No, no problems at all with Houston. What a great city! And I was thankful that our pilot didn’t have to radio in that little phrase to the Houston airport. For some reason my fear of flying is starting to creep back in. If you think of it, please pray. I really really hate having that fear.
Anyways, we were there this and last week to meet a church in Katy, Texas that has been supporting us with out ever having met us! How amazing is that!? So, we were really eager to get over there to officially meet the missions committee, get to know the church, and then meet with other churches in the area.
We had planned the trip kind of last minute, realizing that we only had a few weeks left before the big holiday madness began, so we bought the tickets and about a week and a half later were boarding the plane. I didn’t even start packing this time until about 9:30 pm the night before we left. Which, as a side note, I can remember the first time we went to Tacoma for Christmas with Jeremiah as a baby, it literally took me a full two days to pack for that week-long trip. What on earth took me so long? Anyways, now I’ve been able to whittle down packing the two kids and myself into about a 3 hour activity. I only say that because I can’t believe how normal traveling has become to me. Before, the idea of a 2 hr. flight with a 4 month old made me hot and clammy, but now it is just so much less of a big deal.
But it’s still a big deal to Jeremiah. Part of the reason why I didn’t get to start packing until 9:30 is because just before I was putting Jeremiah down at 8, I said to him, “okay, you are going to go to bed, and then in the morning we’ll go on an airplane!” I’m learning more and more that it is quite possible to over-share with a toddler. I don’t think he heard the first part of that sentence because he cheerfully said, “okay!” and then ran to get his shoes. And then when we wouldn’t put them on him, he still tried to escape out the front door. Anyways, it took a lot to convince him to go to bed after that. Lil’ traveler.
So, we left on Saturday morning for Atlanta, and everything seemed pretty routine. We had our usual load of bags (minus cribs because our host family had some – yay!), which, including car seats, strollers, our display, and personal carry-ons, totaled 13 in all. We had to park our car at a hotel, take a shuttle to the airport, and then get through all of that. At one point I told Jeremiah, “we are in the car, then we’ll take a bus, then we’ll take a train, and then we’ll be on the airplane.” He once again gave a cheerful and confident, “Oh.Kay.” All those modes of transportation in just 2 hours.
We were running a little behind, so before we boarded the plane, we grabbed some airport hot-dogs. Never, and I repeat NEVER grab airport hot dogs. Such a baaaaad idea. The kids did fine on the plane- a little squirmy but nothing too traumatic. We landed and had to wait for about 4 of the 9 things that we actually carried on to the plane. That took a while. Then we changed diapers, got ourselves down to baggage, had to change another diaper (baaaad airport hot dog), and realized that Gabriella’s car seat base had been broken on the plane. So we had to report that. Meanwhile, our seminary friend who was there to pick us up, (he and his wife had actually introduced us to their church and got this whole thing going – awesome people!) couldn’t believe what a terrible ordeal and trip we’d been having whenever we told him why we were so long in coming out to his car. I’ve gotta say, nothing from that day really phased me as being horrible. I mean, I was tired, and I was grumpy, but I didn’t at any point think that this was the worst trip we’d ever taken. It made me realize that we really have a different perspective on traveling, especially with children. If we can de-board the plane with everything we started out with, and no vomit on our clothes, than it was a pretty good trip.
That’s not to say that I’m like super amazing missionary wife here. I have to have things in a certain orderly way or else I panic. The diaper bag has to be filled with the right things, and Jeremiah’s backpack needs to be in order, and the right car seat and strollers have to be in place. I know that organization and oder make things easier, but what I really need to work on is that when any of those things comes undone, that I don’t as well. And when traveling with small children, things generally tend to come undone.
Anyways, so we got to our friend’s house, had an amazing dinner, and then around 9pm ended up at our host home. What a wonderful couple of sweet Christians they are! We had one of the most comfortable stays we’ve ever had in a host home and they let us stay for the whole time we were in Katy! That’s five whole days with two small children. Nathaniel kept on commenting that it was such a blessing to be in one place the whole trip. It really was.
We knew we had a busy day the next day. We were scheduled to speak in Sunday school for 45 minutes, have lunch with members of the church, and then speak again that evening. So you can imagine my horror when we spent the majority of Saturday night paying for that baaaad airport hot dog (both Jeremiah and I), and Gabriella was developing some weird cough which kept her up a lot too. Sunday morning I was crying in the bathroom wondering just how we were going to get through all of this, and praying that we would feel better.
And of course, God answered our prayers. By the time I was set to go up and speak, the sickness was gone, and we all had enough strength and energy to give what we felt like was a really good presentation. I even left Gabriella in a nursery for the first time. By the end of Sunday evening, we had not only gotten through our commitments, but we did them well (especially Nathaniel), and had fallen in love with Christ Church of Katy, Texas. We can honestly say that this was one of the most welcoming, loving churches we have ever been in. The way each of them took such an interest in us and our children and our ministry was truly moving. We are honored to be one of their missionaries.
Every night we had dinner with another family in the church, and we usually had some kind of church commitment after that as well. Wednesday and Thursday I stayed home with the kids while Nathaniel went to other churches in the area to do some cold calling and some meeting with various contacts. We got a few potential “yes’s,” a few “no’s,” and a few, “we wish we could but….”
It worked out well that I got to be home with the kids because by Monday, both of them were showing signs of some kind of nasty cold. Gabriella had it the worst on Tuesday, and Jeremiah was bad on Wednesday. Both of them ended up needing some steam shower breathing time, but our hosts assured us that they know the croup, and our kids did not have the croup (phew!). But, it did make for some long nights with the kids, and even longer days when both of them were miserable. But, those days at home gave me the chance to learn how to crochet! I’ve always wanted to learn, but didn’t have a teacher. Who knew my hostess was quite an advanced crochet-ess(?)! Now I have a lovely blue half-way done washcloth and more projects on the horizon. Taking up yarn crafts is quite safe for the missionary bound for Peru. They may not have much in Huanta, but one thing is for sure – they have plenty of yarn.
Thursday morning we were out the door by 6:30 am to catch our flight back to Atlanta. This flight went even better than the last, except they kind of messed up our seating. I always have to sit with the baby on the right side, because that is the side with the extra oxygen masks (wonderful thing to think about, right?), but for some reason they gave us two seats on the right, and one on the left. That meant that one of us had to sit alone while the other had the two kids. We gave that idea a big fat “no way,” and ended up having a very confusing conversation with the flight attendants who couldn’t understand why that seating arrangement wouldn’t work out – especially since one of them was willing to watch Jeremiah while he sat in the left side seat by himself. Errr, no thanks. Anyways, things finally got worked out okay, and at the end of the flight, the stewardess came up to us to tell us what well behaved children we have and how much that showed what great parents we are. It’s so nice to hear that. Especially since sometimes we have no idea what to do with such an energetic 2 year old boy, and are pretty sure that most people are thinking the opposite of complimenting our parenting skills.
We walked in our house around 7pm, and were all in bed by 9. Nathaniel started to feel sick that night, and the next day was literally on the couch groaning from pain and misery. What was a nasty cough and cold for the kids was a full on flu for the dad. I spent yesterday trying to stay afloat - especially since both kids were still sicky, and finally made it to Walmart for some groceries around 4:30. Because I got in the newbie cashier’s line, I left the store at 7pm (45 minutes for him to check me out) and realized that maybe not having a grocery store in Huanta isn’t such a bad thing. Walmart is just the worst.
So, now we are all on the mend – except for a few sniffles and coughs and one of my ears still hasn’t popped from the flight so I still feel like I’m underwater a bit. I am highly motivated today to do things like unpack and cook, and blog, and even do our budget. And if I get some extra time, you can be sure I’ll be finishing that crochet wash cloth and maybe some other goodies I’ve pinned on Pinterest.
And so, Houston, we are over and out, and thank you for such a great little trip. Rodger that- errr -or whatever those airspace people say.
See what else the G's are doing: www.servinginkas.com