been labelled by some as a “crime capital.”  We chose to live behind bars for safety and have our children “locked” in our yard.   All the South Africans that we met were astonished that we had moved there – as many of them were trying to leave.

I can honestly say, however…  and anyone who visited us can testify to this… Living in South Africa was NOT a sacrifice.  What a beautiful country.  What an amazing people.  We were blessed beyond words.  Our lives are soooo much richer because of the experiences we had during our 10 years in that stunning country.

The only sacrifice we truly felt was the absence of family (well, and Taco Bell…)

Family.  During our 10 years abroad, we lost 2 grandmothers, my daddy, and an aunt.  We haven’t seen our extended family since 2011.  Carl’s parents went almost 3 years without seeing their only grandchildren….

Yep.  Family.  That was our sacrifice.  And not ours alone.  The grandparents sacrificed.  Our children sacrificed.

So that is why coming home is made so special  – by time with family.  We enjoyed our 2 1/2 weeks with my mom in the States so much!

She taught my kids how to mow the lawn.

Lots of ice cream and Tostito chips were eaten.  Hikes, puzzles, garage sales, a birthday party, taco bell meals, exploring the Tennessee terrain, morning dog walks, and so much more!

And now we are living with my in-laws until our tenant’s lease is up the beginning of July.  (more to follow on this in another blog.)

Family is never perfect, but always precious.

Out with the crazies!

Out with the crazies!

My mom loved having her grandchildren surrounding her!

My mom loved having her grandchildren surrounding her!

Cousin fun!

Cousin fun!

My big brother, his lovely wife and our matriarch. :-)

My big brother, his lovely wife and our matriarch. :-)

Brother #2 and his beautiful family!

Brother #2 and his beautiful family!

And my 3rd brother with his wife and two children.

And my 3rd brother with his wife and two children.

Our birthday girls.  10 and 70...  We had such a blast celebrating their big days!!

Our birthday girls. 10 and 70… We had such a blast celebrating their big days!!

Our birthday party theme was “except you become like little children…”  (a quote from the Bible) and so we played lots of games – adults and children alike.  It was special for both Elise and my mom to share this mile mark birthday surrounded by family.  Below are a few photos of some of the fun had at our party.

My fantastic momma and one of her grand "babies."

My fantastic momma and one of her grand “babies.”

Nate with the win!

Nate with the win!

Kalie and Rob were such good sports!  Hunting for M&Ms with their noses! ;-)

Kalie and Rob were such good sports! Hunting for M&Ms with their noses! ;-)

Marae and Ray won this game...

Marae and Ray won this game…

Dairy Queen cake!

Dairy Queen cake!

**My dad would have loved being surrounded by his family.  We missed you, Daddy.**

Love these people!!!!!!

Love these people!!!!!!

 

4 Responses to Family Ties
  1. Viv Reply

    Wow glad you are finally in Canada. Can’t wait to hear more from you. Can we still whattsapp.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hello dear friend. Yes! We can still whatsapp!! I am getting a new phone soon, but should still have the same whatsapp. If not I will let you know. Hugs to you and yours!!

  2. Jolene Phelps Reply

    Thank you for sharing pictures and keeping us posted! So thankful you are keeping logs through pictures. I know your dad would have loved this!

    • Michelle Reply

      He definitely would have! Love and miss you guys! Any chance we are going to get to see you up on our neck of the woods this summer?

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