Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our Christmas/New Year's Letter

I had planned on doing a Christmas card this year, but alas, I ran out of time.  I hope you enjoy this blog post instead!

First I'm very happy to report that 2013 was a good year for us, we feel extremely blessed.

What's Old
Philip and I celebrated 13 years of marriage this past Spring.  It was neat to think that we have been together for 17 years and we have lived in Knoxville for 11 years.

What's New
For two and a half years we have been attending Grace Community in Maryville, TN (about 30 minutes southeast from us).  When we heard they the elders were considering planting a church in West Knoxville we were very interested.   Well, since June of this year we have been meeting with 10 other families weekly and we plan to begin meeting with our new church on Sunday morning in late February.  We are excited about this new adventure!

Philip has had a busy year finishing up his first year of Shepherd's Institute in the spring and starting his second year of SI this fall.  So far he has had to write and preach two 15 minute sermons, with one last sermon due in January.  Work is going well, he continues to work on energy efficiency in residential buildings at ORNL.

This past year I have continued to be a full-time home manager, but starting this January I do plan on taking a very part-time position at Ethan's school helping them keep their website up to date.  The challenge of homeschooling two days a week while raising two other little ones is enough to keep me busy.

Ethan graduated from Kindergarten in May last year and he is enjoying First grade so far.  In addition to placing third in the art fair he also recently got second place in his classroom spelling bee.  He has really developed a love of reading and enjoys spending nap time reading while his siblings sleep.  When he isn't reading, you can find him outside playing in his fort, or upstairs building Legos with his brother.  He also lost his first tooth this Thanksgiving!

I can't believe it was only January of this year that Asher became a fully potty-trained kiddo!  I find myself often forgetting that he is only three.  He loves having school along side his big brother on Tuesdays and Fridays, but loves P.E. time the best.  This past year he has learned his colors and that his name starts with "A".  We'll work on the rest of the alphabet later this year!

In January of last year Evangelynn was just beginning to crawl.  Now she runs from place to place trying to keep up with those "bru-ders".  She reminds me of Ethan everyday.  She talks more clearly than I remember her brothers talking at her age and she loves to be clean!  Napkins, wipes, baths: she just loves to be clean.

As 2014 has rapidly descended upon me I am reminded of our many blessings.  As we finished potty training one last year, we will begin again with a new little one this year.  As I watch my 6 year old read with gusto, I think of the work ahead teaching the younger two little ones their colors, letters and numbers.

Trying to keep an eternal perspective while the daily tasks of life seem anew each morning is difficult, but I pray that we all strive to fix our eyes upon the cross.  Remembering what Christ did for us on Christmas is important, but remembering what He did for us on Easter is the ultimate source of our hope.