I don't even know where to start summarizing our year. We started out in a really rough place when Kevin suffered a severe head injury at the hands of medical staff after he was supposed to just be having a typical routine exam (that didn't involve his head). This left him off work for over 2 months, he lost all vacation time for this year (through no fault of his own, his work took it away sadly) and we still are dealing with many repercussions from this still today.
We were blessed in the ways God provided during that time. Once again we were reminded that He is all we need to meet our needs & the only One who can truly be there for us. And despite Kevin losing all his vacation time, we were so fortunate to be able to take some much needed vacations this year with friends and one of my brothers family due to some amazing deals we were given. I think God knew we need a lot of time away together as a family after all we've been through, as this was a rarity.
St Maarten (one of the islands we visited during our cruise)
Crabbing at the beach house
Surprised the kids with a trip to Disney. They had NO clue until we were at the airport. They were given many surprises that week! (note the number of hats as one of them lol, click to enlarge pic)
We've enjoyed watching our rainbow baby blossom into such a sweet toddler this year. We were thankful to be able to celebrate her 1st birthday as well as Noah's 2nd birthday which were both on the same day, surrounded by many dear friends. We also did a neat lantern release as well.
We continue to enjoy our homeschooling journey. I can hardly believe this year I have 7th graders (our 8th year of homeschooling). I've branched out and this past summer started doing some curriculum reviews which has helped stretched us in learning of new products and being able to help others with figuring out products that work for their family. I truly enjoy having my kids at home with me. Sure, I have my moments like any other parent & seek out a few moments of alone time when I can, but I can't imagine not spending this valuable time with them. We only get one chance to raise our children & while I am far from perfect and fail, often having to ask my kids for forgiveness, these have been some of the best years. I love learning along side of them, seeing their faces glow as knowledge clicks and just being able to share intimately in ALL of life's ups and downs. We are a closer family for sure from being able to do life together completely the way we do.
Another challenge we faced this year was when Susan dislocated her knee. Oh my, the poor girl was on crutches for many long weeks then faced almost 5 months of physical therapy (which was twice a week, talk about time consuming!) She has to wear braces on both her knees for any type of physical activity or anytime she plays outside. Turns out she was born with loose ligaments and will someday need surgery to fix her knees. We also recently learned she has a deficiency in growth hormone & we are having to see several specialists asap at major children's hospitals. This cold weather has also challenged her asthma and adding more more specialists for her to see. We continue to remind her there is a purpose in all this and God created her to be just how she is no matter how tough things can be at times.
I've been thinking on what word could I embrace going into this next year. Many crossed my mind but one that keeps coming back to me is HOPE. As I continue to face these tough challenges, I am reminded I still have hope no matter how bleak things may look at times.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
A book I recently started reading is Heaven by Randy Alcorn. What an awesome book! This has helped remind of why I am living today and what I have to look forward to (and gives me a glimpse into what Noah is already experiencing.) The HOPE I have in Jesus!
Wishing you a blessed New Year!!