Back 'home'

After 5 weeks that couldn't have been any better than they were, we've arrived back in Uganda safe and sound. Though we miss our loved ones back in the U.S., it's good to be back in our home and not living out of a suitcase.
We feel so blessed to have had the chance to come home and visit - it was definitely the recharging we needed. Even though we loved our time and miss our family and friends and life back in Oregon/California, we feel really good about being back here now for this chapter in our lives.
We had a forced overnight layover in Paris on the way home, so even though we were jet-lagged and exhausted, we forced ourselves into taking a bus tour of the city. It was pretty amazing to see so many things you've only seen in movies.
Now that we're back, the boys will get back to school on Monday, and me back to work (though I've been working some throughout the trip preparing for my upcoming project trip). I leave in 10 days to head out to the shore of Lake Victoria to lead a team who will design the master plan for a youth camp and training center. It should be a great time, though I'm praying the pending rainy season holds off for a bit since we're sleeping in tents out on the site!
Enjoy this mini photo journal of our time in the U.S.A. I wish I would've done this before we left while we had fast internet but time got away from me. But consequently, I won't post nearly as many pictures as I might have.

Jet lag can even put an anticipated meal from home on hold

The boys in a carseat for the first time in over a year!

Christmas came a month late, but it was just as good tardy thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, who left their house decorated!

Visiting with the DeJong kids

Our friend Libby was a star for hauling her 3 little ones down for the evening to say hi! See you on facebook Lib! (ha!)

Alisha ran a 1/2-marathon in Huntington Beach on Feb 1st with a bunch of the LaBrie's and Morrows. It was a perfect day to run - she finished in 1 hour 53 minutes in her first 13.1 miler!
1/2-marathon finishers: (L to R) Holli Morrow, Traci LaBrie, Danielle LaBrie, Bayli Morrow, my sister Traci Morrow, Alisha, my sister Terri LaBrie, Terri's husband Joe LaBrie

We went to Disneyland - our friends the Sampsons drove down from Medford and joined us, as did a bunch of our family from So-Cal. It was a 'magical time'! Emilie and Alisha were posing while we waited for the boys to try to be in the Jedi Knight show (Brodie and Jonah both made it in the show!)

Matt and I at Disneyland - it was a great time with the Sampsons and our family

Jonah & Andrew Sampson in the front, Alisha and Graysen in the second row, and Brodie with Matt in the back.

The boys with their cousins Bradley and Joey (Morrow) - on one day, our group at Disneyland numbered 21 people! Aunt Ta (my sister Traci) even got us all matching Disneyland 'Family Reunion' buttons from the main office.

We met Alisha's brother Brian and his wife Shannon at LAX returning from Uganda after picking up their new adopted kids, Billy and Becky. This is the first picture snapped of their new family

Me and Graysen with my parents, 'Grammy' and 'Papa' at Venice Beach. We drove over to visit with my brother Bart and his family (somehow I didn't get a picture of me and Bart)

Alisha with my sister Terri at Venice Beach

Alisha with friends Emilie and Lindsay after a girls' night out

Me, Cj and Matt hung out at home with the kids so the ladies could go out. We're such nice husbands and good fathers. (I didn't think it was important to mention the fact that the gals waited until the kids were asleep in bed before leaving. ha!)

We got to hang out with our friends and neighbors the Carraways. They set up their Guitar Hero - Rock Star and the boys got to rock out.

Me and my friend/old co-worker Jason Prins
We picked up our cat Kitty (my cousin Molly and their family have taken her into their home while we're gone) for a few days while we were in Klamath Falls. As seen in this picure, the boys (especially Jonah) were sad to be dropping her off when it was time to go.

The boys with their second cousins the Renicks - we stopped in Woodland and Aunt Mary invited a bunch of nearby family to come have a taco feed so we could see everyone. It was an awesome time! The Renick girls are dolls!

Grandma and Graysen, making cookies - grandma made Graysen a cook's hat at his request.

Brodie playing risk with cousins Austin and Mason in Klamath Falls - we got to see Austin's freshman KUHS basketball team play 3 times. Austin had 20 points one night - though in the game after we left town, he scored 30!

My mom & dad, who were real troopers for following us all around the West Coast in their RV. We all played miniature golf on our last day in the country. It was a lot of fun!

Alisha's parents, who allowed us to invade their home as a 'home base' during our furlough. My parents parked their RV about 15 minutes away so we all got to hang out at the Berry house. It was a win-win situation with both mom's there to cook!

On the way back home, we had an overnight in Paris so we hopped on an open-air bus and saw the sights in 2 hours. This is as romantic of a shot as you were going to get on that day! It was freezing cold and we were all jet lagging! Still, that is quite a place. (For more pictures of Paris, check out my Facebook page)


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