2018 was filled with MUCH change and adventure! With a calendar “FULLER” than ever, this year’s highlights come unapologetically in the form of bullet points. 😊
Listed house for sale in April. Regular showings began. "Convenience" move intended get us closer to the school where 6/7 of us travel daily.
In May, Rob graduated with his Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Maranatha Baptist Bible College.
Spent an unforgettable week in Florida, filled with many firsts for our family– airplane rides, Disney Parks, beach, speed boating & tubing (June).
Sold house in Derby. Packed belongings. Began house hunting.
Offered on a new house in Wichita. Inspection failed. Contract fell through. Found ourselves homeless and more than a little panicked.
Offered on a second house! Inspection revealed “active water entry” due to major siding and window damage on the entire back side of the house. Still sounded better than being homeless. Signed contract. Moved into the “new” (and leaking) home in July.
Three weeks later, Heidi began FULL-time employment at Sunrise Christian Academy, teaching half day K-4 in the mornings and yearbook, junior high choir, and senior high choir in the afternoons. (83 students daily. Ages 4-19. Days began with glue and glitter EVERYWHERE and students who were reminded not to color their teeth with blue markers. Days ended with 38 junior high students who sometimes needed the same reminders.) Transitioning from her 12-year tenure as a stay-at-home mom to her first year teaching proved overwhelming – to say the least. Many prayers were offered and a few hundred tears were numbered by a God Who cared to count.
Rob’s parents came for a visit and helped tremendously throughout our transition – childcare, cooking, laundry, and labeling all school supplies lifted burdens and relieved pressures.
Heidi’s parents came for several visits and also supplied much additional help – new curtains and pictures were hung throughout entire home; closets and cabinets were cleaned inside and out; preschool classroom was decorated like something out of a magazine! Such support and love was appreciated beyond words and God was thanked often!
Griffen entered 7th grade. Junior high football. Three advanced placement classes. Casted as Lefou in the upcoming school drama – “Beauty and the Beast.” Began church orchestra weekly on his euphonium and improved skills greatly.
Rhys entered 5th grade. Highlights of his year included playing Winthrop in the spring production of “Music Man” and spending a week in Branson with his good friend, Wyatt.
Triplets entered full-day K-4. Despite their love for school, shyness prevented them from speaking to their teacher. Great hope still exists for second semester. All three are learning to read and write!
Back of our house was removed to replace all rotted out siding. Reminded kids often to stay off the scaffolding which strangely resembled a jungle gym and mercilessly remained for weeks.
HVAC venting was completely flushed to make the air inside our new home habitable. Carpet was replaced throughout entire home. 13 new windows installed. New guttering. New doorbell. New oven. New lighting.
Thanksgiving was spent in Branson with Heidi’s family – Grandpa and Grandma Bjokne generously provided gorgeous condo’s overlooking Table Rock Lake, a delicious feast with all the fixings, a day at Silver Dollar City, and tickets to the Sight and Sound theatre.
December’s calendar was filled with 9 Christmas programs between church and school. Multiple parties and other events. Invited family to Kansas to celebrate Christmas….because we thought it sounded easier than traveling. Wondering if our sleep deprived logic was correct.
The alarm continues to sound each morning at 5:30 a.m. and the days are filled with activity and toil. Yet, we are thankful for a God Whose strength is made perfect in our weakness. A God Who remains steadfast and unchanging through all of life’s uncertainties. A God Who dwelt among us and understands.
We spent two short, but wonderful, days in Iowa with family. The delicious Thanksgiving feast, the hotel suite just steps away from an indoor water park, and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese were several of the highlights.
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Christmas cards adorned the refrigerator this season. One of Griffen's friends commented, "No one should be loved that much." 😊
I finally discovered a use for this niche. I thought it proved the ideal solution for keeping little fingers off of gifts. But alas, Hot Wheels tracks connected together and swung overhead are perfectly capable of puncturing presents hoisted 9 feet in the air.
There was our annual attempt at the J-O-Y picture.
'Twas the season for Christmas concerts. (Though I only captured these two pathetic pictures of the numerous events.) But due to my stunningly handsome eldest and the irony of Rhys as an angel, they must be included.
Hopefully these video highlights captured what the pictures did not.
Despite sending out 100 Christmas cards this year, a note now exists to order 200 next December. Here was the official recap that was crafted and mailed to so many dear family and friends.
We are so thankful for the many blessings of this past year and anxiously await God's continuing work in 2018!
"Love the Lord, all you His saints! The Lord preserves the faithful... Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!" (Psalm 31:23-24)
September was pretty much consumed with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime, trip with my family to NORWAY!!! It had been on my dad's bucket list to visit the location that his ancestors emigrated from. What a special treat when he called last spring and offered to take his daughters and their husbands along! The trip was truly amazing! At every turn the scenery looked like a postcard and the time spent with family was priceless. Thanks, dad, for the memories and for your extreme generosity to us!
While September was Spectacular,
October was somewhat Ordinary.
My little people are sometimes OVERWHELMING.
Like this chipped-tooth little boy who decided to play in the soot from the grill.
Or to color about 25 square feet of my bedroom wall in markers.
Or to flush four toothbrushes and a contact case down the toilet.
Or to spray two cans of no-stick spray inside my kitchen cabinets.
Or to dump my make-up bag in the bathtub.
THIS IS ALL THE SAME CHILD, PEOPLE!!!
They are sometimes OBLIGING.
Always excited to "help" with cooking and laundry.
("Can you just smile for one picture with mommy?")
("Take your stools over to the table and eat your lunch." Maybe I should have clarified a bit more.)
(I LOVE having a little girl to coordinate with!)
Sometimes ONE, TWO, AND THREE
Halloween festivities brought much fun and MUCH candy!
Keira has now graduated to her very own big girl bedroom. Despite the pile of books I placed in her nightstand, this one has proven to be her favorite.