Family Yearly Planning

With just 3 weeks left in Nicaragua, we knew we needed to give some time to planning our year and to re-entering back in to life in Fort Collins.  It ws a rainy day in Matagalpa, and a perfect opportunity to begin – to have our first of many sessions that we would end up having.  In our family dynamic, this is a fun activity all on its own for some, and for other’s they need a little something fun and yummy to help take the medicine! We held this first session at a lovely cafe right in the heart of Matagalpa’s down town area (& Matagalpa is in the heart of Nicaragua’s Coffee Country).  It was perfect!

It was a day or so later, but we eventually gathered to share our lists and to see what was shared between us.  There will be more to add now, but here’s what came out the first time!  So grateful God has given us each one of these special experiences.

Olivea writes our lists on the white board.

Olivea writes our lists on the white board

Exercise #1.           List 10 blessings, accomplishments, and/or things you are thankful for from our time in Nicaragua (try for 100)

Whole Family List

We got to do this in the first place

God’s gift of clear vision for our whole family

Support from our home Church

Financial support above and beyond

Supportive teachers and schools

We got on that first flight

All of the friends we’ve been reacquainted with

All of the new friends that we’ve made

All of the fun that we’ve gotten to have and the places we have seen

Extended family time

Trying out new foods

Exploring sacred spaces

Bringing gifts of supplies to schools & libraries

Provision of an English Bible study

Jane Mirandette’s input and help along the way

Having variety of nice places to live

Finding clean bathrooms in an unexpected places

All of the color

Realizing that we are growing in our relationships con Dios

Having lots of opportunities to go swimming

Throwing and going to lots of parties

Freedom to serve where the Holy Spirit has led

Our little red box, our map bunting, & map flags

Our journals and prayer albums

Opportunities to fix a few things that needed repair

Having 2 different groups from home visit

Getting to serve in such a variety of ways.

Jonathon & Quinn – Life-Out-Of-The-Box

Visiting many different types of churches and being welcomed in them all

Having a better family understanding

Working on learning Spanish

Walking and praying a labyrinth

Eating what we are given when we are guests at someone’s house

Having more time to read and engage our Bibles

Having gadgets so we can stay connected with friends from home

More time to read

An opportunity to explore God’s world

More time to get to know my mom

Seeing each of our initial goals come to pass

Serving together as a whole family

Our relationships with Maria’s family

Olivea’s quinceanera & all of the details around it

Getting to fellowship and serve with Christian Surfer’s Church

David & Tamara

Esau & Heather

The Biblioteca – and everyone who works there.

The sunsets

Getting to go sailing and swimming in the ocean and playing on a private beach

Hiking up to Jesus

Getting to go on a Zipline

Having Megan Knierim come to vist

Getting to visit Ashleigh’s farm and go horseback riding with her

Going Surfing

Playing with crabs on the beach

Helping host a ladies brunch

Exploring the tide pools

Buying dinner from the Chicken lady

Going to Edwin’s store for treats by myself

Edwin, Heidy, Dennis, Roxanna, Mike, Agusto, Richard, Shirly, & Angelica

Getting to go to the beach

Having incredible Spanish teachers – Myra, Belkys, & Edwina

Getting so warmly welcomed back to town by the owners of Café Mediterano

The Vega family

The Crouts

Getting to go on a women’s retreat

Clothes Pony’s puppet donation

Celebrating Easter with worship on the beach

Fixing a roof

Painting, painting, and more painting!

Getting to Skype with the Vega kids and Living Hope Covenant Church in Colorado Springs

Getting to go on a Ferry Boat across Lake Nicaragua

Getting to be tourists for 5 days on Ometepee Island

The gift of an 800 to 1000 year old pot from the Ometepee Library

Getting to spend more than 3 days in Ameya

The chance to learn a Nicaraguan Folkloric Dance & perform it

Mike’s Purple Unicorn

All of the generous rides we’ve been given places

Getting to try and start Ameya up with a Compost

Having the Rivas – Mendoza family as our friends

Watching surf competitions

Re-evaluating life

Having Frank Rivas waiting to greet us at our condo in Chinandega

Creating a new library

Dancing at El Timon

Semana Santa

Exploring caves with Renee

Passing out tracks at an international parade

Frank showing up 1 ½ hours early just to bring us breakfast

Learning to cook new foods

Swimming in the rain, swimming at night, swimming in a volcanically heated pool

Pastor Francisco and his family

An overnight with Sarai

Shopping the Mercado

Getting to go on home visits in Ameya

Fashion Show

Delivering mosquito nets

Santos preaching

Surprise pizza night

Tsunami Drills

Connecting with Food For The Hungry

Getting to hold baby ducks, puppies, kittens and chicks

Creating our own board games


Doing bumper cars at the Central Park carnival – twice!

Mike & Pastor Francisco dressing like twins

Gallo Pinto

Going on a Holy Pilgrimage


Getting to be a part of a dance group and go to a competition

Mike, Frank and Pastor Francisco grilling together

Praying over my friend and then having him pray over me

Learning how to make Pitaya Juice

Learning how to properly taste rum at Flor de Cana – & getting to meet the president too

Being stretched as a teacher

All of us having opportunities to serve out of our giftedness (especially in Ameya)

Being invited to dinner at Pastor Francisco’s mom’s house.

Getting our tree necklaces

Being recognized by a shop owner and having him greet me by name

The Rutledge family

A new skirt from Rebecca

Celebrating many different holidays

Visiting Vida Joven Camp (Young Life) and Coffee Farm.

Owls, Iguana’s, and Monkey’s oh my!

PriceSmart Cheese!

Esau preaching

Hiking volcanos

Waterfalls & Natural pools

Flying kites on the beach & jumping rope at the park


Being on Nica T.V.

Carlos & Nicole & boys

Getting to celebrate 3 of our birthdays

Getting to do lots of art with lots of kids

Surviving the circus

Being asked by El Carrizal to help the make signs

Cooking for 9 and cooking for 100 – cooking by coal, gas, & wood fire


Taxi’s, Chicken Buses, Collectivo’s, Bike Taxi’s, Horses, & Boats

Prayer doodling in Ameya

Painting our nails with Heather

Princess Parades

Seeing art collections

Getting caught in the rain – MANY times!





This entry was posted in Blog, July. Bookmark the permalink.