Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

As I look back at this past year I see the Lord's hand. As the new year started Greg was unemployed, sick and generally not doing well, which affects the whole family. Sometime in January we found out Greg needed Thyroid medication and within 4 days he had what appeared to be a miraculous turn around physically and mentally. With this change he was able to start looking for a job again.

Also, about the time that Greg started feeling better we visited a church which has now become our new church home. We know this is where the Lord has lead us. The kids are loving it and have made friends.

Caleb is being able to use his talents with the computer and sound equipment. Josh has been using his artistic talent to bless people with portraits of themselves. The little ones (who really aren't so little anymore) have fit in and found friends. Most of all though, Greg finally feels better which has enabled him to meet some men and have fellowship that he was not able to do for many years.

As for myself, I had the wonderful opportunity to share my life's story at our women's retreat in November. I had the most fun writing it up and being able to share it. I have not stood up in public like this in over 20 brought back memories of doing this in college. My biggest problem was condensing it to only 45 min. This was proably the biggest blessing I have had in many years.

As time went by this year and Greg was feeling better....we were still watching the Lord provide as there was still no employment. I still can hardly comprehend God's mercy and grace that He bestowed upon us and continues to. At one point we were again running out of money and God moved in someones' heart and we recieved a check for $5000.

The next time we started running out of money God supplied on a daily basis (which was a very good way to get our pantry cleaned out of all that stuff sitting in there no one would eat, until that was all we had!) The Lord opened the door for a job in Norman for Greg in April. He also has found a really good friend (who, by the way, was the one who told him about the job) Greg meets with him every Monday morning before work. This has been such an encouragement to him.

I will have another post telling you about Greg's job. He really likes it. It has been a total change of work. Programming is now a thing of the past for him. We are still unable to met our financial obligations on our own....making our faith in the Lord continue to be made stronger. Over and over God continues to provide. Hopefully, one day I will really not stress out over it and trust Him with every detail of our lives.

One of the many ways He has shown us his provisions was in the fall, we recieved a letter stating that Caleb was a National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalist. We have done all we need to at this point and we are waiting until Febuary to find out if he becomes a finalist. What this means is his college will be paid for!

Caleb has applied at OU and plans to major in Computer Engineering. This year he has and is taking classes at a 2 year college. We just got his first "college" grades and he has a 4.0. He took Calculus and Freshman English.

Josh continues to imporve his art work. I am amazed at the beautiful portraits he has done. Maybe if I can figure out how to do it, I will put some on this blog. Josh is doing well in 9th grade this year. I can hardly believe he is in high school. He was in our homeschool talent show a few weeks ago and did his juggling act which he had not done in awhile but was able to pick it up and did very well.

Abi is in 7th grade this year. She expressed the desire to go to "real" school this year....( Homeschool is "fake" school! :) ) We made the decision to stay home but try to get her more involved with other kids. She is in a homeschool choir and PE class. A couple of days ago we had a sleepover with 7 little girls and they had a wonderful time and woke up with snow on the ground. Abi tells me they stayed awake until 6am. Abi is still recuperating! She was the last one to fall asleep.

We are still working on some issues with Esther physically. We will be starting Physical Theraphy with her in January. She has loose ligaments (probably due to Celiacs) and is now wearing ankle splints with keeps her out of pain. When she feels good she is really sweet but we have many days when she doesn't feel well. She already has osteoprosis which we found out this fall so we are working hard to build up her bones by taking more calcium. She has really been through a lot.

Elijah is doing great! He has put on quite a bit of weight since starting the gfcf diet. I can't believe it. He was just skin and bones before the diet. He has gained 30 lbs. plus gotten taller. Now he really looks like his daddy! He is doing Bob Jones HomeSat program for school and loves it! He keeps me laughing! He also says he is never going to leave home and take care of us when we are old!

We are starting our 3rd year of the gfcf diet and are reaping the benefits it has made in our lives! I just wish I had known we needed this sooner, again the Lord is in control.

The Lord has blessed me with some very wonderful friends here in Norman that I wish I could tell you all about but I can't. I feel so fortunate to have these people in my life....I spent many years feeling very alone here.

As we celebrate this Christmas season I pray you, too, will reflect on what God has done this year. He is the Solid Rock....the One on which I stand....our One and Only Hope! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Can I do this?

Okay....maybe if my kids can do this I can. This will be my first attempt without the help of Caleb to do something like this.