Merry Christmas! This year we are sharing our year photo-style. As I look through the below photos of fun, travel, and memories, I am reminded that yes we've been busy but there is so much more living that goes on between the posed and candid shots. There are moments gathered around the dinner table discussing our day. There are moments of instruction as we try to diligently teach our children to obey God and love others well. There are discussions on life, people, world tragedy and God's power through it all. There are Sundays and Wednesdays gathered in our church building with people striving to be Christ followers. There are drop-in visits with laughter and story telling in our Tennessee room. There are many moments gathered around out kitchen island where it seems we can talk, listen, and solve most any problem. There are memories made in the back yard, chores done to maintain a home, hours of homework and school projects. There are visits on our front porch, sharing, encouraging, and seeking Christ. So while we are thankful for all the special memories shared below, we also know that life is made of fun, work, challenges, adjustments, learning, and all the moments in between. Treasure the big moments and the little ones.
Here's just a few of ours......
Snow is fun for all 3!
Our makeshift east TN sled
Happy Chinese New Year!
Mommy/Brooky date to the ballet
Egg hunt with Brooklyn's class
Church egg hunt
Swinging with Great Grandpa
A great family getaway
We have a new ball player in the family!
We enjoyed plenty of family time on the lake.
Field Day 2015
Our kindergarten graduate
Family Day 2015!
Birthday girl turns 6 with a new desk for crafting.
One of our favorite pastimes: neighbor time on the front porch.
Resting after her broken wrist repair
Everyone's excited, Dad caught a fish!
Family selfie with the waterfall
We love to camp!
Our oldest turns 10!
Lots of swim time.
Our little turned 3....and enjoyed the gift of $$!
Canoeing on our family camping trip.
Summer trip: Kansas City Royals game
Family Day at the Omaha Zoo
Cousin time. precious.
College World Series game
Summer family trip with a stop at the Arch
Summer ends. School starts.
Our fifth grader, first grader & 3 year old.
An anniversary getaway. Sweet Sixteen.
Go Cyclones! Enjoying our new stadium.
Race for Wandell 2015.
Brilee's TV interview
Brothers for life.
Writer's Celebration in Brooklyn's class:
she shared a beautiful writing about the day she met her little brother.
We swam a lot!
These kids. We spent a day at a park
and they were thrilled to discover buckeyes.
So thankful for these 3 we've been entrusted with.
Homecoming week: Favorite Disney character
Our lil pirates
Field trip fun!
Milligan's Homecoming.....Go Buffs!
Trunk-or-Treat....to infinity & beyond!
A superhero and a princess :)
Brooklyn's Wizard of Oz musical
Lighting of the town Christmas tree
(Brilee's fifth grade class sang.)
Thanksgiving at Grandpa & Grandma's...
enjoying the new slide!
Brooklyn's first UT game....go VOLS!
An annual tradition at the Christmas tree farm
As we think back on 2015 it was clearly a great year....so much fun, so much learning. But also many new challenges. Most days we find ourselves feeling completely inadequate to meet our responsibilities' needs. We are not capable to guide three children, to teach a large group of teenagers, to lead an eager group of students and staff, to care for the sick, or to love others but that is when a promise from 2 Corinthians becomes evident in our lives.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9
We are so thankful for God's strength, wisdom, and grace. We are grateful for new daily mercies. That is what we are leaning on. HIM. And it is because of Him, we celebrate this special season. It is because of Him, we have joy, peace among turmoil, and hope for the future.
My hope for you is that you find those quiet moments to celebrate and welcome the coming King. As we prepare to celebrate our Savior's birth, so many distractions are surrounding us. We can often make Christmas about gifts, gatherings, programs, parties, crafts and so much more but really the message of the manger is simple. Christ has come. He has come for you and for me. And he is coming again. Praise HIM!!! This simple promise gets me excited and helps to keep the peace and joy in my heart. May you enjoy resting in His promises.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!