Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Friends and Family                                                                                December 2015

Well, it is the time of year again to reflect on our year and thank all of you who have made it all possible.. So thank you..

This year came and we were met with great beginnings and a few sad endings. It started off with the funeral of ,my stepson’s maternal grandfather with a hot dog/bonfire in honor of him. Shortly after that, we began to prepare for my man’s maternal grandfather’s passing which happened the week before my stepson’s birthday. Shortly after that, during the summer, I found that 3 of my friends had passed. It was a rough year and as all the loss was hitting, I/we knew that someday, we would see them again as Jesus promises us. Sadness also hit when we found out my mom had breast cancer and will begin chemo soon. She is very strong and I thank all of you for the support and prayers. The hope of the circle of life came on the heels of all this as I found out that my brother who has cystic fibrosis and his wife who wed in January are expecting not one, but two babies next year. Life is a miracle and continues with blessings and if we choose to look, God will reveal them all to us. “It’s the Circle of Life, and it moves us all through despair and hope, through faith and love”… (Rafiki-The Lion King).

Here in our household we are getting settled in our new home. We are finding that home-ownership is something that takes on a life of it’s own with it’s own journeys’ twist and turns. On the anniversary of our closing date this past July, we signed a contract for a second mortgage to have EverDry waterproof our basement. For about a month and a half I thought I would lose all my hair as I pulled them out one by one. “Money talks but all ours ever says is goodbye” (Jill Shalvis)

We joined choir during this past Lenten season; I joined bell choir at our church. I love it so much, but hand-bells are NOT like riding a bike. When the school year began, we talked our child into joining choir with us as he is no longer in choir at school. He seems to enjoy it. Occasionally, the music director has him bang drums or use other instruments. What makes our music nights the best? Spending time with our Zoar family of friends.. our music director who can make us laugh.. and all 3 of us together.

Over the summer, our teen attended the ELCA national youth gathering in Detroit. He grew in his faith, in his own selflessness, and living out of the box. He worked with others, sang, danced, worshiped, participated in a wheelchair game, and Bible study. He volunteered all summer at: our sister church in Toledo, the Way Library, Feed our Families at Zoar, with Zoar’s youth to feed the homeless, and babysat at Zoar as a youth service project to help fund his Detroit trip. He enjoys helping me at the church on Wednesday’s to watch the pastor’s son,  who just turned 2 (not sure if he likes watching him or the pizza on hand.) My step-son turned 14 over the summer and we had a surprise party for him while family was in town. Where does the time go?? It seems like just yesterday I was just meeting my M&M’s (the first letters of their names). I has been almost 4 years. When we first met he was shorter and had a much more childlike face. He is now taller than his father and I standing close to 5’10”, outgrowing all his clothes, shaving, and like every other teen, eating me out of house and home. He is growing into a handsome young man. Conversations have shifted from “mock” interviews for his cookie stand to “real” interviews and driving in a few years. And from me knowing everything to him knowing it all.. He is now a Freshman in High School, doing very well this year while taking Honor’s classes. He enjoys art class and has made some really cool things. He was once again involved in Cross Country. He was disappointed as he did not letter, but he won in our hearts as he improved and never gave up and that is all we could ever ask for.

At the beginning of the new school year, my man applied and was hired in at the new Home Depot distribution center about 10 miles from our home down the road. His hours currently are a bit crazy due to the holiday demand of being in retail, but normal is only 3 day/ 12 hour shifts on Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays from 900a-930p. Which then gives him 4 days off. We are so happy for the chance at this new opportunity in this job. He is less stressed and loves the atmosphere which even when busy is so much more upbeat.

Probably the greatest family thing that was started was gratefulness. Each meal before eating, we say one thing we are thankful for. With a teen in the home, it can make instead of break a day. Keeping focused on positive things instead of the horrible things that happen around us either at home or in the world we live in have helped so much. It breaks the ice and starts conversations that otherwise may not happen.Thanksgiving Day15

May the Spirit of Christmas bring you peace.

The Gladness of Christmas give you hope.

The Warmth of Christmas grant you love.

Love and Friendship,

LIL

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