This is our CHRISTmas letter and picture! Thought I would share it with all of you!
Have a merry CHRISTmas!
(Our CHRISTmas picture always looks terrible) *Smile*
“ Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go - let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
As I write this year’s Christmas letter, we are experiencing a typical Iowa winter storm. We are supposed to get 4-8 inches with another storm in just a few days. It is so beautiful outside - I love the snow! I can hardly wait to get outside and build a snowman, make snow angels, and go sledding or ice skating! I know some of you probably think I’m crazy - but it is one of the things I love about living in Iowa.
This year has been quite an eventful one for our family. In June, we experienced terrible flooding throughout Iowa! Our home, along with many others, was flooded. We had a basement full of water as well as a few inches on our main level. With the help of many wonderful people we were able to move everything out of our basement, finishing up just minutes before we had to evacuate our home. We lost everything in both of our garages & some things on our main floor - but overall our loss was minimal compared to so many others who literally lost everything. To make a long story short, we have moved to Cedar Falls, IA. With the help of more wonderful people, we packed everything up into boxes and moved to our new home all in one day! The Lord in his wonderful wisdom, had this home ready & waiting for us. We spent months cleaning & repairing our flooded home - once again with the help of many wonderful people, and continued to try to sell it. We recently had an offer and we will be closing within the next couple weeks! Praise the Lord! Through it all - we have truly seen the hand of God at work and give Him praise for His sustaining grace!
Now onto other news!
Deanna is 18 and will be 19 in February. She graduated from high school this last May in Des Moines along with about 100 other homeschoolers. I have to admit that I felt a mixture of pride, relief, and amazement as I watched Deanna receive her diploma! I was never actually sure I could do this “home school thing” through high school, and she actually turned out okay!! : ) She is still at home for now and is staying very busy as our ministry secretary, playing piano at church, teaching the teen Sunday School, leading Bright Lights, and traveling with her dad quite frequently. A couple of highlights for her this year - getting her driver’s license and voting for the first time! (even though it had to be by absentee as she was in North Dakota!)
Tori is a sophomore this year and will be turning 16 in January. She misses having Deanna to “do school” with and can’t wait until she can graduate as well. She hoped to get her permit this last fall, but mom couldn’t find her birth certificate, so now she will have to wait till spring. Until then - she enjoys
cruising around our house/church property! Tori recently played “Peggy Sue” , a 50’s style angel from the past, in our church’s Christmas program. She had a “peachy-keen” time!! Tori keeps busy traveling with dad, playing piano on Sundays, doing power point at church, frequently updating her blog, and following her Waterloo Blackhawks!
Nikki - my “baby” - was excited to turn a decade old in August! Makes this mom feel kind of old! She is in 5th grade this year and enjoys school. Nikki is still quite the chatterbox and can make a friend quicker than most people can blink! One of her newest interests is her new blog! She saw Tori working on her blog and decided she wanted one too- so she pretty much set one up all by herself! The girls have made friends with other Christian girls all over the world through their blogs! Nikki continues to be a HUGE hockey fan, loves playing with her gerbil Sammy, and had her first piano recital this year.
We have definitely learned that this thing called LIFE is all about change! We never would have guessed that we would move our family three times in the last three years, and live through a catastrophic flood. Del & I will be celebrating 25 years together next August - we’ve had our ups and downs - but neither one of us would trade this life together for anything! Del continues to spend many weeks on the road. He loves traveling and ministering in various churches. He continues to serve on the Iowa Holiness Association Board, leads music at our local church, and works as a screen printer when not on the road. Each of the girls loves taking a turn traveling with their dad - and this BIG girl loves getting a turn occasionally as well!!
One big highlight for our family this year was holding a revival in the Chicago area! We were all able to go - which is a rarity for us - and we had the time of our lives taking a train to downtown Chicago and sight-seeing! Special thanks to Rev. Mark & Paula Else who were our hosts and tour guides! We are looking forward to a return trip in the spring.
Another highlight was our first Iowa Hawkeye game! Del and I were given two tickets from a friend - what a great time we had! And now they are off to a bowl game! Go Hawks!
We recently returned from our annual Evangelists’ Gathering in Indiana - this is always a highlight of our year! It is such an honor to be with those that we have looked up to for years - the great giants of the faith! We were blessed by the preaching of Linda Seaman, Dr. Steven Manley, Rev. Tim Stearman, and General Superintendent J.K. Warrick. We enjoyed the music of Adam’s Voice, Gary Haines and Mark Murphy. The beautiful four-star hotel and delicious Amish cooked meals were top-notch! Special thanks to Dr. Chuck Milhuff and Joy Nash who provide this for the evangelists and families each year.
Well, once again I’ve written a book! We are so thankful for each of you - we are blessed to have you in our lives. Most of all we are thankful for our Lord and Savior whose birth we celebrate at this time of year and we look forward to His soon return! God bless you all!
Merry CHRISTmas - Del Chris, Deanna, Tori, & Nikki