January Blessings

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January has been a busy and blessed month!

I’ve decided to make this year about blessings. My overriding goal of the year is to bring glory and honor to God by giving Him thanks as often as possible. I’ll be using my blog to highlight ways I see God working for our good. January was a good start to the New Year, so it has been easy to brag on God.

It all began January 1 as I brought in the New Year with Joshua. Everyone else in the Kelley clan had fallen asleep, but Joshua was eating. We heard some shouts of celebration off in the distance while we quietly enjoyed the beginning of 2015.

Then, our firstborn, Noah, turned 9 years old on the 18th! (Am I really old enough to have a 9 year old??) He decided to throw a Spy/Nerf themed party. We held it the day before his birthday, and 4 boys came to celebrate with him. They ate cake and ice cream and drank Kool-Aid.

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After consuming a ridiculous amount of sugar, we sent them through a laser maze to claim their weapons for a Nerf war.

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I’m not sure which team won the battle, but they came inside for presents and goodie bags. Noah got a lot of Legos and games this year, which came in handy for the following day.

Noah’s birthday was on a Sunday this year, so we began the day bright and early. He awoke to balloons and gifts at his seat at the dining table. After he opened more games and Legos, we ate his favorite breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, toast and bacon, and we drank white grape juice. (I realize white grape juice isn’t a huge deal in the States, but we are so excited that our favorite juice brand started making grape juice! Noah requested that we save some for his birthday breakfast.) After church, Noah spent most of the day building his new Lego sets and challenging people to a game of Sorry, Pictureka or Labyrinth. He loved all the food for the day because he planned it all. I made fried crabsticks, French fries, coleslaw, and Red Lobster biscuits for lunch. Then, for supper, we ate soup and subs in an attempt to feel like we were at Subway. Although all this was wonderful, Noah’s favorite part of the day was watching Thor with his daddy.

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Another exciting event: Joshua became an American citizen this month! We had visited the U.S. Embassy back in December, and this month we received notice that his documents were complete and ready for pick up. I trekked to Nairobi alone (yes! I left Joshua home with Aaron!) on January 20. I left at 6:30 a.m., shopped from 10:30 until 12:30, and then headed over to the Embassy at 1p.m. After a little waiting and a lot of questions, I had Joshua’s U.S. passport and U.S. birth certificate. It’s a relief to know that he can join us for our furlough in June!

Daddy and the boys managed quite well without me. Joshua is such a good baby. He takes a bottle like a champ and is very easy going. Levi helped Aaron take care of Joshua while Noah and Jacob went to school. The Roberts had us over for supper, which was a huge blessing to me even though the purpose of the night was to celebrate Noah’s birthday. The Roberts boys couldn’t attend Noah’s party, so they threw one of their own. It was complete with a laser maze, a feast of yummy food, cake and ice cream, and sparklers!

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A few days later, on January 22, we celebrated Hannah’s 3rd birthday. The day began and ended as usual, but we took time at 5:30 to have a community celebration of our baby girl.

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Joshua turned 3 months old on the 25th. He is such a happy, easy-going baby. He is sleeping through the night, becoming quite the chatter box, and bringing much joy to our family.

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And yesterday, January 29, marked our 2-year anniversary of missions! We first boarded a plane to move to Kenya on January 29, 2013. Had we known what God had for us here, I’m not sure it would have been quite as easy. (It didn’t seem easy at the time, but the first flight here was much easier than the second!) Through the valley of grief and in everyday life, God proves Himself faithful and trustworthy. We are so happy that we said, “Yes!” to God when He called us here, and we pray that He will bring us back here after our furlough.

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“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ! God uses His children to minister to us in so many beautiful ways.
2. Praise God for answers to prayer. We have been praying about our upcoming furlough, for we have so many decisions and plans to make. God is beginning to close and open doors for us. Please pray that we hear God clearly and correctly so that we are in the center of His will.
3. Praise God for our boys! Please pray for us as we parent them. Pray for wisdom in both the big and little things.

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