It’s always fun to spend time with Sammie and Tyler. They came over one day and after lunch we played crazy games and read a train book over and over.
The final three months of 2014 were super busy with work, Janet visiting from Germany, and so many events my head is spinning a bit!
October was pretty much the busiest month of the year. Janet flew in from Germany on the last day of September, and we pretty much were always going somewhere, doing something for the next 18 days! We made the trip to Willmar and Sisseton one weekend, saw Hello Dolly at Chanhassen Dinner Theater with our friends Miriam and Kathy, and the tip-top highlight of the year: seeing Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly at the Fine Line!
After Janet went home to Germany, things didn’t slow down! We made applesauce, the OCC Regional office moved to the Processing Center, and my church had a women’s retreat!
November was busy with setting up the PC, National Collection Week, Thanksgiving, and the start of volunteers streaming though our doors to start processing 706,000+ shoe boxes to be delivered to kids in Belize, Ecuador, India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda! I also was privileged to see Celtic Thunder in concert with my friend Kathy.
My OCC office cohorts, taken by Sinouane
December was full-steam ahead with PC time, Warehouse Crud floating around the office, not much snow, moving back to the office, job ending, Christmas and my birthday, making donuts, and then…the end of 2014 came and went silently while I slept.
The third quarter of 2014 was full of family fun, sun, hellos, and goodbyes.
So much summer fun happened in July. Family from MO came for a visit, lots of ice cream was consumed, massive train tracks were built, and a boat-load of family went to the cabins for a week.
August and September were busy with working and planning a visit with Janet. And I purchased my first smart phone. And joined Instagram.
In the second quarter of 2014, many chapters closed to welcome the start of new ones.
In April, I met Tyler Jay for the first time. And we got (tons of) snow. And I took part in a 100 Happy Days challenge (you can see those photos here, if you wish). In addition to meeting Tyler, the highlight of April was getting together with some girl friends for a girl’s movie night. Movies were never watched, but good food was eaten and darts were shot.
One week in May we had snow. Two weeks later the tree in our new back yard had blossomed! My youngest cousin Ryan graduated from high school. A road trip to Michigan to see my best friend Lydia and her kids over Mother’s Day weekend rounded out May with so much happy!
Oliver was dedicated in June and I spent a lot of time at Springbrook. I got a new hair cut just in time to start working at the Operation Christmas Child Regional Office again! Woot for the UMW!
One year is a long time to stay away from posting! It has been fun going through all my pictures from the year and remembering all the good times. So much fun, I wanted to share! Since so much happened I’ve split this into four posts, which will post for the following four Sundays.
We moved in January. And again in February. March was busy setting up the new house, unpacking, staying warm, day-caring dates with Cole and Ada, hanging out with Oliver at church, and trying to not catch whatever nasty bugs were floating around that time of year. This also seemed to be the. coldest. time of year ever! And we still ran around barefooted…but well dressed for jaunts around Minnehaha Falls!
I have been working on a 2014 summary post. As I started sifting through my memories of the year, the good memories piled up so high I became overwhelmed with what I thought the post would look like. As I decide what all and how I will share from last year, I thought it would be a good idea to record my Word of the Year, and why I chose it.
Trust. I want to work on trusting God, myself, and others. I have this picture on my desktop to remind me that I do not need to worry or stress out about life things or figure out everything on my own. God is patiently waiting for me to call on Him and trust Him with the details.
God has made many promises in the Bible, promises that apply to each person who will claim them. While I believe those promises for others, sometimes I have a hard time trusting those same promises for me. This year I will be intentional about trusting God in the big and the small.
I don’t always trust my decisions. I second guess and worry that I made the wrong choice. It is time to start trusting myself to make the best decision I can with the information I have. This would also come under trusting God, because I believe He will guide me if I listen.
I always dissect what people say to me about myself. I will be working this year to trust that my friends are speaking truth to me and accept their compliments.
Today, I read two quotes that blessed me today. The first one help remind me to trust God that He loves me and will keep His promises to me.
“May we learn to accept that there isn’t always a why, a how, or a lesson. But there is always Jesus. And there is always love.” – Emily P. Freeman
“You have not been abandoned or forgotten. God is working, and when you least expect it, in a way that you may hardly even recognize at first, He’s going to fulfill all He promised.” – Holley Gerth on (in)courage
Twas the week before processing, when all through the warehouse
All the workers were stirring, yes, even a mouse.
The decorations were hung on the trees with great care
Knowing volunteers soon would be there.
The boxes were piled all snug on their pallets,
While visions of blessing kids danced in their heads.
The Collection Door opens, more boxes come in.
Operation Christmas Child makes us all grin.
When out on the driveway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the entrance I flew on that date,
Turned on the lights and threw open the gate.
The moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature train, driving by with great cheer.
With a little black pickup, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it had to be Rick.
More rapid than eagles his minions they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Sarah! now, Kelly! now, Eggy and Kandi!
On, Nicole! On, Rick-O! On S’rena and Dara!
To the front of the crowd! to the edge of the stage!
Now sing away! Sing away! Sing away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So into the trailers the cartons they flew,
With boxes full of Toys, and lots of prayer too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in my ear
The singing and laughing of each volunteer.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the slick walkway Phil came with a bound.
He was dressed in a shoe box from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all colored with red and bright green.
A bundle of boxes he processed with friends,
And he loved taping boxes, the last hand to process them.
Her eyes-how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the fur of her coat was as white as the snow.
The stump of a tree he held tight in his teeth,
And the chocolate encircled his feet like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly!
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And processed the boxes, then turned to the clerk.
And folding his hands and bowing his head,
And giving a nod, a blessing prayer he said!
They were bright red and green, piled high on the shelf,
And I laughed when I saw them, in spite of myself!
They were processed so quickly, and went the world ’round.
I happily knew they were Uganda bound.
He sprang to his truck, to his group gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them all shout, ‘ere they drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
Tonight i am wishing for the crisp fall air and the many colors of the leaves and warmer days.