Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It sure has been quite the year! I'm posting my Christmas Letter for those of you who didn't get one by snail mail. I'm excited to share posts of some darling pics I've taken, weight loss tips, whether or not I reached my goal of reading through the Bible in a year, and goals for the new year in early January, so stay tuned!


A Recap of our Year


was a difficult year....

* Josiah broke one wrist and sprained the other doing a small jump (one of the youth group kids caught it on video) on a youth group snowboarding trip. He had a 3 hour surgery on it to repair torn ligaments the day it happened.

* There was tons of paperwork dealing with medical bill and insurance stuff. He had to have a second surgery to remove the pins in his arm. We ended up driving to Billings (several hours away) about 3 times and Cody twice to see his doctors.

*We potty-trained Jeremiah. If you have kids you know how stressful this is!

*My brother got married and returned to Honduras for 3 years (so we thought).

* Busyness--We were invited to 8 weddings this year (most close friends or family--it must have been THE year to get married) and we attended over 51 picnics, showers, church events, family dinners, etc. this summer.

* My brother Colter and his wife Anna were evacuated from Honduras during the coup there.

*My youngest brother Grant, ended up closing down his bike business after 1.5 years of owning it. He moved to Portland, OR in Oct.

* The Blasdel family moved to Kansas (their home state) in late September. Each one in our family is missing a best friend.

’ *I deal with severe neck pain on and off and have to see a chiropractor sometimes.

*Our house was supposed to be elevated 4 ft. so a new foundation could be rebuilt; we thought we could stay in it but last minute the workers told us no so we were theoretically homeless and desperately looking for a place to live for a couple of weeks until our landlord decided (for our benefit) to postpone the project until spring. Thank you!

* My Grandma Brown's serious health issues, strife in a friendship, the slower economy, job anxieties, milk supply issues with baby earlier in the year, flu scares, and trials that have hit many of our friends this year have been hard.

But God.....(one of the coolest phrases out there because He gets the last word)....was with us through EVERYTHING and He showed us so much about Himself and blessed us in so many ways!

* God provided for our every need while Josiah was injured! With our income cut in half for a while, we were still fine and I took in some babysitting clients a couple of times a week for a few months and Josiah returned to working as soon as he possibly could.

* We love our current house and are so thankful for the PRIVACY and the big, fenced yard, the many windows, quiet neighbors, and the nearness to the river walk and park.

* We gained two new family members this year, a sweet sister-in-law, Anna, and a cute nephew David, born into Josiah's sister's family.

* Colter and Anna's evacuation meant lots of extra visits and time with them as they are doing mission work in WY until they can go back.

* We got our first dishwasher! After 20 years of washing dishes without one, it's my favorite appliance! Just like our van, it was a big answer to prayer!

* We are blessed to have so many family and friends and such a great church family to keep us plenty busy!

* God has brought numerous new friends into our lives to ease the pain of our friends' move. We miss them very much, but at least we can stay in touch with them and other friends who are far away online.

* Our brief bout of homelessness was the push we needed to "get our feet wet" in real estate and to understand the process more so that when God opens the door for us to buy, we will be ready.

* We were able to visit the Denver Zoo this summer, go camping with my family once, do a trip with just the 5 of us in some nearby mountains, and spend a week's vacation in MN visiting Josiah's family in July. We also had fun attending our church's yearly Family Camp event over Labor Day Weekend.

* I've been involved in an excellent Ladies Bible Study through the summer and fall which my mom leads and some of my relatives attend. I have seen God save my cousin and ignite her heart for Him and we have grown close.

* For the first time in 4 years we haven't gotten a horrible sickness in early November and we have had very good health.

*The trials have made our marriage and family stronger.

*We have found ourselves on our knees more, the best position to be in.

* We have talked with many folks who are in the midst of far greater trials than we have had this year--ours seem minor in comparison.

Alathia JoyAli Joy is almost 5 years old and technically a preschooler but is advancing in homeschooling beyond that level. She lives to color and can spend hours a day at it. She started to read and spell before I even really taught her how! She is a new Christian and is growing into a sweet little girl. She loves to help Mama and her brothers so much that her brothers are in danger of becoming helpless ninnies. Sometimes she needs to be reminded that she isn't the mom! Ali can often be found wearing dress-up clothes or playing with her ponies or dolls. She's taking her first ballet class once a week and it is her favorite time of the week.

Jeremiah DavidJeremiah is always good for a hug or some cuddling. After 9 months of potty-training I think we're finally done! (Whew!) We have found his name to be very appropriate for him (Jeremiah in the Bible was known as "the weeping prophet.") Having a brother to sword fight and wrestle with will be great for him. Jeremiah has often come up to me with a sweet face and fluttering lashes and said, "Mama, will you marry me?" He's quick to comfort a sibling when they are sad or hurt. He loves to sit on my lap while we read an enormous stack of library books. Jeremiah just turned 3 and lives for monster trucks, T-rex, and snakes. The highlight of his year was when we visited the Denver Zoo in June.
Justus Abraham
Justus turned 1 in mid-August. This little guy was our biggest baby at birth but is also our shortest and most petite child thus far. He is our easiest baby, but is also our most adventurous. He was our earliest walker but latest teether and surprisingly has much lighter hair than the rest of us. He is both laid-back and sweet but can be aggressive and is very tough. His favorite words are hot, cup, ball, hi there, and that. Sometimes we call him the garbage disposal because he will eat just about any food out there and lots of it! He's particularly fond of cherry tomatoes! Justy is very self-motivated and independent like his sis. He is a master at finding knives, matches, scissors, garbage, and the toilet faster than you can blink so watch out if he's around!

“Feeling loved by God means feeling glad not only that He crushed His Son so that I can be forgiven, but that He’s crushing everything that takes away from my praising of the glory of His grace."
-John Piper-

Josiah and I
We celebrated 6 years of marriage in June! Josiah continues to work for my dad as a carpenter and I am a teacher, nurse, chef, interior decorator, accountant, taxi driver, soul sculptor, facilitator, referee, restorer of order and sanitation, and counselor in the haven of home. Josiah is still very active in helping with the church youth group, especially now that the youth pastor moved away. I am transitioning out of being the nursery coordinator at church to lead and teach a teen girl's Bible study in 2010. I still get my kicks by listening to excellent sermons online and having rousing debates while Josiah is hopelessly devoted to checking the weather and loves listening to music. We drink spinach smoothies made from homemade yogurt, make our own granola and tortillas, and still cloth diaper half of the time--can someone say "crunchy?" Josiah liked my brother Grant's motorized bicycle so much he built his own; it gets 150 miles to the gallon and is so fun to ride! I hang out at the new library building a lot (lifelong bookworm) and Josiah will always consider ice-cream one of the major food groups and will probably never weigh more than he did in 10th grade in spite of that. We love to throw kiddie pool parties from May through September and to have new people over for lunch on Sundays.
Most of all, we firmly believe that God is most exalted in our lives when we are most satisfied in Him and the flip side of that is that we are most satisfied for all time when God is worshiped to the max in our lives.
We don't know what the future holds but we know WHO holds the future and want our lives to be all about Him.


Our family... said...

Great letter. I loved reading it. Merry Christmas from the other side of the world! :)

Anonymous said...

Lindsay, you write SO WELL!! How fun to see how God has brought you through 2009. I really enjoy your blog!!!

I thought of you at the store tonight when I was buying tortillas. I remembered that you MADE them. Do you have a link to a recipe you could share with me? I searched your blog and couldn't find one. Hubby wants me to try, and I'm up for it!


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