Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Christmas Post

For the next month this post will appear at the top of my blog.  Scroll down to see new posts.

Is 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Merry Christmas From the Hardackers!

It has been a Topsy


Upside down kind of year at our house

We have gone from a one income, mom at home family to a 2 income dad in school kind of family.  We have set a long term goal, have a vision and are taking action.  Because we are DOERS!  And we are doing it!

The year started out with us living our regular life. 

So we spent a lot of time driving all over the twin cities in the early winter dark to find various high schools and watch our son wrestleAnd we are back at it again this year, loving that Jake has found a sport he is so passionate about.

Isabelle turned 6 years old and John made yet another fun cake for our little artist.

My dad injured his back while in Florida and had to fly home so Isabelle and I flew down to drive home with my mom.  But not before spending a few days soaking up the PERFECT weather they were having down there and getting in Isabelle's first trip to the beach.  (A trip I am no longer free to make on a whim so my parents better stay healthy this year!)

Just as I am about to launch into a full time job I have a not so brilliant idea to plant a garden for the first time ever.  It didn't turn out well but the kids had fun watching all the ants run around after lifting up the board I had used to kill all the grass.

I have spent this first 6 months of working "releasing".  I have released myself from many outside commitments as well as releasing myself from expectations I have for myself and ideas I wanted to implement.  It has been challenging but God has taken care of all of us along the way.

John had some time this summer at home before he started school and spent a day starting the tree house I had wanted to build this summer before I learned I would be working.  He rocks.

Jake turned 17 in June a month after I started working.  I was exhausted but late one night we still made the birthday poster happen.  Proud of him and the godly young man he is becoming.

This summer Isabelle was also learning to adjust to my working and the schedule of sitters.  We cried together alot but in the end she had a great summer.  One week she went to camp at the YMCA and loved every minute of it.  A definite repeat for next summer.  Here she is wearing a the t-shirt they made and warrior face paint.

At last the day had come, first day of school for John and Jake.  Jake is doing PSEO for his senior year of high school which means he is taking classes at the same community college John is attending and receiving both high school and college credits.  He will graduate from high school and finish his freshman year of college at the same time.  Year one of college paid for.  Check.

I have loved seeing John and Jake studying together.  So proud of them both.  John was concerned about going back to school after so many years but he is doing great and enjoyed his classes this first semester.  He is now 1/4 of the way through the first 2 years of his 6 years of school.  (We have broken this journey into 3 mental parts, makes it seem a little less daunting.)

Then Isabelle started 1st grade!  She loves her teacher, tells us she is the best 1st grade teacher in the school, and is having lots of fun.  She loves art and music class, no surprise there.  When did our sweet baby turn into this sweet girl?

Of course Jake worked at the Renaissance Festival again.  He now owns a kilt and really looked the part this year.

I love that he has a job where we can go watch him work and it isn't weird when I pull out a camera.  He really is a pro at hawking and he loves it.

Jake also had the opportunity to go to Panama this year with our church youth group working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM).  It was a great trip for him getting the opportunity to share Christ with teens down there in local high schools and come to appreciate that people all over the world worship the same God who is at work in all our lives.  The group acted out a drama without any words and Jake played the roll of Jesus.  They did it for our church when they returned.  It was very powerful.  Here he is sharing his testimony.

The youth group guys.

And then this fall as the weather was getting cooler, John finished up the tree house.  We all love it.  Isabelle even went out there one day when she was mad at me to get away.  We didn't get in a tea party up there before it snowed but I see several in our future for next summer.

Isabelle's exciting news of the year was that she became a big sister!  Her birth parents had a little girl the end of October named Scarlet.  We went to a little baby shower before she was born and Isabelle was excited to show off the tutu she chose for her.

Unfortunately they moved to Japan with the military shortly before Scarlet was born so she will be over a year old before we are likely to see her in person.  However, modern technology is our lifeline so we got to meet her on skype and Isabelle and her sister got their first picture together.

As Isabelle would say, "isn't she cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

While this was a topsy, turvy, upside down kind of year we still managed to have fun, keep our family prioritized and rely on God to take care of us as he leads us on this crazy, fun, exciting new adventure in our life.


Can't wait to see what 2012 has for us!

 Ps 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."


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