Monday, January 12, 2015

a new year letter

a beautiful 6 inches of snow is piled up on our patio furniture and our retaining wall, and the trees, oh my word, the trees.  they are heavy and white and it is, in every real way, a winter wonderland.  i am awed by this and in love with this.  when there is snow on the ground, my heart feels just a bit lighter.

i have gone through ALL of last years posts, it's tradition you know.  it does something to my soul, this looking back.  i am reminded of beautiful moments, of hard moments, of sickness and loneliness, of vacations and friendships.  and the way God is in it all and how there is this certain deep joy in the ebb and flow of life.  a joy that knows and is assured that He is using each moment, not a one is wasted.  He is making us new in the good and in the hard.  it almost feels like magic the way He can use failures and frustrations and sadness to make room for TRUE joy in us.  i'm so in love with God because of this sneaky little trick.

this is ian in january of last year.  i love this picture of my sweet three year old boy with his tegu blocks and the streaming sunlight.

a lovely winter homeschool day.  we studied coal all day during our five in a row week on "the rag coat".

avery's knitting phase and ashton begining to read.

a favorite reading picture from last winter.

a spring ski trip with some of our life long friends, the haags.  i'm thrilled that we are planning another one for this spring, making it a real possibility that we will be skiing with these people every spring for forever.

last march we raised over 7,000 dollars for diana in her efforts in well rehabilitation.  now, THAT was amazing. and having my house full of these beautiful women and their children makes my heart all content just looking at the picture!

logan and jami's wedding!  hoorah!

i LOVE this pic of my beautiful model children getting ready for gg elaine's tea party.

this picture brings back some not so fun memories.  ian took this of me in a dentist chair.
if i wasn't in a flu/sinus infection fog last feb/march, i was in a dentist chair.  let's just say homeschooling was a bit much during those months.  i feel well prepared heading into those months this year.  i have essential oils and a humidifier and a fresh batch of elderberry syrup that i'm making every one drink every day.

my beautiful ashton had her 5th birthday.

ashton got this movie for her birthday and lots of last winter was spent being serenaded with frozen songs.

avery's easter performance for Dance for Jesus.

my easter cuties.  judging from the photo, we had beautiful easter weather!

gg velma's birthday tea party.

avery turns 7! oh man, was i ever proud of that cake.

this happened at her birthday.  i love this video.

a walk to jimmy sweets for a scoop of ice cream.

and also, this happened.  oh my word.  nightmare.

oh my stars, do i ever love table rock lake.  this picture almost feels like a dream to me.

and avery had her first official horse riding lessons, thanks to the combined efforts of gg elaine and christianna williams.

and these two going to school together?  too much.

summer time yard work.  and vegas trip with and from matt and rocio. :)

ian turns four!!

the kids played "transformers" often last year.  and reading with avery in the late afternoon happened so many times.  i'm so thankful to have a few snapshots to document those special times.

the lone duck camping trip

ashton takes off in her reading!

ben and sarah's wedding! goodness, this was easily one of my favorite days of the year!

our charlie and the chocolate factory school adventure!

walla walla weekend with this guy! i know i've fallen more in love with him this year.  i know it.

the kids have grown.

the people and families and kiddos of new life downtown have wiggled their way into our hearts. (a very true and real and tangible answer to prayer....a year ago we were seeking direction on a new church home)

i've learned to not take myself too seriously.  to say sorry.  to admit that i do not have it all together. in essence,  to be proud of the fact that i need jesus.

my heart has battled some serious homeschooling dilemmas and questions and doubts and because of that i know that God is focusing my heart on what He and i are up to with these kids. ;) i am praying for more of just living it out and less of worrying about all of the other things i could be doing.

we've seen God come through again and again and again.  some of you know of the struggle and heartache and stress over the course of these last few years, the years that we were passing through the water and walking through the fire, and i do believe that 2014 is the year that we were able to declare without hesitation that the words isaiah wrote down thousands of years ago, ring true for us today,

the river did not sweep over us.
the fire did not burn us.

the anchor held in spite of the storm.

and if it's true that God can use each moment and  if it's true that hard things can really be beautiful, then, well, 2015, we're ready for you.

-the houles

1 comment :

crystaltannehill said...

Happy 2015!

Don't forget preventative neti potting for those sinus infections. I do it twice a day. It's a pain but makes a head cold a breeze. Well, at least comparatively. :)