Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: Year in Review

Here's a summary of the highlights and lowlights of 2008 for our family. I've included my personal prayer requests at the bottom. If you have any of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments (or e-mail them to me) and I will pray for you too.

January: Job hunting for Brian. We were scouring the internet and praying fervently that God would provide a job for Brian at the right time. This is the month that we found out that Foundations Academy wanted to fly him out for an interview.

February: My 27th birthday. We celebrated with a trip to Paris! Brian flew out to Idaho just before our trip and sent off his signed contract from the post office inside the Louvre. We had the wonderful news that my sister in law was expecting, and then came the blow that she had lost her triplets.

March & April: Exploring the UK with the growing awareness that we weren't there for much longer. We were surprised to find how very at home and comfortable we felt in a place that was once so foreign and scary. I wrote my first issue of Keepers of the Home.

May: Leaving Brighton for the last time. We shipped 6 boxes and had more than our full allowance of luggage, trying to carry back memories of an experience that had shaped and changed us, deeply not wanting those changes to disappear or memories to fade. We had a curry and some wine our last night at home with our two dear friends Anthony and Christina. Christina took us to Gatwick the next morning, faithfully helping us to carry everything through the airport. I remembered all of this incredibly vividly when we dropped her off at the airport here in Boise yesterday.

June: My mom had surgery, my brother graduated high school, Iain turned 2, and we celebrated 7 (!) years of marriage right back where it all began. It was surreal, eating our anniversary dinner at the Denny's where we had our first date. We had such a nice visit with our families after being away for so long.

July: Moving to Boise, Brian's 29th birthday. We took Brian's brother Austin with us as we traveled very slowly north, visiting as many people as possible on our farewell lap of the east. It was especially good to see my Uncle Greg, who I see very rarely, as he is practically my only contact with Dad's family anymore. He reminds me so much of my Dad that I tear up every time I see him. It felt like the filling of a void for him to meet Iain. Our stay with him was like a homecoming to me, a reconnection to part of my past that was once vital and now lost. (My dad passed away in a car accident when I was eight.) We stayed in Nashville after that, visiting Allan and Christine. Brian, Allan, and Austin headed out to Boise in the van while Iain and I stayed in Tennessee for a week. After arriving in Boise, our apartment wasn't ready, so we stayed with the Stutzmans and the Goodwins for two weeks. Finally on the day after Brian's birthday we moved in, but without any furnishings. The mover debacle was a definitely a low point in the year.

August: Our things finally arrived! The folks at Foundations had lent us the basics to survive. After many delays and loads more money, the moving truck finally came, leaving us with mountains of boxes. Brian began teaching at Foundations. I find a job babysitting.

September: We finally settled on a church home, All Saints Presbyterian.

October: Foundations has it's foundation dedication art project at the new building site. Iain becomes a big boy and says "Bye bye binky!"

November: Adam came for Thanksgiving.

December: Christina's visit, which I have yet to blog about, due to being busy visiting!

Prayer Requests for the New Year:
That God would allow our family to grow with the addition of more children. This is the greatest of my heart's desires, but I don't know if it is really what is best, or what the Lord has for us. But he is kind to listen to our petitions, and gracious even when he says "No."

That I would grow in my faith. I want to live like a believer, every day, in every circumstance and attitude. I find that with every unexpected expenditure, every thwarted desire, every circumstance that doesn't go I as had hoped or planned, like I react like a two-year-old child, with complaints, with frustrated tears, with a lack of belief that my Father knows best what I need.

That I would recognize and embrace my calling in life, nurturing and stewarding the talents and resources that God has given me, being full of contentment with this season of my life, and working diligently at the tasks he sets me to, glamorous or not.

Happy New Year to everyone. Praise God that we are one year closer to glory, and knowing that the fullness of time and salvation has not yet come, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Wild West

Maybe a little too wild. A few weeks ago Brian went hunting and came back with a coot, a mallard, and a jack-rabbit. Here he is with one of the birds, cleaned and ready for cooking.

And here is the stew I made out of the jack-rabbit that I was too chicken to eat. So much for my pioneer skills.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went to the Boise holiday parade.

It was fun seeing the Shriners in their crazy cars, the local paramedics doing synchronized CPR on teddy bears to "Stayin' Alive", and even...

Elvis! Everybody knew the king was alive somewhere. We told you Boise was a nice town to live in!

Brian got a real kick out of the logo on this truck. He said it looked like something out of a 70's cop show.

Iain got tired of the parade early so we walked to see the big Christmas tree in the Grove Center downtown. You can't see it in the picture, but he is crying here. Sheesh. You can see Peekaboo in her doggie sweater though. We got stopped every twenty seconds or so by people wanting to pet her and tell her how cute she was. Who know a dog in a sweater could be so popular? We just didn't want her to be cold.

On Monday night we had Mel over and decorated our Christmas tree. Iain was so interested in this and helped us hang ornaments until we were done.

(Btw, Mel, it was severely tempting to post some of those silly pics you left of yourself on our camera. Other friends have not been so lucky in the past!)

And earlier this week we made snowmen out of doughnuts, much to Iain's delight. He loves Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, and getting make a tasty dessert that looked like a snowman was pretty exciting.

Treasure in Heaven

I really appreciated and enjoyed our pastor's sermon today. It was on christian generosity in light of the humility of Christ. This was so timely for me. With all the decisions we are making regarding our finances right now, they have become something of an idol to me. It's amazing that that can be so, but even when your resources are thin, that fear of losing money can turn into an unhealthy obession.

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

If you'd like to hear today's sermon, please click here and choose the December 7th sermon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun

Over Thanksgiving we had the blessing of receiving a visit from a good friend from Brian's college days. Adam was here for a week and we had a great time catching up with him. With all the transition that we've had lately, it was great to be with someone who remembers the person I was 10 years ago! Adam was a groomsman in our wedding and Brian's roommate in college.

We had a fun week hanging out. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we drove up Highway 55 to see some mountain scenery and to give the guys a chance to do some fishing.

I can't help but like the feeling this picture gives me.

I like that you can see Brian's reflection in this shot.

Iain enjoyed climbing on the rocks and watching Papa and Adam fish. He and I also picked up some nice pine cones that are now part of our Christmas centerpiece.

We stopped in a couple of interesting small towns. This was had the somewhat dubious name of Crouch.

We all got a kick out of this street sign in Idaho Falls. Apparently the Main Street/Wall Street financial divide isn't as big there.

We also stopped for a few pictures at a really pretty trail head. We couldn't get out and hike because Iain was napping in the car.

And just to entice the rest of you to visit:

Iain had fun running around and playing with the snow up in the mountains.

For Thanksgiving we headed over to David and Stormy's house. The kids had a blast playing on the trampoline while waiting for dinner to cook.

The pretty table setting.

We had a great time. The food was amazing and the company was wonderful. We stayed all day enjoying the conversation. Adam snapped this family photo for us.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful visit with Adam. He and Brian even got to go to the last Bronco game of their perfect season. They rushed the field and Brian got to touch the WAC trophy. Needless to say, they were thrilled.