Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 is Over!?!? (Family Wrap-Up)

Another year has come and gone.Time certainly does fly whether we are having fun or not it seems! 
(No matter what kind of goofballs you're surrounded by either!)

Overall, we have a wonderful life. I have nothing to complain about compared to most of the world. We have enough food to eat. We have clean water to drink. We have a warm house that is even beautiful. We have soft beds to lie down upon. We have friends and family around us to help and hang out with. We get along in our house and respect each other. We live in peace, with no bombs exploding inside or out.
(We do live with superheroes though!)

So please don't take anything I am about to say as grumbling and know that yes, I definitely know that circumstances can be worse. Many people in my sphere have went through much more difficult things this year. But alas, that doesn't make what any one of us walk through as individuals any easier to handle in the midst of it, does it?
(I sure don't feel like a superhero these days!)

I wish I had nothing but great things to report about 2014, but the raw truth is that it was just a hard year. was first-world problems hard, but nevertheless, it was. It was hard to battle chronic illness, hard for my precious husband to walk with me through it, and hard for my sweet sons to endure all the ways that changed their world.
(But I bet it helps make them into world-changers!!!)

In July, I had surgery, with the hope that my problems might soon be over. There was a complication. It could have been much worse. We definitely saw God's protection intervene. It was just a long and weary process. We thought it would be the end of years of yuck, but we haven't seen that come just yet. 
(38!!! Yikes!)

We look to 2015 with much hope and much thanksgiving though! We know God doesn't forsake or leave His children, nor does He put things like sickness on them to punish them. He took out the full wrath on Jesus, and we stand resolved that the only things allowed in our life are to prepare us for all things good.
(Don't know what I'd do without this guy!)

So our hope abounds while our compassion for others and each other grows deeper. We are blessed, and we only desire to be a blessing to others. We have continued to host things in our home and welcome in those who feel alone. We are determined to make time for the most important things. Projects never trump people!
(I love my people!)

The boys have grown so, so much I can't even describe what it's like to watch! They look like men. They are maturing. Garrison is driving them everywhere! All I can say is that God's grace is there to meet us at every new season. When G got his permit, I thought, how in the world am I going to watch him drive off for the first time alone? By the time he got his license, I didn't even feel the need to go look as he left. My heart fully trusts Garrison. And I fully trust that God will take care of  him and see us through anything that comes.
(16!!! Junior; scary driver! ;)

Sweet baby Alex is growing so fast his skin can't keep up. He has found a love for dj-ing and mixing music this year. He still loves all things Batman and pranking others. 
(13!!! 8th Grader; mess-maker ;)

Trey is about to pass both his big bros up and hand-me-downs to him are a thing of the past. I know with assurance he will never be "little" brother after this year. He will be the biggest of the three. 
(12!!! 8th Grader; kisser-upper ;)

These boys are such a blessing to parent. Yes, we have hard moments. We don't have sinless children by any means! We have many training opportunities! But, we also have great relationships with them. We don't have rebellious children that talk back. We have many more times that we just enjoy being with them as opposed to being frustrated and annoyed. We have very open communication (whether it's something we want to hear or not). We don't always agree, but we always listen to each other and that was my great prayer for parenting teens. I can't control their choices, but I get to speak wisdom while they are making them. Praise God totally for that. 

Tom continues to work diligently repairing blood analyzers in hospital labs. We think perhaps a promotion is about to come his way so we'll see in the next couple months. Last April, we enjoyed a very posh trip to the Mexican Riviera as a prize of special recognition to him! I'm so blessed by the man my husband chooses to be. I know it isn't easy for him, but I'm so thankful he at least enjoys his job and company. He uses his time at home to be a devoted husband and father.
(43!!! Still my hottie!)

My schedule last semester was so, so crazy, and the things we were doing took up much of our time. The boys tried their hand at speech and debate club. Wow! What a completely amazing thing that is! I was totally stressed out to be honest, as were the boys, but it taught us all so much. We were with beautiful and kind families that I hope will be friends for years to come. We culminated the experience with a tournament in December. It was fun and intriguing, but we are going to lay that to rest for this next semester.

Alex and Trey also started at a co-op this year. We enjoy that start to our school week with sweet friends. Garrison has continued to attend a cottage school once per week. He will finish all his credits this year and we aren't quite sure what to do with him for his senior year. I'm guessing he will just dual-credit at the local university. Honestly, I can't believe we are even having to decide this already!

All three boys still go to martial arts. Garrison just tested for his black belt and is awaiting those results. Alex and Trey are both on brown belt with stripe. Garrison plays bass in a band and for the music team and youth group at church. 

On and on... so much to say, but there is really no point to sit and list accolades. All that really matters is that we love and are loved :) Of course, I'm proud of the accomplishments in all my guys' lives, but more so, I'm just thankful for who they choose to be each day. Your talents can take you to places your character cannot keep you. So I rejoice that the character is good in whatever adventure they jump into!

2015, here we are! What do you hold for us? What is ours to make happen? Adoption? Moving? Promotions? New friendships? Mission trips?

Who knows but the One we live for!
(Goodbye 2014!)

Here's to a new year of new beginnings and new memories! From our house to yours, "May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you!"