Merry Christmas 2018

Emmry drew this years Christmas card!

We are quickly closing in on the end of another incredible year. Why do they always go so fast? We’re on the verge of 2 teenagers, our youngest is 5 and my Mom is still living with us. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll run down the list of highlights in a minute.

First, the important part:
At this time of year, our family spends the weeks of December observing Advent which means Coming. It’s the time before Christmas where we set our hearts and our minds on the purest gift of all, Jesus Christ. Who, being fully God, humbled himself to come to live among us as a man to provide The Way. This beautiful world God has created is meant for his Glory, and so are we! It may not seem beautiful to us all the time. There are so many ugly things in it. But that is why He came; to redeem His creation. To make it perfect again. God loves us with an unending, unbreakable, unbending, unstoppable, amazing love and He shares that love for us through Jesus. That is what we celebrate at Christmas, the coming of Jesus and the breaking through of God’s love into the world. You can start to explore this story in the second chapter of Luke in the Bible.

We really enjoy sitting down and reflecting on the past year. The good, the bad, the success and the trials. We’ve had plenty of each and you’ll find some of the most memorable below. We’re looking forward to an exciting and joyful 2019 and wish the same to you and your families. May you have peace and rest in the coming year.

Merry Christmas with love,

Andy, Kristie, Caleb (14), Emmry (12), Ansley (10), Briar (8), Otis (6), and Mabel (5)

The Highlights of 2018

  • Andy and Kristie celebrated 15 years of marriage!
  • Kristie and Caleb ran a 1/2 marathon in Nashville, TN – they loved training together and accomplishing their goal!
  • Nana is still living with us. At the beginning of the year she was receiving cancer treatment that was proving very effective. This summer it stopped being so effective and she began a new treatment that is doing it’s job in treating the cancer but it’s been pretty rough on her. We keep praying for healing.
  • Caleb is in his last year as a Jr. Higher. He starts High School next fall. Yikes! He is loving Civil Air Patrol and even got to fly a small 4 passenger prop plane. (He is thinking he wants to be a pilot so this fits him perfectly!)
  • Emmry loved getting to see “Wicked” in Chicago at the beginning of this year. She also started middle school and moved up to the Jr. High group at church. She’s enjoying the new setting. She loves drawing, crocheting, cooking, baking, and reading to name a few and LOVES serving in various ways at church.
  • Ansley is in 5th grade and LOVES life! She loves books, baking, laughing, singing and serving! She is also becoming very interested in technology and is learning to write code.
  • Briar continues to dream about being a missionary one day and currently crochets her heart out to sell her wares and then donates the money to missions.
  • Otis has had a great start to Kindergarten but mostly he spends his time drawing, riding his bike, playing with siblings and building Legos. Otis loved playing his first year of flag football and fell in love with the game and can’t wait for next season.
  • Mabel turned 5 and kinda thinks she runs the show at our house. (Ahem!) She loves spending time with Mommy in the kitchen, playing in her own kitchen and doing anything the big kids are doing. In fact, she even has her own baking show called “Cinnamon Sticks.” It’s a hit around the house!
  • Andy coached yet another year of flag football and this time it was for the Kindergarten-1st graders, which meant Otie was on his team! What a sweet season and great group of boys! He loves his job at GROWMARK. His training work fits him perfectly and he is really enjoying this season of his career.
  • Kristie spent the last year focused on nutrition. She is learning everything she can about food and how it affects the body. Her hope is that one day she can become a functional nutritionist. She is tutoring Essentials at CC and still homeschooling ALL the kiddos. She is a phenomenal teacher.
  • We took our camper and hit the road! We enjoyed time spent in Cedar Point, where we named the Millennium Force the BEST ROLLER COASTER EVER; Rogers, AR, where we attended a homeschool conference; Nashville, TN for the 1/2 marathon and other fun (ie, donuts); Raccoon Lake, IN for camping with friends and a sweet canoe trip; and a few local spots in IL. It’s so fun to camp this way. We’re planning more trips for 2019!
  • Bently the dog is a sweet, old soul. Clementine and Kwazii, the cats, keep us free from vermin and stay OUTSIDE! Lepus, the girls Holland Lop rabbit, is the cutest, most cuddliest little furball you’ve ever seen. He is super chill and loves to be held.
  • Let’s not forget Caleb’s ball python, Montgomery-Montgomery (100 points if you can name the reference). He’s a fun addition to our pet collection.

The Thought of Traveling

Mrs. King and I have thought about pulling up the stakes and hitting the road with our crew on and off again for the last few years. Ever since we moved into our current home really. It’s not that we don’t like our home or the neighborhood. We love where we live. It’s not even really suburban; it’s more country suburban, with room to run and play without too much to worry about. 

It’s more that we long for adventure. We dream of seeing God’s creation with our own eyes in person rather than through pictures and stories. We want to take our homeschooling into the wild and learn geography and history in the places they really exist.  

Who knows what that looks like for us. We’re not even sure. But we keep talking about it, which makes me believe that it’s important. This post from Ditching Suburbia’s Instagram account got me thinking about it again today. 

We had our house in the suburbs for 14 years. A lot happened in those 14 years. Both our kids were born. I went from working at a small software shop to getting the “retirement job” at a large local corporation. I spent evenings and weekends working on old Jeeps in my garage. We started homeschooling the kids. In the winter we borrowed a snow blower from one elderly widowed neighbor, another elderly widowed neighbor paid for the gas, and we provided the labor to clear all three driveways. We were plugged in to local churches – first a large one then a smaller one. We camped in the summer time. It was everything we imagined family life to be. Somewhere in there we realized it was all we imagined mainly because it was all we knew. We both grew up in pretty normal suburban settings. We never thought our own family life would be any different. Somewhere the idea to load the family in an RV and travel fulltime came into our world. Only then did we notice how our “secure” life was limiting. It was only after thinking about moving that we noticed the chains. The suburbs aren’t evil. You can have a good life there. But be there on purpose. Don’t settle for that life if it’s not really making you happy. Because those chains? They come off.

A post shared by DitchingSuburbia (@ditchingsuburbia) on

Merry Christmas 2016

Thanks to our friend Summer Knobloch for this great photo!

Merry Christmas!

Here we are again. Another year gone by and so many things have happened. So many in fact that we are running late on getting this posted. But, Christmas is still a few days away, so here you go! This year we will be giving to Preemptive Love again instead of paying for printing. Currently they are doing amazing work in Aleppo with all that’s going on there, helping so many people. Please visit their website and read about all the ways they are impacting their world in a positive way. We’ve been thrilled to support them over the years. Continue reading “Merry Christmas 2016”