How is August here already? While a majority of the world is returning to school, our summer break is just about to begin. The past few days I have been doing some major house cleaning and clearing out of things. This is the month I have been looking forward to for a while. On Friday, August 4th we will fly back to the United States. Our time will begin in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It has been a year since we were there. We are looking forward to catching up with friends and family, dining at some favorite restaurants and enjoying the time outdoors. Following our time in Fort Wayne, we will travel to Peoria, Illinois for a few days to spend time at Jeff’s grandparents and catch up with more friends and family. Jeff and I fly out of Chicago on August 25 to begin our 2 week trip to Italy in celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary, and the kids will remain stateside with family. We were last there in November 2018. We will fly into Rome and travel to Cinque Terre, Florence, Chianti, and then return back to Rome. My brother and his wife will be joining us in Florence and will be with us for the remainder of our time there. We have plans to meet up with some friends while we are there too. We will return back to the Dominican on September 10, Lord willing. The kids will then kick off the new school year and we will have 5 weeks of ministry teams.
Let me catch you on the past few weeks. Following my last update we spent a few days in Las Terrenas with Tyler and Sarah. We had beautiful mornings with rain showers in the afternoon. It was nice getting away, and this was the first time we had all gone together.
Upon returning from Las Terrenas, I made sure everything was ready for our final team of Vacation Bible School for the summer. The arrival of the team was delayed so Braegan and Jeff drove to Santo Domingo to pick up the team on Sunday afternoon for their early arrival on Monday morning while Brantley and I stayed in San Juan.
If you’ve kept up with Tyler and Sarah’s updates you’d know that Tyler’s dog, Osa, had 10 puppies in May. The kids have loved getting to love on the pups at the guesthouse and watching them grow. Blue Boy has been featured in my last couple of updates. Well, Blue Boy joined our family last week. We aren’t quite sure how big he will get. His mom is a standard golden doodle and his dad is a mini golden doodle. Blue has been a great fit. Enjoy some pictures of his first week living with us. So far he’s had a very smooth transition into our home. He loves following the kids around and playing fetch. The other night Brantley had his Hotwheels out, and Blue would paw at them to make them move. Brantley thought it was hilarious how Blue couldn’t figure out why the cars were moving. While we are gone the next few weeks Blue will be living at the guesthouse with Osa and Lua.
In July, Braegan participated in a week long art camp with 9 other girls. She loved it. She learned how to sew, make jewelry, and uses different tools to decorate. She has been wearing all of the accessories she made. We have continued to work on math and vocabulary in preparation for starting 5th grade in the fall. We have all the school supplies purchased in anticipation for classes starting at Lucille Rupp, and Braegan’s home school materials are also all ready for our return to San Juan in September. She’s looking forward to seeing friends in the states and eating at Culvers!
That brings us to Brantley. He’s loving having Blue in the house all the time and not having to share him with anyone. There are moments where he is quite smothering, but it’s just his strong love that he can’t hold back. Brantley is most looking forward to playing at the park and eating sweet corn when we visit the states. He will celebrate his 4th birthday on August 10, it’s hard to believe another year has come and gone.
And now Jeff, the calming presence that keeps us moving forward. He has kept busy with wrapping things up before we head out of the country for a few weeks. Yesterday he renewed all of the insurance for all of the ministry vehicles. It feels great when tasks like these can be checked off for a year! Jeff has also been enjoying playing pickleball whenever he gets the chance in Santo Domingo. He’s wanting to make sure he can keep up with his Fort Wayne crew that he started playing with during the pandemic. I’m sure he will be fine. We arrive in Fort Wayne close to midnight on Friday night, and he’s already scheduled to play at 7:00 am on Saturday.
Overall we’re doing well, I’m thankful for the still moments when I can reflect on how God is carrying us through each season. We had a guy come up to us at breakfast this past weekend at the hotel and ask us if we were in ministry here. He told us that the Holy Spirit nudged him to tell us the Lord had a special calling for our lives, and that we were being obedient to that calling, we were in the right place. Very powerful for us at this time. We are really looking forward to catching up with our City Church family. We have 3 weeks that we will get to be able to worship with them while we are back.
Ways you can be praying:
- upcoming doctors’ appointments
- safe travels
- Braegan and Brantley’s time with family while Jeff and I travel to Italy
- Blue’s time in San Juan without us
- positive and meaningful time with friends and family