I say we are 'terminal DIYers,' and we try it all: Home/Kitchen Design & Building, Cooking, Baking, Sewing, Gardening, Woodworking, Homeschooling... But the seasons are changing, and in this one I plan to rediscover the artist in myself. I'm stepping out with some ideas and seeing where they take me...and us...at Our Home for Ten (RHome410)!
Life isn't allowing much blogging time these days, but I adapted a blog-version of our family Christmas letter, which I thought (hope!) you might enjoy....
Merry Christmas 2014!
Once again, it’s been a busy, whirlwind of a
year. The kids get older, and some
even move out, but life doesn’t slow, activities don’t decrease, and even the
food bill seems to hold steady!
Not to complain, because we can be nothing but thankful for the family,
health, interests, and abilities that make all of this busyness possible.
Bossy, Artiste, Eager, Sassy
PrincessBossy andPrinceHelium continue life in the state far away, homeowners and doggy parents.Helium works in a downtown law firm,
and Bossy works part-time in the exec asst position for a dean at the law
She more than fills the
rest of her time with various ministries at church, plus community
organizations.For work, she attended
a conference in The Netherlands in October.With most of Helium’s relatives living in Holland, they’d
been long hoping to visit there, so were happy to take advantage of this
opportunity. Helium went along,
and they added days for sightseeing and visiting family.It was amazing to look at the
photographs and see they actually stood amongst the scenery and architecture
we’ve seen only in movies and in books.With that trip and Bossy’s visit home in July, we will have to miss
seeing them this Christmas.
Stoic is in year 2 of his electrical apprenticeship, currently working in a
commercial, high-rise project.He is one of the high school youth leaders at a Presbyterian Church near
his home in the Big City.Much of
his spare time is spent working on his BMW or his motorcycles.We count it as blessing that he doesn’t
have a garage, so he comes home to use ours.
Inventive, Artiste, Stoic
He made a trip to California for a motorcycle course, took a
couple of jaunts with friends to Oregon, and will fly to the state far away to
celebrate the arrival of 2015 with Bossy and Helium.It is fun to see how close he stays to all his siblings.He is happy to host them and they can
count on him to provide support and advice (and join in some silliness).
Princess Sassy, Prince Steadfast, and the Grandprince were finally able to move into the space
above our new garage a few months before Grandprince’s first birthday. Steadfast is back at school this year,
into his full-time, junior year in Engineering, but still working full-time,
too. Sassy is blossoming as a
mommy and homemaker, enjoying nesting and creating their own little home.
She enjoys attending the MOPS (Mothers
of Pre-Schoolers) program at church to fellowship with other young moms. She still nannies occasionally &
coaches junior high track in the spring. Grandprince goes along, a big hit with
the kids. He is growing so fast,
and is so capable and smart -- He started walking before his birthday, and has
so many words already! We love
being so close, seeing all of his new developments and discoveries, and getting
playtime and cuddles.
Prince Inventive finished his Assoc in Arts degree at the nearby
community college in June, and decided to take some time off before finishing a
degree to build his savings and be sure about what he wanted to pursue… to be
sure he was on the path God intends for him.He moved to the Big City in July, and into an apartment with
his original best friend and roommate, Stoic.He thought he might become an electrical apprentice, too, but
decided, instead, to continue his education, and will begin classes in January at a Christian University, Bossy's alma mater.
He intends to complete his degree in Marketing, and hopes to
represent the school as an admissions counselor after graduation.Right now he works 2 jobs.He has an impact position in the stock
room at a nationwide clothing retailer, and also nannies, 9 hours a day, 2 days
a week, for 3 kiddos, ages 2, 4, and 6.He’ll continue to do that after he starts school.Like Stoic, he loves working on, and
driving, his BMW.
Artiste finished high school in the spring, and thought she’d be following in
her also-homeschooled siblings’ footsteps by attending community college before
applying to a university.A
combination academic and athletic scholarship offer from a small, private
college changed all that.She
decided to jump at the seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and this
birdie left the nest in August-- the 2nd to do so in 2 months.It was a tough adjustment in the house.
In addition to classes and cross country practices and meets, she’s worked as a
lifeguard and swim instructor at the YMCA, worked in the school library, and
co-founded a Christian athletes’ group.
It’s been a learning experience, but the
school hasn’t been able to meet all of her expectations and needs. Artiste is
currently working on her transfer to the same school as Inventive, where she
plans to major in interior design.She believes the school, program, and environment will be a better fit
for her. She’ll live on campus,
and her brothers look forward to having her nearby.
Prince Go-for-It played baseball on school and select teams this
year, so we spent much of the summer traveling the state for baseball tournaments.He’s a good hitter and made amazing
outfield plays. He was so fun to watch, and Mom got the best tan she’d had
since she was 17!;-) Thankfully, it was the last tournament of
the season when he was hit by a pitch that broke his hand.
Go-for-it’s love for
running has won out, and he is making it his only sport. He ran on the varsity cross-country
team again this year, and earned his way to the district championship
meet.He plans to train hard to
make the state meet next year, and, also, catch the eyes of college scouts in
track this spring, and cross-country next fall.His schedule is so full this year with his junior-year
classes, drivers ed., running, his job at a local golf course, Young Life and
Campaigners, and, of course, friends.He’s showing impressive improvement in his academics, growth in his
faith, and leadership potential.
Princess Eager is in 9th grade
already! She is quite the
photographer and the pictures she took during Go-for-It’s baseball games were
in high demand by all of his teammates. She takes photos for friends, and was the official photographer
for the Steadfast/Sassy family Christmas photos.She gets the credit for pushing to attend the Prefontaine
Classic track meet at Univ of Oregon in May, where she, Artiste, and Mom got to
see world-class athletes compete.We hope to make that an annual thing. Eager took her first ever airplane
trip (alone) to visit the Bossy/Heliums for 10 days over Thanksgiving.She had a great time, visiting
attractions, helping Bossy with ministry projects, sharing Thanksgiving with B
& H’s surrogate family, and ‘Black Friday’ shopping with her big sister.Eager also ran for the high school
cross-country team this year, and earned her varsity letter.She went to the district championship
meet as an alternate, which was her goal.She still works as a childcare provider at church during MOPS and
Prince CuddleBunny is a homeschooled 5th
grader this year.He is his mom’s
sidekick, especially dedicated to accompanying her twice a week to
take lunch to Grandpa on Wednesdays, and lunch and dinner on Sundays.He always looks forward to making
Grandpa’s gin and tonic at the appointed hour every Sunday, and exercising
his first year of Little League baseball as a 3rd baseman, and was
awarded his team’s Most Improved trophy.He started the season understandably hesitant, but finished strong on
defense, and hitting doubles and a triple.His LL coaches switched to a select team, the same
organization Go-for-It played with last year, so CuddleBunny made the move, too.He loves the year-around practices, and
can’t wait to start playing games in the spring.He is truly Grandprince’s ‘Awesome Uncle CB.’The little guy loves him so much, and CuddleBunny
is a big help to Sassy when she needs an extra pair of eyes and hands.He has been learning to fish from Go-for-It,
and enjoyed a hiking/camping trip with Dad and Inventive in August.
While the rest of us gallivanted to sports
events, Hubby worked 2 extra jobs this summer, also continuing progress on the
garage addition.He taught
immigrant teens in the woodshop at a skills center near the Big City, and was
also the work-based learning coordinator there for the summer. After that, he
helped with framing on a commercial construction project.He is disappointed in changes at
school… The switch from trimesters to semesters, and other changes mean the
students have less opportunity to take electives, including career prep courses
like his.He feels it is a
disservice to the students who need those classes and is frustrated.He is considering program changes to
meet both student needs and changing district priorities. This fall season was
his 6th as the cross-country assistant coach.
suggested he try a Paleo diet… No dairy or grains… in order to lose weight and
retain his health for the long haul.He has dropped a few pounds, breathes easier at night, and he feels
better, overall.He enjoys taking
our Lab, Rosie, for walks in the forest, while Go-for-It runs trails there.He asked that Grandprince call him
“Pop” instead of “Grandpa,” but in current Grandprince language, he’s “Bop!”
Life without my mom is a hard adjustment, and I feel spread especially
thin this year, as wife/homemaker/homeschooling mom/sports-fan mom/mom to those
at home and to those living elsewhere/grandma, and also loving daughter and
sister.Things like home projects,
gardening, blogging, and sewing have given way to driving people and feeding
people… or driving to feed people!
I fit in hugs and good talks, blessed to share in my kids’ interests and
developing lives, and to spend time with my dad (who had a tough bout with
pneumonia in Oct, but is doing well and getting stronger). Really, I have never
driven as many miles as this year, and have a ‘frozen’ shoulder that often
objects.Thankfully, the sore one
is the left, so doesn’t interfere too much with the rest of life (unless sleep
counts!), the family is healthy, and our messy, ever-evolving house has the
promise of a nice home underneath the
drop-it-and-run-off-again mounds. --It has a protective clutter coating…? ;-)
The Bible study
group Hubby and I belong to feeds us in ways we need, both the studies we’ve
done and the people in it we love, and who love us. We’re learning a lot about taking each day as it comes, and
doing what the Lord has for us in each one.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…
We hope you’ve accepted, or will accept,
the best gift of all:
God showed how much He
loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have
eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He
loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.