On Sunday, February 26, our van and a pickup truck pulling a trailer filled with suitcases, boxes and furniture pulled away from our home of the last four months - the Mission House of First Baptist Church, Loganville, GA - and headed for Stafford, Virginia. We made it just in time for Cami to attend one more OASIS with the youth group that evening.
We checked into Hotel Pelt, otherwise known as the home of Jason and Tracee, and made ourselves very much at home. They were away on vacation when we arrived so we gladly took care of their chickens and fish. They were still gone on Monday night when we had a few (dozen) friends over for our own farewell coffee time. Those who know the Pelts, know they can seriously host a party, so for them to miss it was both ironic and unfortunate. We were very glad there was coffee finally shared by both Pelt and Jessup families on the morning of our flight.
Ben spent ALL of his Stafford time with the Cain family, specifically Jaeden and Jensen. There was conspiring to hide him away so he would miss the flight to Iceland, but thankfully he was returned to us after much Dr. Who viewing and mac and cheese eating.
Alli also spent time with the Cain family, including an overnight that was not planned in advance. Huge thanks to Aunt Julia for letting her stay and spend time with her ‘big Jordan’ and new favorite Reannah. Much shopping and packing was accomplished while Alli played and slept at her home away from home. Win, win. :-)
Cami spent time with her BFF Madi. Thanks to Madi’s mom, Mandy, some of the items on Cami’s to buy list were purchased during their fun day out in Fredericksburg for a photo shoot. Mandy also helped plan a gathering at Cici’s Pizza where all three of our kids saw many of their Stafford friends.
The Dorsey family, very close friends since BCF days 20 years ago, came to Stafford to help us finish packing, weighing and labeling. Cindy could not have finished this job without them. Bill wisely tried to stay out of the way most of the time, with Cindy’s blessing. The youth room at Stafford Baptist became our staging and packing area, and at times it resembled a yard sale in a war zone. After zipping up LOTS of suitcases and bags (continue reading for totals) and loading the church van ahead of schedule, they treated us to a great American send off lunch at Five Guys. Many thanks to Pastor Naethan and Pastor Clint for running errands for us when we needed to be in many places at once.
Frank McKinney graciously drove us to the airport and helped us unload ALL of our luggage. He took the picture of us in front of Dulles.
I have asked myself where the past week has gone. In case you are wondering too, I will give the highlights.
February 29 - We arrived at Dulles in plenty of time for our flight. We checked 11 suitcases and one box (two were considered extra for a pretty penny), plus a car seat. We are told our flight was delayed due to a severe snow storm in Boston. When we finally arrive in Boston our IcelandAir flight was gone. Really, they left without us! We had to secure our checked luggage before we could find a hotel. Only after Bill pleaded with a Jet Blue employee, making sure to mention how many kids we have, they agreed to keep it safely overnight as long as we did not touch it. As it was, items we carried through security and everywhere else included: jogging stroller, guitar, 4 wheeled carry on suitcases, 4 backpacks, and 3 other bags.
March 1 - We arrived at Logan Airport in Boston five hours early and our flight left one hour late, but we were on the plane going to Iceland. We enjoyed an uneventful flight. Alli slept really well; Ben and Cami a couple of hours; Cindy and I not at all.
March 2 - Arrived in Keflavik, Iceland, to rain and 40 mph wind. The wind blew one piece of luggage off the cart and 15 feet away. New friends Andy and Stevi Hansen rented a car for us, helped us transport our luggage, and provided us with our first basic supplies of toilet paper, milk, juice, cereal, donuts and more. We got settled into our new home and took a nap. Over the course of the day Mike and Sheila Fitzgerald delivered pastries and Helgi, Guðrún, and their daughter Johanna brought our dinner. We were overwhelmed by the generosity and help of our Icelandic friends.
March 3 - We woke at a reasonable hour of the morning and had a great day. We picked up groceries and supplies, thinking we had this body clock "thing" figured out.
March 4 - Realized we had not figured out this body clock thing. We woke up at 12pm and felt like we had been run over by an Icelandic bus. A little shopping was accomplished but other than that we just rested.
March 5 - Arranged our apartment.
March 6 - The kids started back to school, at home and online. Cindy and I got out of the house for a little shopping (which in Iceland means a lot of money). We had lunch with Andy, Stevi and their daughter Siggi at one of the shopping malls. Bill took the big kids to one of the pools. We met a neighbor, Anna, whose 13 year old son is excited we are American because he wants to attend college in the USA. Cindy met our landlady, Freyja, and learned how to use our washing machine.
March 7 - Cindy, Alli and I visited the Fitzgeralds at Lindin Radio.
March 8 - I purchased our 6 month insurance policy needed to finish our Residency Permit application.
March 9 - Our attorney will turn everything in to immigration today. She will ask them to approve the application immediately since this was the last item they needed. Please pray this goes well.
Believing God for great things from the northernmost capital in the world,
The Jessup family