Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birthdays, Travels, & Water Days

Our eldest son Aidan just turned 12 on May 10th and managed to have 3 birthday cakes and celebrations. May has been a time for us to take a few trips to see family and friends as we near the end of our time here in the states for the next 2 years. As we wait on our home to sell we are spending time enjoying family visits and time with good friends.

We went to see Lowell's sister in New Orleans in early May which was a lot of fun for our kids since it was their first time to see the Crescent City/NAWLINS/The Big Easy/NOLA... so many ways to refer to this unique and beautiful city. We enjoyed time eating some good food, seeing many sights, including a ride on the Creole Queen Riverboat to see an old plantation.

After New Orleans we spent a couple of nights in some friends' beach house in Galveston. The water was slightly cold but we got plenty of sun and got to have an unexpected dinner with some long-time missionary friends of ours who had just returned from a trip to Africa who have a beautiful new home in Galveston.

Last week we did an 11 day trip that started in Shay's hometown of Brenham where we attended Maifest - German festival. This was a time to see all of Shay's siblings and their kids and enjoy a parade and an evening at the midway carnival. We celebrated Aidan's birthday the first time (a day early) here and celebrated Mother's Day as well.

Then on to Lowell's hometown of Frost where we saw his parents and 2 nieces - we spent 3 nights there. We celebrated Aidan's birthday for the 2nd time here (this is where the top pic was taken). The kids had fun going to the city park and playing and Lowell got to witness his mom being sworn in as the towns first female mayor.

We drove from Frost to Denton to stay with Shay's sister Traci and family. Denton is where Shay and Lowell met and went to college. We met some old dear friends at a park and shared a meal together and did some catching up.

Big D is just a half hour drive from Little D. Here we met some old friends for some good Texas Barbecue and did some much needed catching up. We got to share more in depth with these friends about our calling to go serve in Bolivia. This evening ended with some good frozen yogurt next to the famous Inwood Theater. We also got to take our boys and a friend to a concert music festival in Richardson to see their favorite band MUTEMATH one more time before we leave. This was a fun time together with me, Shay, and the boys!

We ended our trip seeing more friends in Mansfield. First, we stayed at our friends', Jeff & Kristy's, home with with their 3 lovely daughters. We got some great laughs and good food time with these longtime friends! We also got to enjoy a great home cooked TexMex meal with our longtime friend Melody and finally met her husband Steve and baby Jude.

This was a great time to see so many friends we have been very close to for many years and to share more 1 on 1 with them about our mission journey as well as just enjoy good company and fellowship together.

Last week we spent 4 days in the water at various events such as home school water day in Galveston, Pee Wee School water day, Aidan's birthday at the beach. Lowell is excited to get more opportunities to get rid of his "farmer's tan" lines and get more sun.

As we mentioned earlier we are in a season of waiting in faith for our home to sell which will then allow us to move to Bolivia to live. We appreciate all of you so much and are very grateful to call you friends. We appreciate your continued support and prayers for us as we follow where the Lord leads us.

The Ballews
(Lowell, Shay, Aidan, Liam, Jude, Olivia)

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