Friday, October 1, 2010

The Plus Side of Moving Around

In our 14 years of marriage, we have lived in four different cities in three different states. That's a lot of packing and unpacking. It's also a lot of tearing up roots and saying painful goodbyes to friends we made while in each place. The plus side of all of that though is that our Christmas card list is very long. We have dear friends throughout the southeast, and even though we don't see all of them as often as we'd like, when we do it is as though we never left.

A few weeks ago, we got an email from a very dear friend and we were able to plan a visit with them. Michael and Tara were some of our first married friends in Tuscaloosa. For a time, they stayed in our home almost as much as we did. Brent and I share precious memories of these two in that Tuscaloosa house. When Michael would be working in west Alabama, they would come to stay with us. We were always so excited when they called and told us they were coming. It was like children getting to have a slumber party. I would come home from school and cook dinner with Tara. Then we four would eat, clean up and hang out until bedtime. There may or may not have been Tae Bo involved at one point. We have always loved these two for their passionate love of Jesus. They walk the walk very transparantly, sharing successes and failures alike. There is no pretending with them, and we love them for it.

Over the years, we have been on different life adventures. The Archers had three yahoos and went to medical school. The Viars had five children and have been to Pakistan and India as a family doing ministry there. They have opened a business in Pakistan, Renew Carvings, and are getting ready to move there full time. We hoped to see them before they left, so when we found out Michael was coming to a show in Gainesville last weekend, we made sure he stayed with us. He was able to spend Thursday and Friday nights in our playroom. Andrew and Coleman loved him instantly, which further bonded us to him. How precious to have friends who love your children the first time they meet. Tara and the children came Saturday morning for a few hours. We played outside and had lunch together. It was a little louder than it used to be, but it felt so good to be with them all.

Here are a few pictures. And I do mean a few. Our camera seemed to be broken, thankfully it wasn't, so we only had Brent's phone to snap pics with. Michael got to eat on the red plate Thursday night. He was so excited to have his picture made for our red plate book.

Andrew had so much fun playing with Windle. Windle has four sisters, so he was pretty excited to play with some boys too.
Tara and Havah Grace. Such a cutie!

Martha (Mimi) and Coleman

Our attempt at a group shot. Between us we have eight children eleven and under. Hannah held Jonathan. I remember Hannah very well as a baby. Impossible to believe she's eleven!

Before they left, we prayed together. I may or may not have shed some tears. We are so honored to count them as friends.

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