I must admit that, this year, my reflection letter is more difficult to write than ever before, when it really should be one of the simplest to type up and send out. I’ve looked at my computer screen for days with nothing but my closing quote picked out and notes with a few of Kirstyn’s and James’ major accomplishments to share. You have done what Romans 12:9-16 asks. You have been faithful in prayer. You have mourned with us. So now that I have nothing but good things to share, I have no idea why I hesitate to allow you to also rejoice with us.
Matthew 11:28 tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” This year we have had some time together to res t, rebuild, and reconnect. We asked for rest in Him and our prayers were answered. We did not have to take our children to a single funeral or explain to them any more terrible illnesses. While the flu went through our house, none of us had to go to the hospital. As a family, we were able to travel to Hawaii and Port Aransas for vacations during the summer.
I had two positive oncologist visits this year. This summer we made the decision for me to not drive for a month, so I could try a new seizure medication. The results of that change have been fantastic. My energy level is up and I am able to think much more clearly now. We believe I am also having fewer night time mini-seizures now, as I am having less eye issues. We just increased my night dose again in December and I am experiencing very few side effects with this medication and for that we are so very thankful. My favorite day each week is Wednesday, when I study the Word at BSF. We finished the book of John last semester and this fall we are studying Romans.
David is still enjoying his job with Pearson Air. He was able to coach James’ basketball team last winter and then this past fall helped coach the defensive line for his 4th grade tackle football team. We still do not take for granted the blessing of having him home for dinner every night and here with us every Saturday.
Kirstyn finished 7th grade with numerous awards and straight A’s in all Pre-AP classes and is doing the same this year in the 8th grade. She made Show Choir this year, was in the spring musical and the fall play, she plays keyboard twice per month for our KidsRock praise team, and occasionally sings in church. It seems we are often watching her on a stage, and I am constantly impressed by her talent and confidence.
James is in the 4th grade. He has been in advanced classes, and has been in the Gifted and Talented program. He recently read 8 books and tested the highest. This allowed him to be his school’s team captain for a district Battle of the Books. He has also been invited to be on a 4th – 6th grade UIL Number Sense team that will also compete this spring at District. He played basketball and football. He says football is the most fun because “he is big and he gets to tackle and because he is pretty good at it, too.” He did find his hustle this season and even with 22 boys on his team, he got to play both ways the entire game and he got at least one sack every game!
The kids got brave and spent a week totally off the grid at Brookhill Ranch Camp in Hot Springs. Their faith in the Lord was deepened and their relationship with each other was strengthened.
Both kids have played golf and taken lessons all year! In the junior league they play in, they have started playing on the same team. Kirstyn has started using my dad’s driver, fitted with a new pink grip, and James has gotten very good at reading the greens and putting. One very hot summer night we watched them eagle a hole when Kirstyn drove the green and James sank a very long putt!
I’ll leave you with a quote from the book ‘Wonder’ that James’ class read this year and a movie we really enjoyed as a family. “The best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average – though those things are important, to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” R. J. Palacio, Wonder