7:45 CST: We haven't posted in a while. I guess our hands have been a little full! We've been settling in and getting acquainted with our surroundings, neighbors, and new friends. People here are really nice, and I like the small-town atmosphere (so far--ask me again when everyone we see knows who we are and has expectations). Let's see, what's been going on? We participated in the local county Relay for Life on Friday night. After they took pictures, the ceremonies began, and they started with a survivors' lap. During the pictures, Sophie had gotten to know an older lady, so they held hands as everyone walked. Randall, Elisabeth, and I sort of tagged along in the middle of the field to make sure she was okay. Randall and I both got surprisingly emotional about seeing her walk with other cancer survivors (she was the only child). I don't think we've really taken the time acknowledge the end of everything we've gone through since January of 2005--we've been so focused on the future and the transition to our new home. On the second lap, the caregivers joined the survivors, so we walked too (and carried Sophie). The relay teams joined on the third lap, but we dropped out and got in line for food. A big storm came up as we were walking around the field looking at each team's tent and activities, so we headed home. The girls were both terrified that the storm would turn into a tornado (a tornado caused some pretty serious damage in nearby Clovis not too long ago). They eventually went to sleep, but it took a lot of time and reassurance. They've been scared every evening there's been a dark cloud in the sky (or maybe it's just a clever attempt to delay bedtime?). In general, the girls have both really been pushing the boundaries (and our buttons). We're wondering whether it's the daily separation from us (they go to all-day camp while we work), when were used to being in a very small space together 24 hours a day. Or maybe it's just growing pains as we get used to our new home. Luckily, they generally "show their tails" (as our friends in NC say) only when they are with us and not so much in front of other people.
Randall has two worship services under his belt, and he's starting to get a feel for how he might make little changes here and there. This week, he's having his secretary (and, no, that's not me!) reformat the bulletin. We went choir practice last night, and not only am I now singing in the choir, I'm doing a duet (to recorded music) with an amazing singer in the congregation (that's the only way I can do a duet--I really need to be under a strong lead). I'm actually a little nervous, partly because I'm not very familiar with the song, but I have a recording and a copy of the sheet music, so I'll practice this week. Randall has been visiting several of the shut-ins and learning more about the congregation. He goes to his office every day and really seems to be getting more comfortable.
Our very good friends from Albuquerque--Barbara and Jeremy and their kids Jacquelyn and Jacob--are coming to visit this weekend! We are so excited to see them. Elisabeth and Jacquelyn were born 5 weeks apart, and Sophie and Jacob were born two months apart. We have really missed weeing them and are glad we're only 4 hours apart now.
Update on my mom: she got a new cat. She went to the animal shelter and considered several possibilities, but the cat that seemed most perfect for her was one whose owner had died and didn't have anyone to take him in--they had both been orphaned! His name is Shadow (he's black and white), and although the shelter thought he was around 4 years old, her vet thought he might be more like 7. She's still pretty sad about Kitty Supreme, but having a new companion at home eases the sting a little bit.