Thank God for Family and Friends

When my husband told me that he would be going to Japan for six months, I knew I wanted to spend time with family.  As I sit here now on the train, on my way back home from my two month excursion, I am very thankful.  Family is what made these last few months wonderful and bearable.  It isn’t easy when your better-half gets sent half way across the globe and you are left to deal with everything on your own.  I am not complaining.  On the contrary, I am thankful to everyone that made my life that much easier for the first part of his deployment.

Thanks to my mom and dad who drove all the way to Pennsylvania from Texas to pick us up with all of our gear.  The trip to Laredo was nothing less than adventurous and I will forever have those memories of our 25+ hour drive.  And if driving with a 16-month-old was not difficult enough, they decided to do it all over again and drive us to Florida.  

Thanks to my sister for embarking on the first leg of this adventure with us and my niece for keeping my daughter company during that long drive.  

Thanks to my neighbors and my "daughter" Rosita who kept an eye out on my house while I was away.  I know they were ever vigilant and looked out for our best interest.

Thanks for the people at my parents church for their welcoming hugs and for  just making us feel at home.

Thanks to my biological father and his wife for keeping my daughter and her friends entertained at their pool and providing transportation whenever we needed it. 

Thanks to my siblings in Laredo for spending some quality time with my daughter.  Lord knows she needed those bonds to get her mind off how much she misses her daddy.

Thanks to my in-laws for providing a vacation after my "vacation."  They made it possible for me to just take a few days to relax and do nothing.

Thanks to my sister-in-law for providing moral support while shopping for my six-year-old (you would have to be there to understand) and for introducing my daughters to their "new" aunt and "new" cousins.  

Thanks to my brother-in-law for stepping up to the plate and taking my daughter to Epcot and doing all the things she usually would do with her daddy, including waiting in line for hours just to take a picture with a Disney character.   

Please enjoy some of my favorite photographs from this adventure:

One of our pit stops on our way to Florida.  My youngest daughter enjoying the ocean with a friend. 

My 16-month-old walking the hallways of the church in her sister's apron.

My daughter making friends with girls from Pueblo Nuevo (at Ein Gedi Ranch), one of the poorest areas in Laredo. 

My daughter in her "uniform" while volunteering at Joseph Store House.

My daughter kayaking with her grandpa during an activity set up for the kids of Pueblo Nuevo for the final day of VBS.   Other than my daughter, none had ever been kayaking before.  

My daughter and my sister with one of the little chicks that in the future will be providing eggs for the Ein Gedi Ranch. 

A pit stop on the way to Laredo---the Schlitterbahn. 

This was taken towards the beginning of our trip, my two daughters with their beloved cousin. 

The final days of our adventure.  Rest and relaxation in Florida. 

Some of my daughter's best friends in Laredo.  

My dad, the TEXAN :o)

My daughter and cousin in Florida.  Can't leave Florida without taking a picture with a Gator. 

My youngest daughter enjoying some time with grandma during a break from all of the work.  

My daughters enjoying their other grandma in Florida and their littlest cousin.  

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