Jeff & Kamanda Bucher | Solid Rock

Jeff & Kamanda Bucher | Solid Rock

A new year

Happy New Year from San Juan! January 1st always brings about a fresh start and a time for goal setting. I have claimed “grace” as my word for the 2024. Giving grace to myself and extending grace to others. We are all human and we all make mistakes, and it’s so much easier to get along with ourselves and one another when we are able to not expect perfection from one another. This has been a challenge for me and will continue to be, but I plan to be more intentional with this throughout my daily interactions with others.

Our December was a slower pace which has prepared us for the busyness ahead. We have 9 weeks of teams, with a break after the 5th week. Following our first team in December we drove to Punta Cana with the kids to spend a week with my family for Christmas. We enjoyed time together eating delicious food, laughing, and enjoying time poolside in the sun! Braegan and Brantley were reunited with their youngest cousin that they hadn’t seen in almost 2 years. Having the 3 kids together was very entertaining.

Following our time in Punta Cana we spent the weekend in Santo Domingo with Sarah awaiting the arrival of our team from Southern Utah University. Minus the cold temperatures and snow, the Dominican doesn’t disappoint when it comes to decorating and creating an atmosphere of Christmas.

Upon returning back to San Juan we were busy with our final team of 2023. Braegan had the opportunity to go out with the mobile medical group one day, and she enjoyed translating and doing home visits with the team. I’m thankful for the times she gets to do this, because she gets to share her skills with the teams and her love for the Dominican.

Once the team left on December 23, our holiday break officially began. We spent the days playing games, relaxing, and watching Christmas movies. On Christmas Eve/Noche Buena we spent the evening with our friend Olvis and his family, this has become a tradition. There was so much food. The kids all played outside and we had a wonderful time of celebration.

We celebrated Christmas at home with Sarah. Jeff made French toast with a fruitcake that had been gifted to us, and it was wonderful! I don’t know why we haven’t tried this before. We ate it so fast that I couldn’t get any pictures.

Blue turned 7 months on Christmas Day. He is still the most lovable puppy we have ever encountered. I had my hesitations when we considered getting a dog, because I like a tidy house. He plays with his toys, goes to the door when he needs to go to the bathroom, and is content in his crate whenever we are out of the house. I must say that he still favors me of anyone in the house. He’s currently at my feet while I type this update. Braegan has become the photographer for Blue’s instagram account (bluedoodle2023). Brantley has an aggressive way of sharing his love with Blue, so we have to continually remind him to be gentle.

To kick off 2024, Sarah and our family traveled north to Jarabacoa. It is a mountain town about 4.5 hours by driving. I really wanted a cabin with a fireplace, and we found one on airbnb. Jeff arranged a tour of a coffee farm at Spirit Mountain, and we learned SO MUCH about how coffee is grown and processed. We also spent a morning at a waterfall. The kids and dogs enjoyed running and splashing! It was a fun time away.

The kids started back to school on January 9th after a 4 week holiday break from school. It’s nice to be getting back into a routine again.

I want to leave you with a song that I’ve been listening to on repeat lately. Life may not go as we have planned, Satan continuously tries to disrupt God’s plan by putting distractions in our way, but we need to remember to stay focused on the author and creator.

Prayer requests:

-endurance to get through the next 9 weeks of teams (through mid-March)

-relationship with our Dominican partner organization

-Braegan and Brantley as they return back to school for 2nd semester

-discernment as God leads our family

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