Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting 2016

Happy New Year!

Just for fun, I thought I'd share a few favorite memories from our past year. It has been a good year. God has richly blessed us!

In January, Michael and I enjoyed redeeming a date to the Biltmore Estates given to us by his grandmas. We had a great time away from the baby, reflecting on God's goodness and remembering the memories we've had together. We also found out we were expecting #2.

In February, we praised the Lord for another safe journey to the ditch. We were traveling in New York when a blizzard struck. The roads were a little slick. We had a light car. It seemed a gust of wind just picked us up and deposited us in the ditch. God took care of us and we had no damage to ourselves or the car. Jude thought it was great fun and wanted to do it again!

We stayed busy with conferences in the spring- even one on Valentines. So, March and April basically looked the same. Lots of travel, new faces, more travel...

Also, Jude started crawling.

In May, we celebrated Jude's first birthday. This was a special memory. We were in the middle of a conference, and had pretty much decided Jude's 1st birthday would have to be celebrated at a later time. However, a family found out about Jude's birthday, invited us to dinner, and threw him a party. Thank you so much to the Testa family for a great memory!

During the summer, we were able to come home a little, here and there, between meetings to do laundry, clean the house and car, and visit with Michael's family here in Chattanooga. Here is a shot from Memorial Day weekend:

And Jude with his cousin at the lakeside family vacation:

In July, we were, believe it or not, invited to a church conference in the Cayman Islands! It just so happened to be on our 2nd anniversary. What a great trip. The church there took very good care of us and though we were VERY busy seeing everything, they tried to make it a vacation for us. It was truly a blessing to relax with God's people and enjoy an experience that most people don't get until retirement.

September came with the joy of another son, Zachary Evan on the 17th. He slept for the first month of his life. He attended his first missions conference at 10 days old. Once he woke up, he is full of smiles. Our little sunshine boy.

October and November, we got back on the road again for conferences. That's pretty much what we do for a living right now. :) It takes longer to travel when you have to stop every couple of hours to nurse the newborn. We had forgotten what that was like. We took the picture for our new prayer cards, which most of you have seen:

December we mostly spent at home, for a welcome break. We were able to have early Christmas with my family in Montana, though because of a storm, we were really there less than 48 hours. We had early Christmas with Michael's family. Then our own Christmas week was spent in our apartment, with two very sick little boys. Oh well. At least we weren't trying to travel, and we'd already celebrated with our families. We had a quiet Christmas morning here.
Riding the Christmas train.
Riding the Christmas train. Jingle bells!

Christmas with toddlers is so much fun!

Jude "rocking" Zachary.

May God bless your 2017 with growth in your knowledge of Him, lots of fun memories and family time, and grace for hard trials. Happy New Year ya'll.