Sunday, March 29, 2015

October Fulrough Pt. 2: Time at Open Door and with Kiki and Papa

For the second half of our trip last October we drove to my parents house in Jacksonville.
 My mom had all kinds of fun things planned for the kiddos! They each had these cute little activity books. They LOVE using scissors. They fuss at me if we go too many days in school without using them.
 Papa's house is full of musical instruments!
 We got about one full day with Kiki and Papa before it was time to head to Louisiana for a missions conference and we packed as much into that day as possible.
 Then we drove a pretty long ways!
 This long:
 To be a part of Open Door Baptist Church's mission conference in Denham Springs, LA.

We had never visited their church before, but they called and invited us... what a honor! We were really excited about getting to be there!
 The boys' 5th birthday just happened to fall on a day during conference. Jimmy's grandparents drove from KS to LA to be at the hotel with us the morning of the boys' birthday. SO Sweet!
 Great Grandma Helen brought balloons, candles, and presents!
 Jonah and Silas felt very special!
They got them a really cool glow in the dark art set where you paint with a light pen. It is awesome and stays up permanently in the school room, thus getting used a lot. They also got a slip and slide. It just warmed up in Petén again, so we are going to have to try that out this week during Semana Santa. 
  Jimmy and I got them ninja turtle gear.
 As you can tell, they hated it!
Who in their right mind would give Silas nunchucks? 
What an awesome birthday memory with their great grandparents that they will have forever! I am so grateful that they traveled so far to be with us. 
 Pastor Dennis took all the missionaries to the Global Wildlife Center. It's a wildlife preserve where you get to drive through and feed the animals. It was such a neat experience. He invited Jimmy's grandparents too. This church was so generous and kind to us the whole time we were there. 
 It was hilarious interacting with the animals!
I enjoyed it as much as the kiddos!
 I remember this from deputation, but besides being at a church long enough to actually build some relationships, I liked conferences because I got to meet other missionaries. I always learn things and enjoy interrogating MK's, haha, finding out how their parents helped them along their truly unique path.
 On this trip I learned that zebras are pretty aggressive, still beautiful though!
Yes, that is our child halfway inside the feed bag!
{Great Grandma Helen and Grandpa Jim gave Eden that pretty purple dress!}

 The day at the wildlife reserve was THIS much fun:
 We had the best time at this church. We knew several couples from college, but had not seen them in a decade, so it was neat to kind of have the same history and then reconnect after some time in ministry.
 Everyone in the whole church was so friendly and super sweet to our kids. We instantly felt part of their church family!
{The finished pen and then a piece of wood similar to what they started with.}
 We were invited over to a couples house from the church who took the boys' through the process in making wooden pens! He had a awesome workshop and is a skilled craftsman. I'm so glad my boys got this experience! He sent Jimmy home with a couple woodworking tools, some of which he has already used several times since being back!
Basically we were invited to a church to share about our ministry. They took us on for support right as new families were arriving at the institute! AND they thoroughly spoiled us while we were there.
Beyond celebrating our boy's birthday, they had a service celebrating all of our birthdays. It was overwhelming!
{Jonah and Silas didn't know what to think. They asked me a million times to make sure I packed all the goodies they got to bring back!}
{Princess E!}
Even the young people in the church reached out to my kids. I didn't take a photo of any of our meals, but they were all REAL food that people in the church prepared. We ate sooo good! I wish someone would send me the recipe to the potato salad with pickles in it!!!
If we lived anywhere close to Denham Springs, we would love being members of this church! I really enjoyed the fellowship with the sweet ladies while I was there. Many of them really reached out to me during my short time with them and I appreciated getting to know them a little. The pastor and his family are so kind! We are so thankful for the friendship and partnership we now have with this church. I hope they will come to visit us soon!
While there the boys receive a Batman costume and a Spiderman costume for their birthday. We headed back to Jacksonville after the Sunday morning service. Poor Jimmy, I ask him to stop all the time when we are in the States. Here there is nothing to stop when traveling for hours and hours, in the States... well I am going to take advantage. There isn't a Loft Outlet or cherry slushy machine I have ever not asked Jimmy to stop for! Just saying all that because the boys made us promise that no matter what hour we were getting into Jacksonville, that we would wake them up to change into their costumes for Papa. So there we were, at a gas station at 2 in the morning putting on Batman and Spiderman costumes! Worth it!
I asked the boys several times beforehand what kind of cake they wanted for their birthday. They both decided that they wanted to make Elmo cupcakes together instead of Mommy making them one. It's all about the fun, not the end result, right!
 Kiki figured out that if you cut the large marshmallows in half, the cut side is sticky enough to hold on the chocolate chip eye. SO much easier than when we tried it last time.
I don't think these boys got enough birthday celebrating in... it's like a birthday Stateside tour!
 They all got matching Batman masks!
 My sweet aunt and cousins gave us these really cool bikes to keep at Kiki and Papa's house!
 This wasn't surprising! That Papa is a "little bit silly" as Jonah says.
Of course before we left Florida we got in some serious train watching!
 And we can't leave the States without a Krispy Kreme stop, lunch at Aunt Catfish, and then Papa John's for supper... perfect!
I don't think we could have squeezed in one more thing during those 18 days! Fort Lauderdale, Denham Springs, Jacksonville, all 3 were great trips. Thank you to everyone who made our furlough and the boy's birthday so special!
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