2012 Christmas Letter

Normally I mail our photo Christmas card with a little letter about our year. This Christmas finds us in Kenya, thus we're doing our Christmas cards digitally, as part of my "this year in pictures" end-of-the-year blog post. So for those of you coming to the blog for the first time via our Christmas card email: Karibuni! Welcome!


Nate turned 2!! We were living at Camp Tejas, working on our first fundraising goal so that we could move to Kenya. God amazed us by meeting our fundraising goal around the end of the month.


We got ready to move to Kenya by traveling around the state, speaking in churches, and visiting family


We arrived in Kenya and began settling in to our new way of life. We were sent here by non-profit organization Maisha Kamili to start children's homes. The first phase of our work was to register Maisha Kamili in Kenya, look for land to buy, and set a fundraising goal for buying land


The boys got to meet lots of their Kenyan cousins and make friends in our neighborhood.


Rodgers' birthday! And look! My parents came to visit. We also went on a game drive (safari) in Tsavo. My first! I'm sure I've mentioned that it was awesome.


June started fun with my parents still visiting, but after they both left, Ben got sick, and we had trouble with our car and the electric company. Good news: Ben is a strong, healthy guy! He recovered and has not been sick since. We rented cars when we needed them, and we were able to stay in a hotel with a bathtub while our power was out.


In July, Nate decided he was done with daytime diapers (nighttime potty training took a couple more months)! Ben started eating real food. Pictured here having just "cleaned up" Nate's spilled snack. He also started climbing the stairs. Maisha Kamili began supporting orphans and children of widows who need help paying school fees.


Ben and Nate started really playing together. They love rough-housing with their dad. Below, they were pretending to be in a bobsled. Ben's goofy personality came out more and more. He loves playing jokes and making us laugh.


Ben turned 1!!


We went to Nyahururu to work on getting Maisha Kamili registered as a ministry in Kenya and also to see how one of our friends is running their children's home. We went to Lake Nakuru while we were up there, as well as crossing both the Rift Valley and the Equator and seeing Mt Kenya. Ben went from taking a few tentative steps to running around with Nate. Nate says that Ben is his best friend. Neither one can stand being away from the other for very long. Also, my uncle and cousin came to visit. I really didn't take many pics of them, but here they are looking at the Indian Ocean.


Our work continued, and these two boys just kept growing. The 7 MKKs we were taking care of at this point are pictured below, with their names in the photo caption. We had them all over to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.

(back row: Moses, Beatrice, Pamplin Mpate; middle row: Santa, Tiffany, John; front row: Joshua)


We've been planning to have a Christmas in Kenya since 2010. That one fell through because I was 38 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day. We rescheduled Christmas 2011 in Kenya because we were planning to move here this year. We will have Christmas dinner with Rodgers' family on the Saturday before Christmas, followed by Christmas with just the 4 of us at home, followed by 26 hours of flying and layovers (a longer trip if you count from the time we leave here for the airport until the time we arrive at my parents' place from the airport on the other side) to get us to Texas for a month of visits and reporting on Maisha Kamili. Our December and Christmasy adventures will be posted here on the blog, though considering how busy we will be the last week of December, posts may not be very prompt!

As I finished this post up, I enjoyed going back through our picture posts from previous years.


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