Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

This year, I decided to do a post that sums up our 2015. As many of you know, I print these posts into "blog books" that sit on my piano and that we frequently flip through. This post will be an easy way to review what we did in 2015! If there was one word to describe 2015, it would be TRAVEL! Just posting this makes me tired! :)

JANUARY - Mulenga's Wedding!

Getting to attend one of our absolute closest friend's wedding was amazing. Blu led the service, I spent hours making the wedding cakes, and Cambree was the flower girl. It has been amazing to watch Mulenga "grow up" and now have a family of his own!

FEBRUARY - Family Camping Trip!

Oh the adventures! We spent 3 nights camping in Lusaka - swimming, cooking out, and just enjoying each other! It had its insane moments, but now that almost a year has passed, I can look back and say it was a blast!

MARCH - Trip to the USA for Cloud's wedding!

You miss so many family times when you live overseas, so we were so blessed that Cloud flew us all back to attend his wedding! What a special time to all be together! (2 days travel, 4 days in USA, 2 days travel - can you say jet lag???)

APRIL - The Field Trip

6 hour bus ride, horse farm, airplane rides, camping, swimming, and eating lots and lots of nshima....the field trip of 2015 was epic!

MAY - Prosthetics & Prayer Cards

The month before the craziness of volunteer season! The prosthetics team came and Erin took our prayer card picture for our upcoming furlough - May was exciting!

JUNE - Caedmon the Gardener turns 10 with a Nacho Party!

Our firstborn turned 10! We had a blast celebrating with a Nacho Libre themed party! (thank the Lord the power went out so I didn't have to sit through that movie...again...)

JULY - Tidwell kids leave for the USA!

Oh my heart...we put our 3 babies on a plane with a volunteer team and they came to the USA 5 weeks ahead of us! Grandparent time, church camp, and swimming their hearts out! :) Would we do it again? Ask me in a year or two!

AUGUST - Switzerland/Germany/Austria and the USA!

Time for furlough! A stop in Europe to relax and enjoy my man before heading to the USA for 5 months!

SEPTEMBER - Blu's Birthday trip to Turner Falls, Oklahoma!

I have called this my "Groundhog Day" - a day I wouldn't mind doing over and over again. We spent the day hiking up into caves in Oklahoma, playing in the creek, and just enjoying being together, followed by an introduction to our kids of the game laser day ever!

OCTOBER - My Birthday trip to Costa Rica!

My birthday breakfast on the balcony of the Four Seasons Resort followed by paddle boarding in Costa Rica will be hard to top. Ever.

NOVEMBER - Disney sweet Disney!

What an amazing road trip and 3 days in the parks. Take me back, take me back!

DECEMBER - Last day of school!

The Tidwell kids finished up their semester of school in the USA and it was the craziness of class parties, exams, and turning the page on this paragraph of life! We then enjoyed amazing family time with both sides of the family!

It's hard to not look at our 2015 and say that we are so blessed beyond what we deserve! I am eager to see what 2016 holds for our family and ready to make as many adventures as possible as we serve Jesus in Zambia this coming year!

2015 Book Review

My oh my how I have been dreading this post!! I haven't read as MANY books this year, but goodness the quality....I have read some good ones! I have been dreading how to pick which was my favorite!! To help, I have added an extra category (I know, that's kinda cheating, but it's my blog!) ;)

Best Non Fiction Book of 2015

This one was so close!! I really loved Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and It Is About Islam by Glenn Beck, but I'm going to give the BEST Non Fiction award to this one. What to even say about this book. Read it.

Best Christian Fiction Book of 2015

Ted Dekker's The Circle Series absolutely blew me away. Ted Dekker is a Christian author known for his dark, scary novels. These books were different than others he has written - they were incredible. I have never read anything that showed so symbolically the love God has for us - his imagery in describing the relationship between God, his Son, Satan, and us as His creation and first love just blew my mind.

Best Secular Fiction Book of 2015

Oh so many....All the Light we Cannot See, The Dry Grass of August, Yellow Crocus, Orphan Train, The Plum Tree, Wreckage, The Nightingale, Rogue Lawyer - y'all I read some good stuff this year!! But alas, I must pick one. India, sex trafficking, amazing characters - it's got to be this one.

My Book in 2015

This year, so many people told me they somehow missed the release of the 3rd book in the Boy Named Boy series. Well, this year I spent time editing, revising, and combining the 3 books into one larger book divided into 3 parts. If you haven't read A Boy Named Boy, this is the one for you! Available on Amazon by clicking here!

So many others I would recommend - it's killing me! Happy Reading!

Goodbye to Rugrat Holler!

Yesterday we said goodbye to Rugrat Holler for the last time! My parents moved there in 2007, and we have made lots of memories there, especially our kids! They will miss it, but all of us would prefer to have Mom & Dad "right next door!" :)

Quiet neighborhood, huge lot, close to Sonic! ;)

The kids wanted to sleep on the floor on their last night!

I spent a couple of hours with Mom on her last day volunteering for CTLC (food pantry/clothing ministry) - she has volunteered there for almost 10 years (16 years for Dad!)

Driving away for the last time...I will miss my nutty parents until we see them again in Zambia in 6-9 months! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More from Rugrat Holler!

On Saturday, we took a quick day trip to Hutto, Texas to see some of Blu's extended family that we hadn't seen in 4 years!

Look at those bald heads - Uncle Eldridge, Paw, Cousin Ed, and Bluboy

B-Maw and Aunt Paula cooked a great lunch!

Cousins - Ed, Blu, Dawn, & Becky

Paw & Caedmon

Blu recorded hours and hours of telling stories about the past!

Hanging out!

Back at Rugrat Holler - lots and lots of 42..

And playing the hammocks!

A lunch date with Jordan

Mama Dee's homemade rolls - she's ready for Africa!

One last trip down the street to Stinky Park!

Watching Tiny House Hunters together - Cambree is addicted!

A Casa Ole lunch date with my friend Lynn from high school!

One last visit to Whistle Stop Playground!

We were freezing!

Then we searched to see if we could find any treasures near us and spend the next 2 hours finding 7 different caches!

We found the nano! It was tiny!!

Running...who can get there first?!

Searching and searching!

Under the train - found it!

My nemesis... (the dog, Copenhagen, not my son!)

Getting my nails taken off to get ready to head back to the "bush" of Africa... :(

Cause I'm leaving....on a jet plane...but they'll be joining us in just a few months!!!! How blessed are we????!!!!!! :)