Saturday, January 1, 2011
As I reflect back over this last year, I am amazed at God's provision. After Cory being without a job for 15 months, he was hired as the Operations Manager of the Orlando location of Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It was such a cool way that this all came together that we know it could only be God. The couple months before this job Cory had started working part-time at Home Depot from 4-8 in the morning and part-time at another manual labor job from 9-4. I was still working part-time 4 days a week. It was a VERY difficult couple months for us and we rarely saw each other. I think this made the new job even that much more appealing.
This job has been an extreme answer to prayer and Cory is doing great. I am still working at a local children's resale store and teaching at a part-time Christian School. I am now working night/weekend shifts so that I can do school with the kids during the day. Our lives still feel crazy and we still cherish those evenings when we are all home and have no other commitments. But, we do feel like we are getting used to this rhythm of life.
Morgan is in 6th grade this year, so it is her 1st year as a "Middle Schooler". She was super excited to be able to join the Youth Group at church. I had been teaching the 2 year old Sunday School class at church for several years, but decided to make a change to join Morgan in Youth ministry this year. She actually was fine with me moving with her. With Cory getting a job and me continuing to work, her responsibility load increased a good bit. I often have to leave for work a couple hours before Cory gets home and Morgan now is "in charge" during that layover time. We are very fortunate to have 3 different families around the corner if she ever needs help. But, she is in charge, makes dinner and keeps order when there are no parents here. I have been so impressed to see her take on such a huge role in our family. Along with this new responsibility, she has decided that her opinions should have the same weight as her mom and dad. That doesn't always work out for her :) She loves attending school on Tuesdays and is very ready to get back to school in January to see her friends.
Avery is in 5th grade. If you ever want to know how divide things exactly evenly or to make sure that everyone gets their fair share, you should just ask Avery. She lives up to that "middle child" stereotype to a T. She loves gymnastics and continues to be asked about joining Team. She is not a competitive girl at all, but the gym she is at now gives her the comfort level to perhaps join a Team in the future. She is about as creative as they come. This year for Christmas she decided to make name plates for every cousin and sibling in the family. When, I say make... I mean from scratch with hot glue, paper, sequins, ribbon, beads, pipe cleaners, bendaroos, foam and anything else she could find in the house. They all turned out so cute and the parents loved them as much as the kids. She turned 10 in October and her and mommy had a weekend away birthday celebration and "had the talk" just like Morgan last year.
Sydney is in 3rd grade and thinks that most days of school are easy. She is very smart and breezes through most things I give her. She is still the most inquisitive and blunt kid I have ever known. As I think into her future, the most obvious job title I foresee is Investigative Reporter. She is listening to every conversation (even when you think she isn't). She wants all the facts and wants to share those facts with anyone that will listen. Her famous tag line when someone walks in our door is... "Why are you here?". I never said she was tactful. She would much rather play super hero than house and will hold strong to what she believes no matter who is trying to convince her different. She is a spit-fire and a love bug rolled into one.
Jordan is in 1st grade and loves to be the baby of our family. He finally learned to tie his shoes this year with much disappointment. He would much prefer to not know how and have someone else do it for him. He looks for any opportunity to have another boy around. He is so glad that there are 3 in the same neighborhood and friends who will take him in for a day and night. He will complain to me that there is nobody to play with and when I suggest his sisters, he will look straight at me and say... "A BOY, Mom!". He comes up with some of the greatest sayings and likes to use the word "defeat" in as many sentences as possible (like "Mom, how does water DEFEAT hiccups?"). He could talk to you all day about Mario and Luigi and he loves to play baseball when ever he has the chance.
This year has also brought another loss to our family... my sweet grandma Carnefix passed away in May. She was an amazing woman. My kids were blessed and fortunate to have a relationship with their great-grandmother. She loved to have sewing class and tea parties with the girls. Her wisdom and teaching on Eternity and Prayer impacted my walk with the Lord and I will never forget her.
Earlier in May, I went on my very first missions trip. I went with a team from my church to Bosnia for 10 days to minister to the families of the missionaries in that region. Our team facilitated a children's program for all the missionary kids. We had fun and worked hard. It was also my first time out of the country and we were lucky enough to have a layover in Vienna on the way home. It was so much fun to be able to see sights and walk through the city. I look forward to going back one day with my husband!
This was also our 2nd year being a Girl Scout family. I am a Troop leader and our girls went from 14 girls last year to 28 this year! We have Kindergarten through 6th grade and have lots of fun together. We are looking forward to 3 camping trips this year!!
It has been a busy year full of ups and downs. We learn more and more about releasing control of our lives and trusting God's plan and direction. It does not always look pretty or the way we expect, but we know His plan is better than ours.