Monday, January 4, 2021

January 2021 Newsletter

Happy New Year!  January usually arrives with everyone feeling tired, overfed, and overstimulated.  It can be hard to regroup and start to focus back on the task ahead.  If this is you, you are not alone. 

Life should get back to normal for us starting today.  After a wonderful, fun-filled two week break, the boys and I will begin our second semester of school this morning.  I am not certain that I am ready, but I am jumping back in.  Pray for a productive semester of learning and growing together.  We have a great motivation to finish this semester strong because it will mean that Stateside Assignment will begin soon after we are done. 

These next few months are going to be busy so pray that we would stay focused on what is important and seek God daily for what He would have us accomplish before we step away for a while.  May we keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to work in and through us for His glory. 

We had wanted to go to the States for the holidays this year but with the uncertainty of Covid we decided not to travel.  Instead, I worked hard to make sure our holiday was filled with fun and full of memory making moments.  If you would like to see photos from our holiday celebrations you can visit these blog links- Christmas and New Year

David was able to travel out some during December.  He attended a few local church services and a regional pastor's meeting.  He also made a trip to the Chiquimula area.  He took a local pastor along with him.  They made some visits and each shared during the Wednesday afternoon service in Nearar.  Before returning home, they had a service at the prison in Zacapa and were able to share the gospel with several hundred who were there. 

Kekchi Disaster Relief efforts continued during the month of December.  Several hundred bags of food supplies as well as sheets of tin were given to families in need.  We are partnering with the Kekchi Baptist Convention in Coban to get these supplies delivered.  Many of you have given and prayed.  Thank you for your part in ministering to these precious people.

Continue to pray for the church in Nearar and that God would bless the work there.  Pray for the pastor, Rafael, and his family that God would meet their daily needs, protect them, and use them to spread the gospel. 

Rafael plans to soon begin taking some pastor training classes.  Pray that God would use these to grow him and equip him to lead well. 

We look forward to 2021 with much excitement and anticipation of seeing the Lord at work.  We thank you for faithfully coming alongside us with your prayers, your presence, and your support.  We could not do what we do without you. 

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Happy New Year 2021

New Year's Eve is one of our favorite nights of the year.  We have a fun family tradition that we do each year to celebrate.  Here is how we welcomed 2021-

We had lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant in town.  Here are David and the boys waiting for them to open at noon.

New Year's Eve lunch at La Pasta Nostra in Antigua

cheers to a new year!

shrimp fettuccine Alfredo

Another favorite is ice cream at Glacy.  We enjoyed that after lunch.

I always get the pineapple basil.  I know it might not sound appealing but it is delicious!!!

We then headed home to get ready for our party.  I filled sixteen balloons with helium and slips of paper that told us what to do at each time slot.  We began at 4:30 and popped a new balloon every 30 minutes until midnight.  This has been our tradition for many years now and it is so much fun!!

Ready to pop our first balloon at 4:30

We always begin with family pictures.

popping our 5:00 balloon

We made noise makers (paper plates filled with dried beans) and did a coloring sheets.

Next, we made homemade pizzas.

Our New Year's cake for 2021

We then had one of several rounds of games.  Here is Ben stacking M&M's on a Popsicle stick.  We raced to see who could get the most.

I added a few new games this year.  One of those was this ring toss game made with paper plates and the cardboard from a roll of paper towels.  

I also made this game from a poster board.  We tossed cotton balls into it. 

Did you know that cereal boxes make great puzzles?  I had cut up several and we took turns working each of them.  It was a fun way to pass a time slot.

Cruz doing a cup stacking game.  We used those cups several different ways throughout the night.

At 7:30 we got glow sticks, ring pops (to "ring" in the new year), and had a dance party in the living room. 

fun times!!

Next we had a New Year's themed word search, bingo, and tic tac toe.  

8:30- another round of games.

They loved this game I made with a poster board called flight school.  We each got a piece of paper to make a paper airplane and then took turns trying to score points by flying it through the holes.  We kept up with all game scores throughout the night and had a grand winner at the end.  

ping pong toss

Ben reading our 9:00 idea.  They squealed because it had us going outside to shoot a few fireworks.

At 9:30 we made hot chocolate and watched Happy New Year Charlie Brown.  

10:00- Pie Face time!

They did a Year in Review sheet and we also had some reflection cards to debrief 2020.  
Our 11:00 balloon sent us to the school room to paint bird houses.  I had some New Year's trivia questions we answered while they painted.  

I saved the best games for last.  At 11:30 we grabbed Nerf guns and starting shooting.  I hot glued these cups together as a base and we had to shoot the mini figures off of them.  We got points for each one we knocked off.

I did this game last year and they begged for it again.  It was our last game of the night.  I hot glued tissue paper over plastic cups and then glued the cups to a display board.  Inside the cups were prizes. It was our grand finale. 

so much fun!!

I had made everyone a score card necklace and passed them out at the beginning of the night.  When we won a game we added a sticker to it.  It was how we kept up with our scores.  Cruz was the grand winner.

We popped our last balloon at midnight and then did what everyone else in the world does- shoot fireworks.  

They got air horns to blow at midnight.

The fireworks were so pretty and LOUD!!!
I love being in Guatemala on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  The fireworks are amazing!
We finally got to bed around 1:00 am.  I was up around 7:00 on New Year's Day starting to cook.  The boys slept until 9:00 (that is the latest either of them have ever slept!)

We had a pancake breakfast.

Then for lunch we had turkey, carrot souffle, macaroni and cheese, beans, rolls, and chocolate chess pie. 
New Year's Day lunch

We spent the rest of the day on the couch watching football.  It was a relaxing way to end our holiday celebration.  What a fun time it had been ringing in the new year.  Hello 2021!!!  I hope the fun continues all year long.
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