2009 will go down in our family history as the year of overwhelming blessing. It was the year that after much hard work, prayer, patience, & petitioning some family goals were finally brought to fruition - like John being hired as a full time teacher! John is enjoying his middle school, special education students immensely and could not imagine a better job. He is also mentoring low-income students before school and will be an assistant football coach next year. Yes, laugh, John as a football coach, I laughed for days! John truly loves teaching and engaging the students minds with fun and creative insights. In celebration of God’s gracious blessing, this summer John will be going with a team from our church to Mexico (July) on a construction project. John spent the month of October getting ready for the 3rd annual Home Makeover and had so much fun; he thought he would take his God gifted skills international. John also continues his small carpentry/handyman business, which is now mostly a hobby instead of a source of income.
Also in 2009 God blessed our family with a new little life! Abigail Mae is expected to make her grand appearance in mid January 2010; we are praying for a safe and healthy little girl! Melissa is looking forward to having bows and pink outfits in the house! This Christmas we are trying to continue our yearlong challenge of simplifying and doing less, which is fairly easy when your 7 months pregnant and on modified bed rest! We pray you and your home will be able to escape the clutter and business of this season and find Christmas in the person of Christ Jesus Himself.
Gabe, our now two year old, is enjoying his last few months as our youngest. Gabe is our bookworm; he will sit for up to an hour looking at books or being read to. He also loves to play in the garage with Daddy’s wrenches and screw drivers. Gabe is also learning how to keep up with Drew; which means he loves Lego’s, dinosaurs, fire bellied toads (science project gone wrong, somehow we ended up with cricket eating toads in our playroom as long term pets!), and playing in the sandbox! Gabe is such a delight, mostly cheerful and methodical in all he does. Gabe attends Pre-school one day a week and loves all the fun projects, coloring, and interaction with other children.
Drew, our almost 5 year old, is the typical oldest child; he is also much like his mother – a rule follower, slightly anal, and always quick to have great ideas. Drew loves to learn, he asks questions all day long; his mind is captivated by challenges and projects – that part he gets from his daddy! Drew attends Pre-school two days a week and Mommy is homeschooling him as time allows. His latest accomplishment was mastering his alphabet sounds and sounding out some basic words. Drew is anxious to make it to the NASCAR track sometime in 2010 – which is his reward for learning how to read. Drew loves to imagine and create; his latest discoveries will find him playing with dinosaurs, Lego’s, dreaming up rescue scene’s, and building erector sets with his Daddy. Drew is looking forward to Daddy finishing the bunk beds for the boys’ room, so Gabe can move in and share late night giggle sessions with him!
Melissa spent most of the year pregnant and sick; evidently, the blessing of a little girl included a lot of morning sickness, heartburn, & back pain – or could that be because she turned 30 in October? She continued to help with the mentoring program at a local church encouraging mom’s to live on a budget, spend frugally, and give generously. Melissa also completed her first Kay Arthur Bible study (Covenant) this past November, which has deepened her faith and inspired her to tackle the Kay Arthur bible study of Ephesians in 2010. Melissa also spent her year capturing memories with her Nikon D80, homeschooling the boys a few days a week, gardening, couponing, and blogging. Melissa is also blessed to continue to work from home for WesTower as an accountant for nearly 10 ½ years. Her job is such a blessing; it keeps her focused, disciplined, organized, and ready for challenges! I’m sure life with three little ones will bring many challenges into our home in 2010!
With much love and prayer from our home, John, Melissa, Drew, Gabe, & Abby