A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Andrew was baptized today, and it was truly a day full of Tender Mercies.
After being in Petra Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then coming straight to Thanksgiving dinner, I woke up on Friday morning suffering MORE serious exhaustion. Will it ever end? I keep wondering.
Anyway, it was the morning of the big day. Josh was being ordained to be a deacon. Andrew was being baptized. THEN, I had invited people over to my house for refreshments. Why did I do that? I haven't been home for a week, I don't have any food, let alone any food prepared for guests. I had no idea what I was going to do.
I was studying in the morning and just could not think or concentrate. I was too focused on what needed to be done. I decided to should go eat some breakfast because I was hungry. Then another thought hit me: I needed more help than what food could give me. I needed Power from on High. So, I decided to fast instead. I jumped up from my studies, and met up with Peter in the kitchen, where we got started making cakes and a crock pot lunch. We made two cakes (yellow and chocolate) and almost had curried chicken wings in the crock pot before anyone else was awake! Wow! Claire got up and made brownies. I looked in the fridge and realized that there was a bowl of fruit dip in the fridge that hadn't even been touched! And I had chickpeas all ready to make hummos! I had carrots and cucumbers and green bell peppers! I had apples and mandarin oranges! I ended up with a huge feast for our refreshments! Tender Mercies.
At church, I played the organ, and Devin even surprised me with an intermediate hymn...and it was one that I already knew. Tender Mercies.
I didn't have to teach YW even though my lovely friend (the YW president) was jet-lagged--she asked her hubby to sub for her, and I was able to go to Josh's ordination! Tender Mercies.
After church, I had a couple of families join us for lunch so they could eat before we headed down to the baptism. I had PLENTY for everyone from the crockpot chicken I made--with even a ton of left-overs! And while everyone was waiting to eat, they washed my dishes, cut and peeled apples, oranges, carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers so that I didn't have to--and now we were totally ready for refreshments after the baptism! Tender Mercies.
When it was time to go to the baptism, I actually didn't expect many to come. There was another baptism up north that everyone went to instead, so I figured most people would opt to go up there and we'd be a small group. Instead, we BARELY had enough rides! We paid for 30 adults at the baptism site!!! Andrew's primary teacher came, plus ALL of his little buddies! He felt so much love and support--and so did I! Tender Mercies!
The Jordan river was totally flooded! It was pretty darn cool! The weather was PERFECT, the water was chilly, but not terrible, the program was lovely, the singing was glorious! It was a perfect day, and Andrew is baptized. All Tender Mercies.
We made it home safely and had a lovely time chatting with friends while eating a ton of food. The kids all watched Veggie Tales and it was fairly quiet and peaceful! Tender Mercies.
By the end of the day, I was beyond exhausted. It was a wonderful day and I am so grateful for my Joshua who is now ordained to the priesthood, and my Andrew who is the newest member of the church in our family. :) My cup runneth over. I'm grateful for fasting and all of that Power from on High that I received today. Tender Mercies.
This trip to Petra was practically perfect. Devin was sick the day before our trip, so he took more sick time (poor guy...I hated the fact that he was sick), and we left early on Tuesday for Petra. We had a liesurely drive down, stopped to gaze at Shobak castle, and visited Little Petra! Little Petra is lesser known, rarely visited, and best of all, FREE! Woot! The kids loved it. There are lots of caves and staircases to explore, so the kids tired themselves out a bit.
That evening, we decided to eat at a restaurant in the town. We stopped at the first one that we found--BIG MISTAKE! *Sigh* The guy took us for all we were worth. We got miniscule amounts of food for at LEAST 5x the amount they were worth. The mixed grill looked smaller than an appetizer, and they guy tried to charge us an arm and a leg for it. I need to get on Trip Advisor and advise people against eating there. We were ticked. Devin haggled him down a bit, but it was still WAY too much. Dumb.
We had a nice sleep in the BEST hotel. I love Petra Moon! Their family room is really hard to beat. A king size bed and 3 twins all together for less than 100JD. So great! And the staff there are super friendly! The kids love it because they leave the chocolate 'Flutes' on the beds.
Anyway, we got up in the morning, and I looked out the window a little nervous, because it looked AWFUL! Dark, cloudy skies, wet streets, CRAZY wind! Well, it is what it is, right? So we went down to breakfast and ate ourselves silly, then packed up and headed out. We were all bundled up and ready to walk.
My favorite part was haggling for camel rides. Last time we were there, they gave us 5JD camel rides. This time, when I walked up, they were saying they could only go as low as 10. I said no way! Five! They said no, so I just shook my head and bundled everyone off. They kept calling out numbers to me, and I told them no way--only 5! Finally, they gave in when they saw that I wasn't going to. Hey, we needed SEVEN camels. 35 JD is better than none, I'd think. Lame-o's.
Funnily enough, yes it was cloudy; yes, it was super windy; yes, it was cold; but it was the PERFECT temperature for tons of hiking! My parents went up the 791 steps to the monastery and back down again! They did it! We walked ALL over the place! We were tired at the end, but it would have been much worse if we would have had sun and heat beating down on us. We had no sunstroke, heat stroke, or sunburns to deal with. We weren't hot and sweaty and nasty. The kids still had energy enough to play at the park after while we watched the sunset!
We ate a buffet at the hotel (cheaper than the rip off restaurant from the night before), then headed off for bed.
The next morning, we decided to head back up to Amman and go to Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house. So, we went back up the 'back way': The Kings' Highway. Devin thought it would be good to go to Karak Castle. It was supposed to take us only 2 hours to get there. It was almost 4 hours later when we pulled in there. Those small cities along the way were PAINFUL! One city took us 45 minutes to get through--and it wasn't very big! Horrible traffic. Bleh. But Karak Castle was pretty cool.
We were able to pass by Wadi Dana, too, and the Dead Sea. We made it back to Amman just in time for Thanksgiving dinner! For that, I'm very thankful! We didn't cook anything (we brought mandarin oranges that we picked up from a fruit stand along the way), but it was SO NICE to go to a huge feast dinner with all our family/friends where I didn't have to prep anything or clean anything up! Thank you, Nadine, for saving our lives that day! A very memorable Thanksgiving!
My kids have had 'Celebration!' on repeat ALL morning! They're dancing and playing with balloons! :) They were really ticked when I made them turn it off so we could start school, but they did their work super fast so they could go turn it back on again and dance! :) They are SO excited about the handshake we received. We ALL are! It is SUCH a relief to have it official! We've been 90% positive for MONTHS now. It's just happy to have it be done! Well, I suppose in our life, nothing is ever DONE...but the handshake is at least more final. Now it's time to focus again...declutter, have Thanksgiving and Christmas, declutter some more, work on what we need for our next post...
But wait! Where is it, you ask? Well, here are some pictures:
It's Sri Lanka!! Look out, Colombo, here we come! :)
Bidding season has been dragging its tired feet for far too long. However, tomorrow, Monday, November 10th, handshakes are being given out. I thought it would be fun to give out the list of where we've bid and see if anyone can guess where we'll go next!
Here's where we bid in alphabetical order:
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Wellington, New Zealand
It's November: The Thankful month! And since it's the third day, I need 3 things to be thankful for.
First, I'm thankful for Halloween parties that weren't planned by me! :) We had an excellent Halloween party for our branch. It was HUGE and LOUD and FUN! The company was great, the kids had a blast, we all got full...can't beat it! The only thing that would have made it better would have been me remembering to bring my camera! DOH!
Second, I'm thankful for conversations with Peter! Ha! On the way home from dropping the kids off yesterday for their activity days, Peter and I were chatting in the car. Here's our conversation:
Peter: Mom, who puts the water in the clouds?
Me: Who do you think?
Peter: Heavenly Father, probably.
Me: You're probably right.
Peter: BUT, did you know who makes the sun go down?
Peter: Yoda! He 'forces' it down! He also forces it up again!
Me: So, Heavenly Father makes it rain, and Yoda makes the sun go down and come up?
Boy, I'm glad that I've got that straight now!
Third, I'm thankful for rain and thunder! We don't get that often here, but today it's rained all day! And we've had rolling thunder, too! So fun! I love watching the rain pour down. We watched it pour while I read about castles and knights. I stopped our history lesson early so the kids could go outside and play in the rain. That also means that I'm grateful for homeschooling so that my kids can do that. It's super hard to concentrate when there's actually WEATHER going on--so why not just go enjoy it? :)
I'm just thankful today.
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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