Whew, am I NOT sad to see this year done. But it wasn’t all bad. Here are some highlights.
The year was full of dinners with beloved family friends—a practice we greatly enjoy, but had let fall by the wayside in previous years. For 2011, we were purposeful in getting dates on the calendars to have dinner, games and visiting each and every month.
The year also had school and fun classes through the year. We love to learn and share with friends, so these are blessings to us.
January marked the time that we returned to our old church. We thought we would be able to straddle two churches, attending and ministering in both. That turned out to be a rather foolish notion, so we have just continued with the one we rejoined in January.
The year began with concern for Brian’s brother. Jeff’s one good eye had a torn retina. At the end of January, we traveled to see my sister and Brian continued on the road to be with Jeff for surgery. On this visit, Brian and Madi went to a Father-Daughter dance and we celebrated Brian’s 40th birthday. The friends and family that gathered ‘round were a true blessing.
For winter, we celebrated our 100th day of school, a first for us. And we enjoyed the snow! Unfortunately, on a sledding trip, Brian injured his wrist. Coming right on the heels of the time taken from work to attend his brother’s surgery and recovery, it became too difficult for us to make our house payment. We began to explore our options while working to maintain as much normal as possible for the kids.
In spring we continued with classes, celebrated Max’s birthday and Easter and had a visit from Brian’s brother and sister-in-law-to-be. Madi had dance recitals. The kids participated in an End of Year Show, demonstrating their practiced skills. We decided to short sell our home, so we began making the necessary preparations to that end. We cleaned and purged and signed on with a real estate agent.
In summer, we kept the house in tip-top shape, ready for showing. We also got out and about far more than we usually do. We went to Burney Falls, the Subway Caves and Mt. Lassen National Park. We traveled to see family, and became increasingly convinced that we wanted to live closer to them. Brian submitted papers to transfer. Time with friends was as precious as ever.
By this time, there were two offers on the house and we were no long showing the place. Dates were promised to be right around the corner for closing escrow—or entering into escrow, as the case happened to be. We had yard sales to clear out the place. A new opportunity presented itself to us at the beginning of summer and we jumped at the chance for ministry, even if it was in unexplored territory: Young Marrieds group was born.
In autumn, we ended the school year and began a new one. We began to get serious about moving to a new place. Our Young Marrieds group started with a book study and regular meetings. Madi joined a Frontier Girls group and both kids began music lessons.
And now, we have moved, still waiting to hear what will happen to the old house. We have grown a lot this year, each of us separately and together. The meanings and importance of certain things have been branded on our hearts. Things like faith, patience, forgiveness, family and friendship have more nuanced and beautiful colors for us. We look forward to the future to see what the Lord will do and how we will be asked to obey.