Over the past month we have been showered with an abundance of blessings. After finishing up our last two weeks of school, we were feeling pretty exhausted. Pulling double duty with teachers’ responsibilities and English leveling courses proved to be a challenge. After our last day, we packed up Moose and headed to the beach!
We spent four days in Guanacaste, Costa Rica at Playa Flamingo. We loved getting to spend time together and really enjoy each other without having to keep up with work. While we were there we learned how to Stand Up Paddle. It was so much fun! We got to see a lot of beautiful fish, a turtle, and several sting rays. We also got to paddle out to some really fun islands and explore a little. We went on an amazing hike with a beautiful view of the coast. Little Moose came with us and he did great on his first hike! Unfortunately, there was a hiccup in our trip. While swimming in the ocean, James stepped on a stingray called a skate and it proceeded to sting his foot. It was very painful and he continued to feel the effects of it for a week after, but he’s made a full recovery. After having some amazing experiences and resting up, we came back to Belén to prepare for our trip to the States.
We got on a plane at 2:00 AM and arrived in Chicago around 9:30 where we met up with James’s sisters Sarah and Susan. Right when our plane was supposed to leave for Duluth, they announced that our flight was cancelled due to a snowstorm. After spending about an hour in line, we were told that they could not rebook our flight until Christmas Eve so we decided to rent a car and road trip to Duluth.
Even though it was a little chilly, we had a wonderful time with James’s family. Grandma Millikan stuffed us with cookies, pies, and buckeyes. We played some games, put together a puzzle, watched movies, and enjoyed being with each other. We also got to see Sarah’s little baby bump and we can’t wait to meet our new niece or nephew! The Millikans’ new home is beautiful and will be a great place for us to all get together for many years to come.
We then headed down to Tennessee for a few days to be with my parents. My mom’s parents were also able to come in while we were there and it was such a gift to get some time with them. A day after we arrived, Luke and Rachel returned to Tennessee for the first time since coming home from Korea. Such a happy moment. On Sunday we were able to go to Harpeth Hills and felt so loved and encouraged by those of you that we were able to see. Harpeth Hills has blessed us in so many ways and we loved getting to worship with you (and go to church in English)!
On Sunday evening and my mom’s birthday, we headed to North Carolina to see my sister Jennifer and her husband Joe. My mom got one amazing birthday present…our whole family was together for the first time since James and I got married. It was such a joy to spend time with people who make me feel so loved and comfortable. We were rejuvenated by our time with family and friends and look forward to seeing you again…whenever that may be. We are so blessed!
We will continue with English leveling courses for the next two weeks and then begin teacher training for the coming school year. We’ll keep you updated!