“I like to be in America! Ok by me in America!”

IMG_0250Who would have thought that I would be homesick for America??

I have always said, when discussing future travel options with hubby, “I don’t fancy spending time in America”.

I know… shocking really!

It wasn’t that I was anti-america or uninterested, it was merely the fact that if we ever had enough money to travel, I wanted to visit Europe! See the sites of antiquity, bask in the beauty of art and architecture…. visit Rome… sweet home of my Church!

When hubby first proposed that me and the children go with him to St Cloud, Minnesota over Christmas last year… my first thought was “TYPICAL GOD!!!”. There is a certain danger in making definite statements in my life…. God rather likes to prove me wrong 🙂

So I set out prepared to FREEZE, prepared to forgo any waistline (not that I have one after 4 kiddos!), prepared to “suffer” a culture I preferred not to be in.

ARROGANT me!!! Insufferable, judgemental me!!!

First point… St Cloud is NOT big city America!

Being smaller than my hometown in New Zealand, St Cloud opened it’s Thanksgiving arms to us and welcomed us as an exotic species into it’s world in November 2012.

Secondly, being Catholic and a homeschooler meant that we connected into a warm, outgoing, family orientated, passionate… the list could go on…. group of WONDERFUL people who contradicted my badly informed opinion of the american public.

I was SO happy to be contradicted!!! Humbled… but OH so happy!

This blog post is a Thank You!!!

A thank you to the MANY extraordinary men and women, young adults, teenagers, children and grandparents who not only made contact with us, but welcomed us into their homes, families and lives!!!

As I don’t like to name names in my blog :)…. you know who you are!

The distance feels SO far now as we settle back into life here in New Zealand, but the deep sense of gratitude, the wisdom I gleaned from so many of you, and the profound impact of your generosity & hospitality will keep you close in our hearts and prayer!!

Below is just a small sampling of our favorite people :)…



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I’m pleased to say, that if God gave me the opportunity to go back, I would JUMP at the chance!!!



ps. if you want to check out the other side of this story, my lovely friend Marlene has blogged about her strangers from a far away land!! 😉  



  1. We miss you as well! I only wish you had been able to stay longer…time flew by so quickly, and we didn’t spend nearly as much time together as I would have liked. It was so fun to meet you and your lovely kiddos. So glad your experience in America was a good one, with many new friends and fond memories. Yes…God often humbles me, too, in ways I never would have thought. Pax Christi!

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