It’s All Caleb’s Fault

Sorry for the long delay in posting, but I didn’t know quite how to navigate all of Caleb’s secrets. 🙃

You see, Caleb and Belinda decided to go to the States for the holidays and surprise their families. This meant that we could not talk about a number of things for quite a while. For example, the reason Caleb put in some really long hours on the well was because we wanted that water project more or less done before they left. A lot of details like that had to be kept quiet.

One of the bigger details to keep quiet is that Caleb’s are expecting another baby. ¡Felicidades! They are using the same midwife as we are and have so far gone with us for our appointments to also have theirs. We have had to be careful not to include any pictures of Belinda that would give away the secret because they wanted to also surprise the family with that news.

I wasn’t sure how we could talk about the last week since Caleb’s left without giving it away on the blog, so I just chose to take a break.

We enjoyed a Thanksgiving vacation Thursday and Friday, even though Caleb’s had flown out on Tuesday. It was a little sad not to be able to share it with them, but we’re happy they could surprise the Schmidt family by walking in on Thursday morning. We took Thursday off school and spent the day cooking and reorganizing the living room.

The reorganization of the living room is a tradition of mine for Thanksgiving. I don’t know how it got started, but I’ve done it for years. This year the whole family helped, which was fun. We also later reorganized my office so that I don’t feel quite so closed off in there.

For the meal, I did the turkery, gravy, dressing, and a casserole. Steph did desserts and bread. China did the rest. We had a lovely time working together in the kitchen all day with Esmeralda helping us. Leonela is not here because she also decided to up and leave, going to Huaral the Saturday before Caleb’s left. She was going to go for a few days, which stretched into a week, which stretched into two weeks. We may never see her again.

On Sunday, I led songs, had Sunday school, gave the announcements, did some church business, had the sermon, had instruction class—and what all else!—all by my lonesome. I miss Caleb. They were able to surprise Belinda’s family Sunday morning, arriving after they’d gotten home from the morning service.

Caleb’s won’t be back until NEXT YEAR! Doesn’t that seem like a long time? Lord willing, they will be arriving the first week of January. I will be very glad to not be the only man anymore. Percy does attend most services, but he is not involved in church life otherwise. Edward is attending regularly again, but he is also not involved in any other way. May they grow in their desire to become part of the body here!

The next number of weeks looks pretty big and full to me. Yesterday, I think I had a bit of a crisis day where I could just hardly focus or motivate myself. Everything just felt too heavy to do. But the work must go on, so we do our best. I would be grateful for extra prayer support over this time.

Lord willing, the baby will arrive in a couple of weeks. Somehow, I feel like she will want to come on a Sunday—that would just fit with the theme of things right now. 😬 But I warned the church to be prepared for my needing to drop out for a week or so, at least to some degree. I don’t know how else to balance being a husband and dad with being a pastor and the only brother in the church. The Lord will provide.

Anyhoo, I’m looking forward to being back in communication and without needing to worry too much about what I say! I hope those of you who took a special day of Thanks had a blessed time of reflection. Thanks for those who sent messages or who called. That was very thoughtful in a moment when we were feeling a bit extra lonely.

Saying goodbye on Monday night
Had to go to a hotel for the night to avoid the protests the next day
Catching Thanksgiving 🙃
Marinade overnight
And ready to eat!
China took the photo 📷
Thanksgiving cleaning
Moving the living room
Sorting through old toys
And done
Then the office
Done. Yes, my office is colorful. ☺️
Caleb with the brothers and Dad
Hannah and Belinda
Ashlyn and her cousin with Larry’s
A latte from my niece