Wow we just had the best time traveling home for the summer! We got back to Nicaragua a couple weeks ago and have hit the ground running. But wanted to take a little bit of blog space to share pictures and some of the fun we had. When we made these plans to travel in the summer time we realized something. We have not been home during the summer since our kids were born…none of them have every experienced summer in America! Can you believe that? Time passes fast!
We are so very thankful to our friends and family and our church who support us. You all make trips like this possible for our family…we get to do things we never would have imagined because of your love and support for us. Opening your homes, taking us places, sending our kids to camp, sitting with us and letting us pour out our highs and lows…we are very very very blessed by all of you! When we make a decision to follow the Lord into this type of life living by faith, there is so much unknown. The Lord uses you to encourage us in hundreds of ways!
We won’t get every story and every picture in here…heck sometimes we didn’t even take pictures. But we did take alot of them! Thank you for an awesome recharge of our batteries…
What is so special about going home is to be able to see our family. That is the hardest part about living overseas. We are far away from people we love. So, when we are home we take as much advantage of that as we can. It started with a full week of cousin time in Miami with the McDonalds and Rahals (and we have a new nephew baby Levi…who is a beautiful miracle!). Mema’s house is the favorite place of all time! We visited Grandpa and Gramma Losi in Jersey. The Barbers and Murrays in North Caronlina was more fun Cousin time!!! We met the Rahals at Mema’s cabin, saw Aunt Grammie and Uncle Lion, stopped by to see Gramma Pat and got to see Pop Pop’s new place and his river!
We realized something that is very special about these visits….we get tons of time together! Even if we lived just one state away or in another town, life still gets going and we may not get sooooo much time together even if we lived stateside. It was so so so special for us. Even with that said, I miss my family very much! Love you all!!!
The entire trip birthed from an invitation for our girls to go to Mt. Gilead Camp in Pennsylvania!!! Oh my gosh this was such an amazing experience for Aliyah, Isabella and Juliette. Nobody had ever been to sleepaway camp before, let alone for an entire week! So, that made everyone a little nervous. We were so thankful the Hassenbalg girls were going to camp too, that took the nervousness away! Isabella was most excited that there were horses and horseback riding at camp…thank you “Skee” for being the greatest part of camp! The girls grew so much and learned alot about themselves being on their own for so long. Jesus drew them closer to himself and gave them an incredible experience…praise the Lord for Camp!
Oh my goodness this summer was filled with adventure! We had forgotten how much there is to do in America. We did so many crazy things and I don’t think we did 1% of what the US has to offer! We were on a lake for firework shows in PA, whitewater rafting, river tubing, jumping off of roofs and bridges, horse back riding in the mountains, out on the boat in Biscayne Bay, hiking to waterfalls, swinging off lake swings, canoes, kayaking, roller coasters….so so much! We even got to visit our nephew Joseph at the University of Central Florida where he is going to play football in the fall! We checked out all the awesome facilities. We met Desmond Howard (a college football legend) at a Miami farmer’s market. And the wildest adventure of all is that Aliyah got her learner’s permit to start driving!!! Praise Jesus for an awesome time of adventure in the good ol’ U S of A!!!!
So so so many long time life long friends and awesome new friends that we have made in the past few years that we love to get to visit when are home. We usually forget to take pictures because we are talking talking talking. But this is another huge source of life for us. To have people who speak into our lives, help us with our hurts, give use deeper vision for God’s calling, support us in what God has called us to is an absolute necessity in life. Going home allows us to get to see some of you face to face and we are blessed by that! Thanks for having us in your homes, meeting us for meals, laughing and crying with us! We missed out on some really really special friends too…Next time! Or down here in Nicaragua!!! We are meant to live in community, so we praise Jesus for all of you friends!!!
Food and Shopping
How could we end a blog post about our trip to land of plenty without recognizing how much fun it is to be in the states and eat all the awesome food and shop at all the fun stores. We are pretty simple folks so Chick-Fil-A and Target are about all we need, but we got to do so much more. Thank you to all of you who took us out to eat, took us shopping and loved on us!!!
We had the best trip home possible! We are so thankful!
Chris & Krista