Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 Christmas letter

Merry Christmas! We’re SO blessed to be home to spend the holidays with family again this year!  Every year, God continues to lead us to a variety of places to serve.
Home for the first 8 months of 2017, we returned to group classes at our local YMCA (sore muscles!), planted our vegetable garden, got more involved at church, and got some projects done at home. In April, we took a road trip to visit Dan’s cousins in Louisiana, to shop at Magnolia in Waco (TX), and to see Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK. In September, we took a 10-week volunteer assignment in our denominations Eurasia Regional Office in Büsingen, Germany.  That resulted in our being asked to join that team in a longer-term commitment on a 3-months-in-country, 3-months-at-home schedule for 2018 and maybe 2019. (See the previous post for details) Home for now, we are certainly looking forward to Christmas at home with our local family and friends.

Family news…
This past year Dan marked another decade of life and the family surprised him by all showing up for the celebration.

Marcy is a local police officer in Fairhaven, MA. Husband John is still with Samsonite. Megan is in grad school at Simmons College in Boston, working on a masters program in social work. Morgan is a senior at Curry College near Boston, majoring in Nursing. Both girls will graduate in May 2018! Tucker is a high school freshman enjoying life with both sisters away at school.
Monica is enjoying her hospital CPA job, now in St. Louis City. Dylan is a sophomore and Caitlyn is a senior at Belleville East High School. Monica has spent lots of time training and ran 3 marathons this year! Dylan is on the high school cross-country team. We love attending Caitlyn’s madrigal concerts and Monica’s church choir Christmas concert.
Derick travels all over the U.S. with a variety of jobs, all involving climbing and tall structures! We so enjoy all the Facebook photos of Derick’s daughter Tessie who lives in Pennsylvania with her daughter Tatum (age 3 ½).
Darin still lives in Raleigh, NC, where he works to fund his passion for building custom motorcycles in his off-hours.
Adam does computer work. He and fiancée Dana Anderson (she works for Caterpillar) live in Peoria, IL.
Erica is enjoying a new Chef Manager position after 11 years with Lutheran Senior Services. She loves her cute apartment in St. Louis with her cats. When she’s not working, her newest passion is fostering kittens. Thankfully, she still enjoys spending time with her mom shopping or cooking.
God continues to provide rich experiences and wonderful people to work with in our retirement from paid careers. Along this pathway, there are a couple of important things we continue to learn (or relearn):
-  The special, never-ending value of family and friends like you. We are truly blessed with your ongoing friendship, prayers, and support as we follow His leading. We so appreciate being able to keep in touch electronically when we can’t be with you in person!
-  “God’s Retirement Plan” is WAY better than any we might have ever dreamed of! He is keeping us active, useful, challenged, excited, and growing (see Romans 8:14-15 in The Message).

May your Christmas season be blessed and your New Year filled with joy!

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