The last 2 months here in the USA have been wonderful. We are so grateful to the Lord and His people for providing us with accomodation, vehicles, many meals and sweet fellowship. I really did TRY to narrow down the photos . . . but still ended up with quite a few I wanted to share. I hope you will enjoy them.
We arrived in Chicago on April 28th . . . Aunt Carol wasted no time in buying Joel a Chicago Cubs t-shirt (baseball team for you Brits!) It took him a few days to figure out that baseball wasn’t the same as football. He kept demo-ing his “baseball” skills with huge kicks! 🙂 At various random moments, we’d hear a Joely voice shouting, “Go Cubs!” (or as it was a few times, “Go Cups!”)
We made lots of great memories in Chicago with Aunt Carol. Here are Hannah and Mariah at the Brookfield zoo . . the animals were hard to spot that day but at least we got up close and personal with this lion.
We were able to connect with many old and new friends in Chicago. The girls loved dressing up at the home of some of our good friends.
Aunt Carol was a wonderful and gracious host during our 3 week stay with her.
The weather was beautiful most of the time we were there and so the children really enjoyed riding bikes outside. Mariah is sporting her new Little House on the Prairie bonnet in this photo.
We got to go visit our good friends, Roger and Maxine in another part of Illinois. Here are Joel and Mariah with Roger.
One of our favourite outings in Chicago was our visit to Kline Creek Farm, a living -history farm set in the 1890s time period.
I don’t have any photos that will do the Creation Museum justice, but here is a funny one of Hannah holding up a dinosaur outside the entrance. It was a fantastic visit that we will never forget!
Ride ’em cowgirls (oh, and cowboy!)
Here’s all of us (minus me, who took the pic), eating in Noah’s Cafe.
From Chicago, we flew onto Oregon where the highlight was getting introduced (or re-introduced) to Matthew and Claire!
Story-time with Auntie Amy!
The girls absolutely adored their baby cousin, Claire. They were all eager for their turn to feed her!
Here is knight Matthew posing with the not-so evil dragon Joel!
We had a special visit with our good friends, Gabe and Kari Meiers, home from Boliva where they are missionaries. Hard to believe that this crowd has been produced from just 2 couples!
Mariah amazed us all at church family camp by declaring that she was going to do the “zip-line.”
She was the first Mead family member to do the zip-line (which became a highlight of camp for the girls!) at just 5 years old. The girls and Peter also did the giant swing where you drop about 50 feet from the top of a tree.
Joel preferred to hang out on the nearest motorized vehicle, declaring that when HE was five, he’d do the zip-line.
Couldn’t resist throwing this one of Hannah in here. Thanks for the glasses, Kari. They were a hit!
Wherever you saw Claire, Aliyah was usually nearby. Aliyah has a very special way with babies and small children, actually all our girls do.
Gathering eggs at our friend Chris’ house . . .
We also got to ride her horse, which was a real adventure! Hannah did great, even though the horse hadn’t been ridden in 1.5 yrs!
Hannah spent lots of time talking with Grandma about the “good old days.” Here she is in Grandma’s wedding dress.
At the Oregon Museum of Science and Industy, I think this was one of the funnest moments the kids had with their cousin Matthew – hiding in lockers.
We made so many special – and goofy – memories with Matthew . . .
. . . and of course with Claire-Bear too. She is sweetness personified.
Here is Mariah and her friend Katie – all dressed up!
Our friends, the Fishes, were very gracious hosts. It was wonderful to spend time with them and of course their dog Heidi, who Mariah was never far away from! (She seems to have conquered her fear of dogs on this trip.)
Matthew and Joel with Mo’s hats on . . . during our lunch at the beach.
Joel surprised us by insisting on ordering Mo’s famous clam chowder (which he’d never eaten before). He and daddy ate every bite!
Our family hasn’t been to the beach in years! Even though it was cloudy, it didn’t rain and we actually came home a little sun-burned. It was a glorious afternoon of wading (swimming in Hannah’s case!), sand castles and time with Auntie Amy, Matthew and Claire.
The Papworth lady descendants. 🙂
Joel, daddy and Matthew built a sand castle. When they were done, they marched around it 7 times singing “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” and then smashed it!
This was the result!!
Feet that so often walk on the soil of countries so far away from each other . . . together today.
It’s been a special trip . . . but now it’s time to hit the road for home, walking the path that God has for us. We look to “that day” when there will be no more goodbyes to family and precious friends and we’ll have all eternity to enjoy the Lord together.
We fly out on Thurs. a.m. Portland time and arrive in London Friday a.m. London time. All the Meads are excited to return home to the adventures God has ahead for us. We think we may have found an ideal house to rent in Chippenham and are in the process of applying to rent it. Please pray that God will keep it for us til we get back if it is truly the place He has for us. Thank you for your prayers and love for us.
PS Believe it or not, I might have some more photos to share when we get home. I haven’t downloaded for the past week or two! So watch this space.