January 24 we arrived in Woodland, California, where we were warmly greeted by friends we hadn't seen in years! Doug and I were married at Woodland Bible Church (17 years ago!) and it was really neat to get reacquainted with some old friends.
I still wasn't really in the "take a ton of photos" mode. I think that my batteries may have been dead at this point, but really I was just being flaky. We spent Sunday going from meeting to meeting with the church leaders, the mission co-ordinators and planning committees. To be honest, it was fun! Crazy, I know.
Sarah's high-point for this leg of the journey was that she got to connect with a couple of bloggy friends (should I call them virtual friends?) IRL [In Real Life]. I think that made her month!
Monday morning, we picked up our new home (borrowed from friends in Sacramento)...
...and headed north to Chico. Time for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa Jessee!
I still wasn't in photojournalist mode, but at least I did take a few pics. Here's one of a dessert we had not once, not twice, but three times in our first week in the US...
Courtesy of Costco. This thing was huge!!! And delicious! And as American as...well, you know.
We stayed a week in Chico and went to Calvary Chapel Wednesday night. While there, Caleb was asked to join up with the youth group's worship leader to play the djembay (really cool drum). Later in the week, Sarah went to the senior high's Bible study and we got to go out for pizza with Uncle Evan, Aunt Robyn and some friends.
Here is one of those "It may be funny now, but it's going to be hilarious in about 5 years" pictures.
(That's Seth, by the way.)
The rest of the week was spent going through the last of the boxes of stuff we had stored at Grandma's house and packing the trailer for our return trip. Fun. Not.We took a jaunt up into the hills of Oroville to spend one afternoon with some more good friends. What a relaxing and rejuvenating time! Seth and I admired their bat house. We decided that we need about 4 of them at our house -- one on each corner of the property -- to cut down on our mosquito population.
Andrew and Evie gave the Tinker Toys a workout.
And everyone else either curled up with a book or played pool or badminton or some combination of those. It was a really peaceful day. I think that it especially stands out in my memory simply because quiet, peaceful days just weren't that frequent during our trip. The norm was more chaotic and tiring. Spending time with Ron and Cathy was refreshing for Doug and I, too. They are a couple we've been friends with for almost 20 years and we really look up to them as parents and spiritual leaders.
Side note: for those of you reading this blog who have no idea who any of these people are, if you feel led, just say a quick prayer for each of them. Everyone could use a prayer lifted up to their creator on their behalf now and then, right? ;^)
The following Sunday, we headed back to Sacramento to visit the Restoration Life Church. They sent a mission team down to work with us last summer and are planning another trip this summer. That was Super Bowl Sunday, so we hustled back to Chico to watch the game (we were rooting for Arizona, but...sigh.)
Monday morning we were on the road again, but this time we traveled in style!
Grandma Linda drove up to Oregon with us, and the trip just flew by. Not having to stop for potty breaks was very cool!
Next episode: Oregon or Bust!