The past month has been very crazy around here. Early March I came down with a sinus infection. Of course I just thought it was a cold. So not wanting to go to the doctor for a cold I went around being miserable for a week. Mark even had to stay home a few days so I could sleep b/c I could hardly function. Finally after losing my voice, I went to the doctor and got meds. Just as I started to feel better I had to switch into gear to get ready for Pennsylvania. I think by the time I was feeling better I had about a week to prepare for our trip. Just this past weekend we flew to PA to celebrate Mark's grandfather's 90th Birthday. I'm very glad we all decided to go. At first Mark was going to fly up himself. But as we checked out prices we realized that while it would hurt our savings alittle, it would be worth it for all of us to go. And really we got tickets for a decent price considering the prices of flying lately. I think it was somewhere around $650 for three tickets. Cai is free! It was a good weekend. Full of family. Unfortunately our fight up there was not so fun. Our flight from Wichita to Atlanta was suppose to leave at 12:50pm. But do to weather in Atlanta the flight was canceled and we were re-booked for a 5:20pm flight. We decided to just stay in the airport b/c everything was already in. I had packed lunch. There is a very nice display of furniture called Stressless right there at the check in. So we hung out there for several hours before going through security and to our gate. Oh the 5:20 flight got delayed until 6:20pm. So we still ended up hanging out at the gate for several hours as well. Luckily, Ian thought watching the airplanes taxi in and out was very cool. So really the kids did great. We got into Atlanta at about 9:20pm and our flight to Philly was at 10 something. But that flight was delayed so I think we left Atlanta alittle after 11pm and got into Philly around 1am. Both kids slept on that flight. And Ian didn't wake up until we walked out to the parking lot. We got to the guest house we were staying at near Mark's grandfather's around 2am. It was a long day. But like I said the kids were great. So Friday and Saturday we were with my father-in-law's family celebrating. Then Saturday we drove to Bethlehem, PA to see my mother-in-law's mother. Her siblings came down from Maine to visit during our time there (Sun-Tues). So we saw alot of family. It was nice. Mark doesn't get to see his expanded family much since they all live on the east coast. And I really haven't gotten to spend much time with them. So it was nice to see everyone and get to know people alittle more. It was stress. I won't lie. I'm so introverted that 6 days of constant people is very tiring. But I am glad we went. Ian loved playing with his cousin. And it was good to see Mark's folks and siblings. I really do love his family.
So the other thing that has been stressful this month has been applying to Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. I send in my application early in the month. But then I had the scholarship application to fill out. I'm applying for a full tuition scholarship. And the application included a 5 to 10 page essay on "The Church." And that was my only direction. It took me awhile to get started. Such a big topic, I wasn't sure what to say. But once I started I found it quite easy to complete. I focused on why I stay within the church despite my frustrations with her. I talked about the community I find there, the love and support the church has give me. I've been reading Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution with some friends from my church. Claiborne says this, "We are the church. If she were perfect, we'd mess her up as soon as we joined. So may we have some grace, even with those Christians and pastors who make us nauseated and put us to sleep. After all, they have given us enough of the story that we have been able to stumble into God and community." This sorta became the thesis of my paper. So other than just the overwhelming task of writing an essay for such a big scholarship, the essay and financial app were due yesterday. I had wanted to have them sent off Last Thurs before we left. However, trying to get everything done something had to get dropped. So I took everything along to finish on the road. Friday when I pull the computer out to do what I was hoping would be my final read over and editing, I found that I had forgotten the usb drive I had saved it to in the computer at home :( Luckily for me I had writing the first draft on google docs and thus had it online. But I had lost two pages of additional content and all the editing I had done. So I spent Friday and Sunday working on it. Monday Mark and I filled out the financial app, which took time because it asks you to estimate your budget for the year so they better determine your financial need. I'm so grateful to my mother-in-law who took it to AMBS. She is the librarian there and had a meeting yesterday she needed to be at anyway. When I got home Tues I had an email in my box from the Admissions office letting me know they had received all the paper work from my entrance application (they had been waiting on references). At the bottom there was an extra note encouraging me write the scholarship essay based on my references. I'm hoping this means I have a better shot at the scholarship than I originally thought :) There was also a note saying I could e-mail everything. If only I had know that days prior to all this. So I emailed my paperwork just to be safe. Everything is in. So now I just have to wait till May to see if I get awarded the scholarship. Job prospects for Mark are still pretty slim. Unemployment in Elkart Co is really, really high. The economy there is in very bad shape. But if I were to get a full tuition scholarship we might be able to live off Federal grants and loans till Mark gets a job. We'll have to talk more about that once we know more. For those that don't know, if Mark doesn't get a job before the fall semester the plan has been to stay in Newton. AMBS has an extension site in town where I could take some evening classes. Then once he gets a job we'll move to the Goshen/ Elkart area. So we're still in the wait and see part. Of the joys of living in limbo.
The boys are doing well. I'm only going to give a short update b/c this post is getting long. Cai is crawling now. Mostly he does an army type crawl with just his arms and toes. But he wants so much to crawl on his hands and knees. And he is, he just isn't very fast yet and this frustrates him. Ian is becoming more assertive in places he is comfortable in. I think he is sorta introverted because he can be very shy and sorta hold back and watch when he doesn't feel completely comfortable somewhere. It is nice to see him be more assertive even if only in certain settings. He loves to sing and will randomly break out into song, even singing to Cai when Cai is upset. It is very cute. And today he started improvising the words to a song. Cai pulled down his hat over his eyes and Ian started to sing about that. I am constantly amazed at the inter workings of that boys mind. Ok enough for now. I'll try to be better about posting more often so I can avoid such long winded posts. :)