I need to jot down my reflections up until now before the 6 month culture shocker takes a hold of me. 🙂 There is no telling what I will do with culture shock, when exactly it hits, or how I will deal with it. I am a planner. If research shows 6 months to be the mark, and I am well after 6 months, I want to claim that all is well with me. That is how I work.
Christmas was hard for me I will admit. Thanksgiving wasn’t so hard because my family wasn’t all together. Christmas, however, was different because all of my family (3 brothers, 1 sister, 2 sister-in-laws, 3 nephews and one on the way, and one neice) were all together with my parents on the farm (that I love so much) for a WHOLE week. Major bummer to me. If you keep up with my blog posts (I post on there a lot more than here) you read my list of 20 items that I missed most about the Bills Family Christmas. My sweet (and humorous) family sent me an email to respond of the 20 things they missed most about the McKinzies not being home for Christmas. I would like to record those here if you don’t mind:
We finished opening gifts and of course, missed you and your sweet family. So, we thought we would compose a response to your blog by compiling a list of 20 things we miss most about you all. The list is by no means exhaustive- but it was definitely the highlights for us! So, without further or do . . . here are the 20 things we miss most about the McKinzies this Christmas.
1. Asparagus Roll-ups (oh yeah babe)
2. All of us asking, Wheres Greg?
3. Megs laughter and giggle (Jenni thinks it sounds like a machine gun!)
4. Your video camera (Hey, well be watching this next year when we are in Peru!)
5. Anas deep laugh
6. Gregs bass- Sing it Greg!
7. Gregs coffee- our personal barista (puts hair on our chest)
8. Anas pigtails
9. The thought of Ana blessing our meals- catholic style! (Hail Mary full of grace
10. Megs excitement about the food
11. Jalapenos and Tabasco sauce- Kick it up a notch!
12. Megs tears and blowing her nose (along with the little stack of Kleenex)
13. Wondering if Greg will get a haircut in order to raise more support!
14. Gregs late night construction projects
15. Another playmate for Ruby
16. Megs thoughtfulness
17. Meg and Katys inside jokes
18. Girls night with Anne of Green Gables
19. Meg speaking out Granny style
20. Gregs thoughtful prayers
Okay, so we could have gone on and on . . . but we thought we would spare you the grief. We certainly missed you all. It just wasnt the same. BUT, we look forward to seeing you again soon. Know that family knows no boundaries- no walls- and transcends physical location. You have all been missed and we love you very much. Well save you some boiled custard and coconut cake . . . no wait, Collin just ate the last of it- sorry!
I just love my family!
Christmas was a neat time for us because it was the first Christmas that Greg and I have spent as just our family. Ana is old enough to understand gifts, and we loved waking up Christmas morning to see what Santa left for her. We began our own McKinzie traditions like Shrimp Gumbo for Christmas Eve (coming from Greg’s side of the family) and cinnamon rolls and boiled custard served on Christmas day (part of the Bills family traditions). I missed seeing family but was again reminded of how blessed I am to have my immediate family and teammates here with me.
My post is titled “Our First Visitors” for a reason. On Monday,THIS MONDAY, my parents will arrive in Arequipa to spend about a week and a half with us. I am so excited. It is a surreal feeling to think about them being here in person (not on Skype). It will be a time of catching up and major Ana-grandparent time. I am excited to take my parents to the open market and around to the places that I consider home now. It is my prayer that they will return home with a renewed passion for what God is doing here in Arequipa. We don’t have a home picked out yet, but we plan to walk the neighborhood in the area where we are moving and have a picnic in the park there. Doesn’t that sound like fun? I am thankful to God for my parents’ blessing on this work and their ability to come here and visit. I don’t want to think about how I will react when they leave, but I know that Mark and DIane are coming shortly after. 🙂 Thank you God for your bountiful blessings!
(Pictures and posts regarding my parents’ visit will be posted on my blog.)