The month started off with a sweet reunion of 5 of the families that moved to Brazil 30 years ago to start a church plant in Fortaleza. Josh's parents lived there for about 7 years, and Josh and his sister Heather were both born there. I had previously met one of the families, but it was so fun to get to meet 3 of the others that I have heard so much about, and I think all of us "kids" that were in attendance loved hearing the former missionaries reminisce about the ways the Lord provided for them as they worked to raise a young church and young families in another culture (we also loved/cringed at the hilarious/awkward stories parents always seem to have on hand).
|The Jenks, Copelands, Lawsons, & Chisholms; together again.|
At the end of the reunion weekend, we spent Labor Day driving down to Dallas so we could catch an early Tuesday morning flight to Cancun! Even though we had left Liam with Josh's parents a couple of weeks earlier so we could go to the Dispatch concert in St. Louis, this was our first actual trip without the little buddy. We had gotten a great deal on 3 nights at an all-inclusive and decided to use it to kick-off Josh's sabbatical. The weather was wonderful, the resort was pretty quiet, and we were so relaxed and lazy that we only took TWO pictures during the 4 days we were there. I think it was too much work to move our arms to lift a camera :) Anyway, here they are, for your viewing pleasure:
|Ahhh, the beach.|
|Ahhh, delicious food.|
Two days after we got home from our Mexican get-away, I had the honor of helping hostess a sip and see for one of my friends/former cell group girls. Kayla moved to our area when she was a senior in high school and was part of the small group I led that year. I felt an instant bond with her, and was blessed to become even better friends with her during her college years at the U of A. She now lives with her husband and adorable little girl in Colorado, so it was so fun to get to celebrate London while they were in town last month.
|Pink & orange party table - so fun to get to plan something girly!|
|Maryanne, Kevie, Me & Kayla (former cell group girls, all grown up!)|
For Josh's second week of sabbatical we had considered going to the beach again with Liam, or perhaps heading to Little Rock & Kansas City to visit some friends; but we decided it would be more relaxing to just stay home and plan fun little day trips as a family.
|not a trip, but fun hanging out with Daddy next to the new firepit|
One of our outings was to the nearby animal "safari". Josh and I had both gone
Or like these kittens (we don't have cats, but if I had known they'd get this response, I would have been taking him to the pet store weekly).
We also took our first family hike of the fall, and Liam got to ride in comfort in the new backpack carrier. I love this picture because it's so fun to see how much has changed since our first family hike last fall.
|Lawson fam, fall 2011|
|Lawson fam, fall 2010|
No family hike is complete without Jack in attendance, and for him, no hike is complete without getting super muddy and then shaking all over us. He, of course, was not disappointed.
|Jack & Liam doing some exploring of their own.|
The last week of Josh's sabbatical was, sadly, the week I miscarried, but even in that we saw God's gracious hand. I'm so glad Josh was able to be home with us that week: partly so he could help out with Liam, but mostly so we could just have more time as a family to process and rest. Oh, and so we could be refreshed by laughing at the antics of our little performer:
|because every one year old needs a trucker hat|
|and because in Liam's mind there is no such thing as a neutral face - he is ALWAYS animated.|