The next day we left for Iowa to my Uncle Dave and Aunt Kathy's house. I have 3 cousins from Iowa, 2 of which are married and live nearby. However, all 3 cousins were around because of Memorial Day weekend so I got to see all of them. Here's a pic of us: Gretchen, me, Heidi, Christy, and Dawn. I'm the oldest so I get to be tallest, isn't that how that works? :) Heidi and Christy are pregnant and due this summer/fall. Heidi is having baby #5 (Levi, Asher, Lilly, Violet, and baby) and Christy is having baby #2 (Ariel & baby).
Here's a pic of all the 2nd cousins. Ariel wasn't happy about being in a picture so Christy is helping out... Getting 8 kids ages 5 and under in a picture is quite an undertaking, hence the lack of kids looking and smiling at the camera. They're still cute though. This is: Ariel (Christy) and Lilly in the back.
Front is: Asher, Jesiah holding Adalaya, Gweny, and Levi holding Violet.
Here's Uncle Dave and Aunt Kathy on the left. After eating Aunt Kathy's amazing cinnamon rolls for breakfast, we headed on to Minneapolis to stay with my Uncle Fred and Aunt Betty again. They win for hosting us the most times over the last year - yeah! Your rewards are in heaven; I don't have anything fun to give you... :) We saw my grandma there again and also saw my Uncle Darrell and Aunt Jeannie. Here's all of them at Fred and Betty's and a pic too of my cousin Fred and his girlfriend, Barbara. He's impossible to photograph so I have to get candid shots to get anything. Finally, here's me with Fred and Betty. The next night we were scheduled to stay with friends Ralph and Shari in Bismark, North Dakota. However, as we got on the road, the kids and I were sick and Jesiah had a nasty fever. We stopped in and ate supper with Ralph and Shari so got to see them a short time. Then we then hit the road again and just drove the whole way back to Montana, getting back late that night. Sleeping in one's own bed after a month away is a great treat! Fortunately, we are all healed up again, feeling great so we are practicing getting our "land legs" back on again after a month on the road. It is nice to be back in Montana again for awhile, but I'm so thankful for all the great connections while on the road. Thanks to everyone who hosted us, fed us, and shared their time with us this trip!
So what's up for June? So far I've been spending my time catching up on paperwork from while I was away. Hopefully I'll be through all my old piles by the end of the week. Next on my to-do list is getting a study plan together for learning grammar and starting on Bislama (the trade language in Vanuatu). I also need to go back through all my boxes from moving here from Boise last year and get rid of more things I'm realizing I don't need. We are having a garage sale the end of the month so that will be a great time to trim down more. I also have lots of paperwork still to do for moving overseas - banking stuff, insurance stuff, social security stuff, Australia student visa, a will and burial info to Biblical Minstries Worldwide to name a few. I'm also catching up with friends and supporters here in Montana. The very end of the month, I am looking forward to a short family get-away my mom has planned to the Black Hills (South Dakota). Just 8 short weeks until I fly to California and then on to Vanuatu - wow, look at the time go! Thanks for your prayers for faithfulness, provision, and grace as the time draws near.