Thursday, December 3, 2009
What a fun Thanksgiving week! The kids had five days off of school which we tried to fill with things to do lest they climb the walls (or drive Rob and I to:)).
Bob and June came to visit from Grand Rapids, MI. We really enjoyed showing them around Columbia and celebrating Ben's 12th birthday & Thanksgiving. Since Ben is a new fan of both the USC Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers, I decided to decorate a birthday cake for both teams! Ben enjoyed getting new Packer gear, a digital camera and a ticket for an upcoming "interact with Beluga Whales" event at Sea World in a few weeks! Grandma & Poppy's visit ended with a wonderful slide show of June's recent trip to Italy as well as opening some "Italian" Christmas presents!
On Friday the six of us took a spur of the moment trip to Charleston. What a blast! It was a beautiful 65 degree day and we enjoyed walking through the town marveling at all the historic homes and sites. We took a tour of the old Slave Mart where slaves used to be auctioned off. It was very humbling! We spent the night at a hotel and enjoyed a quick dip in the outdoor pool (brrrrrr!) and a long soak in the hot tub. I love snuggling in with everyone to watch a movie which we did in two groups...boys watching "Batman" and Grace and I watching "The Santa Clause". We slept in longer than we had planned due to the comfy beds and room darkening curtains! On Saturday we went to Patriots Point which is a awesome naval "museum" consisting of a WWII aircraft carrier complete with all the "fixings". The boys LOVED exploring all through the ship and fiddling with all the knobs and gadgets! We also explored a WWII submarine. How any sailor survived mentally in that thing I will never know? The whole place took us about five hours to explore, so our feet were very tired by the end of the day!
On Sunday we had the opportunity to attend a church pastored by a friend of ours. It was a very different but wonderful service! The pastor is from Guinea, West Africa. She and her husband came to the US fourteen years ago and felt called to serve the poor and down trodden in Columbia. A church was started and we were able to be at the service to celebrate their "new" building. The service lasted three hours and was full of dancing, clapping, singing, hugs, testimonies, scripture reading and prayers (many in french!)...all done with lively passion! We were the only white people there besides our friends, and felt totally loved and welcome into their fellowship! We were invited to stay for lunch after the service and enjoyed some delicious African food.