I found this in my draft box ~ and I have a feeling that was meant to be!
As 2014 has been full of trials so far, it is perfect for me to reflect on God's goodness, summer's brightness, and the fact that
"Every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows."
We thank The Lord for many blessings in 2013 ~ we are constantly showered by His love grace!
For us, 2013 began with a very happy reunion of all of Adrian's family here at our house. We missed Uncle Stephen, but everybody else was accounted for under one roof for a few days!
In the spring, Ella and Tessa participated in the community track & field program. They loved it, and learned a lot about the events.
|Tessa at the start of a dash (3rd from left)|
|Ella's hurdle race!|
May and June found us on a trip to Alaska with Uncle Phil! We were awed by God's marvelous creation, and the weather was completely spectacular. We made stops in Juneau, Skagway and Anchorage. It has been 8 years since we had visited our old home of Skagway, and we promised not to let it be that long before we get back again!
|experiencing the Alaska Marine Highway|
|a grey SE AK day|
|Spring in Juneau|
|flying into Anchorage|
|my favorite pic of Layla, ever!|
In July, Anna began looking for a puppy on craigslist, thinking it would take months to find the "right one". Only a few days into it, a photo of a fluffy white puppy melted her heart and she began researching the breed (Great Pyrenees) It seems that this breed had everything right: large size, gentle, and protective of kids and farm animals. After research, she began campaigning to bring this already 4 month old puppy home. After a weekend in Anaconda for the 4th of July, we brought the puppy home and named her Aspen. She seems to have put an extra bounce in Layla's arthritic step, and we all love her cheerful personality. I've never seen her happier than when the snow fell, and she adores being with the kids. Summer months we dabbled with "unschooling" method, and loved it. The kids spent HOURS on the trampoline that the neighbors gifted us and HOURS in the sandbox that Adrian made for them. We were amazed at their "out of the school room" projects, which included fishing, Bible study, piano composition and percussion, whittling sticks with a Swiss Army knife, crocheting, knitting, making bracelets, rhymes, trampoline, bikes, scooters, swimming, playing with friends, puppy training, raising tadpoles to frogs, caterpillars to butterflies, and a lemonade stand with bracelets and rocks for sale! Summer was brimming with activity with family bike rides, picnics, folfing, hikes, and exploring 9 nearby lakes.
|rocks + water = bliss|
|camping on the trampoline!|
|amazed by metamorphosis|
|can't count the hours...|
|Aunt Sandy was nearby for a few weeks!!!|
In September, all 3 girls spent 3 weeks in a cross country program. We were amazed by the agility of each one, and saw improvement in their duration and ability to run long distances!!
|Tessa- center of photo, black pants|
|Ella - just left of center, blue jogging suit|
In October we bought 2 miniature horses (mare, Stella and stallion, Dice) and had a fence installed. Yes, in that order. The fence company was months later than they promised.
We made a trip to Wilsonville for Thanksgiving and got to see a lot of family there. We were also happy to welcome our first Doland cousin, Charlotte Rae to the world the day before Thanksgiving!
Adrian harvested two deer to keep our freezer full for the year to come. December has provided an opportunity to slow down the pace, thankfully. The short days and cold have given us good reason to bake, play family games and get a bit more sleep!
All year long, we enjoyed worship at CCFV, met great new friends, and hosted a Friday night Bible Study. On New Year's Day we traveled to WA for our best friend Taylor's wedding! There, we enjoyed the best of Seattle with grandparents and friends!
|the definition of beauty!|
And now, some personal notes:
My favorite part of the year was Aspen, Layla, Dice and Stella! I'm glad to be able to go out and play with them. --Ella
|#1 big sister!|
I miss Thomas and Noah and Madeline. And I miss Taylor and Robby. I hope you have a good time on your trips and stuff. -- Jaci (As I recounted the highlights of the year, Jaci exclaimed, "We are rich!" Right on, chica!!)
I love Alaska because there's bears! I love doing my school. Thank you for coming to our house Taylor and Robby. I am hoping for Taylor to be good and not be sick for her to go to the wedding with Robby.
"Ba! Ba!" -- Orion (anything round is a ball, and he uses his limited sound effects to communicate exactly what he wants).
|ready to go!|
Adrian has been with Bonneville Power Administration for 6 years, and in his current position for 2 years already. He enjoys the variety of office and field work, and has a great crew of guys to work with. He has picked up the guitar again in the last year, filling our house with some great worship music! He keeps busy evenings and weekends being a great dad and checking off the never ending fix it list.
I am blessed beyond description to be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, wife to the handsomest godly man and mom to 5 spectacular kids. I continue my job as principal, secretary, janitor, school nurse, lunch lady and one room school teacher at Pheifer Homeschool. Even though each day requires an insurmountable quantity of time and energy, I daily prove that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength! I also remind myself that there is nothing I'd rather be doing with the fleeting moments of life (well, except sitting on the couch eating bon bons). For 2014, my greatest wish is that the deepening wrinkles on my face will be more smile lines and less frown lines!
May you share the deep peace that comes from knowing Jesus, and may He be the central part of your every day!
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain... Psalm 102.25
|night's work + dew|