Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Portraits

I finally got around to doing the kids' Christmas portraits. They were all dressed up for our church's Christmas program, so I snapped some shots while I could. I picked the kids' outfits separately, without color coordination in mind, and wow did I luck out! I didn't know electric blue went so well with red hair ;) They are just looking so grown up in these photos. I'm so happy with Hailey's new haircut, too. Josiah is trying to find the right hair style he is comfortable with.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! 

God Bless, Jackie

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Family Christmas Newsletter

Our friend, Carla, took this picture of us when we visited her at her old-fashioned hamburger joint.

2014 Family Christmas Newsletter

Greetings, Friends and Family! We hope 2014 was a wonderful year for you. The year brought many changes for us. The beginning of 2014 found us settling into our homestead. Our first priority was to have a 30x40 shop built for Michael. While he hasn’t quite finished insulating and wiring it, he’s getting closer. We were quite busy this spring and summer with reseeding, planting fruit trees, berry bushes and a huge garden. Michael built me a nice deer fence to go around it, too. We’ve slowly been working at getting fencing repaired. We thought we would have chickens and a few farm animals by now, but we have decided to add to our homestead very slowly so that we don’t get over our heads.
Michael is enjoying his job as a heavy wheeled track mechanic at the Army Depot. He really likes the people he works with and even has a commuting partner some of the time. When he isn’t fixing the latest crisis on our aging vehicles, working on the homestead, or gone for a military training, he keeps plugging away at restoring his 1923 T-Bucket Roadster. I’m amazed at how much he’s been able to get done despite his extremely low budget for it. He also has been working on restoring our 1972 camper that was my Grandpa’s. We had a lot of fun camping in it this summer. Michael also shot his first elk with a bow this fall.

I’m still so blessed to be a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. We are in our 6th year of homeschooling and my children love it (most of the time). While it hasn’t been without struggles and sometimes tears along the way, overall it seems to be a good fit for our family. I started a new homeschool group with the intention of connecting Christian homeschoolers all over Eastern Oregon. It has been very exciting to see it grow so quickly and find that it does fulfill a need. We found a wonderful church family and I’ve been involved in a community bible study, worship team and a gospel singing group called “His Voice”.

The end of September brought a huge change to our lives. After seven years of infertility, we found out that I was expecting a baby May 14th. To say we were surprised is an understatement! We are slowly adjusting to the idea of such a big change and are looking forward to meeting our new blessing. The kids are unbelievably excited about having a new sibling! They never stopped praying for one even though we had long ago released it to God. We are all wondering if it will be another redhead.

Josiah is 11 years old now and getting taller and more mature by the minute. While he’d rather be doing other things than academics, he is getting good grades and is becoming a more independent learner. We enrolled him in a Latin class with other homeschoolers who meet once a week. He is absolutely loving it, and teaching us all Latin. He’s got a “bee in his bonnet” about getting some hives going in the spring. He and Michael have been working together to build their own bee boxes and are slowly accumulating the equipment needed to start beekeeping in the spring. He is becoming a huge help around the homestead, especially when his dad is at trainings.

Hailey is 7 and in 2nd grade and is also doing well academically. She finally got her precious cat, Cuddles, this last spring, and spoils him rotten on a daily basis. She is getting tall, too. She is currently going through a “sweet and sour” stage, keeping us on our toes. We are finding out the differences between raising boys and girls. She is completely “Daddy’s Girl” and loves to do projects with him whenever possible. She’s a little crafter and also loves to sing and make up her own songs about Jesus. She is especially excited about the coming baby and can’t wait to share her room and help change diapers. I’ve always said she was born to be a big sister. I’m so happy that her faithful prayers were answered.

We pray 2015 will be a wonderful year for you all! As we reflect on our Savior’s birth, may we love each other as Christ loves us. May we see the blessings even in the trials of this life.

God Bless,
Michael, Jackie, Josiah, Hailey, and (Mystery Baby) 


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