Friday, March 20, 2009

The BIG move and other stuff.

Wow, friends…so much to update you on!

I don’t really know where to begin. Maybe in order of BIGGEST news to smallest…although, none of this news is small news.

First off, after spending 3 and ½ years in England, seeing 18 countries in our time there, and having our first child, we have officially moved back to the USA. We had planned to move back in April, but after my sister died (see last email), we decided to move back a month early to help/spend time with family. We are in the middle of doing that now.

We first had to fly to Bowling Green, Ohio in order to get all of our stuff. That’s right, some great friends of ours…the Dally’s…let us keep our stuff in their barn for over 3 years. We spent just less than a week in Ohio, got to see some old friends and make some new ones, and then we loaded up our moving truck and headed to Arkansas. I should mention that we had tremendous help with the move. Our friend David Manning actually drove up form Arkansas on Wednesday and then turned right back around and drove Sarah and Pippi in his car the next day. And, don’t worry about me being in a big old moving truck by myself, cause I had company, too. Mr. Patrick Peringer and I split time at the wheel of that truck…it was a blast!

Along the way, we stopped and spent the night in St. Louis, MO with another great friend of ours, Brian Rhame. Rhame had arranged for us to spend the night in a mansion…that’s right, a mansion. He told me not to ask any questions ;) The 2.2 million dollar home was built in 1904 for the World’s Fair. One night there was just amazing, and fun. Thanks, Brian!

The next day we drove to Arkansas, and after spending some time with Sarah’s family we are now here with my (Jason’s) family. We are both excited to announce, I guess, to some of you that we will be moving to the North West Arkansas area around the beginning of April. Sarah starts work at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale at the end of April. I have 2 jobs lined up. The one that will take up the most of my time will be at Tricycle Youth Theatre. I will be working there as an instructor/teacher. I also have the prospect of doing creative arts at a church there called Keypoint Church. My job(s) should start in May.

Right now, we are considering jumping on the property ladder, so that has had it’s challenges and we are still unsure of where to live up there. For the first few weeks-ish, we will be living with a friend, Ashley Hagler, who has been a great friend to us during this move!

So, that is the mega-huge news!

Now some other news, that we haven’t had the opportunity to share with you yet. At the end of January we celebrated Pippi’s first birthday! We had a joint birthday party with our friends Ben and Chloe who had Isaac just a few day’s after Pippi. The theme was a ‘Jungle Party.’ It was great fun. I have included some photos (on our blog) for you to look at. Because of Pippi’s allergies she had a milkless, eggless, butterless, chocolate cake…she enjoyed it all the same, though.

And, in February, the aforementioned Ashley Hagler and her friend Shannon Ott came to England for a few days. We met them in London. Ashley has been to see us 3 times now, more than most, and each time we love spending time with her. This time was particularly memorable because London had the most snow they’ve had for the last 20 years. So, we made a day of walking around the big city of London and playing in the snow. It was a lot of fun to see those big buildings surrounded by mounds of white fluff.

Finally, just a thank you for all who prayed and kept us in your thoughts during this difficult time. I am mentioning, of course, about the death of my sister Melissa. No one ever wants to let go. But sometimes, we have to. However, the stories we have shared of her life somehow make her seem like she is still here with us. Thank you all for your concern, emails, cards, and love…I don’t think we could have made it though such a difficult time without you.

Now, don’t cut us out of your life just because our travels in Europe have ended for the moment. We have a great country here in the US to explore. And, might I add, Pippi is the best traveler ever, so I don’t think we will be stopping any time soon!

England friends, thanks for sharing your lives with us. We hope to hear from you often. And, Hotel-Suel in the USA is always open to you!

American friends, thanks for welcoming us back with open arms. We hope to see you all in due time.

Jason, Sarah, and Pippi

Pics: standing outside the St. Louis mansion. 2 pictures of our welcome back party at the dallys. snowy London.