|Thanks to Erik's Mom for snapping a few photos of us today!|
It’s hard to believe we’re already two weeks into the 2013! As I didn’t send out a Christmas letter this year, I thought I’d write something now. Our family has had a lot of big and exciting changes in the past year. Here’s an overview:
- In January we enjoyed visiting family and friends in Southern California and Arizona. I was really thankful that the kids were able to meet my Grams, most of them for the first time. We also spent nearly a week in San Miguel, Baja, Mexico, where some of my dad’s family has lived for many years. It’s a very special place for me and it was wonderful to share it with the kids.
- In March, Poppy turned seven! She is tall and strong and developing a great sense of humor. She loves to be active and enjoys playing with dolls, drawing, swimming, and riding her scooter. She enjoys all things crafty and loves her siblings and friends. She is generous and very thoughtful.
- In April, Raphael turned four! He is a wild bundle of energy, has a great smile, and is highly interested in all things mechanical and in figuring out how things work. He’s a mover and keeps us on our toes!
- In May, our little Pearl turned two. She is a delight, full of sweetness, and has turned into a regular chatterbox. It’s so fun to hear her talk and to watch her personality unfold. She does a pretty good job keeping up with all her siblings.
- In the Spring, we put our home on the market. For a few years, we’d been feeling the desire to simplify our life and take a big step. When we married, we’d planned on living overseas, and it finally felt like the right time to move toward it. Our plan is to travel to different places, experiencing cultures around the world, visiting friends who live and work in various places, and enjoy this time together with our kids. At some point we'd like to settle in another country, and we trust we'll know the place when we get there!
- In August we accepted an offer on our home, and went into high gear getting packed up and ready to go. We’d already simplified and gotten rid of a lot of our things, but the final push was pretty crazy. We bought a 28 foot travel that has become our home wherever we are.
- In September, we moved out of the home where we’d lived for seven years. It was bittersweet to be standing on the cusp of a new adventure and at the same time leaving the place where my babies grew up, a place so full of memories. I shed some tears as I walked through now empty rooms where I’d kissed them goodnight so many times. We spent four weeks in our trailer while Erik finished up work and we waited for the final closing on the house, which took a lot longer than it was supposed to. We parked at my parents and it ended up being a great place to settle into life in the trailer as well as spend time with my mom and dad and Grandma, whom they are caring for. I’m so glad the kids have gotten to know her.
- In October, the day our house closed, Erik gave notice at EWEB, where he’d worked at a substation wire technician for the last seven years. It was a step of faith, and one he didn’t take lightly. We'd saved and had some money from the sale of our home but he takes providing for his family very seriously. On the day he gave notice, he had lunch with a colleague who offered to give him occasional contract work! Since then he’s also contacted other companies who are looking for people in his line of work. He's also been told that most guys who do his job don't want to travel, so it looks like there will be no shortage of contract jobs that he can do from time to time. That will continue to pay the bills and allow us to travel in between. There is even a good possibility of him finding this type of work in other countries. We praise God for His faithfulness in providing for us and giving us the opportunity to do this!
- In mid-October we pulled out of Eugene, which has been the only place our kids have ever lived. After visiting some friends and family in Portland, we drove north through California, enjoying more visits along the way. Crossing into Mexico, we spent two weeks in San Miguel with my relatives. After that we drove all the way down the Baja Peninsula, crossing deserts, camping on beautiful beaches, and having a great time exploring that part of the world.
- On November 1, Peregrine turned ten! Has it really been an entire decade since I first held that little dark haired baby in my arms for the first time? Peregrine lives life with intensity, riding the highs and lows with every fiber of his being. He is learning to regulate a little more, and we're learning to understand him and help him discover his strengths. He soaks up knowledge like a sponge and makes all kinds of connections in his active mind. He is currently crazed about all things Star Wars and has spent many, many hours happily building with Legos and playing with his actions figures.
- In December we returned to Oregon to spend Christmas with family. We had a wonderful time with loved ones celebrating the birth of our Saviour.
Yesterday Erik and I had our 11th anniversary. We're so thankful to be sharing our lives. These past few months have given us lots of opportunities to get to know each other better and grow in our relationship and love for each other. For me, my job seems to remain the same wherever we are: I cook, I snuggle kids, I read lots of stories, I take care of my family. For Erik, this has been a huge transition, going from full time employment to full time family man.
Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel room in Portland, surrounded by sleeping kids and packed bags. In the wee hours of the morning we will wake them and begin a long day of traveling which will end in Panama! We're really excited to go explore a new country, from sunny beaches to steamy jungles, from the canal zone with its abundant flora and fauna to coffee farms and cloud forests. We've stocked up on books about jungle animals and coral reefs (because this is homeschool!) and we're ready to live this next chapter of our adventure.
When we return, we'll settle into Tsawwassen, BC for three months while Erik works on a substation rebuild. I'm looking forward to having a full sized kitchen and being able to bake bread, as well as exploring the Vancouver area of BC. Being born and raised in Canada it will be fun to revisit it with my kids, who are all Canadian citizens too. Erik's job will finish up at the end of May and we plan to pack up the trailer again and head east, visiting some national parks and going to see Erik's sister in Ontario, Canada, before driving down the East Coast and visiting some of my relatives there. After that we will go visit our good friends who run The Apparent Project in Haiti. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine! We're trusting God to continue leading us as we journey forward in faith!
We hope that this letter finds you all well, and if we are coming your way we'd love to stop in for a visit!
Many blessings to each and every one,
Rebeca, Erik, Peregrine, Poppy, Raphael, and Pearl