Hello, Friends and Family! We hope 2018 was good to you. We're pleased to have been able to host many of you in our new home. God has been so good to us. As the “after-shocks” of the fire keep happening, God continues to provide for our every need. We are learning to be totally reliant on Him rather than ourselves. Our biggest expense came this year when we learned we had to put in a new drain field. When all felt impossible, God provided! We lived without sewer for about 3 months, ”glamping” in our new home. Once again, we are VERY grateful for running water and a working septic!
Michael is still commuting to La Grande where he continues to work as a mechanic as a Federal Technician for the Oregon National Guard. On drill weekends he is commuting to Salem. He just received his Chief Warrant Officer (WO2) rank. Very proud of him! He has kept himself very busy this year volunteering as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Josiah's Boy Scout troop. We had to tear down our hay shed to accommodate the new drain field so he built a mini-barn. He wanted to add pigs to our homestead this year. It turns out he really likes pigs. Both pigs are in the freezer, but he looks forward to raising more in the future (me – not so much). He hopes to be able to work on his T-Bucket more next year.
Josiah is 15 years old and turning out to be quite the hunter. He absolutely loves it, even though he didn't have a lot of luck this year. He added duck hunting to the list this year and studied to get his trapper's license. He recently advanced to Star rank in Boy Scouts and is very involved, earning quite a few merit badges again this year. He is currently studying for his driver's permit. He is a freshman in our homeschool this year and is doing very well despite his increased academic workload.
Hailey is 11 years old and still enjoys gymnastics. She is currently on pre-team. She is homeschooled part of the time and then goes to a special reading class to help with her dyslexia. She loves her teacher and is gaining in confidence. Reading and writing will probably always be difficult for her but she is a hard worker and we are confident she will gain the tools she needs to be successful in whatever she chooses to do in the future. She loves all things mermaid and is becoming quite interested in art. She is in 5th grade now.
Rina is 3 years old and enjoys cooking and baking with me in the kitchen. She is truly the cherry on top of our family sunday. We all adore her and the biggest challenge we have is to try NOT to spoil her too much. She received a miniature horse from her Nana and Papa for her 3rd birthday. Bakerman has been a cute addition to our homestead. We just received another miniature horse from Michael's cousin, Carol Ann. Bakerman was lonely and needed a pal. Her name is Sugar. Rina enjoys helping, books, counting and playing outside when the weather is nice.
I'm well into my 10th year of homeschooling the kids and still love it. It gets better every year. I also did a lot more tours for the Pendleton Underground this past year. We are thoroughly enjoying our toy hauler and have taken it to Glacier National Park, the Oregon Coast and deer camp. I was also able to take Hailey and I on a mother/daughter trip to Tuscon, AZ with my sister and my niece, Lily, to visit friends. We were able to see the Biosphere 2, Fort Lowell (used during the Apache Wars) and visit Tombstone, AZ. We learned a lot of history in 3 days!
As we embrace 2019, we have no idea what it holds. This we do know. God is in control. He sees, He knows, He will sustain us when things feel out of our control. Over the Christmas season we enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Savior, our Messiah, our Redeemer who lives! May God bless each of you this New Year. We pray that when you look at our IMPERFECT family, you will see what the Lord has done – despite our mistakes and failures. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37.
Happy New Year from the our family to yours!