This has been another wonderful year… full of ups and downs, but that’s just life, isn’t it? The bottom line for our family (at this moment) is that we’re doing well …at least as well as can be expected, given that our 13th grand child is a preemie living in a NICU. But, let me give you a little update on all of us: Alan and Kathi: We’ve enjoyed good health this year—which we now humbly appreciate as a great privilege rather than something to be taken for granted. Alan continues working very long hours and comes home with his “mind exploded” many days but finds his job fulfilling and fascinating. I’ve had a truly happy year of blogging and keeping up with family and friends. Aaron is still working for Facebook, and Carlie continues to home school their tribe of 4 busy boys. They take the kids on all sorts of far-flung adventures, but they’re really good about keeping connected with family too (lucky for us!). It is so fun to watch our kids being parents! Mike was promoted to major last summer. He’ll be finished paying back the army for his dental training next summer, but they don’t know the next step yet. In September, their 4th was born, Paladin, so they have 2 girls & 2 boys. Grace and Michael are using their love of the arts and Grace’s theatrical training to enhance home schooling their busy bevy. They live abroad, and we miss them! Jon and Linda continue to teach at Moody’s western campus, and they are also super busy. Jon is always up to his gills teaching, working on innovative teaching techniques via the web, writing books and working on his Aqueduct Project. Linda does the lion’s share of caring for their 2 delightful little girls, which keeps her on her toes! In fact, I am deeply grateful for all 5 of the dedicated moms in our family who sacrifice their own interests to love their kids and let their husbands “fly.”
Carl is still working full time heading the video and motion graphics department at NorthRidge and has also started his own company, Motion Parade, doing free-lance projects for (among others) the Food Network out of NYC. Kathy has her hands full with Iris and Oliver and writes in the nooks and crannies of life. Alan and I feel very blessed to have their family in state so we can see them relatively often. Daniel continues as a dentist at H.I.S.(Health Intervention Services, a Christian charity helping the uninsured), and Brianna is working as a nurse at DeVos Children’s Hospital in the NICU. They had two high school exchange students living with them last year but decided not to take in more students in the light of Brianna’s becoming pregnant. The baby was due on Alan and my anniversary (February 18), but Brianna developed pre-eclampia and Baby Samuel Azariah arrived via C-section at only 27.5 weeks…a tiny 12.5″ 1-pound, 9 oz. wonder. He’s had a bout with pneumonia and is still very fragile, so we’ve been praying night and day for him. Stephen and Joel both graduated with M.A. degrees (Stephen with 2) this spring. This year Stephen is working as the music director at his church, taking classes in 3 languages, presenting and publishing musicology papers, and applying for PhD programs for next fall. Joel is now working on his PhD in literature at Northeastern University and has 2 articles in print for 2015! He’s living in an “intentional Christian community” in Boston with 6 other graduate students, where he’s again the youngest of 7. 🙂 Joel and Stephen have continued to be super good friends, and they’ve been collaborating on writing a memoir about growing up at…somewhere… 🙂 In all, it’s been one of my happiest years in a long time, and I am so grateful to God for all these blessings! But, most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus, who came down from heaven’s glory to be born as a babe in a manger, live, die, and rise again for us, so that we can celebrate the joy of forgiveness for sins and fellowship with God. It is the birth of this perfect Savior that we celebrate at Christmas—Emmanuel—God is with us!
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”