Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Ok, this doesn't get easier does it?  17 years old!!! That just can't be right!  If Josiah is 17 that means we're...old.  Can't be right, I remember very clearly when I was 17.  It was just a few years ago.  Hard to believe, but it's true, he's growing up and each year seems to get better and better.  Every year he amazes us with his kindness to others and how quickly he makes friends.  As parents, he makes us so proud to see the man he is becoming.  We are so thankful for such a great son and we're excited to see how God will use him in the future. 

What is your favorite activity?
Playing Football and  Xbox

What is your favorite color? 
Red and Black

What is your favorite "toy?"

Who are your best friends? 
Jonny and Ethan

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A teacher or someone who works in public relations

What does Dad do all day?
Work or fly planes

What does Mom do all day?
Help around the house and works at MAF

What do you do all day?
Play Xbox, help around the house, or doing some sort of sport.

What are your favorite books?
Hunger Games

What are your favorite movies?
Saving Private Ryan or Catching Fire

What are your favorite foods?
Tacos and Chicken Alfredo

What makes you happy?
Seeing others happy and when people are kind to me

What makes you sad?
When people get frustrated with me

What makes you mad?
When someone makes fun of me

What do you like to do with Dad?
Throw the football

What do you like to do with Mom?
Talk to her and cook with her and give her warm hugs!

Highlights of 2017
Greatest Lesson Learned
God is always there even through the thick and thin

Hardest Thing this Year
Moving to Idaho

Favorite Memory
Getting introduced to the football team

Looking forward to 2018
Want to Learn
How to help others understand God is always there for you.

Want to get better at
Football and choosing my career

Goals for 2018
Straight A's, Catch a touchdown, and visit Ecuador again.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from Idaho

Merry Christmas from the Irwin family.  We are blessed to be in Idaho and experiencing a white Christmas after many years of green and rainy ones in Ecuador.  As we look back over the year, we are so thankful for those of you who have prayed for our family during this season.  God has been so kind to bring old friends (from our Moody days) and new ones into our lives.  We know this next year will bring many changes, but we are confident that His grace will be sufficient for us and we trust Him to lead us in our new place of ministry.   

Friday, October 6, 2017

Our Arrival

We drove like crazy from Ohio to Idaho so we could attend a gathering of former Ecuador co-workers.  We sure wish we could've had more time.

Peter, Robbie, Josiah, Olivia, Rebecca, Lydia & Josiah

Ecuador Family

Tracey, Me, Shari & Lynette

Charlie and Josiah enjoying the vast amount of furniture we started with!  Josiah proceeded to get very sick as soon as we arrived.  He didn't get out of bed for about 3 days. 

Andi accepted a job at MAF as a Ministry Partnership Coach (more on that later) and was asked to attend the bi-annual seminar as a refresher as soon as we

The kids sanded and painted this great Craigslist find!  It's hard to start our house from scratch again!  

Our first house guests arrived a few days after we did!  Steve and Lindsay are friends who were completing security training before heading to Indonesia with MAF.

Kinda looks like home.

Olivia got braces shortly after we arrived.

The Grants were here for a short visit.  We hadn't seen them since they left Ecuador.

The kid's first day of school.  Josiah is a Junior and Olivia is in 8th grade.

Josiah strained his knee during football and was able to go to a clinic at Boise State.  Even though he was in pain, it was a very cool experience.
Olivia saved this on her phone and I thought it was perfect for the theme of our transition so far.  Thanks for praying for us!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Idaho Trip

We packed up (thanks to many friends) and left Ohio on the 19th of July and set out for our 3-day cross-country adventure.  We were able to send our stuff ahead with a moving company and the four of us (and Charlie) drove two cars the almost 2,000 miles.  Lots of time for meaningful conversation for sure!
After packing the truck.

Leaving Ohio.  My parents were real troopers to let us stay in their garage apartment for a whole year!

Not many travelers on our route could say their picnic lunch included both Gibby's BBQ and Alvarez salsa!! We have some great friends!!

Old highway 30 monument in Wyoming.


Saturday, July 1, 2017


As soon as school was out we headed out to visit friends, supporters, and supporting churches.  What a blessing to be able to reconnect with so many people!

Our first stop was Ft. Worth, TX with the Martins.
Joe and Tracy worked with Reach Beyond at the mission hospital in Shell.

The Martin kids....sure miss them!

Next stop: Waco, TX and a Shell reunion.  Thanks to the Hardins we were able to see so many great friends!
 (Bartons, Martins, Bares, Koleskis, Hardins, Irwins)
Lots of people who understand what it's like to be missionaries and how hard it is to move "home."

Us with the Hardins and Koleskis

We had to take advantage of our location and visit the Magnolia store.

We also got to visit the Dr. Pepper museum.  Dr. Pepper started in Waco.

We were able to visit the Revills who have been friends/supporters for many years.
 Chad went to Moody Chicago with Molly and hadn't seen her since their freshman year.
The Hardins arranged for a Baylor stadium tour for Josiah.  A definite highlight of his summer!

Fun times with the Hardins....including playing Bean Boozled!
We also were able to hang out with the VanOrders and a great young couple who are interested in MAF.

About a week after returning from TX we turned around and headed out to VA.

Chad's second family, the Hunts. Den and Jeannie are responsible for leading Chad's parents to the Lord.
Where would we be without them?

We were able to stay with the Zerenner family and they were kind enough to take us into DC to tour the Holocaust museum.  If we weren't missionaries we would've never had the opportunity to meet the Zerenners.  God has definitely put people in our lives on this journey to be an encouragement to us. 

A quick visit with the DeWitts, who are also long time supporters and big time encouragers.

Friends from Life Community Church in VA who we originally met when Chad flew them into the jungle in Ecuador many years ago. 

Another family we would've never connected with without missions: the Campbells.
We first met before any of the kids in this picture were born! 

We were able to stop in PA on our way home to see the Dunbars.  How did our kids get so big?!!
We used to serve in Ecuador with the Dunbars.  Wish we lived closer!

Toledo zoo trip with Chad's mom and the cousins.

Canoeing trip in Shipshewana with Andi's parents.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

End of the Year

The kids finished well at Crestview and another school year is in the books.  What great kids we have!  I wish I could say I was as flexible as they are when I was their age.  (Our last 2 furloughs ended with school being canceled right before Christmas break due to snow.  So, it was perfectly normal for the last day of school at Crestview to be canceled due to flooding!  I think it was only because the Irwin kids were here!)  Here are some highlights that happened during the last few months of school.

Josiah received a coach's award for track.

We visited long-time supporter Norma.  What a prayer warrior she is!!

Chad and I made a quick trip to East Tennessee and had to stop at our favorite overlook.  We have many pictures taken here from when we were first married and living in TN.

We were able to see the Lockners while in TN and I guess we like their dogs more than them, because we only have pictures of these cuties!!  I guess we'll have to visit again Kyle and Diann!

What a blessing it was to reconnect with friends from Moody Aviation days!  Thanks for rearranging your plans Davisons!

ALWAYS so fun to spend some time with our TN granny!  Janis you are one in a million!

Chad was able to spend some time in MI with the DuBois doing work stuff. Why can't all the fun people in our lives live in one place?!

Celebrating my Mom's birthday with my sister.

Olivia in her knight costume she constructed from cardboard for the Renaissance Fair.

My absolute FAVORITE class to substitute for.  Miss these kids...and Connie and Heather too!

Josiah was super blessed to have been part of swing choir this year.

Ford awarded Josiah with some "Crocs" and kind words.  (Josiah was nicknamed "Croc" this year by a coach because there were 2 Josiah's playing football.  Croc because of Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter.)

Olivia and some of her favorites.

Celebrating Easter by having a Seder meal with the Bagleys.  Great tradition.  Thanks Bagleys!

Painting and peeling wallpaper with the Bagleys.  Work is more fun in a group!

Visiting Chad's sister's family in MI.