I'm not sure why, because I normally love this month, but January felt like it had 74 days in it...anyone else?

But, we made it through...and, February is here!

Some January highlights:

I read a lot last month. Like a lot, a lot...for me. There's something to be said for long dark nights. I made a goal to finish any unfinished books in my kindle, and made quite a dent. Also, our library has a staff recommends section and I made it through several of their picks. That was fun, as it stretched me to read beyond my norm.

Some of my favorites:

Image result for how to have that difficult conversationImage result for the uncommon reader alan bennett Image result for the last runaway tracy chevalier Image result for glenn stanton loving my lgbt neighbor

I had a trip planned to Haiti in January, but Jeremiah ended up having to go without me as our whole crew, including myself got a case of the crud. I kept my pity party to a minimum and managed to redeem the week. And, full disclosure...I think the Lord knew I needed to miss my hubby. 

January is a big school month for us. We pack a lot into these long grey days.

In between piano breaks for this 10 year old dude...

We loved "The Greatest Showman" movie and Ezra insisted on learning the music to it!

I'm a little late to the bandwagon (story of my life) but I am now fully in love with online grocery shopping. Kroger's clicklist service has been a life time saver!

Reading is really "clicking" for this one...I LOVE watching this stage unfold!

Halfway thru basketball season! 

We enjoyed time with our Via cousins home on furlough from Uganda. We are sad to see them head back home...

** A re-post that I will always be re-posting. I first wrote this in 2010, just days after the earthquake that devastated Haiti. I mourned for an entire nation and for a sweet little boy we had just befriended. This week, 8 years later, I still mourn for a nation that has become more than a "project" ...it's my second home, filled with family and friends and memories. Certainly not a $%!&hole to me. However, I don't mourn as one without hope...seeing how the Holy Spirit is moving and working within the people of this nation has filled me with hope and expectation for what Jesus can do in this broken yet beautiful country.

And because I'm a momma who lost a little one and I know the powerful healing it brings me to remember her life, I forever want to remember the life of the lost ninja warrior that made such an impact on me.**


I want to write about Peterson.

Because I know it is easy to look at all the news stories and pictures and just be overwhelmed by the tragedy and all the people in Haiti affected by the earthquake.

Yet most of the people remain nameless to the vast majority of us.

Peterson's life was not just a number...

When we first arrived in Haiti and made our way to Sherrie's house one of the first kids to greet us was a skinny boy in the gangly stage that all school aged boys hit.

He was missing his front teeth and had the most sparkling eyes.

And mischievous smile.

Jeremiah quickly realized that he had an instant companion in this boy.

Peterson stuck by our side the whole time we were there and wasn't afraid to lend a helping hand during our construction project.

Ok, maybe not helping so much, but he sure added to the fun!

After about half a day he warmed up enough to show us his ninja look...

You know, the kind of look that just sends chills down your spine because you know he is about to unleash all fifty pounds of his ninja fury onto you =)

Then he got his buddies got into the ninja act too. Now we were really worried...

He had friends.

He had a mom.

He had siblings.

He will be missed.

Luke 12:6

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
stuffed animal lovin'
piano playin'
book readin'

Ah, I love six.

Yeah, it's been a bit quiet here for...well...months.

Not to be confused with a life that has been quiet.

Anything but.

Life is full, and good, and I am in such a sweet sweet spot as I welcome 2018.

My cup truly overflows.

There is no way I can even think about catching up with what I missed "documenting" here for that last bit of 2017...but I can move forward with new resolve to keep up with 2018. I love the creative process this blog brings me and I just can't bear to give it up, even if it is sporadic during seasons.

We welcomed the first morning of 2018 with a pajama pancake breakfast. I love these sleepy faces.

It was the coldest New Years day I can ever remember. And yet, it's tradition to go on a hike. We layered up (and layered up) and braved the 14 degree temps and ventured out onto a section of the Appalachian Trail near us. 

There is something so beautiful in the winter landscape.
And there is something quietly profound in giving your family a "view" of the amazing Creator we follow,
as we walk into a New Year together.

"Hey Dad, help me roll this log!"

Photo credit: Ella Hambrick
I love a new year, a new beginning. A friend of mine put it beautifully:

We are all drawn to beginning because something has been planted in our hearts from the beginning, that makes us long for the way things were in the actual beginning. (Becky Swann)

Here's to the new beginning of 2018 and all that it holds.
Thank you Jet Lag, for the 4am start to my day. What might have taken me months weeks to comb thru all got accomplished before the sun (and my children) even woke up.

We are home after an amazing 2 weeks in Zambia. As always, the Lord was faithful and our time was fruitful. More of the nitty grits (as they like to say over there) to come, but for this morning, just a few photo teasers of our time...

Nope, not Zambia. We made use of our 12 hour layover in London and did some exploring. Buckingham Palace was quite impressive, but I found this ice-cream truck considerably more endearing.

Victoria Falls

Saturday morning fun with the neighborhood Good News Club. 

Sindye Church

The village of Mwandi

In just two days Jeremiah and I, along with two other friends (Rick Via and Katie Hedrick) leave for Livingstone, Zambia. We had planned on traveling with Jeremiah's parents as well, but Jim decided to go and mess everything up and have a heart attack...and, well...now he is instead recovering in Florida. (Love you Jim!)

And while we are very sad not to be joined by them...we are very excited for this opportunity to partner with long term missionary friends Ken and Karen Buckner and Come Go With Us Ministry.

Ken and Karen live in Livingstone, but their main ministry focus is in the surrounding countryside, or, in the bush, as they call it. We will be traveling several hours out of the city and camping out in a local village (insert gleeful excitement from Jeremiah and a what-was-I-thinking shake of my head from myself) for the majority of the trip.

This ain't Haiti, as I've been told to pack long sleeves and a jacket for the cold nights. Say what?!

And while most of the world is just now starting up their school schedules, Monarch Way Academy is on break thru September! We follow a year round schedule and just finished up our first 8 week block. The kiddo's will be partying at my mom's while we are gone.  Prayers appreciated for the Zooble as she's been fighting a really random virus this week and it makes this Momma's heart really anxious (just being real) to think of leaving her not feeling good.

Thank you for your prayers and friendship and support. Can't wait to update!