Well, hello to everyone! :) The other day, Daniel suggested me writing an update here. Even if there was nobody to read it, our blog as been the most consistent "journal" of sorts that I have of our family and so I have thought of updating it from time to time.
But I honestly did not expect anyone to have continued to check it. So hello to you all! :) Thank you for checking in and for taking the time to let us know you are there.
I guess a family update would be the topic of most interest.
The Lord is so good and so faithful. To even have imagined where we are today after days, weeks, and months of uncertainty, I just want to say that God is so very, very good and takes our ashes and turns them into beauty.
So where to begin...
Last year, our family was able to move to a beautiful home in Redding, CA, our hometown. A four bedroom house next to a year round creek and with 4 beautiful parks all within a short walking distance. As long as the weather isn't too extreme, once school and chores are done, we are almost always outside. Volleyball, basketball, tennis, playgrounds, large grassy fields for soccer or baseball, hiking and fishing or kayaking...it is a wonderful location for a family with a bunch of growing, active kids!!
The Lord also opened the door for us to join Shasta Baptist Church which happens to be about a 3 minute drive from our home. What a great blessing to our family to be a part of this body of believers! My brother's wife is the supervisor of Shasta Baptist Schools and so once we joined the church, we began to home school under them. While we do most of our studies still at home, we are over at the school participating in many activities/opportunities. With seven teen agers still in the home, there are a wide variety of interest and lots of energy. My calendar has grown to a large (but pretty :) ) planner to keep everyone's schedules straight and if I can do that and keep everyone fed, it's a win! Lol!
The 5 oldest boys still at home play on the school basketball team, Abi and Susannah play volleyball, and we spend much of the year preparing for the big California Christian School Competition that is held in southern CA each spring. The students compete against students from several other schools in anything from music, woodworking, speech, poetry, writing, sports, art, photography, spelling and so much more. What a stretching but wonderful experience it is!
Daniel works with his brother Joel in his construction company. Last year, Joel began a new facet of the business focusing on disaster and restoration service. He brought Daniel on board as project and office manager and estimator for that division. It was a steep learning curve, but Daniel worked hard and long hours, went to the training classes, got the certifications needed, and after the massive Carr Fire that sadly devastated much of our area this summer, they are busier than ever.
Timothy and his sweet wife Bethany were married this past June. They met in Bible College in North Dakota and what an exciting time to see their story unfold. And what a beautiful wedding seeing a young couple come to the altar and share their first kiss there! Timothy took a selfie while he kissed his bride...yep, that's our Timothy! Lol
Flying 13 people back to Connecticut (where they were married) was quite the adventure, but the Lord provided for the trip and while I think I was more tired than I'd been in forever, I couldn't have been happier! Timothy is working for a utility company and serving in their church there in ND as he continues to seek the Lord's direction for their future.
Elijah is in his Senior year at Pensacola Christian College where he's majoring in Chemistry. Earlier this year, he began courting Katie who is also attending college at PCC majoring in education. We got to meet Katie and her family at Timothy and Beth's wedding and we all are thinking Elijah needs to keep her...I don't think he'd disagree :) Elijah has been home each summer break and to hear him play the piano!!! Wow! The Lord has gifted him and what a joy to seem him use that gift!
Rebekah graduated from high school this past spring and is working full time at a preschool/daycare as she saves money to go to college next year. She decided to wait a year before starting college, and I don't mind one bit having her here a bit longer :) She, Abi, Isaiah and Josiah went on a mission's trip this summer and enjoyed that so much!
So I'm down to home schooling only 9 this year! What to do with all the extra time??? :)
Benjamin and Abi will both graduate this year. They are both taking piano lessons and an art class. Ben helps teach children's church, works church's sound/video department, loves to play soccer and make some really impressive videos. He worked full time for his Uncle Joel in construction this summer and got his driver's licence too. Abi keeps me smiling with her contagious laugh, is still a bookworm (Grandma got her a Kindle for her birthday this summer...oh my!), and works on our church's bus route each week and in the nursery.
Isaiah is a junior this year and doing great as he is working toward getting an honor diploma when he graduates. Josiah is a sophomore and both he and Isaiah continue to keep busy doing yard work for people. Josiah just got a new tool to add to their collection this month...a chainsaw. They are great workers and saving for whatever the Lord has in store for their futures. They both play on the school basketball team and are active working on the church bus routes, sing in choir and love helping Grandpa out at his house anytime they can.
Noah is a fresheman. How can that be? And Susannah (8th grade) turned 13 last week!! My "little" guys aren't so little now...Nehemiah is in 6th grade, Eliseo in 5th and Samuel in 4th!
But I tell you, these years are some of the sweetest years! Crazy busy but what a joy to see these young men/women grow and develop their talents and interests as seek the Lord's plan for them. What a wonderful life!