I share my birthday with my sister, and we enjoy celebrating together. This year, we plan a spa date in mid-April. This was actually her Christmas present to me, but we have waited so long to actually plan it that it feels like a birthday gift, too! We enjoy a hot tub, massages, and facials at a spa in Quito, followed by lunch out, and then manicures and pedicures. It is fun to pamper ourselves occasionally!
Representatives from the Shawnee Trail Church of Christ in Frisco, which has recently begun supporting our family, as well as the Bible college in Quito, come to Ecuador the first week in April. We drive into Quito to have dinner with them and the Marcum family at Pim's, a nice restaurant with views over the city. The following day, they come out to see the camp and have lunch at our home. Then, they leave with Rusty and Josh for a one-night trip to Loja to visit the church planting team there.
Stephen turns nine on April 6th. He is sick on his actual birthday, so we postpone our plans for an outing with his cousins. By the next day, he is feeling better, so I make his requested birthday dessert -- Oreo Cheesecake Brownie Trifle, and we celebrate at home. Later, we reschedule a visit to the arcade with his cousins.
Syndi has her baby (born on Stephen's birthday!), so after church the following Sunday, we pay them a visit at the hospital. Baby Isabella is super cute!
Our fridge is still not working properly, so while we wait for the technician to figure out what the problem is, Rusty has a small fridge that belongs to the camp brought up to the house. We squeeze it into our laundry room. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing. And waiting a few weeks for a repair is certainly better than buying another fridge! Meanwhile, the closets for the boys' new bedroom are finally finished, so I spend several days unpacking, sorting and organizing their clothes into their new space.
A small group from the Sunset Church of Christ in Springfield, MO visits Ecuador in mid-April. They are visiting the church-planting team in Manta, which is sponsored by Sunset. Rusty travels with the group to Manta to help as a translator and is gone for several days. On the way back from Manta, the group misses their connecting flight in Quito, so Rusty brings them out to the camp for the night. They are re-booked on a flight leaving the next evening, so we get to enjoy a day with them at the camp. We take them to town, to the Equator monument just south of Cayambe, and to have lunch at the Vaca Loca. We have dinner at our house that evening before Rusty takes them back to the airport.
The third weekend in April, we have a group at the camp. It is a girls' retreat, at the camp for two nights. I stay busy in the kitchen all weekend. Rusty takes the kids to Enoch's birthday party on Saturday and to church on Sunday.
The end of April finds me planning, shopping for, and prepping another big batch of crock-pot freezer meals, this time for Syndi, who has been staying in Quito with her mom, but will be coming back home to the camp soon with her new baby. We have a 4-day holiday weekend at the end of April / first of May, perfect for this project and also beginning work on getting everything ready to file our taxes.
April moments (clockwise from top left):
- Birthday girls!
- Stephen is 9!
- The kids are enjoying listening to Joe Bright, from the Sunset Church, tell a story.
- School is in session