May and June 2016 in Pictures

Wow! Life. So full! Two months of pictures. Praising the Lord for all He has done!

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Celebration in May!

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Students and mothers worked on a craft together

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Caleigh completed month 8!

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Noah graduated from Kindergarten!

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Yeifrey and Caleigh at graduation

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Our last Parent-Teacher conference of the ’15-’16 school year.

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Abby and Yuleisy talking with families about student behavior and achievement

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Two of our students from Batey Campiña

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We moved! The MK’s did a ton of work helping us get out to Freedom’s campus.

Road Progress

The road to campus was upgraded! No more potholes or standing water!

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Furlough has changed to May! Headed back to the States!

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Scott shared at an interest meeting for a future DR trip

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The boys enjoyed the Columbus Zoo with Grammy and Grandpa

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Ripley’s Aquarium with Memaw

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Our amazing interns joined us soon after we returned to the DR!

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A shower house was built to the side of the apartment building

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Leyton and Noah on their first day of the ’16-’17 school year!

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We’ve enjoyed life with several short-term teams so far. Six weeks left in the summer!

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Caleigh passed the 9-month mark in June!

 

April 2016 in Pictures

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Our 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed their first-ever field trip to the National Aquarium

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Alfredo, Woobens, Achuchu

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The kids were in awe of everything – the bus ride, the fold-down seats in the theater, the exhibits, the playground…

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Noah is almost finished with Kindergarten!

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April was Caleigh’s seventh month

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Noah lost his first tooth!

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Leyton is all boy – he ran into our sideboard and got a fun little cut one afternoon.

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Scott and our intern Patrick had one last weekly meeting at our favorite pizza place before Patrick headed back to the States

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Ang worked on sponsorship letters at the end of the month

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1st grade students drawing pictures for their sponsors

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Our $12,500 matching gift was met! A new road and drainage system are being put in!

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The pad in the middle of the school’s octagon was leveled out. A multi-use building will eventually be built here.

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Our family is the last to move out to our campus! We are packing everything up!

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Caleigh helping Daddy fix the laundry room walls before the big move.

March 2016 in pictures

A few pictures from our month of March!

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A Christian school here in San Pedro came out for a community service project – they did a fantastic job working with our students!

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March was Caleigh’s 6th month

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The apartments are tiled!

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Our sweet Yuleisy is moving soon!

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Freshening up her new place with some paint!

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Rachel and Yuleisy

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This little man isn’t so little anymore – Yeifrey is almost finished with 2nd grade!

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Missionary bonfire on Freedom’s campus!

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The girls hanging out in Caleigh’s new room one afternoon while Daddy did some work

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Beautiful sugarcane fields

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Caleigh visited Yuleisy’s family in Lima. Basilio calls Caleigh his “Americanita”

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Caleigh and Wilmin

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Hanging out with Yuleisy’s parents

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It’s ash season! The sugarcane factories are making sugar – and they’re making my floors dirty too!

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Easter Sunday breakfast on the land with the team

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Happy Easter from the Mitchener family!

February 2016 in pictures

Time is flying! A few pictures from our busy February.

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We had a sweet time with Scott’s brother Ryan and his wife Erin for a week!

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Third quarter parent-teacher conferences went well!

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Miss Emma with her kindergarten kids in Village Lima

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A group of 5 visited and worked with us mid-February

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A neighbor’s brush fire got out of control and ran rampant on Freedom property! Students moved classrooms as a safety precaution, but no one was injured.

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It’s always a pleasure to share life each year with this group from North Carolina

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Independence Day in the Dominican

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Students marched through the streets of Ramon Santana

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The construction crew has been working hard on classrooms and bathrooms on the second floor of the school building

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Yuleisy made Leyton a special birthday dinner of bollo and salami

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Scott continues teaching music class in 3-week blocks

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Our apartment is getting closer! We now have tiled floors and a porch railing!

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Master bedroom

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Sillies with Noah

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Leyton couldn’t be left out!

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February was Caleigh’s 5th month

Our Colorful New Home

We are so excited! The apartments on the Freedom campus are coming along – railings are going on the porches, tile is being put down, closets, kitchen cabinets, and counter tops are going in… (The Hilgemans have actually already moved – they say the quiet atmosphere is so relaxing!) Life will be so different once we move. I’m personally counting down the days til I get to flush toilet paper again!  More than anything, I’m praying this move will help us to more effectively minister to our sweet students and their families.

To keep things moving, missionaries are painting their own apartments. We were thinking it was going to take us quite awhile to finish painting, considering our three little munchkins. Guess what? Scott’s brother Ryan and his wife Erin decided to come for a visit. Perfect timing, right? We put them to work! And it was much more fun painting with company. Scott and I may have gone a little color crazy, but it was so fun picking all the paint and thinking about how we’ll decorate! Enjoy some pictures (click to enlarge)!

January 2016 in pictures

Oh, how my heart has been aching to write. But alas, life is running a mile a minute. I’ve been feeding sweet babygirl, playing momma to the boys, driving to school several times a week, emailing, making phone calls, cooking, planning, and washing (our clothes, our dishes, and our children). Life has been so beautifully and wonderfully full, and I’ve been enjoying this fleeting season. It’s been impossible to find time to splurge on writing. So for now, I’ll post some pictures of this first month of 2016 and try to be more intentional about sharing life over the next 11 months.

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Freedom’s first Field Day was a success!

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Photo booth cuteness

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Sibling love

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Caleigh helped us pick out our new bathroom floor at the tile store

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Students wrote letters to their sponsors

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Mommy’s little helper

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January = Caleigh’s 4th month

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Noah loved the Carmel Christian team visit

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Counting practice in kindergarten

Caleigh’s birth story – sort of

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When it comes to hearing birth stories, there are two types of people: those who want to know every single detail, and those who don’t. I’m guessing the majority of my friends are found in the latter group. So if you really want a play-by-play of how Caleigh miraculously entered the world, just email me. For the rest of you, here’s the abridged version: It hurt. A lot. It was worth every ounce of pain, of course. Because after all that hurting came my healthy baby girl! And the rest, as they say, is history.

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I brushed over some of those birth details, I know. But I’d be remiss to gloss over what the Lord reminded me through that experience.

20150831-DSC_0013In the hospital room where Caleigh was born, there were two picture frames on the wall – one containing the word Hope, the other Strength. I remember sitting in the hospital bed, waiting for the induction medicine to kick in. I knew that a pain-filled night was ahead of me.

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I saw those words on the wall and thought to myself, Oh, what good reminders! When I’m in a world of hurt here in a few hours, I’ll just look over and remember to be strong. To have hope. That’ll get me through. I can do this!

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Before I even finished that thought, another tidal wave of a thought crept up and overtook the first: No, Ang, that’s wrong! Those two words in and of themselves will do nothing for you. You’ve forgotten something. The Source!

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Truths like, “The Lord is my strength” and “God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” began to run through my head. Of course! What was I thinking? It’s not me. I can’t do this alone. It’s about Him! He is my help and my hope.

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There came a point during labor that I just wasn’t sure if I could physically go on. I remember saying, “Oh, Lord, help me!” My midwife didn’t miss a beat. She said, “He is helping you, honey. He’s here!”

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Such truth in those simple words. He was there! Even in moments of great physical pain, He is present. He is my Strength and my Hope!

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After Caleigh’s birth, a friend visited us in the hospital and dropped off a gift. It was a CD called Roots for the Journey by Yancy. One of the songs repeats the phrase “My hope is in the Lord.” Oh, what a blessed relief! I absolutely cannot do life on my own. It’s only by His strength.

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So very thankful for my beautiful baby. For simple reminders of His truth. For opportunities to live those truths out. And for a patient Savior.
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