We started off the month with a visit from our friends that live in Georgia. We hadn’t seen them since December 2015! Zach and Jessi flew to Santo Domingo, spent the weekend with us and then traveled to Punta Cana for a week’s vacation. It was fun to pick up right where we left off, and they enjoyed learning more about SRI. Zach was able to greet Jerry Yoder’s team at the airport with Jeff and help with the pizza order for their dinner. We are thankful for friends who come alongside us no matter the distance.
According to Google, “balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” We all would agree that life is easier to maneuver through when we have balance. In order to achieve balance in our lives we must have boundaries in place.
If I’m being completely honest 2022 has been challenging for me to balance so far. With the increase in teams, Jeff and I have had to revisit our boundaries when it comes to family and ministry. Pre-Covid, Brantley was still a newborn and we hadn’t had much time to get into a routine before everything shut down. Now that we are back to a normal pace of life, it has been an adjustment. We have found that sometimes one of us needs to stay home with Brantley in order for any sort of adult conversation to occur with the groups we are hosting. A lot of what I do with SRI takes place behind the scenes, which I am completely fine with but there are moments of my week that I’d like to get out and have interaction with adults. Brantley is a boy with an energetic, adventurous heart which constantly keeps us on our toes. I love being a mom, and I’m reminding myself during this season I need to slow down and savor the moments with our ever-active toddler.
Another area of life that has been an adjustment to our balance this year is homeschooling. I know that everyone has their opinions when it comes to education. I have an education degree, and have always believed kids belong in the classroom with their peers with additional support from home. This past year Jeff and I decided that Braegan and Brantley would attend Dominican school in the mornings and Braegan would then homeschool with an English curriculum in the afternoons. We want to make sure we are equipping her for her future wherever that may be. This has been hard to balance at times with the demands from both curriculums. Some days we just focus on one and other days when we have more time we get through more content. I have witnessed the progress and growth Braegan is making. In addition to regular classroom work, Braegan’s 3rd grade class at Lucille Rupp is pen pals with a 3rd grade class of students at Cedarville Elementary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This past week Braegan was able to visit the students and share more about her life in the Dominican Republic. We walked around the room and read the students their letters from their Dominican friends. We also showed them how to use the Google Translate app to help them communicate on their own. It was bittersweet to witness as I know Braegan is receiving rich experiences here in San Juan, but I so wish she could sit in the classroom with her friends in Fort Wayne at the same time.
I mentioned that we were in Fort Wayne last week. My sister got married on Sunday, March 13. All 4 of us were in the wedding (me-matron of honor, Jeff-groomsman, Braegan-junior bridesmaid, and Brantley-ring bearer/side kick/entertainment). Lydia and Wade got engaged in August and have spent the past several months planning for their big day. It was exciting to see my sister’s dream wedding play out. We enjoyed catching up with friends and family that we hadn’t seen in a long time and overall it was a beautiful day!
Prior to the wedding week, Jeff’s parents joined us in Fort Wayne and spent a week with us at an airbnb. Unfortunately Brantley and I had a really bad stomach bug that kept us homebound most of the time. On the moments of energy the kids enjoyed being outside and playing games with grandma and grandpa.
We spent time with the rest of my family as well. My brother and I love a good deal. Last Saturday we stood outside the liquidator store to do some bin shopping. The windchill was under 10 degrees, but we had a fun time!
Brantley enjoyed helping with chores around the house and snuggling with grandma and Papaw. Braegan enjoyed her time being in the wedding party, getting her nails done, and playing games at the bachelorette party, and dancing at the wedding!
Jeff was able to reunite with his Fort Wayne pickleball crew! There was one day it was warm enough that he was able to play outside!
The kids returned back to school yesterday and now we are enjoying the weekend together. We do not have a team this next week, and Jeff and Tyler have plans to see Coldplay in Santo Domingo. They’ve had this trip planned since the end of October!
To conclude, God is growing us all in the midst of change. He is carrying us through and helping to bring balance to the chaos in our days.
Ways you can be praying for our family.
- health – that God would continue to give us the strength we need each day to accomplish His work
- residency – we are still waiting for the results of our medical exams to be cleared for our permanent residency application
- Wade & Lydia – newlyweds as they begin their life together