Most of all one discovers that the soil does not stay the same, but like anything alive, is always changing and telling its own story. - C. Williams
Thursday, December 24, 2020
2020 Family Christmas Letter
2020 Family Christmas Letter:
Greetings Family and Friends! We’ve never been so pleased to finish out a year as we have 2020. We are hoping and praying things will look up for 2021. While it has been a struggle, we see God’s will and provision in all circumstances. We’ve also gained a whole new appreciation for our family and friends. I’ll start off our letter with updates on each of us.
Michael took the Shop Manager position at Camp Umatilla and is enjoying his much less intense commute. He has been experiencing some aches and pains that come with mechanicing and getting older, and is enjoying being off the shop floor and learning new managerial skills. He is now a Chief Warrant Officer 2 and has been with the Oregon National Guard for nearly 25 years.
I (Jackie) continue to traditionally homeschool all three children. So thankful we chose this route years ago as the COVID-19 crisis has not affected my kids’ education. In fact with less extra curricular activities going on, we’re getting to some subjects we hadn’t previously had time to learn. One of our goals for this year (for both me and the older children) is to write out the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights in cursive. I also enjoy giving tours part-time at the Pendleton Underground when it is allowed to be open, which unfortunately hasn’t been much this year. I kept very busy this summer with two big gardens and tried out some new canning recipes. I started teaching a women’s Bible study again this fall, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Josiah is 17 and currently in 11th grade and has almost earned his Eagle rank. COVID has definitely made it more difficult, but he is determined to finish. He completed his Eagle project this summer by installing a “game bird guzzler” on a local farmer’s property with the help of his troop. Towards the end of the summer he was hired part-time working with a local internet company. He loves getting out of the house everyday and working to pay for his many hunting activities.
Hailey is 13 and in 7th grade. She is definitely the artist in the family, spending hours drawing and coloring. Her obsession with mermaids and all things having to do with the sea has not waned. She recently discovered 3-D puzzles. She is still in gymnastics (when open) and enjoys being on the pre-team. She’s made some new friends there this year. She had her first regular babysitting job this summer and learned a lot. She’s saving up for her own scuba equipment and wants to learn how to scuba dive.
Rina is 5 and in Kindergarten. She is a joy and delight to homeschool. I think I finally got one kid who likes academics! She loves her special time with me in the afternoons when we homeschool. She also enjoys being part of a Kindergarten co-op we host in our home. Rina is my garden/food processing-buddy. She’s super observant and sometimes can spot a new veggie coming on before I do! She adores animals and is learning to ride our two miniature horses.
As with everyone, many of our plans were thwarted because of COVID, but we were able to go camping quite a bit this year with family. Our toy hauler has been such a blessing! Michael and I also traveled to Wallowa Lake for a weekend to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We were also able to visit the Oregon Coast for a few days, staying at Camp Rilea with family.
This has been a heartbreaking, confusing, and frankly sometimes depressing year. However, these trials have afforded huge opportunities to get to know other people better and to serve others who have been affected much greater than we have by all these changes. It has encouraged us to cling to God in a whole new way. I’m thankful our family’s hope is not in what is going on in this world but in the salvation of Jesus Christ who was born both fully man and fully God, who lived, died and rose again, ascended and is now seated at the right hand of His Father, waiting for His Father to tell Him when to return to Earth again. Who knows if we shall see His return in our lifetime, but we shall seek to be ready for it. We’re just so thankful He made a way for us because “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. May the Light of all Truth shine brilliantly on each of us this coming New Year!
Jackie and Family