Last week while Anna, Aaron and Amber were visiting, a group of friends went to a water park a little over an hour away. About 70 were in our group, most of them friends from our home school group.
The water park had something for everyone, and we all had a blast for several hours.
Our five oldest children--Jaynie (18), Cassandra (17), Joe (19), Anna (20) and Lissie (19)
Below, Lissie is posing with a new friend. Ana has just joined our church family after marrying Mike, one of the men in our congregation.
Everything is new to Ana because her home before they married was Indonesia. Ana and Mike were introduced through mutual friends whom he met when he did missions work there several years ago.
Ana's only been in the U.S. about four weeks, but she's fit right in. She's kind and friendly. Ana told us as we drove to the water park that there are 16,000 tribes on the many islands that make up Indonesia, and each tribe has its own language. Despite English being Ana's fifth language, she speaks it remarkably well.
When I wanted to take my friend Heather's photo, she wasn't quite as cooperative as her daughter "Sunshine," whose senior pictures I took a couple of weeks ago. Sunshine smiled for me nearly 1,000 times! (See Senior Pictures...already???)
My friend Jana greeting visiting Anna with great joy and energy. The whole exchange below took place so quickly that only an SLR camera on its rapid speed setting could have caught all the action!
Oksana, our little dare devil, loved everything about the water park, Anna's sister-in-law, Amber, kindly helped the little 7-year-old meet the challenges of the slides and lazy river safely.
Amy (formerly Princess Bink) spent hours in the shallow area learning to swim without water wings.
All on her own, Amy accomplished her goal and proudly showed me her new skill when I walked by.
When we adopted Amy, she was deathly afraid of water. When we were in Moscow, she screamed and screamed and screamed as we tried to shower her in our hotel room. Her howls were so loud we were afraid the authorities would come and take her away from us!
For a long time after Amy became part of our family remained quite leery of swimming pools. God has been so good and stripped her of her fear. She's now a confident swimmer with a beautiful kick!
We stayed at the park long enough that we had to reapply sun screen multiple times.
Mark (formerly Speedy) spent most of his time on the diving boards. He's the family's other dare devil. On the right in the photo below, Lissie is pointing out Mark to Oksana as he prepares to do a front layout off the high dive.
The day was a great hit with everyone, and a nice way to deal with the on going heat. Even though we're in the northern plains, we've still spent many days this summer with the temperature and the humidity combining for heat indices well over 100 degrees.
Thanks, Jana, for arranging the outing! Your servant's heart blesses us all!