Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! We have been overly blessed in 2014. Words can not express our gratitude to our Lord and Savior for all the ways He has blessed us this year and we can't wait to see what 2015 brings us.
Jason has just celebrated his one year anniversary as Student Pastor at Pinelake. He has grown so much, adjusting to a large church, learning from leadership, leading his own team and watching students' lives change. He attended the Passion conference in Atlanta with our college students in January and then left from there to go to Ethiopia. He took the middle school to Memphis and the high school to St. Louis, which was craziness with that many students. And the middle school camp, high school camp, and every Sunday and Wednesday night student services. He's been busy! But loving every minute! We had his staff over for Christmas and they spent some time reminiscing about the lives they saw changed this year. Pinelake is all about life change, and we are honored to be a small part of it.
On the same note, I was beyond grateful and excited to be asked to join the Pinelake staff in June as the Director of Childcare and Mother's Morning Out. It is my dream job and I know this is exactly what the Lord created me for. Its perfect for my family too, working 20 hours a week, so I can still be available to pick up the kids from school and get them where they need to be. And I can somewhat keep up with the house too. I love being on staff with my husband. The other people make fun of us though because you will rarely see us together. We're too busy with our own stuff! We don't even sit together at staff meetings. I am loving getting to know my teachers, families and sweet children. There is much to do and that makes me excited to get up in the morning.
I am also still working for Trades of Hope, offering fair trade accessories that help artisans around the world get out of the sex trade, poverty and sweat shops. I've been with them 2 1/2 years, and basically had to start over with the move, but my team has exploded in the last few months and I'm excited to see what 2015 will bring. I even have an ad HERE! I'm praying for the Lord to bless it. I'll be heading to FL in a few weeks for our annual retreat and can't wait to be inspired to continue to grow my business.
Cooper is in 7th grade and just turned 13 last week. How did that happen? I cannot believe I have a teenager! Crazy. He played on two baseball teams in the spring, played soccer in the fall, and is playing basketball now. He has joined a new select baseball team for this year, so we are excited to get to know these families and see how far we can go. He is planning on trying out for the middle school team in the spring, and is very hopeful. He plays trombone in the band and made the Academic Quiz Bowl Team. Yes, he's very smart. He's loving being a part of his daddy's middle school ministry. He's a really cool kid!
Cade is 10, 5th grade. He has a man teacher this year for home room and LOVES him. He makes up competitions in this classroom for learning and of course, my competitive kid eats that up! He's doing much better in school starting from the first day instead of coming mid year. He's my relational kid, and starting mid year last year was harder on him then we thought. He's much happier now. He also played two baseball teams in the spring, soccer in the fall, and is playing on two basketball teams right now. He's on a select baseball team, but is really enjoying basketball right now. He will blow you away on the court. He was elected to the school's Student Council, had to campaign and everything. And that allowed him to ride on the school's float during the Homecoming parade. So fun!
Campbell is 6, 1st grade. What can I say about Campbell? He's funny, crazy, frustrating, a debater and an instigator. But just when you are mad at him, he says something funny and you can't help but laugh. Last spring he got in trouble in school all the time, but this fall, he was the first to make the All Star wall with 10 pinks for good behavior. He played baseball in spring, tackle football in the fall (which I don't think we will do again) and basketball now.
People ask me how we handle all these sports. 1. We don't know any different. 2. I have a color coded calendar. 3. On days when we don't have anything, we are bored, and they are running around the house like crazies tearing up stuff. We need sports!
We have a new addition to our family this year. We brought our new schnauzer puppy, Sadie, into our family in October and it feels like she's been here forever. I was scared to get a new dog, but she has been a perfect fit for us. Still working on potty training, but every day gets better. If it would just stop raining we could probably get there. Cade and I are currently taking her to a puppy training class on Saturdays and we are pleased at her progress. She's very smart! But I've never had a dog before that we had to groom, and I am getting very picky about who I take my baby to. I'm not really pleased with anyone so far.
So that's our crazy, busy, wonderful life! We are so thankful for all that God has allowed us to experience this year. I think its almost been the best year of our lives, and that's a big statement! I put this verse on the back of our Christmas card, and its so true for us. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21. God is good! We hope you are experiencing His goodness too!