CHRISTMAS … it is around the corner and the Whitney Family is here to report how 2017 treated us. From the beginning of the year it has been in our heads to prepare for our big Philippines vacation. The matriarchal order was that nobody gets serious with boyfriends and gets hitched for Eishelle and Danielle who are almost done with school and Noelle who completed freshman at BYU has to be available for her mission when summer is gone. And so it was. Halfway the year though, Jayjay’s brother Ruben who has been sick for awhile passed on and as much as we want to see him, God needed him more. Jayjay alone paid her last respects and promised to see him in the ‘morning’.
August 16th, the 7 of us found ourselves comfortably sitting in the plane prepared for a long flight to the other side of the world . Destination: Davao City, PHILIPPINES flying over the Pacific Ocean layover in HongKong then to Manila and finally August 18th – reached Jayjay’s hometown. We were all tired but seeing happy faces that day kept our adrenalines pumping. We went island hopping, swimming and sipped coconut juice. We also went zip-lining, gathered alot of courage to go sky-cycling, fed crocodiles and ate crocodile meat. Lastly, we visited graveyards, visited family members and had our BARRIZO FAMILY GLOBAL REUNION. Family from Dubai, England, Japan and our USA came together to gather and build memories to last forever. So much talents were shared, food galore, games and dancing. It was alot of fun. Our 2 weeks vacation was worth every penny saved. Every minute was all worth it. 85 year old Lola (grandma) Epifania Barrizo couldn’t stop smiling. We hope to see her and everyone again in 2 years.
Then summer was gone. Noelle was called to serve a a full time missionary for our church. Went to Mexico to train and back to the US and serve where she was called to – Tempe, Arizona Mission (spanish). We all miss her but this is what she wants to do and we have to support her.
Chantelle, 17, flew to Utah in June to attend SOAR, a college prep at BYU. She is now senior in HS, captain of the track team and was in the homecoming queen court this year. Michael, 15, our spiritual giant is obviously taller than all females in the family is slowly creeping up to beat Daddy vertically. He made it to JV basketball team again. Bill and Jayjay continued to work hard for the family and continued to faithfully serve in their respective church callings.
Thanksgiving this year was in Florida – a million of things to be thankful for, yummy food to digest and just being with family- PRICELESS.
As what we said in the beginning, CHRISTMAS is around the corner. “Christmas is that rarest of seasons—when we see others with new eyes, when we open our hearts a little more to the beauty around us and reach out to others with a little more kindness and compassion.”-Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
May we all do the same and even more.
From our family to yours: MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
The Whitney Family 2017