My grandniece, Manuela Ortiz, has had a very exciting year. She and my grandnephew, James Renville are buying a house. The house belongs to his mom, Toni Chase currently, and it is the house where James spent much of his childhood, so it is really a cool thing for his to be buying this particular house. There are some renovations, repairs, and updates that they want to do, so they are working on those, and they aren’t in a big hurry to move in. They want it to be perfect for their move. It is a nice house, and we are all excited for them. James and Manuela met in 2019 and married in July of 2021. They have been living in an apartment, and now they are ready to have their own home.

Manuela has been working for the Wyoming Housing Network as a housing counselor. They have been so happy with her that she was recently given a promotion to the title of House Education Manager. We are so proud of her. Manuela immigrated to the United States from Colombia and had originally wanted to work in the United States to learn English. Her plan was to use English, as a way to be a more valuable asset to her employer back in Colombia, but God had other plans for her. Her Spanish and her mastery of English landed her the job she now has because she is able to be not only be a help in the housing market, but to cross a language barrier for people who really need that assistance. Of course, God also had the plan of a match made in Heaven for her and James…a match we are all very happy about.

This last summer, Manuela took James to Colombia to meet the new extended part of his family. It was his first visit to Colombia, and his first time to meet any of her family, except for on Skype. As it turns out, James and Manuela’s mother, Consuelo share the same birthday. That made a June trip to Colombia perfect, because they held a birthday party for both of them while they were there. The trip was so much fun for Manuela and James. James loves to travel, and Manuela had a great time showing him all the sights in her homeland. I’m sure there will be many return trips in their future, and before we know it, James will be as fluent in Spanish as Manuela is in English. I’m so glad they got to make the trip. Today is Manuela’s birthday. Happy birthday Manuela!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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