Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 A Year in Review in pictures

We had a blessed and totally unexpected year this year.  If you had asked us in January if we would move this year, we would have said, "Absolutely not!"  We were happy and content with the old place.  But God has his way of moving one along at the right time. We have been so blessed!!

JoAn spent the year working as a mother's helper for a family.  They have a delightful set of twins and four young girls.  Michelle works part time for them doing house cleaning.  

This year the Boss and I attained a half century of living.  We have arrived relatively intact and healthy for which we praise God.  

The children arranged a surprise birthday party for us, halfway between our two birthdays.  They managed to pull off a true surprise!  

They made a superlative meal and dressed up as the servers.  It was such a lovely time.  Michelle was the driving force and definitely has a future as a party planner if she wanted to.

To further celebrate, my DH and I went to AZ and NM to visit relatives and do some sightseeing.  We were really glad to see my DH's parents and his sister's family whom they live with.  It  was a wonderful trip and the first time we had been away without the kids for more than an overnight in about 23 years.  IT definitely was time!

Our family continued in Speech and Debate.  It was a great year!  In the final tournament, Thomas and his partner won the debate competition.  He also came in second place in Prose interpretation.  He is becoming an accomplished speaker.  T-Bob won first place in the JV Great Speeches in the last tournament as well.   We are looking forward to another year in speech and debate.

We were delighted to have my niece visit the family from Boston.  We did the annual cousin line-up while she was there.  There are 2 missing from the picture.  One has grown up and moved away and the other (Sadie) was sick.  It is neat to see the children growing up together.

This year T-Bob turned 13.  He was happy to be able to share his birthday with his cousin Katrina.  They are close in age and close friends They had a great time celebrating together.  

Paul with the C3 team
This summer Paul went with an evangelistic team  up to Canada.  They worked with different churches doing outreach into the community.  He had a wonderful time and really grew up a lot.  It has been so nice to have him back home though.  He is a hardworking young man!  He is planning to go to a local community college this spring. 

In June it was with sadness and rejoicing that we sent off my sister's family back to the Philippines.  Sadness because we miss them a lot, but rejoicing that they are where God wants them.  There were a lot of tears as they left.  We sure do miss them.  Especially at the holidays!

We had the fun experience of having the National Senior Games in Cleveland.  My husband's cousin's in-laws were participating and came and stayed with us.  We had a great time getting to know them!  They competed in horseshoes, tennis and table tennis in the 80-84 division.  They won several awards and medals.  It was fun to learn that Mr. Stadem had actually been in the same graduating class at the same school as my mother-in-law. Small world!

In August, we bought the farm.  What a great way to celebrate our 25th anniversary!  It has meant a huge amount of work for my DH!  He had to get the farm ready to be moved into and he then has to get the old house ready to sell.  This has been a huge project and has involved him working 70-80 hours per week!  He can't wait to be done and able to stay home and enjoy the farm!

We did manage to get away for a short week for a Family Bible conference. This is something that we have done for the last 5 years for a family vacation.  The downside was that it was not as restful as it usually is.  We spent the time on the phone and texting and faxing in the process of negotiating and finalizing the farm purchase.  We actually had to come home a day early so that we could get a loan in process before the weekend was over.  It was very rushed as the seller was in a hurry to be done with the selling process.  It was the  estate of his step-mother-in-law.  We were just blessed to have it all work out.  It was definitely a God thing.

In September, Elizabeth and I got to spend a day together at the Detroit Zoo.  We had such a nice time.  I really enjoy her a lot.  She is very sweet and is growing up so well.

We moved to the farm at the end of October.  It has been so peaceful!  I know we are still in the 'honeymoon' stage, but it feels like  we are living on vacation.  The children have room to run.  There are things to do outside and they are definitely spending less time on the computer.  It is a nice change from the city farmhouse!

This is something I never thought I would see!  My husband in a field of crops on property that we own!  He was raised a total city boy!  He was never open to thinking about moving anywhere but closer to the city,  I am still not sure what changed, but whatever it was, I am really grateful for it.  He is really enjoying it also.  He has a  great time driving the ATV through the fields and doing things with the kids.  We are looking forward to having the other house sold.

In November, we brought the chickens home to roost.  They are loving farm life as well.  I get real joy in seeing them wandering around the back yard.

A first for our family, is having someone play on a sports team.  T-Bob is playing on a local junior high basketball team.  Thomas goes along and participates in practices also.  T-Bob has been a starter and is becoming a good defensive player.  Both boys have been spending a lot of time practicing at home.

This year Michelle started a bow making business.  It has been off to a slow start but as more people learn of it, she anticipates it growing.

Reagan and Car

We have enjoyed living closer to my brother and his family.  They are country neighbors.  He is the one who found this farm for us.  It is really nice to spend more time with them and their family!

From our family to yours, Have a wonderful and Blessed New Year!!!

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