This is a newsletter that I post annually on Facebook, but I thought it would be nice to share it here too. I never anticipated more than one or two updates once we got settled in after the move, yet here we are. The journey continues. 

We began our Family Pilgramage updates at the beginning of
2012 when we left our home in Texas to see what the Lord had for us in Kentucky.

Part 2 was a recap of the year we welcomed our youngest
child into our family.

 Along with the roller coaster ride that comes with
realizing our two year old daughter SJ was profoundly deaf. It was by far the
most intense life changing year all the way around!

Part 3 was about moving (again), changing schools, working
multiple jobs, and getting a lot of help along the way.

Now I sit here beginning to define our latest chapter and I am feeling like changing the name from Family Pilgrimage Part Four to Four Years of Wondering in the Dessert!
The unemployment, the uncertainty, and the demanding circumstances can be tiring. We had no idea what was ahead of us when we packed up that moving van and left the only place we, as a couple, have called home. A lot of amazing
growth and provision has taken place that is for sure. None the less part of me
wants to throw a whiny baby fit because I feel like I am
ready to live a normal stable life (whatever that means).
Looking back at 2014 I see a lot of headway. Unfortunately, it’s been like watching a pot that takes years to boil. You try to distract
yourself from what the main goal is and find something else to do because you
know what they say, “a watched pot never boils”. 
I see a few bubbles surfacing though.

Jeremy has had a phenomenal year at Cincinnati State. I am
so proud of all that he has accomplished. He’s had to work his tail off, but
he’s been able to maintain a 4.0 grade point average each semester. I made his
lunches and helped him write a couple papers so I’ll take a little credit there.

Z is in first grade. He goes to a great school and he is doing so well there. This school year is much
better than last for me as the mom. Last year he was in half day kindergarten,
SJ went all day at her special preschool, Ezie was napping twice a day, and I was trying
to juggle all of these schedules. It meant many, MANY daily trips up and down
three flights of stairs (we live in the top of our apartment building). That’s
not even including trips for groceries and laundry. I consider that my exercise
routine and try not to feel too sorry for myself.

SJ is almost 5 now and has made incredible progress this year.
Last year she could not count and she didn’t know any letters. She couldn’t ask
or answer too many questions. She didn’t know anyone’s name outside of our
immediate family. She just had a handful of words. Now all of that has changed!
This year she was able to communicate via phone (on speaker mode) for the first
time! She also can tell very simple reports about her day like “I paint
pumpkin” or “I eat pancake”, She knows colors and numbers, and many letters.
She is starting to write some. My favorite breakthrough recently was when She
told me “Implant say Beep. Beep. Beep.” Then she shrugged and said “not
working” What that means is that her cochlear implant’s battery died and when
that happens it beeps internally. No one can hear it other than the person with
the implant. I would have never known that it beeped if she wasn’t able to
articulate it. It was in that moment that I got just tiniest little glimpse
into her world. All this time she has things going on inside that she is thinking,
feeling, and wanting, but she was trapped in silence. Slowly but surely we are seeing her unlock her ability to communicate. I thank the Lord for this progress.
Ezie is 2 years old and for never knowing anything other
than our current circumstances I can only predict that he is going to be the most
flexible, laid back guy ever.

After a two year break because of all that we’ve had going
on I have been getting back into photography. I am also still trying
to make time to write. I’m even considering doing a book one of these days.

As far as this next year, I try not to get my hopes up too
much, but then again what are hopes for right? There are some really exciting,
truly wonderful, fulfilling things on the horizon! Praise the Lord! J should
be able to find a job as a software
engineer this summer. He won’t necessarily have his degree
completed, but enough to have a fully paid practicum. This means we could
hopefully move out of our apartment and into something with a washer and dryer, and a yard for the kids to play in. A place that they can act like
kids without causing the downstairs neighbors dog to have heart palpitations
(true story). What a day of rejoicing that will be!

Maybe that won’t be our
story, but that’s what my dreams look like. 
Three years ago I left Texas with dreams and I am ready to pick them back up again.

new year. That’s all I can say. Happy New Year.