I have started and stopped our annual letter no less than 5 times. I am not sure why I am struggling to get it written this year, but thought I would try one last time today.
January: A busy month for sure! We moved into a new house, we got a dog and the kids started Grade 5 and Grade 7.
|Tyson First day of Grade 7|
|Jori First day of Grade 5|
We also enjoyed a visit from Grandma Karen. She helped us with SO many things at our new house both inside and out.
|Taking time from cleaning to show the kids something|
|Grandma Karen project...She even fed them the icing straight from the pouch :)|
|Expert weed puller and yard raker!|
Miss O’s adoptive family arrived to bring their girl home!
February: We said goodbye to Grandma Karen and we even had a baby duck in our house for one night…then it died.
March: Papa and Gram arrived! We handed out a lot of socks and underwear and went out to celebrate some birthdays!
|Thank you Sunnyslope CRC for collecting socks and undies!|
|Birthday Celebrations at Jubilee Spur for Gram and Annah|
We went on a holiday to Barberton, South Africa and Bulembu, Swaziland with them at the end of March/beginning of April.
|Panning for Gold|
|Apparently we like holidays that involve wearing hair nets|
April: We saed goodbye to Papa and Gram. Family Frenzy, our new church small group, began!
|It's Frenzy Time!|
May: We experienced a lot of despair and a lot of deep love this month. Darin was in Steve Biko hospital for 10 days after unexplained bleeding on the brain. This experience was the most difficult thing we have experienced so far in South Africa, yet through it we received a true sense of community and belonging and were able to see and feel the presence of God all around our family.
June: Recovery time for Darin. Looking at the calendar, we managed to keep the month pretty wide open as we made space for physical healing and time for our family to just be together.
|Enjoying their new jammies|
|Follow Follow Follow, Follow the Leader|
Tyson turned 12 on the 16th and Jori turned 10 on the 18th. We celebrated 5 years of living in South Africa.
|Hanging out with friends|
|Playing in the mud|
July: A quick visit from my friend Rebecca started off the month.Rebecca and her husband Steve are the reason we first came to South Africa long ago when they were living here for a year, so it was kind of a full circle thing with our family now living here and her and her daughter coming to visit.
|Rebecca and her daughter Mia|
August: Blankets, blankets for all. Thank you to everyone who gave to the blanket project! And my purse and phone were stolen from my car. While I was in it.
September: Money Saving Mom and Advocates came to South Africa! We had a great time showing this group of people what Take Action Ministry is involved with and how we do what we do.
Papa John was here for a visit
|Love my dad|
|Papa and Tys|
October: Bela Bela with Papa John and then it was time to say goodbye.
|Sissy in the slide|
Grandpa Rick arrived for 2 ½ weeks!
|Tyson's ultimate wish - to go fishing with Grandpa|
|At the Lion Park|
November: We said Goodbye to Grandpa Rick
|One last meal at the airport|
|Lots of Lego building in the hallway|
|Thanksgiving dinner with friends|
|These two LOVED the ocean|
|Hauling water with my sweetie to flush toilets|
|Absolutely love this guy|
|Little miss loves her games, especially winning!|
Darin and I celebrated our 15th anniversary.
|Christmas Eve with the Fam|
|Making egg rolls on Christmas Day|
|Friends from Bethesda|
|A Chinese Food Feast|
|Swimming in the rain|
Throughout the year, Darin and I kept busy with our respective duties with Take Action Ministry. I found myself more involved with the Early Childhood Development programs and have developed special relationships with the women who run these centres and the children who know me as “Mama Jonna”. Darin also has taken on a lot of the admin work for Busetsa Wood, a project that he sees as a real mission as it seeks to provide jobs for young men in the community.
|Speaking at an info meeting|
|Riding in a trailer on a pile of pants. No big deal.|
|Tyson and Mishack competing to see who can ratchet faster while |
putting together a jungle gym.
Tyson and Jori kept busy with school work, projects and hanging out with each other and with friends. The 2017 school year will be a big change for both kids as Jori enters Grade 6 and heads off to Jabulane Christian Academy without her big brother. Tyson will be staying home for a little Fey Family Schoolhouse action.
|All dressed up for the mall|
|Catching crabs in the canal|
We also saw a lot of this little lady and her family.
She will be turning 6 on the 4th of January. These people, they are like family to us. Amo has had a special place in our hearts since we first met her at Tshepo ya Bana 4 years ago, but we are so thankful for the way God has brought our family and hers together.
|Look at those cheeks! This is when Amo first started staying with us.|
It is a friendship that many people in the community don’t understand, but we hope that the love and friendship we share will be a light and example to many.
|With Cousin O|