Every year I get lazier and cheaper. No, that is not the Christmas news. Just a fact. Many moons ago, I typed a Christmas newsletter, printed many copies on cute themed stationary and snail mailed them to everyone in my address book. A few years back, I decided that using a Microsoft Word newsletter template and e-mailing it to everyone in my address book would be just as good. And now, I am using this blog format to share my news. I will post the link on social media and call it good. I am not deluding myself into thinking that this is “just as good” as my previous efforts. I know it’s not. I know it would be much more fun for you to get something festive in the mail. At least I assume it would be more fun – because I know getting cards and letters at Christmastime is fun for me. But alas, this is what I have to offer in this busy season.
Chuck continues to oversee the Fresh departments of 14 Sam’s Clubs in the DFW area. He still leads our couples’ Life Group at church and is now volunteering, alongside Allie, in the Creationland area (bible classes for birth-preK). They are both so gifted with children. He is relishing his role as “Pop” to our grandkids Chayton and Lola. Chandler and his wife Emily have also stepped into the rolls of foster parents, so we have had the joy of loving on some extra small blessings this year as well. Chan is excelling in medical school in Ft. Worth and we are enjoying having them close to us.
Shelby (age 15 and in the 10th grade) has started taking a new supplement this summer and is experiencing extremely good health as a result. Where she WAS suffering through 5-15 seizures every night, she is NOW down to 1-2 a month! We are all sleeping better and she is so bright eyed and alert. We have been able to take her off of one seizure med and decrease another with no lingering affects. Her speech is starting to explode and her little personality is blossoming. It has been such a fun 6 months!
|Adaptive skiing at Ski Apache|
Allie (age 10 and 5th grade), continues to play volleyball under her mother’s coaching (bless her). She is taking musical theater classes again and loves to ham it up. Her school activities include Running Club, Choir, anchor on KGES – the campus TV station, Bank security, and National Elementary Honor Society. She got a new dog, Monkey, recently who is as sweet as he is small.
I am still teaching a couple of classes at 24 Hour Fitness and have recently been hired at the new REC center in Grapevine. As I write this, I am waiting for a call to schedule me for training. I’m excited about this new part-time opportunity as well as my reenergized focus on writing. I also volunteer a bit at the crisis pregnancy center and at church, rounding out my busy but fulfilling schedule.
Even though we have had many moments of fun and excitement, 2015 has not been without incident. It shall forevermore be referred to as our injury-plagued season. In April, I took a tumble off of Shelby’s bike and tore my ACL. I had to rehab my knee to get it healthy enough for surgery. So I finally had my ACL reconstructed in July. The surgeon found 2 meniscus tears as well and repaired them – which led to 4 weeks on crutches and weeks of painful rehab. I still have some residual discomfort and numbness, but am back to most normal activities. Allie joined injury nation the day before Thanksgiving by falling off of her cousin Caleb’s hover board and breaking her wrist. She is in the middle of her 5 week cast sentence. The day following Allie’s incident, Chuck stubbed his toe so hard that the majority of foot was bruised and swollen. So far, Shelby is in the clear. Please pray for us lest we bring additional harm on ourselves.
And once again this year, I finish with what is of first importance – God’s Word. Whether you and yours are currently experiencing happy times or an “injury plagued season” of your own, we can all take courage in God’s faithfulness. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Stacey Cartlidge says
Love your Christmas letter in any format! So thrilled to hear how well Shelby is doing. Thank you Jesus! The rest of you – watch yourselves and stay out of the ER!
Lauren Sparks says
Thank you, friend!