Friday, August 19, 2016

A Special Visitor

We had a very special visitor over the past few weeks.


If I had been a good blogger, I would have blogged every day while she was here. But alas, I am what I am and the time has flown and so has she. So I am doomed to remember as best as I can what happened a month ago.

Kathi arrived bearing beautiful German-made gifts and chocolate.

 The little girls' dresses are so beautiful! Now if they would just stand still...

 Does this girl know me, or what?!? She brought chocolate bars for each person. I think some kids ate their entire bar in a day. I stretched mine out for a couple weeks. :)

 These sandwich plates are the best!

We didn't do any really "big" things while Kathi was here, but we did do some small things. Kathi had a shopping day in the cities, and she met up with several friends. One night George invited her out to dinner and a movie--then he invited me and Mitch along for dinner also. We had a really great time.

It was so fun that Kathi was here for her birthday again. She turned 22 years old, but I only had one "number 2" candle. So I put on 20 individual candles, for the 20 birthdays she celebrated in Germany, and a number 2 candle, for her second birthday in the USA. :) Carrot cake was one of the foods that Kathi requested. The night before her birthday she happened to go to bed early, so I stayed up and baked her cake. Eden hung streamers. In Germany they celebrate birthdays at breakfast. So we had carrot cake for breakfast (or right after, since it took a while for everyone to get up).

 At 22 years old, Kathi is studying to be a pediatric nurse in Germany. She got to bandage a few scrapes while she was here.
She loves driving, and can drive a 5-speed. She got to drive Micah's Mustang. It probably would have been more fun on the Autobahn. ;)
She has a lot of patience with the children.
She died her hair with henna, and it's gorgeous!

Kathi spent a lot of time helping Mitch in the garage. At the end of her exchange year, she planned a little surprise for us. She hid notes all over the house. Some of them she placed strategically just before she walked out the door the last time, so we began finding them as soon as we got home from the airport. For example, one of the notes was on the kitchen floor. It said, "This was the best/worst alarm clock ever." Her bed was right under the kitchen floor. When the kids would get up in the morning, their loud feet would often wake her up. If that didn't work, 3 purposeful stomps on the floor would usually do it. Haha. One of the notes she left was "I want to paint something!" Sadly, we decided to majorly paint our living area just after she left. It would have been so fun to do that project while she was still at our house. This year we painted again just before she came...darn! But Mitch has been bee-keeping this summer and he and his dad are building more hives. Kathi was busy painting lots and lots of bee boxes for them.

The last week Kathi was here, Mitch came up with a great gift idea for her family. They dug out the scroll saw and made some special presents. These are gifts worthy of sending home to Germany! I was so impressed with their creativity.

Kathi has loved photography since before we knew her. She has a very unique eye for the camera and I love her pictures. She took some pictures of the kids and copied them onto our computer. She included some pictures she had taken during a layover in Chicago. I was so impressed, and it gave me an idea. Eden is beginning her senior year of high school and wanted to take senior portraits during the summer. I asked Kathi if she would join me in taking photos of Eden. What a special blessing!! I snapped this one just as we were wrapping up.

Eden was gone for 2 weeks right in the middle of Kathi's visit. It was bitter-sweet. Eden had looked forward to returning to Nicaragua for 2 years, but it was hard to be away while Kathi was here. Then her trip home took 3 extra days. They still managed to get in some good "sister time." They made plans for Eden to come to Germany next summer and they will tour Europe together. I think they know enough languages together to have a great trip. :)

Kathi wants it to be a tradition that we go to Cold Stone Creamery before she goes home each visit. The new challenge is it's very difficult to get all of us together at the same time. It didn't work out for us to go right before she left, but we went the night before. The ice cream was so good!

I really, really wish we could have taken "good" family pictures while Kathi was still here. Unfortunately, we just didn't have time. The ones we took quickly at Cold Stone turned out pretty good, and even though the lighting or the setting isn't "professional," I think I'll print one for our wall anyway!

Genna is eating some of the German candy Kathi brought. She LOVES it. She says, "Cheeeeeeeee."

Right before Kathi began her long journey home, our family started coming down with a stomach virus. Unfortunately, Kathi got sick in the middle of her trip. That was a hard way to end it all. But we are just helping her build her immune system, right? Since she is working in the hospital, it's a good thing. Ha!

This post feels so inadequately short for documenting Kathi's visit to our home this year. We are so blessed to see the young woman that Kathi is becoming and to get to spend time with her again. We are thankful to God that He brought her to our family.

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