Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Highlights from 2008

1. On June 16th, my husband started his new job as an assistant city engineer.

2. We have made quite a leap this leap year.  We sold our house in July; after living in the same area for about 12 years, we relocated to a new city to be closer to my husband’s workplace.  We moved into our current home on July 31st.

3. We had always wanted to live in the country; the dream finally came true.  We bought two goats (a Nubian and a LaMancha) to be our pets and our lawnmowers.

4. Both my husband and I turned 40!  My birthday this year was an unforgettable one.

5. Our niece gave birth to a baby boy on Nov. 6th.  His name is Javari.  He is so adorable!

6. Our daughter, Alyssa, has been a contributor at Growing in Grace (free online Christian magazine for ladies) since February.

7. Both Alyssa and I have become book reviewers for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

8. Some of our cool outings/field trips include: Seaside/Cannon Beach, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Champoeg State Park, Do Hard Things conference, and the Oregon Zoo.

9. Our region broke a 40 year old record of snowfall this month.  We took advantage of that by sledding to the max.  I shared some of the pictures here.

10. I enjoy staying in touch with family, reconnecting with old friends, and getting to know new friends via Facebook.  I’m "Fruit Bearer" on there.

I am in awe once again at the Lord’s grace and mercy!  We are very thankful for all His blessings, including surprises and changes :).  We are glad that the Lord continues to use us and our home to reach out to the international students with Christ’s love.  In our new/current city, God also put us near a university just like our previous house.  I would also like to share about two incredible answered prayers that I have not blogged about yet.  

#1.  One day in June, we went to different places including a farmer’s market and Goodwill.  At home that evening, my heart sank when I realized that I lost my amethyst ring that my husband gave me as an anniversary gift.  I remembered having it on my finger that morning but then had no idea when I might have dropped it.  It could be anywhere…at the farmer’s market…or…we were afraid it could have fallen into one of the bags (filled with stuff) we donated to Goodwill.  We called Goodwill and asked them to notify us if they found it.  We looked all over the house and the garage (I spent some time in the garage packing…getting ready to move).  We prayed and prayed.  I hoped and prayed that someone in need would find it (he/she could sell it and use money to buy food) if it’s not to be found by us.  That night I kissed my husband goodnight and then went to the garage to pack some more.  As I opened the door to the garage, I looked down and saw my amethyst ring on the floor!  I thanked the Lord and then ran upstairs screaming with elation…letting my husband know that the Lord led me to find it. 

#2. A few months ago, we were shocked that our water bill was more than $200.  We knew we must have had a leak somewhere (underground)…but where?  It would cost a lot to have someone come out here to locate the leak and then to fix it.  We prayed and asked the Lord to show us where the leak was and what we should do.  The first spot that the Lord led my husband to dig was where the leak was!  Praise God!  My husband was able to fix it and our water bill has been back to normal. 

Isn’t the Lord so awesome?!!!  I am excited about a new year of living for Him, living in the light of eternity, serving Him, and sharing His love.  To God alone be all the glory!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 12, 2008

Yesterday was my 40th birthday.  I had a wonderful, relaxing day filled with love (and chocolates, too :) ).  I received lots of hugs and kisses.  Several friends on Facebook and the Homeschool Lounge left me sweet birthday greetings.  My 10 year old son played Chinese checkers, Mancala, and Battle ship with me.  My 7 year old son nibbled a piece of ham into a heart shape for me (isn’t that sweet?)  PhotobucketMy daughter made me this beautiful ring. Photobucket My sweetheart gave me a gorgeous heart-shaped blue topaz pendant on a white gold necklace.  I love heart-shaped stuff :) .  In the evening, we (the whole family) went to see A Christmas Carol (with a twist) performed by the international students at George Fox University’s English Language Institute.  Some of our Taiwanese friends were part of the cast.  I enjoyed singing the Christmas songs they sang between scenes.  We sang God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, The First Noel, Angels From the Realms of Glory, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Away in a Manger, Silent Night!  Holy Night!, O Little Town of Bethlehem, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, What Child is This?, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, O Come, All Ye Faithful, Angels We Have Heard on High.  We all had a great time. 

I (okay not only for me) also was blessed to see the brightest, biggest moon of the year on my birthday :)Photobucket
Photobucket However, the more significant blessing to me was that the Lord kept my husband safe.  Yesterday around 5:30 p.m., a bomb exploded in the city where he works.  In fact, he was only 1 mile away when it happened.  The sad thing is: the city’s police chief whom my husband personally knows got hurt and is in critical condition; two police officers died…the wife of one works with my husband.  Their families and the police chief are in our thoughts and prayers.  This birthday is certainly an unforgettable one.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Does Your Family Keep a CHRIST-centered CHRISTmas?

The Homeschool Lounge is having a weekly theme/giveaway each week this month.  Week 1 (Dec. 1st to Dec. 5th)’s theme/question is:  In this day of over commercialism, how does your family keep a meaningful and Christ-centered Christmas?

We strive to live a Christ-centered life everyday.  Our children see how we live…living simply for God…each day, not just at Christmastime.  Thankfully, commercialism does not affect our family.  Our children do not ask for presents…never make any wish list.  They are grateful for whatever gifts they receive.  They know Christ, the Heart of Christmas…who gives us the greatest gift of all–the gift of salvation!

We focus on giving, rather than receiving.  Two years ago, I wrote a post titled, "It is more blessed to give than to receive!"  Please click on that to see ideas for giving.  Our family enjoys shopping for those in need and for things that transform lives like Bibles, Gospel tracts (Did you know that you can buy 200 tracts for only $1?), etc.  If you are looking for ways to spread the Gospel, share God’s love, and change lives for eternity, please visit http://www.gfa.org/giftOn Christmas Day, our children each give Jesus a present.  If you would like to know more about this Christmas tradition of ours, please go here.  And the post titled, "Let’s Celebrate" is where you can read more about how we usually celebrate Christ’s birth.

May Jesus Christ be the center in our hearts and our homes this CHRISTmas and always!