Just in case you didn't realize it, we are in the 12th month of the year 2012. In just a couple short weeks we will celebrate Christmas and ring in a brand new year. The older I get the faster it goes. Once again we reflect on the events of this past year and things we have learned. Enjoy the updates... ~Esther
Ed: My year has definitely been dominated by my job. I spent most of January and February in New York evaluating outsourcing companies. Definitely an odd project knowing that your job is on the line. It was a learning experience, working on SOW and due diligence. Finally in July, I found out that myself and my entire team was going over to Atos, a French company, officially October 1. By the end of August I had secured a promotion and hadn't even started yet! And be careful of what you ask for! By the end of October, Hurricane Sandy took out a data center and November was a blur of work.
Outside of that, I got the opportunity to teach in India again in February with my good friend and mentor, Larry Harrison. I love that country! I got the opportunity to visit with Wipro and meet some of our partners (at the time). They treated me like royalty. Of course the food was phenomenal, and my heart was broken by the stories that these Indian Christians shared. One Hindu friend there made an interesting comment to me, "I only look at my religious writings a couple of times a year. You Christians really study yours. Oh, and I have to buy my book. Christians are always willing to give the Bible away for free."
Hannah and I have delved into pistol shooting. It is truly fun when your 15 year old daughter starts bugging you to go to the range again. And yes, she is a better shot than me.
Josh and I got some good fishing in. Just before Christmas last year we went steelheading on the Manistee and Josh caught his first steelhead. In the summer we went out with the same guide trout fishing and had one of those banner double digit fish days - and we lost more than we caught!
Rachel and I saw Wicked on Christmas Eve last year. I didn't tell her where we were going, but she got all dressed up for her daddy date. She was so excited. We even got to go backstage with the lead after the show.
Esther and I did many Bob Evans breakfast dates and managed a weekend get away up north. She's plotting some longer vacations this next year.
Esther: As always the biggest constant in life is change. 2012 certainly had it's fair share of changes. The year began with uncertainty with Ed's job. Another early change was my grandmother's health. In January she was hospitalized, and then again in March. Late March she was placed in hospice care. As of this writing she is still with us, but more physically than mentally. She has a severe heart condition that is inoperable. This has kept us close to home this year. We are just enjoying the last few earthly days she has left.
This year I have officially hung up my soccer mom hat. Josh completed his final season of soccer. Due to injuries he will be unable to go on and play in college. It doesn't appear the girls will follow in big brother's footsteps. What will I do with all my time next spring and fall?
I guess the biggest news for me personally is that I am pursuing my Bachelor's of Business Administration. I figure I have 6 years to complete it while the girls finish up school. Ed plans to retire and send me to work! LOL, such a funny guy!
Joshua: If I tweeted my year it would look like this: #girlfriend #Haiti #soccer #senioryear #firstjob #worshipteam. For those not overly familiar with twitter, I will expand facebook style (even though none of my friends use that anymore!)
Ally Hoskins is my special girl. I have enjoyed spending time with her and her family this past year. (#girlfriend)
This leads to my first job, because girls are expensive! I work at Five Below. This is one step above the dollar store. It really isn't my first job. I have been a referee and soccer coach for our city's league for the last couple years. I guess Five Below is my first W-2 job. (#firstjob)
Over the summer I was able to go on a mission trip to Haiti! This was such an incredible time. There was a teenager there by the name of John Mark. His passion for laying out the gospel to everyone that he meets was simply inspirational and life changing for me. He challenged me to be bold. (#Haiti #bebold)
In the fall I was asked to be on a rotation for the worship band at our campus. I love using my guitar to worship the Lord! (#worshipteam)
Also in the fall I began my final year of high school. I played soccer for my homeschool soccer team, Summit. Unfortunately, early in the season I dislocated my kneecap. Yes, the same one that I had surgery on. It was at that moment that I knew any hope for college play was over. I was able to get back on the field towards the end of the season. Our final weekend was bittersweet. I love my teammates! (#senioryear #soccer #injuriesstink)
Looking ahead, I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up. Please stop asking! It stresses me out. I am heading to Community College to get the basics out of the way. (#whereHeleadsIwillfollow)
Rachel: This was a big year for me. I moved up to middle school. Mom calls me a tweener. I guess this means I am not quite a teenager, but I try to be! I spent a lot of time this year kayaking with dad and spending my weekends at sleepovers with friends.