With our boys heading off for a week of cycling, we jumped on a (new) speed train headed for a city with a few girls we know who speak English. Our girls have been hurting for more fellowship lately... there are two girls in our town that they dearly love but sometimes two feels terribly few. We went on a girl hunt, of sorts, and found several great girls for our girls to make some fun memories with.
This is "Kanbula Forest".... except that there's no forest to it. Still, it was beautiful.
So fun that they each had a friend come along for this day! Marian (our most extroverted) told me "This whole trip got a lot better when Aria came along!" And Vivi was pretty delighted to get to play with the ever-so-silly Keeva E.. And a treat for me too... Ryan (Keeva's daddy) drove and I got to talk long with his adorable wife who I just love, who gave birth just two weeks after our forest drive to the bundle she was carrying... Welcome sweet Abel!
winding through Kanbula
The Yellow River with it's rugged beauty cliffs in the distance...
and the mud pit - "quicksand" - they made with all their sloshy jumping!
After two days in town with friends, the girls and I headed out to the mountains for two nights, just the three of us. They were brave but I think that all of us felt pretty lonely. Still, it was a really sweet place we got to stay. (Tibetan prayer flags kinda covered this area.)
They indulged me in a little posey posing... but my photo skills at this time, and still, have not yet appeared! Where are you Manual Mode Magic abilities? I'm taking a cheap online class and I'm really trying but I'm having such a hard time getting photos crisply focused! Still... these girls are pretty cute even with a little fuzz, right? And if you noticed Vivi's pajamas... she didn't take them off for three days. Somehow warm clothes for our little girl never made it into the luggage, but pajamas worked. Perfectly acceptable outer wear.... (and I'm not joking in the least!)
I know this might just sound ridiculous, but it's so very true. Our normal, outside lives are pretty surrounded with plastic and trash. This mountain retreat place felt so good to be able to fill up my eyes with natural materials- wood, brick, stone, even thatched roofs- and even with moss growing delicately. This was one of my favorite things from our time there.
Here's our little mountain town... What a name, eh!?
Hello Mr. Yak!
more poor photography... but still sweet girlies.
When this camel stood up, the girls faces went instantly from "how cool is this!?" to "too high, too wobbly, too scary... get us down!"
We loved our little room. The girls called it our mountain cottage.
this patio was my favorite
Leaving this mountain town was when we stumbled into one of my favorite moments of our week. We waited half an hour on the side of the road for the first of two buses we'd need to take toward the city. When it finally came, I gathered luggage and let the girls hop on ahead of me. Just as I stepped up to climb in, I heard the whole bus of about 40 people gasp and chuckle with delight. I'm guessing there were at least a few Tibetan herdsmen on board who hadn't seen any little blondies before. The whole bus seemed lit up with smiles as we squished our way to the back to find seats... where the girls put their feet up on bundles of mountain herbs and veggies being taken to market.
heading to the pool...
And for our last night away... (actually, our last-last night we slept on the train riding home, but our last stationary night away)... we stayed in a downright fancy hotel. It's plain crazy how sparkly this place was, and that we stayed there for the price of La Quinta by the Orlando airport... well, that's crazy too. Such a treat to get to go swimming and eat a stupendous western breakfast! And even better than the cushyness of all this, was that somehow our room came with four tickets to breakfast. I pretty-pleased and the girls smiled big and they said we could invite two young ladies to join us as our "fourth ticket". Such a gift to get these sweet sisters with us for the morning!
I hope so much that when our girls look back on the memories of this week they'll remember that the three of us can tough our way through hard things, we can trust God together and for each other, we can be content with instant noodles and we can be content with bacon and french toast, and we can step out- even lonely- and see the Father who is always with us, do great things in and through even us.
Oh, girls, Love Him with all that you are. There is none more worthy, more glorious, than our Savior!
And I love you too. Love you so. Thank you for this special week with you, my treasure girls.
~ your mama