Friday, January 1, 2010

2009

I used to write a letter at the end of every year to sum things up and let family/friends know what life is like in our household. However, the last 3 years have seemed to pass me by without me even thinking about that letter (well, at least not until March/April the next year).

So, here is my attempt for the year 2009. It has not been an easy one for us and most of it seems like a blur, but it is worthy of being remembered.

In January, Cory was officially laid off from his job. He was in construction management, and the company didn’t have enough work to keep him on. He has been feverishly looking for just about anything, but has yet to find a permanent position. He has been fortunate enough to find occasional side jobs, but his search continues. He interviewed with 2 different places this month and is hoping that one of those will come through. It has been difficult for Cory to be unemployed this long and he is learning more every day what it means to truly trust the Lord with our provision. He also has started to play a major role in teaching the kids this year.

In August, I was hired part/full-time at a local Second Hand store for kids. I don't mind the work and I am able to leave the kids with their father. However, this was a tremendous adjustment for me. I went from a stay-at-home (10 years), homeschooling (5 years) mom to a working (30 hours/week) mom overnight. I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown, but we are starting to get into a groove with this new rhythm of life. It has been a year of releasing control for me. I had to let God teach me that it is ok for me to not be in charge of every detail of my kid's lives. Hmmm... I wonder if I'm gonna have to learn that lesson again in the future.

Also in August, we had another family move in with us. The purpose was 2-fold: 1. They pay us rent to help us pay the mortgage and 2. They save on other bills to help save up enough money for a down payment on their own house. Having 2 families (a total of 10 people) under 1 roof has been an adjustment for everyone. We have had people live with us before, so we were not completely taken off guard, but with our extreme change of schedule at the same time, it made the adjustment a little more difficult. We worked through some hard things and determined in the beginning to NOT allow this situation to destroy our friendship. And, thank the Lord, it hasn't! They are now looking at closing on a house by the end of January or soon there after.

Morgan turned 10 this year!! I can hardly believe it's true, but it is. She now loves being able to refer to herself as a "pre-teen". And boy does she live up to the title. She loves being the oldest when it comes to the privileges and independence. She doesn't like it so much when it comes to the responsibility. For her 10th birthday, she and I went away to a local hotel for the weekend and had a girl's weekend together. We did all things girly and also had "the talk". Hopefully, she wasn't scarred too badly :) She loves to read (especially mysteries) and is a great student. She is in 5th grade and loves the 1 day a week we go to school. She is my "never wants to be home, always on the go" kind of kid. She wakes up asking what the plans are for the day and is very disappointed when there are none.

Avery is now 9 and already planning her 10th birthday party. She is Morgan's shadow most of the time. And when she's not, she is off in her own world, doing her own thing. She LOVES gymnastics and has gotten very good. This seems to be an area where she is confident and enjoys actually being better than her sister at something. She is much more of a home-body than Morgan. Sometimes she even chooses to stay home when she is offered to stay the night at her grandparents. (It's nice to be wanted.) She is very concerned about what is "fair". Even if fair means she is the one that would be missing out, she wants things to be fair. She is in 4th grade this year and very bright. She struggles with mild dyslexia, but she doesn't let it get her down.

Sydney... there is so much I could say about Sydney. I don't even know where to begin. Well, she turned 7 in February and is just as spirited as ever. She is a non-stop, go, go, go girl. She can talk a mile a minute and manages to think of questions about everything and anything. She doesn't just want to know why... she wants to know why, what, who, when, where and how. She is in 2nd grade and is very good at Math (even though she says she hates it). She thrives on one-on-one attention and can make you laugh out loud daily. She has a hard time knowing the line of what is appropriate, but I know many adults just like her. She is very dramatic and can go from excited to crying in 2 seconds flat. It's very hard for her to be serious because she wants to make everything a joke. She also is very abrupt and candid. So, she will say exactly what she is thinking and has yet to learn the art of subtlety.

Jordan turned 5 in June. He is still my baby and I take any chance I get to give him hugs and kisses. There are not many people he will give those to (in fact, I can only think of 3). His dimple will melt your heart, and he knows how to use it get his way. Most of the time, he goes with the flow and doesn't look for a fight. He also is 100% the baby of the family. He still doesn't know how to tie his shoes (I guess a lot of Floridians have that problem) or much less find them. Most of the time he stands in one spot, announces what he cannot find or do, and waits for the first person to come running and help him (usually one of his sisters). Once he makes up his mind about something, you really can't change it... especially when it comes to food. He is by far, our pickiest kid. He doesn't even like the foods most normal kids like. He won't eat mac 'n cheese, pb&j, or pie. He also despises Holiday food. He doesn't like the turkey, dressing, veggies, casseroles. But, if you put all of that on a piece of bread and make him a sandwich, he will eat it up. I know…it's weird. He also started Kindergarten this year and has learned most of what he needs to know from his older sisters. I love it!

Also, the beginning of this year, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma and had a large mass removed from his abdomen. Only a few weeks later, the mass was back just as big. So, he started chemo and went through several treatments of that and then radiation over the Summer. Thankfully, the chemo and radiation did their job and last week he was given a clear bill of health. Praise the Lord for watching over him!! During all his treatments, his dad passed away. It was such a bittersweet time for our family. We know exactly where my grandpa is right now and we celebrate him escaping the pain of this life. He was an amazing man and God used him in such tremendous ways. He impacted my life and left a legacy that is incredible.

So, as we bring 2009 to a close, we look forward to seeing God’s continued creative vision for our family. We can rest in the fact that even though it may not feel like it in the middle of our situation, He is in control. He sees the entire scope of our lives at the same time and nothing we are experiencing now takes him by surprise.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cassie, you've done such a great job of summing up a year and capturing it's essence with out getting bogged down on any one thing. When we put things down like this it reveals our Fathers hand in ways we may have missed before. I laughed and cried and enjoyed remembering your year in a nutshell. Thanks for posting. Susan

Valarie Daly said...

Enjoyed reading your letter. Praying and trusting our sweet savior for all our needs is scarey, but I realized who else can I really trust with that :-)
We love you guys!

Flamingo Mama said...

love the new blog look!

you are doing an incredible job! that is a HUGE adjustment. i already cry thinking of having to work in about 2 years when mine are all in school...unless i bring them all home again which is not out of question:)

Jackie Sue said...

loved your letter....life is quite the adventure,isn't it? love you guys.

Ruth MacC said...

Your family certainly has had a tough year. Sorry about your dad. I hope your husband gets work soon and well, Happy New Year!

I have enjoyed dropping over to visit your blog and I hope you continue to post this comming year.

Abby said...

Thanks for the complete sum-up Cassie! Love you.

Tanya Low said...

Cassie,

I am so inspired by you and your beautiful family. What an awesome thing to be able to picture your life as I read this, because of our short time in Fl with you guys.

Much love,

Cousin Tanya