When I look back over the course of this year, the contrasts astound me. Here we sit in the warm Sunday afternoon weather in our shirts and skirts (shorts in Don's case), when only a few months earlier jacket and scarves were necessary. Now we live in a dry and hot climate when only a while ago we were throwing snowballs at each other and riding the toboggan.
Don is enjoying work and the many new found friends we have made in Longreach. His work is varied and never boring. He has had the opportunity since moving here to work on Cessnas, Barons, and a Robinson Helicopter. This past week he and another guy flew out to a station about an hour and a half south of Longreach to look at an aircraft that had hit a kangaroo and done quite a bit of damage to the front end. He had to drive the engine of the aircraft about a kilometer, the engine hanging from the front of a tractor. It was 38C that day and the first time Don had driven a tractor for many years. Quite an adventure all around. He was able to fly the Saratoga out and back. This Thursday he leaves for a three day trek in the Saratoga with Pastor Scott and another local pastor to visit Normanton, Cloncurry and Winton. It is so amazing that God is using him to do exactly what we would have been doing with MAF in a different setting.
I am still trying to find some kind of routine here in Longreach. We have very busy days here and many visitors, which I love. The heat makes me drowsy mid afternoon and then I just want to stay up and enjoy the cool of the night (which makes for sleepy mornings). Avon is going well. I have so much fun with it. I have also applied to do supply teaching at the Kindergarten and schools next year while Sam is at Kindy. So I will just have to wait and see how that goes. The chapter that I submitted for inclusion in a book called 'How Prayer Impacts Lives' has been accepted and will be released in print next year. As time allows I continue to write when I can, when inspiration strikes. Otherwise I am kept busy being a Mum to two very active little boys and all that entails.
Jack is loving Prep and is looking forward to being a big grade one boy next year. His fascination with animals, rocks and fossils is ongoing. I forever find him digging up rocks and on more than one occasion have ended up with a washing machine full of pebbles. I am really happy with the progression of his reading and the way that he is growing up into a thoughtful boy, full of enthusiasm. Just today he caught a baby gecko in our pantry and released it into his bedroom. Every week at church he retrieves green frogs from the toilet and brings them home in an effort to create a colony at our house. (I did tell you I was a busy Mum).
Sam captures everyone with his smile and sprite wherever we go. He loves playgroup and cannot wait for Kindy next year. He loves the warmer weather but struggles if caught out in the midday hours in the extreme heat. I mean I feel it, so I imagine he would feel it much worse. We do all of our jobs in the morning and then stay inside during the heat of the day. We travel on the 7th of November to his appointment in Brisbane for his heart review. Not much will slow Sam down though, even his inability to gain weight. It has been six months since he has put on even 100g. It is difficult to be his Mum and not worry about that, but that is what I have chosen to do. He is happy and healthy, so this is what matters.
As a family we feel content and healthy. There is anticipation in the air, like there are gifts that are yet to be unwrapped and I know God will reveal them in time. Our biggest gift here has been the new friendships we have formed and the strengthening in our family of our love for one another.