Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March 13, 2016

I am really far behind!  So many exciting and wonderful things have happened the past few weeks!  I hope I can remember everything!  For our Pday on Monday, we had a birthday party for Elder Gunarathne!  We invited the Bedke's to come and help us celebrate!  Also, Deek and Shashrika have been helping the elders so we had them come too!  We ordered pizza and watched the Disney movie, Inside Out.  It was pretty cute!  In the meantime, Jasmine and Matthew happened to come by and say hello.  They have moved quite far away and are still together...which breaks my heart for the girls.  They are going to a new church now.  Wow.  Later, we headed over to the church for a family home evening where we had a special evening for Priyanka.  She is heading to the mission home in Manilla on Wednesday!  We went around the room and the returned and current missionaries gave her words of wisdom or advice!  It was nice.  Her mother was there and was just sobbing.  It is so tough for her.  But she is happy and so is Priyanka!  So exciting.  We left from there and went to THE LONDON GRILL with the Bedke's!  YUMMY!  We sure enjoy them.  They are doing such a great job in Negombo.  It will be so hard to see them leave in a few short weeks.  Inoka came by the next day and gave us an invitation to Naveens restaurant!  It is called, STEVE AND LAURI RESTAURANT!  They are so sweet!  They are finally opening on March 10 and they want us to be the first ones there!  Also that day, we got a call from Shanika and she told us that her auntie had died.  She had been living with Shanika at the time. She also raised her when she was young and they loved her very much!  They were so sad.  They were going to the hospital later that night to get the body and bring it to their home.  We told her we would go by the next day.  It was Deyans 18th birthday this week!  We wanted to take her to dinner and have a party but she just wanted to have cake!  We decided to make dinner and take it to them.  We made lasagna and had bread and chocolate cake!  It was very yummy!  We sang and ate and opened presents.  She wanted my scriptures because they sat on the shelf since I always used my ipad.  I told her they had my name on them and she said that is why she wanted them.  So I wrapped them up and gave them to her for her gift.  She was so happy and excited!  She is preparing to serve a mission and will do a wonderful job!  It was a great visit!  Steve went with the elders to visit some new investigators while I did a few things for our District Relief Society conference.  I also bought some flowers for Shanika.  We rode out there later in the evening.  They keep the body in the house for a few days...and no one is allowed to sleep during that time.  You keep all the doors and windows open too.  They were pretty sad but we had a great visit with them.  We just love them so much.  We left there and went to the airport to see Priyanka and tell her good bye!  She is so darling!  We are so excited for her to be on her mission and serve the Lord!  She will be great!  It was a very late evening!  Thursday, we rode down to Naveens new restaurant!  He was so excited to have us come!  We did the traditional lighting of some kind of Buddhist thing.  Then, we were given a lotus leaf to put our food on.  Naveens mother was so happy and had everything perfect for us.  It was good food!  We took a lot of pictures before coming home.  We then went back to Colombo for the funeral for Shanika's auntie.  It was in the Colombo cemetery.  They were having such a hard time!  But it was very nice and we were so glad we were there.  They invited us to their home for the traditional dinner of dried fish, etc after the funeral.  It was a very great visit!  We left there and headed to Pres Antons for the party for Harsha's 22nd birthday!  There were a lot of people there and it was really fun!  He is such a fun loving, happy young man.  We loved being with everyone!  We had cake and lots of food!  I have had so much food the past few weeks that I think I am going to burst!!!  Friday, we made all the preparations for the kids to come!  It is finally here!  I can hardly believe it!  Later that afternoon, we went to Sister Esters home for dinner.  She has never invited anyone to her home before.  We met her handsome son and enjoyed a really nice dinner with them.  He even sang us some songs.  He goes to some Christian church that we have never heard of.  But it was really nice being with her and him!  Then finally......it was Saturday!!!  We had a driver come and get us and take us to the airport!  Kim and Clint were coming first!  I was so excited....and then I got very emotional.  And when I saw Kim, I started to cry and ran to hug her!  Oh it felt so good!  We were so happy they made it safe and sound.  We loaded into the car and headed home!  She and I went shopping for some pillows and towels and Steve and Clint went grocery shopping!  We got some rice packets and had them for lunch which they liked!  They were pretty tired so we left to go get Matt and Jamie!  Same thing happened.  So excited...then so emotional as they came through the door!  We ran to hug them too!  It was the best!  I had 2 kids here and one more was coming!!!!  We went back to the house and got everything in there.  Kim and Clint were still asleep since we had left them.  But we got everyone together and went to Dolce Italia!!  The food was great and we had such a great time laughing and visiting!  It was the best!  Then, it was time for Rob to come in the late late night!  Of course...again....so excited....and then emotional as they came through the door!  Run to hug and cry!  It was so wonderful!  3 kids made it safely!!!!  We got home and slept for a few more hours and all of them tried to do the same!  It was now Sunday!!!  Steve was so excited for the kids to meet the members.  That is what he wanted more than anything!  He had been telling the members for the past few weeks that they needed to come and meet our kids!  And it was wonderful!  They all got ready and we headed to church!  The people were everywhere and excited to meet the kids!  They were all so wonderful and treated the kids like royalty!  It was amazing!  They loved them and the kids fell in love with them right back!  The classes were great, sacrament was great and everything was perfect!  They even had a pot luck after church with some real Sri Lankan food!  And it was so good!  The kids ate with their hands and got right in there with everyone!  They are such great kids who are friendly and fun and the members loved that.  I think they loved seeing the family that was all in the church and the great example that they are.  It was so special for us all.  We left quite late and the kids rested a bit....except Jamie!  She was kind enough to help me with my hair and lighten it a little bit!  I so appreciated it!  Later, we lost our power.  We heard it was country wide.  We had made a turkey and dressing for the kids!  Sandimali and Pres Nishan invited us for dinner at their home with the Hendriksens and Hagobians.  They decided to do it anyway and do with candles.  It was very nice....but oh so hot.  The kids were getting a taste of the heat in Sri Lanka!  It was tough for them.  Steve wanted to get them all sweat towels like he uses because he knew they would need them.  And they were grateful!  We ate and then headed back home!  More visiting and laughing!  They were all so tired and we had an early morning ahead of us!  The next part of our adventure was about to start.....and I am so happy having everyone here.  We miss Curt though but know we will see him in a few months!  Let the fun begin.....!!!!

Elder Gunerathne's birthday party!

Family Home Evening/Farewell for Priyanka

Dinner with the Bedke's

The first invitation for the opening of Naveen's restaurant !

Deyan is 18!!  Happy Birthday!

We forgot to let Cass give the cake to her mom on her birthday, so we did it tonight!

Priyanka is off to the Philippines!!

Priyanka and her parents!

Opening day of the restaurant!

The cooks!

Finishing touches!

Funeral for Shanika's auntie.

It is Harsha's birthday!!

Esters home!

My Kim is here!!!

Now it is Matt and Jamie's turn!!

Jet lag!!

Now Rob and Sally!!!

One of my star piano students playing for Sacrament meeting!

President Nishan!

Pot luck after church!

Eating with their fingers already!!

The wonderful members loving our family!

My wonderful family!

How about a flower in the hair?

Armen Hagobian is so happy!!

I am so lucky to have a daughter in law who can help me out!!

Dinner in the dark and in the heat at Pres Nishans

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