We've had a marvelous, full weekend.
Toby turned four.
Mr. Edwards and I took an overnight trip to the Kansas City area and saw some dear friends, the Buller family. For Mr. Edwards and me, it was a nice time to get away together. We loved our time on the road, reading Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) notes and passages together, visiting in a quiet car without kids, and driving around a different city. The Bullers were wonderful hosts, even though our evening was somewhat consumed with trouble-shooting a problem with our Suburban's tail lights, which inexplicably went out on the journey there. (Mr. Edwards solved the problem and God was so good to us--it turned out to be an easy fix!) On Saturday, Pam B. took me to the Christian bookstore I've heard so much about (Mardel) and I splurged and bought some books: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer, Basic Christianity by John Stott, and Selected Sermons by Charles Spurgeon.
We hurried back to Wichita on Saturday afternoon to pick up our kids and get ready for Toby's birthday party the next day. We were expecting both sets of grandparents, Aunt Leida and Uncle Doug, and Aunt Jen and the cousins. That would be nine adults and seven kids. I made two birthday cakes and browned five pounds of meat for Sunday's chili lunch while the rest of the family did housework. Sunday morning, before church, we got up and made the big batch of chili (ten cans of tomatoes, ten cans of beans) and two pans of cornbread.
I'm probably not the best hostess, but I sure love it when my house is full of family and friends! We spent the afternoon eating chili and birthday cake, and watching our four-year-old open gifts. We relaxed together, my mother-in-law, aunt, and I talking about baby names, while some of the men watched football. Just as our last birthday-party guests left at 5:30 or so, the Byall family came over for our weekly Sunday evening gathering. We re-heated the leftover chili and this time served nine kids and five adults. Over cake and coffee, some of us played "Settlers of Catan" on a card table in the living room, keeping a close eye on the football game.
We were up (too) late for a school night, but what a wonderful Sabbath day with family and friends! (I think we ran the dishwasher four or five times!)
Do I have pictures of all of us eating together, ten around the table upstairs, six downstairs? No. Do I have pictures of the stacks of dirty dishes that resulted from great food and fellowship? No. Other than the birthday cake and the birthday gifts, we mostly forgot about the camera. Memories will have to suffice and I'm hoping they never fade!
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I'm reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book I began on Friday. Glancing it over before reading, I didn't expect to enjoy it. The format of the book (a collection of letters from various characters) struck me as distracting. It appeared to be an easy read without much substance. It was with a sense of obligation that I read the first half of the book. I had checked it out from the library, so I would read it and gratefully check it off my reading list. However, I was surprised to find that halfway through the book it took a very touching turn. I'm nearly finished with it and now feel glad to have read it.
It is probably the influence of reading Guernsey Literary... that has me in a mood for a diary-dump blog post, similar to a letter! Sorry about that. I hope my readers had a marvelous weekend and saw, as we did, the hand of God working in their lives!