This week has been a continuation of our trip to the Seattle area and we have had lots of fun in the midst of the work. Fundraising trips include many visits for our family, especially late evenings, to churches and dinner with other families that have supported us these past two years (or who are interested in doing so). The girls have enjoyed the dinners because they usually include playing with other children or getting a little doted on by big kids and adults. We have been so blessed by such gracious hosts and blessed by the fact that the Lord brought the entire amount needed for Jesse to take the course to obtain his commercial driver's license which will allow him to drive a bus through a neighborhood on the Rez that we can't currently pick up kids in due to limited transportation! Praise the Lord for His answer to our prayers for provision for this need!
We squeezed in a trip to the Tacoma Children's Museum on Saturday with my parents - who knew there was such an incredible museum available for for free?! Donations keep the museum free for community members who couldn't pay to access the activities. I highly recommend visiting and we will definitely be returning another time. We spent about three hours there and could have easily spent another one or two revisiting each "exhibit." Water play, a big climbing tree house, a floating airship with big wings that move, and so much more for even bigger kids. I felt like a kid could play for hours and let their imagination run away.
That evening we also celebrated my 30th (yes... 30...) birthday with my family. My brother and his girlfriend sweetly brought little pumpkins for my girls to scoop out and draw on, which of course they LOVED. We have enjoyed getting to know Cassidy over these past couple visits to the area. She has been so thoughtful and kind to our kids and fun to be around.
We leave to go home tomorrow and although I have really enjoyed spending the time here, I am eager to get home. None of our kids has slept well here which means I haven't slept well either. The lack of sleep and normal routine significantly affects my ability to respond to our kids with self-control, patience, and love. It's not like I get great sleep... well... ever. But it's especially bad when we travel, and ten nights of frequent wakings and poor daytime napping is taking its toll on all of our bodies and emotions. I expect a few days of crankiness for all of us at home as we adjust back to normal life as a family, and especially as Rosie has really enjoyed the fact that she ends up sleeping between Jesse and I every night, I am mentally preparing for several more nights re-establishing our routine and habits at home. All I can do is ask the Lord to give me the grace and patience I need to love our kids and then grab ahold of what He gives me with thanksgiving.
Even now as I write this, I am struggling to grab the grace He is offering, having listened to the baby scream at being put down for a nap now for quite some time. Holding on to His grace as I sign off to move over sheets to the dryer that were wet on earlier during a long two year old tantrum and thankful that He is holding onto me.