Monday, May 1, 2023

April 2023

We started the month celebrating our baby's 7th birthday! He got dinosaur Monopoly Jr, a toy dinosaur, and a rope swing that we hung in the lot where they play. He's funny and brilliant and hot-tempered and affectionate, and we're so thankful for him.

The rains were fewer and farther between this month, so the kids were able to spend more time playing outside with our neighbors. It's a sweet, sweet life. There are a lot of things they miss out on by growing up here, but there are also a lot of wonderful things they get to experience. For as much as my teenagers don't appreciate it, a slow pace of life with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors is one of my favorites. The weather is so amazing this time of year: in the 70's every day with low humidity, but everything is still green from the rains.

Josh and I recorded a podcast! We usually do this once a month, but I actually took a picture of it this time. Our cat, Ginny, was at the office that day and needing a LOT of attention. So much so that we had to lock her out of the office just to get the episode recorded. This month's episode was about his new book, The Bible Guidebook. You can also see all of our podcast archive here.

Josh was one of four speakers at a marriage conference here in Zomba this month, put on by another church. It was so encouraging to meet and spend the day with those who spoke and attended.

We were excited to welcome new baby Nathaniel to our Gospel Life family! He's precious and strong, and mom and baby are both doing great. Big brother Jedidiah is not a fan of the big brother life so far, but we know he'll come around once Nathaniel gets big enough to play with.

I've been marveling recently at how much the boys have grown in the last year. The top picture is from April 2022, and the bottom one from April 2023. The girls haven't grown in a couple of years now (much to their dismay), so notice the boys in relation to their sisters. Jude has surpassed Taylah and almost caught up with Haylee, JJ has almost caught up with Taylah, and Abe now reaches her shoulders (if he were standing up straight in the second picture)! Haylee doesn't have much time left to be the tallest kid in the family, and I suspect that it won't be long before JJ is taller than all of us. Jude and JJ's feet are 

We had some visitors for a week from Henderson, Kentucky. They stayed busy most of the week doing Body & Soul conferences at a few churches and helping Gospel Life Baptist Church with distributing clothes the church members had donated for victims of Cyclone Freddy. One of their days, though, we got to take them for a boat safari at Liwonde National Park. We didn't see much besides hippos, but we had a nice relaxing ride up and down the Shire River, and the weather was perfect. They were a kind and encouraging group, and it was a blessing to have them here.

JJ sang Amazing Grace at church, and we were so proud of him! He was so nervous but also so determined, and then he was on cloud nine for the rest of the day. We pray God continues to use JJ's gifts and passions for his glory as he grows up!

We ended the month celebrating Josh's 37th birthday! All he ever asks for for his birthday are real (aka not the gluten, dairy, and sugar free kind we usually make) Toll House recipe chocolate chip cookies. He's the best in every possible way, and I can't imagine life without him.

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