Dec 31, 2013

2013 highlights

It's been a crazy year.  Life has been twisted and turned and amazingly, we all survived.

Here are just a few highlights from this last year.

-Stroke.  April 9th my dad had a stroke. The weeks that followed were intense and busy and we are still finding out way forward.  Everyday we are thankful it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

-Uganda.  3 weeks after my Dad's stroke I left for a two month visit to Uganda. The two months taught me so much.  I'm thankful for the time and the chance to grow relationships and myself.  I am still amazed by how this trip was provided for and am blessed by the people who made it a reality!
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-Summer hosting.  In July we welcomed our sweet boy for the summer.  Ruslan was with us for just under two months and he was such a big blessing to our family.  Summer hosting is an exciting and life changing adventure. If you ever get the chance to host an orphan, do it!
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-New Babies.  Our family grew.  Not once, but twice!  Two baby nephews joined the family and they are both incredibly loved and spoiled! 
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-Moved away.  In September I moved away, entered college and got a job.  I am loving my new city and the new friendships I have made.  My job is exactly what I wanted and this new life has been a huge blessing to me.
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-Family.  The year ended with a bang when my oldest brother and his wife surprised my mom by coming home for Christmas (did you hear the screaming??).  All 16 members of my family were together for the very first time.  Every day was a party.  Family is everything, and my family is the best. 

2013 was a good year.  It was hard, that's for sure.  But it was full of relationships and growth.  Which is always a good thing.  

Excited about what 2014 is going to bring!

Dec 16, 2013

Christmas winners

In regards to THIS post.

Sue H. and Jessica Cooper please email me!

joannarist @ hotmail . com (take out the spaces).

Please and thank you. :)

Dec 7, 2013

2nd Home Day

"I love you!" she told me over the phone tonight.  "When are you coming home?" she asked.  In perfect English laced with her thick Bulgarian accent.

Today is her 2nd home day.  She has rocked my world. 
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I can't believe it's been two years.

For a little trip down memory lane (and for anyone who wasn't around when Gergana came home) check out these posts from the last two years.

-This is the Day. (the day we met)  
-First night with our Gem. (more detail about Gotcha day)
-And then we came home. (the trip back to Canada)

-Six months ago. (Six month home update)

-One year with my sister and Happy 1st Home Day. (our first complete year together)

It's been a crazy ride. One we are so thankful God brought us on.  We would have missed out on so much if we hadn't said 'yes' to her.  Our life was so boring before she came home.  Girl still has so much spirit.  

Thankful.
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