We just completed the first day of the Illinois CP Gathering! (Well, at least I just completed it. Most everybody else is just settling into their games of Katan and Nertz.) For starters, I must say that the Harrisons have already proven themselves to be a fantastically splendid host family. Despite being in the progress of moving to a farm house, they are providing approximately twenty college kids with excellent food, warm beds, a really cozy home, and that Christian sort of love that is full of truth and warmth and laughs. And great background music.
We Raimundos arrived to this cute yellow farm house with white trimmings around 3:30pm local time. Already there were my dear friend Megan Weber, and Andrew McKee, the Harrisons (of course), and surprise! the mysterious “reserved spot”: Esther Mielke! It was such a joy seeing Megan again, and meeting Essie face to face. Praise God for Christian friends! Soon after, Austin headed out to the airport to pick up Cassie and Connor Rhoden.
Once Josh and I had bidden Mumsie Pie many farewells, we fell in step with the Harrison farm chores, making buddies with the dogs, goats, pokey bushes, willow trees, and the younger Harrison clan. Elijah is way too cute for 18 months of baby-ness, and Jacob...well, I pulled him around in an old-looking red wagon and got to piggy-back him alongside a corn field. And he can count to 100, losing his place at 99. Multiple times. Yeah. We all love him and his sea-salt chasing ways (seriously, Knepps, I may just have to hide the salt!).
|The Jacob. Horrid lighting, I know. He made me retake his picture three times before declaring satisfaction with it. :D|
Somewhere during our farm-exploring time, Kaitlyn Semones and her father, and Emily Kemp with her father and Charity Bass (another CPer), arrived to join in the fun of playing cards, catching up, looking for internet, and watching Mr. Harrison be a hero and lugging in assorted bathroom equipment so we girls would have warm water and working toilets in the morning. We were having a beautiful and slightly crazy time of it when Austin finally returned, bringing Cassie and Connor in tow. Joshua had met Connor at a recent CP wedding (okay, so, yeah, Sean and Beka’s wedding was way more than a CP wedding; granted :D) and they had gotten along famously, so he was happy to see Connor again. Of course, seeing Cassie is always a treat for this girl.
Once their suitcases were duly thrown into the luggage closet, we all trooped inside to have Mrs. Harrison’s yummilicious chilli and corn bread, whilst I got to have hot food again! (Can I just throw in here that Mrs. Harrison has been amazingly gracious to Jenn Jenn and Jenn Jenn’s food. What a blessing another momma figure is!)
Just as some of us were making the first inroads into Mrs. Harrison’s pumpkin cake and whipped cream, four Subras and a Peterson made their appearance, completing the gang of twenty who were to show up and stay the night. We cleaned off the pumpkin cake while some fairy cleaned off the dishes, and then we all traipsed into the living room to “officially meet each other” and “review the schedule” in light of our wonderful government’s shut down. Once the greeting and talking were done...we went to bed. >.< At least, Essie, Megan, and I went to our rooms. And now we are going to bed. ‘Cause this recap of IL Gathering Day One is over.