A time to laugh and a time to cry

We were very priviledged to have the Martin's stay with us for their last two days in SA. Even though they spent most of their time at their home, while the removal company was packing up their place, we looked after the kiddies - which was a real blessing for Amanda and Rachel, and it also helped them so that they could freely get all the last minute things done that needed to get done. The kids had an absolute ball, and I just got closer to them, making saying goodbye even more difficult.

You would never say that Craig was sick with flu, jet-lagged and extremely stressed from this photo, would you?

Here the kids are all drawing pictures - as Paige couldn't fit in at this desk, she was the teacher for the day and sat at my desk. They really got on well, give or take a few disagreements, but generally we had a happy time of much activity; jumping on the trampoline, playing on the jungle gym, banging on the piano, drawing, building puzzles, building towers with blocks, riding scooters, blowing bubbles, building houses, climbing rocks, watching movies...you get the idea.
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At bedtime the kids all squashed into one room - here is Lara reading them a story. Getting them to sleep was another story - thankfully, after a whole day looking after the kids, I left that bit to her, and after some discipline etc., they were all sound asleep. We proceeded to spend our last evening together. We had a great game of 30 Seconds - which took our minds off the sad event around the corner - and just laughed, had some wine, and ate chocolate brownies and Lindt chocolate...glorious evening!
Yesterday morning, Craig and Lara went to see the truck off as they did the last bit to put all their stuff on the container - and I could see that Bonnie and Clyde were beginning to understand what was going on. Bonnie was moping around the whole day, and Clyde just wimpered and kept looking at the gate...ag shame...it must be very hard for them! As Lara said her goodbyes to them, she just couldn't hold back the tears - they will always be a part of their family...we are priviledged to have a part of the Martin family living with us now, we will take good care of them and try and love them as much as they do.

We couldn't let them leave without a picture of all of us together....

...and of course we needed our special 'crazy' pic...isn't it cool how the kids are growing up with such wonderful traditions?
We love this family so much and we will miss them terribly, but we just thank our great God for these friendships, and for His kindness in taking them to Australia - we know that God is always pouring His love on us as His beloved children, and that even though we feel the pain now, God's ways are always better than ours! I have great comfort in knowing that!
This fact however didn't stop Glen and I from weeping uncontrolably for about and hour after they left.

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