After our Vietnam trip, we came home and spent a few days recovering. It took me about a week to feel completely well again after my illness, but thankfully none of the children got sick. Steve had the same thing prior to our trip and he did relapse, but after rest and some good nursing, he recovered, too.
I think these two missed me...they enjoyed my illness and couch time a LOT!
We got home just in time to prepare for Sam's confirmation. Sam has been preparing all year for this moment and he was beyond excited. He must have asked us five times if we were SURE we'd be home from Vietnam in time for the service. Not sure at all if Sam trusts us with scheduling life...In fact, the day before confirmation, Sam was snippy and spent the day perfecting the designs on his stole and being downright difficult. Finally, about 9pm, Sam came running down the stairs, dressed in his wrongly buttoned up new shirt, hair aschew, and when he saw me he yelled,"Why are you in pajamas?! That's what you are wearing to my confirmation??!" I took a deep breath and informed him he had the wrong night. He nearly cried with relief, then we laughed that he could probably not wear pants since only his torso would be shown. Poor kid...it was a lot of pressure for him.
We had our normal Sunday service with our Discovery Bay church, a quiet lunch then that afternoon, we spent rearranging our dining room into a quasi-church. Lizzy made Sam an altar and Sam conquered his nerves with help from his brothers....
We coordinated with Mark Lacey, senior pastor and Drake, youth pastor at Trussville First UMC to FaceTime into the service on Sunday, April 10. They chose to do the confirmation during the 8:30am service specifically so it could work easier with Hong Kong time. Pat was chosen to hold the iPad during the service and at one point, they even showed Sam's face on the wall of the sanctuary! He was pretty excited about that. From our vantage point, we could see and hear everything...the choir, the other confirmands, and Mark's sermon. It was really nice to be in worship with our church. We miss many things about life in the USA and church is one of the big ones.
It was really one of the most precious experiences. Sam was overwhelmed by the kindness and care of our Trussville church family. He kept saying,"Mom, they did all that for me!" He took his confirmation so seriously and we are so proud of him. As always, when Sam has a milestone experience, I am reminded of that struggling baby in the NICU and the doctor telling me we would have to wait and see...and pray. We are so blessed by Sam's presence in our lives.
The rest of April passed with our regular activities...church, gymnastics, scouts, play dates with friends and one big weekend campout! Lizzy and I accompanied Sam and Paul's scout troop to a district campout in Ma Tso Lung, a camp in the New Territories very close to the China border city of Shenzen. I am always heartened to be involved with scouting events here in Hong Kong, because it reminds me that scouting is worldwide and universal. The scouts worked on leadership, cooking, lashings, and athletic prowess. We camped for two nights and survived the bugs, the heat, the porta-potties, and the cooking of the scouts. We came home with new friends, lots of bug bites, and a sincere appreciation for our beds and bathrooms!
Our campsite...well, this is half of the campsite. It was a huge field and tents were put into a large horseshoe around the field.
Cooking competition was fierce. They were given ingredients and had to come up with a meal in 2 hours.
Arranging nearly 300 scouts for a photo is not easy...
And one more, just because...this is how we go to church and everywhere else when it rains! Never travel without an umbrella!
We miss you all very very much! Probably more now that we've made firm plans to visit in the US in July. We will let you know the details soon, but we hope to visit with everyone when we are home.