2009 was a year of smiles and laughter, sadness and tears, grace and mercy, and infinite blessings. Today I will share some highs and lows with you and hope that you will see that God is good in all of it.
January...Christmas '08 brought several inches of snow, which we happily enjoyed. But living in the Pacific Northwest, the rains inevitably come. And boy, did they ever! January brought massive mudslides and flooding, with neighbors' homes being damaged, roads being blocked off, trees being knocked over and power being lost. Through it all, we only suffered a couple of downed trees that we needed to cut for firewood anyway, and got to practice our survival skills, if only for a few days. We met neighbors that we didn't know and got to experience a true country community spirit.
February...My hubby and I celebrated 22 years of marriage on Valentine's Day, but the Friday leading up to it, we got the call that every parent dreads. Our eldest daughter, Kelsie, and 4 month old granddaughter, Madison, were in a bad accident. Today, both of my "girls" are happy and healthy, with no lasting damage. Thank you Lord! We also welcomed our 2nd son-in-law to the family. Brett and Tia married on February 4 in Texas.
March...My "Mister" got to move to a lovely, new shift at the hospital. He used to work 3 pm to 3 am, and would have to sleep until about noon. For a homeschooling family, that just doesn't work very well. Now he's on a 11 am to 11 pm shift and we love it! He also gets 6 days off (in a row!) every other week. What a blessing!
April...Our oldest son, Cody, started driver's education. While we really dragged our feet over this, it has proven to be a lifesaver having another driver in the house! Even if he IS a teenage boy! We also met Jake. Little did we know that in 2 months, he would become our newest son-in-law! Our daughter Tia, called us with the news that we would become grandparents again!
May...We started ordering seeds for the garden, going on faith, that the weather would cooperate for an abundant harvest.
June...Our daughter, Melissa, graduated from home-school. We had a big graduation party to celebrate. Several of the ladies from church made her a graduation quilt and there was enough food to feed an army! Speaking of Army, we found out that Jake, who is in the Army, was being deployed to Iraq for a year. He asked for our daughter Valerie's hand in marriage, and we helped him pull off a surprise proposal! With only 3 weeks to prepare, we hit the ground running!
July...Our very first foster child, Jeffery, came to visit for the month. He is an adult now, living in a different state, but remembered most of what we taught him during his 5 years here. Life hasn't been easy for him, but it was good to see him becoming the man that we prayed he would be. We welcomed son-in-law #3 to the family! And then we saw him off for his stint overseas. No matter how a person feels about war, I couldn't have been prouder of the men and women who marched with smiles on their faces toward the buses. It was a moment that I will never forget. Ever.
August...The garden is bursting! We planted 22 tomato plants and ended up with 300 quarts in our pantry! The green beans did well enough and we found that growing corn is not our "gift"! We gave away lots of fresh produce and made several trips to some other farms for fresh fruit. Our cow, Bailey, gave birth to a bull, which we quickly turned into a steer. We named him "Angus" and are trying not to get too attached to our food source!
September...Spent a week at my most favorite place. We brought home about 30 trout and tried our hand at smoking them. The garden was still on "hyper-drive", so we had more canning to do. At this point, I was seriously yearning for autumn! Since the weather was so beautiful, our homeschooling was put on hold until October or whenever the rains arrived. Well, except for Melissa and Cody, who started college! (hehehehe...)
October...We made the trip south to celebrate our granddaughter's first birthday! She called me "Nana" for the first time and I pretty much don't remember anything after that! Oh yeah...the rains came! And school officially started!
November...Dear hubby got his elk! And we spent an entire day cutting and wrapping meat with my in-laws! I'm pretty sure that there was an extra hindquarter in there, but hubby says that no, he did not shoot a 5 legged animal! Hmmm...Thanksgiving brought Kelsie and her family here for a 5 day visit. We enjoyed just hanging out, watching movies and eating more than we should have! Nana ended up with bursitis in her shoulder from packing Madison around...and would do it again in a heartbeat!
December...We got our first snowfall, enjoyed Christmas with electricity, and gained the "holiday 5", just reading everyone else's recipes! Our first grandson was born on December 21, on the east coast, amid 2 days of pacing and prayers on the west coast. My 2 college children got their first grades, Melissa with 2 A's and a B+, and Cody with a B and a pass for keyboarding. Yep, I'm proud.
Here's to more blessings in 2010!