This past year has been a tough year economically for the majority of the world. I feel guilty for what I am about to say. This has been a great year for our family. How dare I admit that when so many of my friends are losing their homes, been jobless or lost jobs this year and have had to suffer untold loses and stress? My prayers go out to all those who have suffered this year.
But reality is, it was a GOOD year for our household. We have had our trials and struggles and looking back I wonder if God smiled down on us this year because we have already “been there, done that” and paid our dues. Is it bragging to say that? Or should I have a more thankful tone? Because truly I am grateful and thankful and am blessed that I can say “it was a good year”. After all we have suffered in years past, I truly am thankful that God said, “Well done my good and faithful servant. Be blessed.”
2009 started with Les beginning work for a new wedding company. This move doubled the amount of weddings he officiated for the year as well as earned him a position as assistant manager. He has enjoyed this career move.
With Les busier, I have had to take a stronger lead in the driving school business and face my fears and actually get out on the road and teach some students the practical lessons. I’m still not confident enough to deal with the brand new drivers, but am an expert at teaching parallel park! Both offices have done well this year. We also gained a little fame with some media reviews – both radio and newspaper and even a short TV interview!
The kids have all thrived and grown as well. Kevin almost 25 is still serving in the Air Force and stationed at Travis AFB in California. He recently moved into his own two bedroom apartment and has been promoted again. He also completed his Associated Degree, mostly via CLEP testing. Our unschooling success story, I like to say.
Adam,,21 continues to manage our northern office and compose and write music. Though he keeps to himself, he is an invaluable asset to our family, helping with the business and the running of our home. And he still manages to be creative in his spare time. One of our goals for 2010 is to figure out how to get his music noticed by those of influence.
Stephanie,15, had a wonderful opportunity this summer to spend two weeks in Hawaii with her best friend Miki. Her first solo plane flight. Mom was a tad nervous while her baby was away, but Steph had a great time and proved she is mature enough for more travel adventures. She continues to perfect her artistic skills drawing anime and writing stories to accommodate her drawings. Stephanie is also a member of the Guam Homeschool Academic Challenge Bowl high school team, which currently has lost only 2 matches this season. She has also been actively involved with her church youth group, enjoying paintballing among other activities. She has grown into a mature young woman and we are so proud of her sensitive nature, strong character and loving spirit. My favorite memories this year include the many times I have caught her reading stories to the “babies”, as she affectionately calls her younger siblings.
Eric, 10, has definitely grown up this past year. Many of the concerns I had with his schooling have been for naught as he has once again proved how unschooling can work, especially for boys. Eric has always been my “all boy” boy with his zest for life and enthusiasm for everything. We had issues with his spelling and number writing at the beginning of the year but now he has finally “got” it. Other homeschooling moms ask me what we did to help him improve, but to be honest the answer is nothing. He just had to reach a maturity level where these things mattered to him. He continues to create comics and his humor amazes us.
Cassie, 7, has finally declared her independence and we have seen it displayed over and over this year. Our “princess” struggles with being a princess or a tomboy,and could be seen preening in front of mirrors in pretty dresses, or running down the beach in nothing but shorts, sporting self inflicted tattoos and muddy feet. She continues with the weekly Guam Skipjacks jump rope class and has shown great improvement in her jumping skills.
One major change for us this year was to move from our cute beach house cottage to a larger house in southern Guam. Our living quarters doubled in size with the move, while our daily commute was increased ten-fold. But the longer drive is well worth the increased living space. We have a nice 4 bedroom ,3 bath concrete home with a large extension that is our library/craft/ exercise room. Stephanie finally has her own room and bathroom too!
Our final blessing of the year was the purchase of a third vehicle – a truck – for Les. A man has to have a truck you know! And last but not least, we had a chance to reconnect with old friends and join a new church – Firestarters Discipleship Center – with Pastor Brad and Jessica Dunagan. God has been good in leading us to a new church home without conflict with our old. We continue to pray for the Calkins our former church and pastor who has had many health issues this year.
It truly has been a blessed year for us. Weather has been good. Health has been good. Business has been good. Though the world has been in turmoil, God has smiled down on us and we are very grateful for His abundant blessings.
May 2010 be such a year for all our friends and family.