Friday, January 25, 2019

Ellie turns 5!

I can't believe Ellie's been in our life for 5 whole years already...sometimes it seem like only yesterday that we were terrified new parents bringing bringing a newborn home! In other way, though (as it is with many things in life), it also seems like she's been here forever, since I can hardly still imagine what our life was like without her. Ellie, we are so thankful for your sweet spirit, creativity, joyfulness, singing, dancing, silly-ness and caring heart. We can't wait to watch you grow and mature in the coming years! Happy birthday!

Here are some photo highlights from Ellie's several birthday celebrations earlier this month.

Chocolate chip muffins for breakfast

Posing with a favorite gift

Having cake as a family, after a long day at a water park

Ellie's birthday party with friends from Kindergarten - Paw Patrol Themed!

Craft time at the party

Opening gifts with friends

Ending with a pinata!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Teach me to be Teachable

Our men's small group has been going through a topical study of the book of Proverbs. We have several passages organized by topic, and we've been moving slowly through the list. Our study has led to some great conversations. We will often hit these single verse statements of wisdom that are the best kind of a slap-to-the-face. One of our group members remarked recently how astounding it is that the phrases can be so condensed and to-the-point. One such Proverb we encountered was 12:1 which reads:
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
            but he who hates reproof is stupid."

The word "discipline" has a couple of different meanings in English. It can be what an athlete requires to train hard; they require discipline to focus on training. Discipline can also be what a parent does with a child when they are off course or doing things that are not right. The parent disciplines the child.

This second meaning is what the author meant here. When we understand that, the statement takes on a pretty arresting quality. Who loves to be corrected? Who loves to be called out for doing something wrong?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

2018 in Review

2018 has been a good year! Here are a few highlights from our family in 2018...

Ellie turned 4 and started her second full year in Kindergarten

Maya learned to walk and talk.

Ellie dressed up as a fairy for Fasching (Mardi Gras).

We attended our team retreat, with special speaker Landon Reesor from Darien, CT.

After a long, drawn-out journey with our previous car, we were blessed with a new vehicle

Nate turned 35! Wow, we're getting old :)

Our spring intern, Kendra, joined us for 2 months

The girls' friendship with each other began to blossom!

We attended our church's retreat. Our ministry continued at the church with small groups, music and discipleship

We flew to the U.S. for a summer of adventure, travel and sharing with churches and supporters.

We spent lots of the summer like this...

We went to a family reunion on the beach in NC.

We celebrated 4th of July at Nate's grandma's cabin in WI.
We visited 11 churches in 8 weeks! What a blessing it was to share an update with so many supporters!

We had a reunion with our 2016 interns!

We flew home in August and were happy to be back in our own beds!

We were thankful to return to our small group, which has grown to 4 families and 3 individuals.

Brian and Melissa joined our team and got their visas!

We took a trip to the mountains with Nate's parents.

Nate's parents explored a glacier with us!

Maya turned 2 and continued to be entertaining and fun-loving.


Our small group ministry (early steps towards church planting) continued. We baked cookies at Christmas for a ministry to prostitutes.

Beth got her visa! We celebrated!

Nate preached at Christmas time at our church.

We had our annual Christmas party and were thankful for many neighbors and friends attending!