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Merry Christmas!

We just wanted to write to give you a Tshibaka family update. Things here are going well (finally)! It started out as a rough year—we sold our home and had to move four times in six months before we were finally in our new home (we bought the home in April 2012, but construction delays left us in-between homes). We did all this with Justice as a newborn. We’re all glad that season is over.

Kelly took a new job this year as General Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of the Inspector General. This new job is a fantastic fit for her and works great for this season of our family’s life. She has a lot of flexibility and can telecommute from home. In the meantime, she’s enjoying having more time during the week to be with our two youngest kids (Jofish and Baby Bear), and pursue ministry endeavors like writing and speaking.

Things with our church are going very well, too! Niki went to Ethiopia this year on a missions trip and is heading out on a missions trip to Ghana the first week of January. He’s going to work with the leaders of our denomination in Ghana to help them with some of the organizational and leadership challenges they are facing, and he also is scheduled to meet with the President and Vice President of Ghana. He is praying and hoping for an opportunity to minister to them in a meaningful way.

Our daughter, Button (9), is becoming more and more like her mom — full of life, personality, and strong conviction (you should hear her talk about her frustrations with political decisions being made and her ambition to become a politician). Our son, Siah (7), is growing into a man of great compassion and great intellect. Both of them challenge Kelly and I in so many wonderful ways, especially with their faith in God. Both of them have recently led the family in taking communion after dinner. It was beautiful!

Jofish (4) is healthy and strong (we were very concerned about his health when we brought him home from Ethiopia — he was 10 pounds at 6 months), and is a wonderful big brother to Baby Bear (14 months). As challenging as parenthood can be, we are really enjoying the kids and watching them develop into the unique individuals God has created them to be.

Also, we’re expecting Tshibaka Version 5.0 in February! It’s a little girl (for which Denali is very thankful). It was a totally unexpected pregnancy, but we’re thankful for the gift that we know she is.

We’ve attached a few pictures of the family, including a couple from Niki’s sister’s recent wedding — she had a small wedding this past July, which Niki had the pleasure of officiating. She’ll  have her “big wedding” next year in Oklahoma where she now lives with her husband.

Anyway, we just wanted to drop you an email to wish you a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

With love and gratitude for you,

Niki, Kelly, & the kids

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