Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Here and There and Back Again

The above title pretty much sums up what I've been doing recently. Late last night - 11:30 p.m. in fact - mom, dad, and I finally arrived home. My other siblings came home on December 26th, but for a variety of reasons, I stayed with my parents. Here's a recap of our trip:

On December 22nd, we headed out on the start of our long trip. Miriam (Lofgren), Lydia, Elijah, Jubilee and I left our house at 6:30 a.m., for we enjoy early starts, and mom and dad left in their car a little later. 9 hours later, we arrived at Luke and Michele Lofgren's home in Little Rock, Arkansas. We spent the afternoon and evening playing games, talking and spending time with the children.

Jubilee enjoyed reading with Danielle to Nathaniel.

That evening, Luke's family opened the presents we brought. Alex, Zach, and Danielle couldn't wait, while Nate still wasn't quite sure what was happening. =)

The three computer geniuses found three laptops, and worked all lined up in a row.

Michele and Danielle tried on the aprons I made them.

We awoke somewhat refreshed on Saturday morning. I was quite tired, having been busy all week, stayed up quite late packing the night before the trip, and gotten up quite early to leave, so sleep was quite nice! After breakfast, including Michele's delicious holiday bread, we played Dutch Blitz, and headed off again. Miriam went to visit a friend from college, while the rest of us headed to our grandparent's old home in Bella Vista, Arkansas. They moved out last summer to live in an assisted living facility near my aunt. After being missionaries for forty years, my grandparents, now in their eighties, are enjoying being near family.

We sorted some stuff in the old home, stayed the night, and left the next morning for my aunt and uncle's home in Kansas City, KS. We spend Christmas Eve with them going to a church service and opening gifts. Christmas Day was spent enjoying each other's company, and, as with any Lofgren-Rossell gathering, playing a lot of games!

Seven hungry cousins around one plate of crackers and cheese...

Grandma looked quite becoming in the bow she removed from the gift she was unwrapping.

Early on December 26th, Miriam, Lydia, Elijah, and Jubilee began the 14 hour trip home. After getting up to see them off, Daddy, mother, and I soon headed off on our own trip; destination: Oakland, Nebraska.

As Jennifer Duff mentioned, she and I finally got to meet, after corresponding for 11 months. We have so much in common, our date of birth, our dancing, the size of our families, the fact that both of our parents used to be missionaries overseas, our personalities, our struggles, our hopes and dreams, and so much more! It was so wonderful to actually get to meet her, after writing and emailing for so long. It's amazing how natural it felt for our families to be together. It wasn't really awkward at all for Jen and I to talk, play games, dance, de-bone turkey, make jewelry, write with old-fashioned pens, and take pictures together. It felt like we'd known each other for quite a long time, for in fact we had, through writing. It was such a joy to be with Jennifer Kay and her family. It has been such a blessing to know that there's a girl all the way in Nebraska praying for me, and there to listen and offer encouragement.

Jennifer, thank you so much for all that you are and all that you do!

More pictures will follow, as soon as I get them...

Jennifer, her mom, her sister Emily, the amazing artist, and her four younger brothers. We forgot to get a picture of them all, before her dad and older brother left.

We left the next day after lunch, full of Emily's wonderful cooking and a lot of wonderful memories. I miss Jen now more than ever, but I look forward to our continued correspondence, and the hope of seeing each other again.

On December 28th we left Kansas City once again, after spending the morning with my grandparents. This time our destination was Oklahoma, to visit another aunt and uncle. We enjoyed time with my mom's side of the family; we shared meals, enjoyed conversations, and my mom and I even worked out with my aunt at Curves, which was actually a lot of fun!

December 29th through January 1st was spent sorting my grandparent's old house with my dad's sister and brother. We found a lot of treasures, and quite a lot of things to get rid of. I enjoyed sorting, although it was hard at times, and spending time with my aunt and uncle while doing it was also fun. I even found a few things to save in my hope chest!

On January 2nd, we finally headed home. We didn't leave Bella Vista until 10 a.m., which was quite a late start considering we had nearly 14 hours to drive. One of the nice things about being on vacation, and especially on car rides, was the fact that I got a lot of reading done. I really enjoy reading, yet with all the activities going on around home, don't get to as much as I would like. The car rides helped cut down a little on my book list.

We finally arrived home, and I am glad to be out of the car! Things haven't slowed down; today my sister Maria and her three children, including my new niece, arrived, to stay until Saturday. I'm very happy to have them here, and it's amazing how much Lisa Beth has already grown!

Well, it's quite late, but I wanted to let you all know what I did while I dropped out of cyber space for so long. =) I pray that all of you are having a wonderful start to 2007!


Miriam Rebekah said...

Whew! Now that you can breath a little bit. Sounds like you had a whirlwind trip. I'm so glad that you got to meet Jennifer. Maybe some day, I can come with you....

Glad you're home!

Ella said...

I am so glad that you had a nice trip. I was praying for you! I hope you and I will meet one day! Thanks for posting some of the pictures!

thepatriot said...

I had fun meeting you Anna! I can't wait until June!!!!!

Ella said...

Will you be seeing each other in June?

Anna Naomi said...

Yes!! Jennifer and I are both most likely going to Ballet Magnificat's Summer Dance Intensive, starting in June. We can't wait!