The Schumacher family is in the Dominican adopting a son and a daughter. They have to be there up to 5 months while they wait on US Customs to finalize papers so they can re-enter the States.
Adam and Jill decided that they would like to go for a week to encourage them. The Schumachers are good friends - and distant cousins! - and have helped Adam and Jill with the church plant. The church put together a care package that they could take to them. Hannah and Sophia would be able to experience a cross-cultural missions experience also.
They decided that Claire should stay with us.
Family group hug before going to the airport.
As we got close to the airport, Claire looked out her window and said
"Look, fox poles!"
You can see the resemblence right?
Cora, a friend of Noah Schumacher, also came along.
Like their matchy-matchy shirts?
While they were busy checking in, Claire and I went up and down the escalator at the new airport. It was my first time at the Eisenhower Airport. They'll be tearing down the old airport, Wichita Mid-Continent.
I can still remember coming to the States when I was 7
and landing at that airport.
Here is a picture of us coming to the States on furlough in 1968.
We had to walk across the tarmac and we could see
our relatives up on the roof of the airport waving at us.
Adam being body scanned. He is holding his arms up.
As Claire and I left the airport, she saw 2 little puppies
like the one below in someone's car.
"Look, Nana! Baby cows!"
The lady told us that the dogs' names were Simon and Susie,
Several years ago, our neighbor Jeff encouraged us to put up a purple martin house. How we have enjoyed this!
Al put our bird house up the end of March after seeing on the
migration map that they were about to arrive in our area.
Then we waited.
In about a week they came. Along with some sparrows.
You can tell it is a cold day. See how puffed up they are?
We ended up with 8 pair of purple martins and 4 sparrow nests. Al cleaned out the sparrow nests multiple times, but in the end we felt we did pretty good with more purple martins than sparrows.
You can see a couple of babies poking their heads out. Adorable!
Here is our neighbor's purple martin house. I really like it!
There are various styles you can purchase. Purple martins rely on people to put up houses for the most part. Historically they nested in cavities of trees, but competition for those nesting areas with starlings and other birds have forced them to look for other homes.
They return year after year.
Al read in the paper that the purple martins were beginning to gather in Old Town. For the past 10 years, flocks of up to 50,000 gather in Wichita, preparing for their annual migration to Brazil.
I could tell ours were getting ready to leave and the day after they were gone, we made the trip to Old Town.
The paper said that this year they were roosting between 1st and 2nd street
We got there around 8:15 or so and began walking around looking for them. We could see them gathering and flying around. First we found them at 3rd and Wabash, all lined up on the wires.
And then they began to fly off.
We followed them to where they were beginning to swarm and swoop down into the trees.
They settled in a row of trees by the police station in Old Town.
They were so noisy!!
Last year they flew on to Tulsa, OK and they say about 250,000 purple martins gathered there! Wouldn't that be a sight to behold!
A few days later, Al took down our purple martin house.