In a few days, we’ll have internet at home (I hope!), and I’ll be able to give a more thorough update.
- In the meantime, here are a few disjointed notes about the past week or so. Yesterday marked one week of life in Little Rock!
- Our Reba community friend Barb had mercy on us at the last moment – the night before our drive from Evanston to Little Rock – and decided to ride with the kids and me. She planned to stay a couple of days; but, once we had two down to the stomach flu (Jedi & Josh), she changed her train ticket and stayed on as a nonanxious presence and wonderful helping hand until Friday night. What an unexpected gift!
- Another community friend Gus rode with Josh in the truck and helped a great deal with unloading the truck on this end. He also tuned and cleaned our piano and filled our house with Reba praise songs. It was a house blessing of sorts!
- My dad was out front to greet us the moment we drove up with our giant, yellow Penske truck and trusty, white van. He even had sparkling grape juice to celebrate! We have been thankful for his additional presence here on several days – helping unload the truck, buying us groceries, bringing us family furniture from storage, and generally brightening the spirits of the children.
- Many people from our block and the nearby Methodist church have brought us sweets to welcome us. Sweet breads (banana, strawberry, zucchini) seem to be the custom. 🙂
- The kids, Barb, and I stayed in the garage apartment several nights while the moving in, initial unpacking, and sickness swirled around. We were thankful to have a quiet, warm space away from the action.
- We’ve also been thankful that the space is big enough that we do not feel cramped or overwhelmed as we organize and unpack.
- There are many projects still before us, but I’ll give you a few that we’ve done (we rejoice in each small task completed!):
- Painting the laundry room, dining room (walls & ceiling), and beginning on the office.
- Washer and dryer purchased and installed! No more visits to the “Funmart Laundromat.”
- Drip in kitchen faucet fixed and new (mold-free) hardware installed.
- Drip in bathroom faucet fixed.
- Kitchen cabinet drawers and doors put on (after being painted earlier in January).
- New car license plates, and an Arkansas drivers license for me! (Josh’s still pending…)
- New Arkansas bank account.
- Bed for Lilia painted and set up (thanks to my mom who came to help on Saturday). She and Lilia also painted several other pieces of her furniture lavendar to match her bed.
- I’m sure there’s more, but I might be boring you by now…
- Our next-door neighbor invited us to church on Sunday. It’s a 9000-member black church 2 or 3 blocks from our house. We all went and had a great time. The preacher was amazing (Josh was thrilled because he quoted Nouwen). The choir moved us to tears. Our neighbor insisted we meet the pastor. No decision yet about what our home church will be, but we really enjoyed going to this one.
- Our next-door neighbors on the other side invited us to a Superbowl party at their place. The kids were jumping-up-and-down excited (mostly because they had hamburgers & all I’d made for dinner was chicken noodle soup). Still, we all liked the neighbors and their friends and family at the party. Simeon made friends with their two-year-old granddaughter (who lives one more house down our block).
- We started homeschooling yesterday. We’re continuing with their regular school routines for math, writing, and spelling. We’re also focusing on our watershed (learning the bodies of water, animals, insects, plants, history, etc. in our specific ecological area). Our watershed is called Coleman Creek, and we’ve already done an expedition to find the creek. We’ve visited two different parts of it today and yesterday.
- We’ve also been participating in lots of activities at the Hillary Clinton Children’s LIbrary that is just blocks from our house – Garden club, cooking classes, martial arts classes – all free and amazing! http://www.cals.lib.ar.us/about/locations/childrens-library.aspx
- And today we went to the fantastic zoo in our neighborhood – chimpanzees, lemurs, cheetahs, oh my! We got to see them feed the ringtails, and the one named “Reba” came right up to the window. Thanks to my Memaw for the zoo membership, we’re gonna LOVE it!
- The kids and I also went to a kid-friendly yoga class for caregivers – catered to the needs of bodies that are frequently lifting and serving. The group meets at the Quaker Meeting House and has a discussion on the issues of social justice and how it relates to parenting – especially in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. It was a great time, and I even got to do a little bodywork on one mom’s sore shoulder.
- Josh continues to spend his mornings looking for work. Please pray for that process and end result!
- Also, there are deadlines for applications for schools for the kids for the Fall (due in this Friday). We have two school visits scheduled for this week. We really want a public school in the neighborhood – that feels important to us. Yet, no one says good things about really any of the schools. PLUS, last week a vote passed for the government to take over the schools, due to 6 schools with insufficient progress. It’s a tumultuous time for the Little Rock schools. We’d appreciate your prayers in navigating this situation.
Okay. I’m impressed if you made it this far. Subsequent updates will be shorter and include more pictures…:)