Friday marked 4 weeks in Oklahoma and the halfway point of our practicum here. This month really has flown by in a flurry of school work, community living, and many “firsts”…
2. First time that I’ve seen a tarantula. It’s the class pet now, his name is Harry, and he’s only escaped once so far. We saw another one strolling down the road as we were walking home. That one now shares Harry’s cage and has been named Junior. Lovely.
2. First time that we’ve lived in such close quarters with another family. The Hartmans and we have separate rooms but share a living room/dinner table area and a kitchen. We also happen to share a love for coffee, dark chocolate, quiet evenings, and trash-talking each others’ favorite soccer teams (Germany vs Brazil). Our boys just adore Baby Daea and enjoy playing with her brother Tiras (favorite games: coloring, puzzles, yelling at each other through closed doors, and pretend kite-flying). It’s truly been a joy to be their neighbors!
3. First time that Judah is drawing actual people and things! It’s so precious. Our door is covered with his artwork and I am amazed at how focused and long he just sits and draws or colors.
4. First time I am doing Pre-School with the boys. I took over as John’s mornings are usually filled with watching between 3-8 kids :). Talk about a busy morning! I’ve really enjoyed spending intentional time with our boys as we learn and play. Judah’s working on learning the letters of the alphabet, counting, shapes, and other skills like recognizing patterns or following detailed instructions. Elias is right beside him repeating everything Judah says and blurting out “B!” whenever there’s a letter or number he doesn’t recognize.
5. First time the boys bathe in a plastic bin. We’ve been spoiled until now with a proper bathtub in our Missouri home, but those days are over for now :).
6.First time we’re learning about a culture other than our own as a family. The boys say “hello” and “thank you” in Cherokee and Judah’s picking up other words from classmates as well. The other day he came running to me with a plastic bunny in his hand, yelling “tʃistu!!!” (rabbit in Cherokee). Last weekend was the Cherokee National Holiday with lots and lots of activities all around the town of Tahlequah, and the boys even got their very own bow & arrow.
7. First time that we’ve cooked for 25+ people. Thankfully, we cook and clean in teams, so there are lots of helping hands around. It’s quite the experience meal planning, grocery shopping, making meals, and cleaning for that many people!
8. The first and (probably) LAST time we’ll ever live in such a community setting surrounded by classmates/friends/our family in the faith. It’s good to remember to cherish these weeks of fellowship with these dear people whom we’ve shared life with for the last 2+ years while in training. Chances are we won’t see each other again on this side of heaven as we’re spreading all over the world. But what a reunion it’ll be :)!
4 weeks down, 4 more to go! Thanks for being part of the journey!