This was the year that…
~ A little pumpkinhead named Moses crawled into bed every morning at
5:15am sharp, put his chubby little arm around my neck and woke me up with a
snuggle. That is, unless 4:30am suited him better.
~ Ineke became obsessed with and terrified of germs for two months or
so, eventually rubbing her arms and hands raw from washing them every few
minutes. “But Mama, I just touched my
face (pants/ mouth/ dog/fillintheblank) so I HAVE
to wash my hands!” We had intensive dirt therapy to fix that
~ Adele’ is no longer ‘a dress a day’ kind of girl, but has added
pants into her fashion arsenal. It has
aged her considerably. Or maybe it is because she is now officially a TEENAGER.
~ The piano has been tuned, plunked and played nearly every day by Judah,
Adele’ and even Ineke. We used some
“Uncle Joe” money to pay for Judah and Adele’ to take piano lessons this fall,
which they are enjoying. Judah learns on
the sly some of our church songs from friends at church because learning to
read music is less fun to him than actually making it.
~ Corynn graduated from (homeschool) high school, got her driver’s license
and, with the help of her first ‘real’ job, experienced the great sorrow of taxes
being taken out of a paycheck. She works at a little country store down the
road where her ‘people person’ personality thrives. She knows everyone by name, doodles on the
pizza boxes and always comes home with entertaining anecdotes.
~ Corynn had her first road trip, ocean experience and church retreat to
Outer Banks, NC. She went with friends
from church and had SO much fun and met so many wonderful people that even the
memory of it gets her glowing. As does the plan of going again this February!
~ Adele’ picked up some of Corynn’s slack in the Helping Mama Dept.,
often taking care of the children when Corynn was practicing driving with me or
being my righthand girl when Corynn was at work or off galivanting with friends.
~ Andrew broke his record of getting a deer on the 2nd day
of hunting by getting an 11 point buck (14 points, if you count the nibs) on
the first day of
hunting season. He had been salivating
over that deer on his game-cam for over a year and was practically dancing in
his boots when he came in from the hunt.
~ Both boys became hot commodities for neighbors, friends and family who
needed some extra hands for lawn care/tree pruning/firewood splitting/ stacking/fieldwork/
and/or building and construction. Added to
that, Andrew worked for a mowing business several times a week throughout the
summer and fall. Matt now has to
schedule ahead to make sure the boys have time to help their ‘old man’ out occasionally
too. The boys, of course, love it.
~ The girls and I kept records of how many books we read so far this
year. Final Score (not including the Bible):
Corynn: 89 Adele’: 75 Mama: 27 Clearly, I lost big time but that isn’t
counting the hundreds of storybooks I read throughout the year. Shouldn’t they count for something?
~ Our beautiful garden turned into a swamp garden just a few weeks
after planting and grew more frogs than zucchini. I did almost zero canning this year, just at
the very point when groceries nearly doubled in price and halved in
~ We had another broken bone.
Are any of us surprised at this point? Moses broke his foot when he rode our huge
and beautiful wooden stump letter “N” like a bucking bronco right off the
porch, the naughty steed landing right on his foot. Of course, it happened mere moments after I
said “Get off of there Moses or you will fall down the steps and get
hurt!” Righteousness keepeth him that
is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. (Proverbs13:6) He was overthroweth, alright. Right off the porch.
~ I was intending to buy candy recently and Moses saw the candy aisle
and shouted “YEAH BABY!” It is his new
phrase. (That was Andrew’s doing, by the way.)
~ Matt began a new timber frame project. (Are any of us surprised here either?) This one is to house our wood supply. (I thought that was what the last one was
for. ) What can I say- he relieves
stress with a chisel and hammer. I
have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in
knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship…(Exodus 31:3)
~ Fickle Covid, who steals the taste and sense of smell of some, or
makes others sick for a day or two, visited my parents’ household and left
devastation in its’ wake. Mom was hospitalized, put on a vent and in a coma for
about six weeks then woke up just in time for us all to rejoice about it around
the Thanksgiving table. She has made great strides since then and each
milestone is an accomplishment and a celebration. She isn’t home yet…she’ll have to do a stint
in rehab but she’ll get there. God has
been merciful to us in this.
~ I learned that God meets people in the singing of psalms in the ICU and
in the tortured cries of a dark, throbbing night. I learned anew that my children are the most
amazing people; dependable, trustworthy, responsible and kind. I learned the great comfort a faithful husband
can bring to a broken wife. I learned what friendship really looks like…it
walks alongside people in pain and says “I am here.” I learned what kindness really means. When I
have been at what seemed to be my breaking point these last few months, as I
made day trips away from my own needy family to my parents’ home and to the
hospital in Rochester (three hours away) each week, I had loved ones ease the
burden by caring for children in my stead, loaning me cars so I wouldn’t have
to drive the 12 passenger van; I had cards come in the mail, emails and check-ins,
meals delivered, prayers uplifted on my families behalf; I had people willing
to let me cry and meeting me in my pain, fear and frustration even though it is
not pleasant or comfortable or fun. I
saw firsthand people coming together to bring meals to my Dad and siblings, to
come each week and help clean and serve and love them in tangible ways. It is overwhelming to see God’s goodness radiate
right out of people. What must heaven
be like?! There are no words to
express the deep gratitude I feel to everyone who met me in the darkness and
helped me to see light by being reflections of it themselves.
God spoke His word into this dark world so that we might have
light. God gave Himself to this world,
to be the Light of the world. A baby,
wrapped in swaddling clothes, illumined by light who is Light. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very
God. And so we celebrate! This Christmas! This year.
Our whole lives long.
May we all rejoice in the Light, walk in the Light and be a reflection
of the Light to a dark world and to one another in the midst of their own dark
A very Merry Christmas to you all and with much love from