Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...A Year in Review

Ellie and her cousin Charis
Only a few more hours of 2012...a good time to reflect on where God has brought us in the last 365 days.

Last year at this time, we were patiently waiting on the luggage embargo to be lifted on travel to Mexico so that we could bring our 17 checked items with us. We were blessed to be staying at the Mission House at Parson's Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio. That allowed us to be close to my family and to enjoy spending time with my Mom and brother.

Levi, loving on Uncle Charles

Uncle Charles playing with Matthew

Enjoying the snow...

On January 16 we loaded all of our stuff up and headed to the airport at 3am! The TSA agent had the nerve to ask me if I always travel with so many carry-ons. We had 10 for 6 people. Is that really too much? I kindly responded to him, "Only when I'm moving to another country."

We (and all 17 checked items) arrived in Puebla, Mexico around 9pm that night. We were all in fairly good moods too, considering the long day we had. The customs agents there were very happy we got the green light and not the red. (In Mexico, when you go through customs, you push a button and if the red light comes on, they check all of your luggage.)

Our front yard
We spent 2 weeks in Puebla before our move to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. There's nothing like transitional living to make you appreciate finding your own house! In San Cris, we were able to find a small 3 bedroom house with a yard. Beautiful!

A view of our house from the street

From January to about May is all really a blur. We were setting up our house, acquiring furniture, getting acquainted with our new city, etc. Clay went to language school for 3 months. Ryan and Ellie went to a local elementary school for 3 months. What was I doing?!? I still had 2 little ones at home, and we stayed busy!
Ryan and Ellie, at their school program

Easter at Arcotete

In June we went to Suriname, a small country in northern South America. We spent a month in the Interior, or the Amazon jungle. We lived in a cabin, swam in the piranha infested river, killed pink-footed tarantulas...oh, and participated in jungle training! The kids LOVED it because they got to swim almost every day and they were in kids' camp for 4 weeks with other missionary kids.

Ellie, playing tag in Suriname with a local girl
Ryan had a blast with the baby cayman...
and a variety of other creepy crawlies!
Matthew learned to walk in the jungle!

In August, my Mom came to visit for 2 weeks. We took vacation and travelled to the Pacific Coast to enjoy the beach. It was so good to show her where we live and also Pine Hill, where we are planning to eventually live.

Mom and I, at Huatulco

Ellie and Granny, on the Sumidero

Granny and Matthew

Starting in the fall, we have been visiting our People Group every other week. It's a 4 hour drive to the town of Pine Hill from where we live. We've been very blessed to meet people who have welcomed us into their homes. Our children are making friends, too! It's been a wonderful experience and we are excited to see what else the Lord has in store for this community.

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