"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Look Back at 2016.....

What an amazing year 2016 was for our family!!! 

We started the year off with a sweet update of Kaleb and Khloe in Haiti ~ each and every update was precious to us :)
About the end of January our church did a 21 day fast and towards the end Brodie and I clearly heard the Lord inviting us to move to Haiti.....we had no idea how long we'd be there, where we would live or what to expect but we knew His Hand was the One opening the door so we said yes. We began to plan and prepare. 

We enjoyed winter & Kolson had a fun basketball season

In March Kennady headed to Haiti with New Harvest on a missions trip & got to see Kaleb and Khloe & let them know in a few short weeks we'd all be there and with them FOREVER :)))

Keegan had a blast at Breakaway Camp
In April Kennady got her braces off :)
And we enjoyed celebrating Easter with family
We had a few going away parties before moving to Haiti

And off we went!! Not knowing much other than Jesus is Faithful and He is all we need!! 
Us girls went first with our sweet friend, Alese who helped us get situated that first week :)
And just like that we entered into forever with our two newest kiddos! We are incredibly grateful for the Lord's invitation to see His Love and His Glory as He alone was our life and refuge as we navigated life in a foreign country. So many challenges that He alone could help us overcome and for that we praise Him ~ we will never be the same! 

What a gift to have our boys arrive a week after us on my 40th birthday! 
All together at last :)

Together we learned to do life in Haiti where everything is pretty much completely opposite of life in America. It was SO good for us to have only Jesus, each other, and our Costco canned chicken (a special treat we packed plenty of from home to go along with our beans and rice!) 
Oh.....and our soccer ball we brought from home which was a favorite with our security guard and his friend :)
Days there were looooooong but oh so sweet for bonding time as a family :) 

We learned a lot about joy in the simple things from our neighbors who had literally nothing but Jesus and joy.

We enjoyed time with dear friends 

Royal Decameron was so good to us when we needed a breather (and consistent electricity and warm water!) 

Such a blessing!!! 
We also loved to visit the Baptist Mission for burgers and French fries any chance we got ;) 
Keeg celebrated his 14th Birthday there :)
And we will never forget Kaylee's accident and how Jesus healed her head and kept her from infection when we had no medical care.......nothing but Jesus and some super glue ;) 
Just like that we were sending the boys and Kaylee home 
Such a bitter-sweet day!!! It was so hard to see them go.......we had begged the Lord to let us all leave at the same time but still Kaleb and Khloe's papers weren't done and Brodie had already missed nearly 3 months of work. Plus with the risk of staff infection with Kaylee's head being open for so long we needed to get her back to the states. She had also had Dengue fever while we were there & lost 4 lbs.....we knew it was time for her to get home. We had no idea how long we'd be there without them but we had no other choice than to trust Jesus to cover it all. Kaylee had never been apart from me for more than a week (my last visit to Haiti) so we knew it would stretch her but she was determined to be strong. She's the bravest human I know for so many reasons and let me tell you, when she determines to do something you can consider it done. Once she set her mind to going home without me I knew she'd press through the hard and make it through ~ and sure enough she did! 

Kolson got home just in time to celebrate his 12th birthday! I was so happy for him to be home- it was his birthday wish :). These boys were SUCH troopers those 3 months! These big kids are my HEREOS and forever will be! 

We were apart almost a full month and though it was hard we felt Jesus' strength in us every second. Kennady and I had some very sweet time together living in Haiti that we will never forget and I will always cherish those sweet days navigating life there together :). I'm so proud of her and so thankful that we got to live in Haiti with her before she moves there one day after high school ~ if it is the Lord's Will her hearts desire is to spend a year or so loving the precious people of Haiti with Jesus' love.  

Kaylee celebrated her 6th birthday with Daddy & the boys, Nana & Papa & cousins :). I missed it by 5 days but made sure to smother her with her 6 birthday kisses as soon as I saw her in the airport! 

Finally the call came.......VISAS! Time to go HOME! What PURE JOY to be home all together!!! Again, bitter-sweet.......hard to leave so many we love but beyond grateful to Jesus for taking us home. 

A beautiful transition home and then if was time for school! It has been a treasured gift to homeschool again this year......so good for our family with adjusting to unique needs! It allows us to be present with our bigs and most importantly have the time to disciple them ~ we simply wouldn't have time to pour Christ's Word into them if they were at school & sports practice all day. A true blessing!

Kennady~ Sophomore
Keegan~ 8th grade
Kolson~ 6th grade 
Kaylee & Kaleb~ Kinder
Khloe has learned so well how to hang with Kaylee & Kaleb during class time and either color quietly or play. She is a little sponge learning right along with them! 

Kaleb was HOME just in time to celebrate his 6th birthday ~ he chose a pate' dinner and we celebrated with family :) 

First Halloween ~ the LOVED all the candy ;)

Sissy's sweet 16 ~ hiking Yosemite and a sweet & simple dinner with friends :) 

A beautiful thanksgiving with family 

First Christmas! 

Thank You Jesus for all of Your mighty blessings in 2016........we lay our lives down and surrender 2017 to You! 

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