Wow–only a few more days of 2006! It sure is hard to believe that this year is almost over. I started out the year with reading through the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I love those stories. Once again I was convicted and inspired by Father Tim’s devotion to reading the Scripture every morning and got pretty consistent with waking up every morning to read the Bible and pray (until the baby was born!) I started reading through whole books of the Bible and discovered a few that I really need to study, and not just read–Judges, Isaiah and Romans. One book that I really enjoyed that I had never read all the way through was Deuteronomy.
Our biggest event of 2006, by far, was the birth of our 5th child. The little guy was born on October 11 and is doing so well. The other kids, who are now 6, 4, 3 and 21 months are also adjusting quite well. I’m adjusting pretty well, too! It’s just always amazing how much time the little ones take. Now that I have finally accepted that fact, I am far less frustrated about not being able to get to my own "projects." (See this earlier post.)
My oldest is officially "kindergarten" age this year. Our homeschooling philosophy is such that we don’t feel constrained by the labels and by what the state schools have said that each grade entails. See this earlier post to see what we focus on in our schooling. The most amazing thing to me lately is to look over and see him sitting on the couch reading a book to himself! It’s so exciting! I’m really looking forward to continuing our adventures.
The biggest miracle event of the year was what happened with my mom. (See this post.) She survived a bleeding aneurysm and is doing quite well. She is still recovering and won’t be back at work for a while still, but it’s amazing that she will be able to return to work at all! The Lord is good.
My husband was able to do some new things with his sons this year, notably camping (see this post) and golfing. Our oldest even went out with him for a full 4 1/2 golf game! Another thing they did was to build a wooden chest together. It looks like a pirate’s treasure chest (inspired by Treasure Island). They also spent quite a bit of time gardening. (See this post.)
Our oldest is also improving in his violin playing. He played at two events (he loves to perform!)–at an Easter and Christmas party. The other two have said they’d like to play, too. So, maybe someday we’ll have a full string quartet!
In thinking about what to write for this letter, I realized that a lot of what’s going on in our lives is the same as in past years. My husband is still working at the same place and involved in Bible Study Fellowship (www.bsfinternational.org) as a children’s leader. We still have our Small Group meeting at our house twice a month. I still teach Musikgarten (www.genasmusikgarten.com) and voice lessons. With the kids, we did a session of gymnastics and a couple of sessions of swim lessons–nothing too overwhelming.
But we did have a few new things happen. We got a Swing Set for the backyard. Yeah! The kids had a lot of fun playing out there. And we enjoyed inviting others over to join us, too. One thing I did was have a Homeschooling Moms book club this summer. We studied Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell. I also took the kids on a few field trips this summer. I have to have a babysitter join us, as it’s too many young ones for me to handle by myself in those kinds of places. We went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Racine Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum and some other places.
In reflecting on my goals for next year, it seems that we won’t change much, just continue teaching and training the children and growing closer to the Lord myself. One exciting thing to be watching for: I think I have finally talked my husband into posting some of his thoughts here, so check back. I also hope to start blogging more often myself.
Have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas and may the Lord richly bless you in 2007!