In my last post, I mentioned that I'd be taking a break while I attempt to get my act together. I've since realized that my "act" won't be "together" until Jesus returns or calls me home. So, the show must go on!
I've had many ideas for posts recently; however, I didn't write any of them down, and I have a terrible memory. Those ideas may or may not make their way onto the blog; but I thought that I should at least start somewhere.
We've had quite a bit going on since my last post -- both joys and sorrows. Since October, we've had the blessing of hosting thirty-eight overnight guests. What a joyful season this has been!
On the flip side, we suffered two losses just before Christmas -- a close family friend, and my 96-year-old grandfather. Both were great men who touched many lives, and they will each leave a vast void in the lives of those who loved them.
A high point for our family was the return of our beloved Caelyn from her 3-month stay in Alaska with friends of our family. For her 19th birthday, which some of you may know is Christmas Day, we surprised her by redecorating her room (which she'd never occupied before, since we moved in after she left). Unfortunately, with funerals and Christmas prep, we ran out of time to have it all painted and ready before she arrived. Still, she's quite pleased with what we did manage.
Having Caelyn back is a tremendous blessing for all of us. We're excited to see how the Lord will direct her future as she trusts Him with all her heart, not leaning on her own understanding, and striving to do His will.
Although we were all very sad to say good-bye to my sweet Grandpap, it was such a joy to be around my dad's family. I don't even remember the last time I saw all of the brothers together in one place. They're such a handsome bunch. (Daddy is second from the left.)
Our Christmas preparation and celebration were such a special time, especially since we were all together under one roof again. We had a marvelous time baking, decorating, and hosting guests.
On one occasion, the four older children went Christmas shopping while Gabriela and I baked cookies and tried our hardest not to cheat too much.
Craig's parents spent the night on Christmas Eve and were able to join us for Christmas morning breakfast. My parents joined all of us for dinner.
What a privilege it has been for us to live close enough to family to have them visit regularly & join us during the holidays, after so many years living away.
Craig thought that we should try something new this Christmas.
This is my new reality. I went from wearing sundresses & camis every day in Moçambique, to having to dig our way out of the driveway. I'm grateful for my boys, who do this regularly so that it's a novelty for me.
Now that we've entered a new year, I've been working toward some semblance of "normal", with a new schedule, new chore list, and big plans for more organization. (Isn't January wonderful?) My hiatus has ended, and I'm ready to make some good progress. Perhaps I'll mention it from time to time.