Greetings in Jesus name! Since I haven’t sent anything for Christmas the last few years, it makes it difficult to know where to start! We are so blessed and feel God at work in our lives, drawing us ever closer to Himself. Sometimes the plans God has for us are not always considered normal. I heard a preacher say one time that maybe our (human) normal is God’s abnormal and our (human) abnormal is God’s normal?
We are looking forward to an exciting trip to Thailand! Martin & Rachel Holsinger, from Zillah, have been living there for 2.5 years. We are flying out of Seattle on Nov. 9th and will be flying into Seoul, South Korea to get our connecting flight to Chaing Mai , Thailand. This is where Martin & Rachel are living. We hope to be staying somewhere close to where their house is located. Our return flight is on Dec 5th. We want to bless their family in whatever way we can. Bree Lavy, from Ohio, is going with us to help out with the children. She came to our house 1.5 years ago and stayed for 2 months over the time that Hunter was born. Our family “adopted” her, and the children call her “Aunt Bree”. She has been a tremendous blessing to us. God just knew we needed her! After we had our tickets, Shane’s parents decided to go with us. They were able to get the same flights and we will enjoy having grandparents along to help out as well.
Currently we are renting a house on the Yakima Indian Reservation. The foothills in the distance have a pass through them to Oregon called the Satus Pass. We live in the Satus Basin, in the first house built in this basin. We moved about 1.5 years ago to this smaller house and are living on the Foster Ranch. It has been quite an interesting experience to be living on a ranch instead of in the midst of the orchards. Around the orchard, there were always workers around.. pruning trees, mowing, spraying, picking fruit. Where we live, it is free range cattle. If you don’t want cattle to go somewhere, you have to fence that off. There is lots of excitement when there are cows to chase out of our yard! We did put up lots of fence and a gate across the drive and that has cut down on the cow traffic. Last year it was an every day occurrence to go chase the cows back through the loose, barbed wire fence. Shane has gotten 3 coyotes right outside the kitchen door. Hank has got a rabbit, shot from the kitchen window. The rabbit stew we had the next day was delicious! He gets plenty of practice on birds also. Rodney Hubbard came and put a beautiful paver patio & walk up to the front door. We have used it so much this summer! It has been a blessing to have.
Hank is 12 and will be 13 in February. He has 8 goats that he takes care of. Hank is the irrigation man around here. If we want anything to be green here, we have to water it. So this summer he put the irrigation on the yard and garden and kept it green. He likes to mow the neighbor’s grass. The ranch likes to have Hank around because he loves to help out when they are branding calves, hauling silage, changing irrigation water on the corn field, sorting cows, feeding hay in the winter, and etc… Of course, he is in school, so he tries to finish his school work early so he can go outside. He is a big help entertaining his little brother, and sisters, with his inventions & wagon rides. Shane has an old 70’s Jeep truck (stick shift) that Hank drives around the ranch..takes trash up to the dumpster once a week, hauls hay for the goats, and anything else he can think of. He made a small scale baler that he bales straw & grass in these little 12 inch long bales. Very cute for fall decorations with small pumpkins & gourds.
Nikita turned 11 in August. She is very creative and jumps at every chance use her creativity. Table centerpiece decorations, cards, notes, writing on windows & mirrors with dry erase markers, rocks become art, and you just never know! She is a very good help in the kitchen & does like to plan and prepare a meal when she can. Nikita helps do the girl’s hair and does a great job. She takes Hunter and spends time with him when he needs something different to do. Books are always being read. Hank & her trade books to read and it is a blessing to see them love to read. Their favorite is non-fiction, the real life stories. She enjoys her school work. She is a willing helper to lend a hand wherever there is a need. Nikita realized she needed Jesus to be her personal Saviour and “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Pet 1:23 Several months later, she made a public confession of her faith by water baptism. It has been a journey to watch her spiritual growth & her walk with Jesus. Praise God!
Brandy was 8 years old in September. She enjoys doing her school work, & is a diligent student. She really likes to play with her sisters & brothers. This summer they rode bikes a lot, played in the sand box, played at the swings, played house in the weeds & ran through the sprinkler! More recently, she has liked Hank to take her rides on his scooter. Brandy can be found sitting quietly doing random things, usually writing notes to her family members or coloring a picture. It is fun to receive these encouraging notes on my pillow! She likes to help in the kitchen and chop up veggies.
Aspen is 6 and her birthday is in July. She seems to have a bond with Hunter & she helps me out with him quite abit. When he was younger, she would rock him in her little rocking chair and he loved to cuddle with his blankie. She is learning the phonics special sounds this year and is learning to put them together to read! I never knew how confusing the English language is until I started teaching it. It can be very difficult at times trying to explain why, for example, that /e/ is sometimes short, long, silent, or sounds like one of the other vowels… Aspen likes to play house & babies with her sisters. They have fun getting the purses stuffed full of ‘stuff’ and wearing the high heels that a couple of great grandma’s so graciously gave them, and set up little chairs for church. She really likes to have someone read her a book.
Lacy tells everyone she meets that she is almost 4, and has since her 3rd birthday. It is getting closer now and she will be 4 in March. I keep telling her to enjoy being 3, because she will never be 3 again. She adds energy to our family! It is hard to get her to walk because she’d rather run, jump, or skip! Just recently she has been entertaining Hunter and it has been so fun to watch them interact and really start playing together. The Lord has blessed Lacy with a giving heart. For example, on my birthday, she gave me her own piggy bank. She comes up with some interesting comments & phrases.
Hunter is 18 months and April is his month. Our family each has a birthday month from Feb. through Sept. No one shares a month! He’s learning to talk & is all boy. It is built in him to ‘have dominion’ over nature. He really enjoys being outside and loves to be around his brother and sisters. Even starting to ‘chase’ his sisters around the house, wielding something to send them squealing! I figured out that he does like his own space, too, and so we have the pack-n-play set up for him to have play time by himself. It is amazing how that settles him. Praise God! He is the first one to like to cuddle! That has been so fun to have a cuddly baby! Also the first one to take a pacifier, so we will have a new experience to go through. I thought it’d be a good idea to wait till we got back from Thailand to try taking away the pacifier. He is in the process of starting to get his eye teeth. Then he’ll be ready for his 2 year molars. Teething isn’t a pleasant thing for him, & he’s harder to get along with then. I think it’s for my own growth in patience!
The Lord has laid it on our heart to travel, serving & helping out where we can. We have purchased an older charter bus that has been converted into a RV. We are open to what the Lord wants us to do with it and don’t really have definite plans!
Truly we have been blessed. We enjoy our family and living life together. Jas 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Is what I do today going to matter for eternity?