Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Family Update

It's been a challenging ministry week. We've dealt with five deaths among church members'/attendees' families, some tragic and unexpected. Billy assisted with a funeral Monday and attended another Saturday. We have dear friends and church members undergoing serious medical difficulties. It seems like these kinds of things always happen more at this time of year. In addition, we've lost staff (one retiring after many faithful years of service and the other recieving a call to another church). We have faith that God will fill those spots, but we will miss the work of these servants as they transition into another stage of life and ministry.

On the family front, things are going well. We are in the midst of many church Christmas celebrations and activities. We are trying to carve out time for family Christmas activities too. I promised the kids that we would make gingerbread men this afternoon, which is one of their favorite projects. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at our camp, and the kids had fun throwing rocks into the lake (well, a little puddle in the lake bed--the lake is temporarily drained) and playing hide and seek, ball, and riding their bikes down the trailer ramp. They were sleepy children when we finally got home.

Elizabeth counted to 100 this week, and she knows vowels and consenants, nouns and verbs, the names of the first president, our current president and vice president, and she is working on other members of government. This week we are focusing on continents, oceans, and planets. She is fascinated by geography and science, so this is something she enjoys.

Silas counted to 10 this week and he is making huge strides in his potty training. (Just what you wanted to know all about, right?!) He has also been singing Christmas carols. He is a musical little guy and he loves to sing.

Saturday we had Breakfast with Santa at church (Santa came a read the kids the Christmas story) and Silas went right up to him and shook his hand. Elizabeth, on the other hand, jumped in Billy's lap and put her arms around his neck so tight he could hardly breathe. That was before she hid in the kitchen. However, when it came time to sit in Santa's lap she was fine. Santa didn't bother Sarah at all. She kept looking at him as if to say, "Who is this funny looking guy?" I guess we are lucky that she didn't pull his beard.

We finished packing our shoebox gifts to send to Pine Ridge. We ended up collecting about 30 boxes of gifts for needy children on the reservation.

A bunch of people in our church are working on adopting a family for Christmas in our community. The daddy was in a car wreck and is unable to work much, and then their house burned. Their are six small children in the family and the mama is working as a waitress to make ends meet. The thing that has impressed us the most is their wonderful attitude in the midst of trial. It is a joy to find ways to help their family. If you have an opportunity this Christmas, seek out a family in need to help. Giving is so much more blessed than recieving. This is what Christmas is all about!

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