Looking back, looking forward

We had a lovely Christmas with our family.  With more of our kids growing up and getting married, I’m thankful for each time that we’re all able to get together.  Here are a few of the pictures we took.  Light was dim, so there’s lots of blur, but the people are cute anyway. You should be able to click on photos to enlarge them. We’ve had some hard times this year, but we are so blessed by all the precious people in our lives.

John and I are looking forward to some exciting things in the future as well.  Our oldest daughter Amanda and her husband Ben are expecting their third baby in April. (They’re the ones in the ‘I Spy’ picture above.)  Lidya will be graduating from the dental assisting program in May.  Our oldest son is getting married in July!  We also have several trips planned this next year, including some time on the beach, and hopefully a homeland trip to Ethiopia this summer with four of our daughters.  What an adventure!

To help fund that trip, for the first time in many years I’ve applied to work as a nurse again at a local hospital.  Some of you may remember I was an OB nurse for 9 years.  That’s what I’m hoping to do again– just 4 or 5 night shifts a month, so I’ll still be home most of the time. Kind of crazy to think of working outside the home again.  The last time I worked was in 1998, just before Josh arrived, so it’ll be a job to catch up on the new technology.  But it will be a nice boost to our income, and to tell the truth, I’m excited.  I love helping women in labor and those first hours after birth.

On the blog/writing front, as I mentioned (I think) last year, I’m working on a couple of e-books. My homeschooling e-book is 80% complete and should be available on Amazon by the end of January.  I’m also putting together a supplemental planner for Family Feasts for $75 a Week
with a focus on affordable gluten free food — grocery lists, recipes, and everything else you need to plan gluten free menus a week at a time. I’m excited about that project and will keep you posted!

Do keep praying for my friend Lisa who lost her daughter Kalkidan in a car accident. Lisa broke her hip and suffered nerve damage in the accident, and their van was wrecked.  If you’re inclined to support them, there’s a fund to help with their expenses.  Money won’t heal their hearts, of course, but it is nice to think of easing their financial burdens at least a little.

Tonight some of us are going to a New Year’s Eve party at church, and others of us will be staying home– we’ve got colds running around the house, and not all of us are up to partying late.  I already took down the Christmas tree but the twinkle lights are still up and we won’t start school again til the week after next–so we will hang onto Christmas break for another week or so.

Do you have interesting plans for the new year?  I’d love to hear them.  Thanks as always for visiting me here.  And if you’re interested in getting a newsletter with more details about coming projects, just sign up in the sidebar on the right side.

Happy New Year!


  1. Congratulations on your growing family and exciting plans for the new year It sounds like you will be busy!

    My big plans are primarily fixing up our house (paint, windows, carpet), continuing home school for the three younger kids, and quitting my job as a nurse. (Kind of the opposite of what you are doing. I have been an RN since 1995. Primarily in OB/NICU. I have been strictly NICU for the last nearly 11 years. I loved my OB/mother baby time, though. The biggest changes for you will probably be in computerized charting and some technology. I don’t know what kind of community that you live in, but you may experience a bit of a culture shock with how few parents are married (to each other) and the general attitude of the younger generation. I have met and worked with some amazing people over the years, but the weirdos just keep getting weirder. Best of wishes for your plans, though.)

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. Happy New Year! I just wanted to tell you I am enjoying your book “Forever Mom” and will recommend it to others. You used a quote by my son, Ryland, in it so I wanted to have a copy, but I am also really enjoying reading the story of how all your adoptions came about and your perspective years later. Many blessing to your growing family this year!

    As for us, we will be married 25 years this summer, so we are thinking about celebrating with a trip (or 2). Our youngest bio daughter will graduate from high school, leaving just our 10 year old as my only home school student. The oldest girl and boy (19 and 22) will continue to grow our family business (coffee roasting) and pursue their creative endeavours. This year I am praying for guidance for them in careers, ministry and future spouses. I am especially praying for my youngest to continue to become more secure and for his reading skills as he has a long way to go. I am thankful for God’s faithfulness, new every morning.

    • Thanks for allowing me to use Ryland’s words. I really appreciated the broader viewpoint that the quotes from various people gave to the book.

  3. Happy New Year! Thank you for continuing to share your beautiful family with the rest of us. It is wonderful to see how they’ve grown over the years. Your writing, books and blogs, continues to be an inspiration to many. Blessings as you find your way back into your nursing life. It should be exciting and fun to take on a new challenge!

  4. Wow, that wasn’t news I was expecting to hear until all your kids were grown. I hope that works out well for you. Wait a minute, you have one daughter expecting but not the other one? I thought they had a pact to do it together every time! LOL.