This has been a year of extreme highs and terrible lows for our family. This year began with illness and surgery. Scott was experiencing terrible pain and the doctors misdiagnosed it. He walked around with appendicitis for almost four weeks before a specialist rushed him into a successful surgery. We cannot say enough about the care he received at BroMenn Medical Center in Bloomington, and will remain silent in regards to another facility.
Scott’s recovery was swift and we were able to travel to Israel-Palestine in February. In 2014 the conference graciously allowed Scott to defer his ordination trip so that we could, instead, travel as a couple on the 2016 Ordinand Trip to the Holy Land. It was an incredible trip not just because of the sights and sounds, but also because of the many colleagues and friends who were on the trip with us. Not only that, but Carrie’s sister decided to join the trip. We were blessed to be part of such an incredible experience with such amazing people!
While we were on the extension trip in Ammon, Jordan we received a call from our foster care agency that they had a placement for us. We, obviously, were not available to take the placement and we were crushed that after such a long wait we were unable to become parents. Just days after our arrival home we received another call for a 10 year old girl to be placed with us. We were overjoyed (and nervous)! She moved in the next day on March 10. “A” would stay with us for the next five months. The situation was not what we or the agency expected and our home quickly became unsafe. She was moved to a more appropriate placement in August.
During that summer Scott completed his second residency (set of summer classes) in the ACTS Doctor of Ministry program. We are blessed that his church has given him extra time for continuing education and provided him with financial support that makes this possible. He has one more assigned sermon and an integrative paper this year, one more residency and then begins his thesis writing. He is almost there!
Carrie also worked hard this year to grow professionally. She completed her certificate in nonprofit management from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) this year. She also traveled to Chicago for the Mediation Skills Training Institute at Lombard-Mennonite Peace Center which got her interested in a Clergy Clinic process which she began in the fall.
This fall we cancelled our membership with our TaeKwonDo (Korean martial arts) Dojang (gym). We really enjoyed Master Soo Kim and the other students at Soo Kim Martial Arts, but the times didn’t work with our schedules and the expense was great. Instead we have gotten a membership at the Riverplex downtown. Between exercise, healthy eating, and better sleep (and our Fitbit tracking) 2016 has been a year of increasing health for us as a family.
Despite our busy-ness we were able to get away for some days away. In April we took “A” to Pere Marquette. It was especially fun to see a little girl’s face light up the first time she stayed in a motel room. We enjoyed hiking trails and seeing beautiful river scenes as well as a ferry boat ride and an afternoon at the Saint Louis Zoo. In late April we took “A” to the Mark Twain cave and sights in Hannibal, Missouri and went down to the Berry family lake house in Saint Genevieve, Missouri in June for the twins’ birthday. Carrie and “A” also got to spend a few days in late June in Saint Louis with family and, then, got to go to the Lincoln sites in Springfield.
In August, after “A” moved out, Carrie took a few days off to hike the Ozark trail. Then, in September we spent two days in Chicago on a spur-of-the-moment trip. We also dropped off our wedding rings for resizing (and added some bling to Carrie’s ring) and we enjoyed a day at Shedd’s Aquarium.
This Thanksgiving was spent with Carrie’s family, but at the home of…Carrie’s sister’s husband’s family (confusing? Not really, we’ll take them as full-on family any time)!Thanksgiving Day, itself, was wonderful overlooking downtown Saint Louis, but we also enjoyed several days visiting with Carrie’s family in Town and Country. Christmas is expected to be with Scott’s family at his childhood home. We are especially looking forward to seeing Scott’s sister and her husband who will be down from Wisconsin, so Christmas is looking to be just as wonderful as our recent Thanksgiving!
As we move into the holidays we reflect on a crazy year and we realize that we have received many blessings. We look forward to Christmas celebrations at our churches and we hope that you and yours can count as many blessings in your lives as we do in ours!
Blessings & Peace,