Meanwhile Hope's cousins work on their mad bubble skilz!
While we were enjoying some family time, Collin was off in Dallas faced with the hard task of impressing multiple employers in an attempt to get some job leads. He would come back and join us on Friday evening, but not before we got these pictures in the rather unimpressive bluebonnet fields (it's just too late in the season) near Howe.
Ian was just thrilled to be forced to pose in a field of flowers with his girly sister. (Isn't his little face just hilarious? I couldn't help but post it.)
Collin drove up to be with us later that evening and we enjoyed our last night with Stephen and Paige. Unfortunately, Collin didn't get to spend a whole lot of time with them, since he was a the conference, but their hospitality to me and the kids was such a god-send. Without us having a place to stay during that first conference, we just wouldn't have been able to make the trip with him - thank you again, Wilhite family!
Saturday morning we set out for Norman, Oklahoma and the Judisch household. We were so excited to see my brother Neal and his wife Janice! This is the first trip we've all made up to visit them, and our first time meeting the newest member of their family, Lillian Jeanette!
Isn't she adorable?! I just love it when they're this tiny!
Moira was especially taken with her new cousin.
One of my favorite parts of this whole trip was watching my sweet nephew Aidan with his new baby sister. Doesn't this picture say it all? What love.
We were treated to some very yummy BBQ pulled-pork sandwiches, cucumber-tomato-feta salad, Outback recipe mac-n-cheese (working at a restaurant has it's benefits!) and wonderful company. Neal and Collin had a chance to catch up for the first time in quite a while, Janice and I talked baby stuff and the big kids spent the afternoon in their mini-bouncy castle. We all enjoyed it so much - Moira is still asking everyday if she can go back to her cousin's house and play!
Can you see I'm still working on Collin and the whole baby thing?
Later in the evening we all went up to OU to see the University and where Neal works. It's a beautiful school, and it still blows me away that my brother is Dr. Judisch of the OU Philosophy Department!! The kids enjoyed running around the beautiful campus for a bit, and then we went to BJ's, a really cool pizza place up there, for dinner together before pulling out of town. We had to get back to Dallas that night for the start of the next hiring conference early Sunday morning.
You didn't really think I'd forget to post a picture of me and little Lillian? It's hard living so far away from these precious little children, I have to enjoy every minute I have with them all.
I was able to snap this (rather silly - or shall I say joyful) picture of all 6 kids before they wouldn't hold still anymore! This picture really warms my heart - the ties that bind.
Sunday and Monday consisted of Collin spending most of his days at the conference while the kids, and I hung out in the hotel room, spent a little time at the pool, made the cutest little pom-pom animals (I totally recommend this book if you have toddlers of the crafty variety), and checked out the Galleria.
In the end, there were two companies that Collin interviewed with where there was mutual interest from us and the company, which is not too shabby! In fact, about 30 minutes after his initial interview with Covidien (a medical supplies manufacturer) they asked if he could come to their plant for a follow-on tour, get this, TOMORROW! Ugh, poor guy. He just hasn't had a break - again, not that we're complaining. So we loaded up the van and headed East for his 10am meeting in Commerce, TX the next day. After 5 1/2 days of being on the road, I was out of ideas on what to do to entertain the kids during yet another undetermined amount of time that we'd be waiting. Much to my relief, our hotel ended up being located right next to the Northeast Texas Children's Museum, where we spent our afternoon waiting for Collin.
After a 4 hour wait, we got the call to come pick Collin up. I was shocked to hear that he'd had FOUR more interviews with different members of management and a tour of the facility. Needless to say he was beyond exhaustion, but also felt really good about the interviews and the possible job opportunity. We were told there are 4 or 5 people interviewing for 2 positions, and that we wouldn't get any feedback until the others have had their second interviews sometime next week. We'll just have to see what God has in store for us.
The second company of interest is Bell Helicopter located in Hurst, a suburb of Fort Worth. They, too, seemed to really like Collin and he's really interested in seeing what they have to offer as well. During his interview with them, they told him they'd like to have him come out for a tour of the facilities and a second interview, so we're supposed to find out a tentative schedule for that trip today. It looks like he might end up back on the road (this time without the whole family in tow) next week. We're praying over this opportunity as well.
Finally, we were contacted by L-3 Communications, a government contractor, about a BMDS Flight Test Engineer position they're interested in him for. He had a phone interview with them yesterday, which also went very well, and they'd like to present his package to the government on Monday! That all sounds very encouraging, and Collin mentioned that it was a nice change of pace to be pursued by a company instead of trying to sell himself. The only down-side? The position is at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. We're doing some research into the area and position, and should be receiving a contingency offer sometime today. Yet another thing to be in prayer over.
Well, that about sums up the craziness that has been our last couple of weeks. We'll be sure to update everyone if anything big happens. Please pray that God would make His will very clear to us in what path we should take. Thanks for caring in the first place!