Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Year in Review

This year has been an amazing year of blessings and lots of changes for our family. As you can see by the photos, 2014 was a fun year in which we truly enjoyed life, being with family and friends and having new adventures. 

JANUARY - We rung in the New Year by going out for Chinese with members of our New Life church family. I also celebrated by cheering on the NDSU Bison football team as they won their 3rd National Championship in a row and will be going for their 4th in 2015!

Fun with friends at China Star
FEBRUARY - As with every February, Rob and I both celebrated birthdays but this year I reached a milestone when I turned 40! I can honestly say I feel truly blessed making it to the 40-year mark considering at one time doctors didn't think I would live past my 20s. My mom made my day extra special by taking me shopping, going for lunch and relaxing while getting pedicures. I kept trying to tell her she was doing too much to which she responded, "You only turn 40 once!" Alas, moms are always right!

Fun Birthday Celebrations!
MARCH - We had the opportunity to take my parents out for dinner to celebrate Dad's birthday. It's great having my parents in Bismarck! I also took part in one of my favorite events of the year - JOY International's JOY Breakfast at the Ramkota where over 600 ladies gather together and enjoy a morning of food, fellowship and fun. Once again my sister, niece, sister-in-law and her sister and niece were all able to sit at the table I hosted.

Fun at the JOY Breakfast
APRIL - We celebrated Resurrection Sunday by first attending church then later going out to my parent's place for dinner. Faith continues to enjoy her integrative music sessions with a music therapist who comes to our home twice a month and also going to the Healing Rooms for prayer.

Fun at the Healing Rooms!
MAY - We welcomed the warmer weather and enjoyed finally getting out and about. It seemed we actually skipped spring and jumped right into summer! Unbeknownst to us at the time, it ended up being Faith's last year at Centennial Elementary when she finished 4th grade. I also wrapped up my career as a customer service representative at Coventry/Aetna as we began our venture of becoming self-employed freelance writers.

Fun in the sun with ducks!
JUNE - I enjoyed a couple of visits with my sister who lives in Nebraska as she traveled through Bismarck on her way to Watford City to celebrate our hometown's centennial celebration. I also discovered it's nice having a more flexible schedule which allows me to spend more time with Faith and take her to various activities. It has become our ritual to hit the library at least once a week.

Fun with family!
JULY - Faith, Grandpa and I were all disappointed the 4th of July parade in Mandan was canceled due to rain and lightning in the area. Instead, we had fun hanging out with auntie Barbara and playing in her water fountain. We enjoyed a visit from our friend Kimberly who was visiting from Kansas then at the end of the month we had a surprise visit from Rob's cousin Susie and her husband Steve who live in Waterloo, Ontario. They were flying their plane back home from Vancouver and flew into Bismarck for an overnight stay.

Fun surprise visits!
AUGUST - I enjoyed attending my first women's conference hosted by Century Baptist Church where I heard speaker and author Carol Kent give her astounding testimony. I also enjoyed reminiscing with my college roomies Keri and Mary who are both Ag teachers and were in town for their annual agricultural education sessions. We found a new respite care worker through Easter Seals who Faith really likes (she's picky about who gets to take care of her). We are grateful at how well she is working out for us.

Fun meeting new people! (Me with Gwen from KNDR and Carol Kent)
SEPTEMBER -School started after Labor Day in Bismarck this year but we didn't send Faith back to school along with rest of the kids. Instead, after much prayer and deliberation we decided to home school her this year. We are thankful for all the support we have received and it is nice to know many other Christian homeschooling families. Our primary goal is to teach Faith how to read. I have also been blessed to serve as Java JOY Coordinator for another season and Rob and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.

Fun with Clifford the Big Red Dog
OCTOBER - This proved to be a monumental month for us! At the beginning of the month we attended the Love Unleashed Healing Conference hosted by the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains. We were blessed to meet the director of IAHR, Cal Pierce and his wife Michelle. This month we also journeyed by van to Toronto, Ontario. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Rob's family, celebrating David and Jean's 50th wedding anniversary and a small baptism ceremony for Faith. After our busy month, Faith wanted to celebrate her 11th birthday by having a quiet day at home with her parents.

Fun anniversary celebration!
NOVEMBER - It wasn't even winter yet but the temperatures dropped to well below zero during November. We were especially thankful during the frigid cold snap we didn't have to get Faith to school and back home as her high tone kicks into overdrive when it's that cold! I had a nice time with family over Thanksgiving and got to see my nephews, Donnie and Preston who traveled up with their parents from Lincoln, NE. We had a blast playing a game called Loaded Questions that I actually won!

Fun with siblings at mom and dad's!
DECEMBER - Every year I resolve not to get too wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season so we can stay focused on the reason - the Birth of our Savior. Instead of being stressed and over committed, we have had lots of fun. Rob and I went to our first Christian concert together - the Newsboys. As a family, we attended New Life's Christmas Open House where we consumed lots of goodies made by Pastor Marc's wife. Faith and I had fun baking our annual treat - Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes. Then on Christmas Eve I went to my parent's house for our  traditional meal of homemade pizza. The three of us spent Christmas day together opening gifts, laughing and relaxing.

Christmas fun with my most precious gift of all
All in all it has been a wonderful year in which the Lord has BLESSED us abundantly. We look forward to all that God has in store for us, our family and our friends in the coming New Year!