Monday, October 11, 2010

Robert Hugh Jones....see you soon...

Rob's grandfather, Robert Hugh Jones passed away on Saturday evening. He was 89. Rob had flown to the US to be with his parents, and other family members to celebrate his grandfathers' 90th birthday which would have been on October 21st. Instead, the family spent the weekend over Canadian Thanksgiving / Columbus Day weekend sharing memories of this wonderful man and supporting each other in grief.

Pappy, as we called him, was in failing health. In the last month he had experienced many physical set backs and was in the hospital when he passed away.

He was a kind and gentle soul. He loved his family. His passions in life were good food, lots of cards [he'd play just about anything] and his friends and family.

When he first met me he took me out to his garden and tested me on what the various growing plants were. He told me if I didn't pass the test, I couldn't marry Rob. Lucky for me I recognized many of them and Rob subtly helped with the less obvious ones. :0)

Pappy was a kind man. He welcomed me into their family right away with kindness and gentleness. We spent time over many Christmases playing cards, eating great food, laughing and just sharing time together.

Pappy loved my children and when we were together gave them attention and encouragement. Jonah loved to sit and play 'Pitch' with his great-grandfather. He has very fond memories of those card games. Lauren has been very tearful over the last few days. I have sat with her and allowed her to express her memories and feelings about losing her great-grandfather. She has said things like,"He was so nice", "He really loved us", "We had fun together". I'm so glad that she has these wonderful warm memories. I'm glad that I have them too.

So, I just want to take this opportunity to say...See you soon Robert Hugh Jones. I'm glad that you are reunited with your wonderful wife and your grandson who passed away too soon. I'm glad that you are with your Lord and saviour. I am sad to have lost you in this life, but am thrilled to know that this is not goodbye. It is 'see you soon' because I believe I will see you again in that eternal place where there is no pain or sorrow and there are no goodbyes...ever. Thanks for your love, encouragement, enthusiastic smile, and for all of the hours of card playing we shared. Thanks for welcoming me into your family and for how you have loved and encouraged my children. You were one of a kind and my life is better for having known you.

With much love and hope for the future,
Your grand-daughter in-law,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Church is AWESOME!!!

Last night we started our 3rd service per Sunday at CrossRoads church here in Red Deer. We're doing the same service 3 times each Sunday in the hopes of appealing to people who like to attend church at different times in the day.

So, the kids and I attended service last night at 6:30 pm. It was a great family service. After the service, there was a pancake supper served by church volunteers. They had all kinds of different toppings. It was wonderful to sit with people and fellowship over food after our time of worship.

This morning, Spencer and her father had a conversation on the way to the sitter's house. According to Rob, it went something like this....

Spencer: "Dad, last night I go to church and it was AWESOME!"
Rob: "Really Spencer?"
Spencer: "Yep, they had pancakes at church and I had some and they were AWESOME!"
Rob: "They were Spencer? That's great!"
Spencer : "Yep. Mine had whip cream and that was AWESOME!"
Spencer: "Mine had stawberries and they were AWESOME!"
Spencer: "And mine had syrup and that was AWESOME!"
Spencer: "And mine even had Gummi bears and that was AWESOME!"
Spencer: "Yep church and pancakes are REALLY AWESOME!"

Spencer obviously has discovered the word 'awesome' in the last week. But even more special for us was how much she enjoyed this event in which we got to eat nice food and spend time with people who love Jesus. Spencer is was AWESOME!!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This week....bad news all around

I realize that I am not the only one that this happens to, but this week it seems that as each day went by, Rob and I were confronted with bad news. Early in the week my mother called and said that my grandfather had fallen in the nursing home and apparently had suffered a stroke [we were told that this was likely the cause of his fall]. He had left sided paralysis.

A few days later I got an e-mail from a friend going through a very dark time on a number of fronts. And still later in the week we got a call from another friend who has a tumor on their Thyroid gland and water on their brain. They are not sure if they are dealing with cancer at this point or not.

Then I got a call from my mother late yesterday to say that my grandfather had been taken by ambulance from the nursing home to the hospital. He was then transferred to a larger city likely for brain surgery. Apparently, he hadn't suffered a stroke but instead had fallen, hit his head and his brain had bled due to the head trauma!!! So today, my 87 year old grandfather, who is already suffering from Dementia, underwent brain surgery to remove the blood that had accumulated in his brain after his fall. Following the surgery, all of the paralysis has resolved and this has made my 89 year old grandmother jump for joy to say the least.

We are all breathing a sigh of relief as this could have had a much more negative outcome.

It is in times like these, that I am so glad that I have a loving saviour that I can lean on. I spent the day today, praying. Praying for my grandfather, my grandmother, and the surgeon as he performed neurosurgery in a city that is mostly without power due to Hurricane Earl hitting the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

I felt peace today, despite the bad news of the week as I know that no matter what is on the horizon God knows the circumstances and is with me no matter what. No matter what!! The circumstances may look bleak. They may actually be bleak. But that doesn't change His love for me or His desire for my good.

Thank you Jesus for the peace that you give to us. Peace that passes all understanding!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"See ya later Dad!!"

Well, it's time again for a Seth story. For those of you who read this blog, you have gotten to read a lot of "Seth stories". These are stories that detail the exploits of our Autistic son Seth. He has a zest for life that is unrivaled!

Yesterday I was at an all day meeting. My wonderful husband was with the kids for the day. Jonah had a dentist appointment for a cleaning so Rob pondered what to do with Seth and Lauren for the 75 minutes Jonah would be in the dentist's office because there is NO way that Seth would sit for that time.

Rob decided to take them to Bower Ponds. For those of you not from Red Deer, Bower Ponds is a wonderful park area in our city with walking trails, paddle boats, a children's park etc. While walking through the park, they saw a young man that Rob knows from church working in the paddle boat area. He waved Rob over and told him that he would let Rob and the kids use a paddle boat for no charge. So, into the paddle boat the 3 of them climb.

They started to paddle around the pond areas and all of a sudden Seth stands up in the boat. Knowing our sons' love of water, Rob quickly grabs him by the shirt and says, "Seth sit down." Seth then turns to his father and says, "See ya later Dad!" and jumps out of the boat and into the water!!!! Now, if you live in Arizona this is likely a refreshing thing to do. In Red Deer yesterday, the high was 15 C and at night it is getting down to around 4 C, so the water was quite cool yesterday morning to say the least.

According to Rob, as Seth hit the water his eyes became the size of dish plates and he yelled, "Help me Father, Help me!! Rob paddled the boat back to him and hauled him back into the paddle boat and they quickly returned to dry land. Seth had to strip off in the parking lot and wear Rob's coat home to ensure he stayed warm and dry.

As you can see even little excursions with Seth become very interesting and adventurous!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I lost my magic

I can't believe how fast the time goes. The weeks since Rob returned home have flown by. Rob got home, was home for 24 hours, then went to a 2 day conference in Calgary and within the first 24 hours he was home from that his parents arrived from Toronto.

We had Rob's parents here last week from Saturday to Thursday and then this week on Monday I started back at the College!!

WHEW!!! No wonder I feel tired a lot of the time. :-) Anyways, I've missed writing so I am going to write today.

Seth has been having some trouble with sleeping. He has not been settling to sleep easily. This is nothing new for Seth. He has been this way since birth and we have always gone through times when his sleeping was very little indeed.

But this time is a little different. It's different because of what Seth is communicating at bed time. He gets into bed and then gets up in tears and tells me, "Mom, I can't sleep because I've lost my magic." What does that mean???? I have no idea. I try to ask him questions about it, but he doesn't seem to have the words to tell me anything more. Rob goes in and talks to him, but he has no ideas either. In the morning, he has "found the magic again" which I guess is good, but gives me nothing else to go on. He has also told me that he keeps the magic in his hand. So, I can never quite understand how it gets lost in the first place.

So if anyone knows how to find Seth's magic at around 8 pm Mountain time, I'd sure appreciate the help. :0)

Monday, July 26, 2010


This is going to be very sappy I guess, but I just have to get off my chest how much I am missing my husband. For those of you that don't know, Rob is on a missions trip with some of his young adults handing out Bibles in Greece. He is in the middle of a 14 day trip. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that this will be the longest we have not had contact with each other in 17 years!!

It's hard to go for 14 days without speaking to the person who is your best friend and really helps you do life. I realize that many marriages are not like that, but ours really is. Even after all this time, I look to him for feedback on so many things. I can always count on him to be honest with me and tell me when I need to make changes. He's also the first one to tell me when I've done a great job at something. His opinion means the world to me.

Also, I have to say that I have a new appreciation of the hard work that is involved in single parenting. Kudos to any of you are doing that or have done that in the past. I realize that many single parents don't have 4 kids and included in that a child with special needs and a child that is not yet 3 years old, but regardless of the circumstances, being the sole parent in ANY situation I think is daunting. It's hard being the one that makes all of the decisions, deals with all of the conflicts, and has to be everything to all people. I didn't realize how much I rely on Rob to come home at night and just be a sounding board about various situations that have come up with the children.

So, I had to come up with some coping mechanisms to get through these two weeks. It's likely wimpy but here's what I did. I developed some new 'while Dad is in Greece' rules.
1) Anyone who argues with the Mom goes to their room for 2 hours.
2)The children are being given 2 warnings to stop any fighting between them. If they cannot come up with a compromise / resolution in 2 warnings, they each go to their respective rooms for 2 hours.
These rules are absolute and unwavering. They do not change because of someone's opinion, feelings, etc. Life has been going well since the implementation of the new rules.

I also have been writing e-mails to Rob. He won't get them until he comes home and quite frankly, they aren't for him...they're for me. They're my way to get my thoughts and feelings out so that I can process my day and move on. They are serving their purpose. I write to Rob and I feel so much better. I can often hear what he would say back to me. I'm sure when he gets home, he'll make fun of me for sending him all of these messages, but as I said, they aren't for him...they're helping me get through this time alone.

So, I'm a little lonely, I'm tired and a little cranky at times, but this is time of real growth for me. I am spending this time with my kids and enjoying being in their lives all day every day for 2 whole weeks. I don't have a lot of time left to do that. I'm spending concentrated time praying for my husband and our young adults on this trip and trusting that God is using them to tell people about Jesus. And I'm waiting. Waiting 7 more days to see this face again......OPA!!

Friday, July 23, 2010


We're getting a bunny. Today. I know...I have a lot on my plate and what am I thinking. He's coming from a breeder here in Alberta and he likes to be be petted and held as do both of his parents. He is a pure bred Netherland Dwarf rabbit. That means that he will be no bigger than 2 lbs when he is full grown. I thought that would be good as he will always look like a baby bunny. I am intending to bring him to visit Seth's class in the Fall. He is 8 weeks old and the kids are over the moon excited. Now the compromise begins on what to name this cute little creature. I'll post some new pictures over the weekend of the kids with the bunny.

This picture was taken from the web site of the bunny breeder....Happy Days Rabbitry in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada. Her web site is

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I had to get pretzels.

Well I think that all of you out there know that our second child, Seth, has Autism. It is something I have blogged quite a bit about. Last night, our darling little guy, decided that he would "get his mom some pretzels", and disappeared for 30 minutes.

I'm not sure if any of you have ever had a lost child, but the day and age in which we live is a very scary time for someone to have a lost child. Every day we are swamped with stories of missing and abused children and a lot was on my mind last night for those 30 minutes I can tell you. You are conditioned to believe that your child will be snapped up by a pedophile and abused and then murdered. And that happens to families every day. Terrible.

As I frantically searched parks and nearby rec centres for my son, these thoughts were on my mind. I know that they were on Rob's mind as well.

He was gone for about 30 minutes and was brought home by two very nice RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officers. When I asked Seth where he had gotten the bag of pretzels that was in his hand, the officer told me that Seth had reported to the officer he had gone to the store to get them for me. Many people who have commented on my Facebook post on this have said that they thought it was very sweet that he was getting me pretzels. I guess it was really. However, he had gone to the store with no money with which to buy the pretzels. The officers thought it was humorous that he had shoplifted the pretzels and told me that they had recieved no calls about a child stealing pretzels from a store, so, Seth could keep them.

However, someone here did not think it was funny. Our son Jonah. He very quickly told me that the officers would not have laughed if HE had stolen the pretzels [true] and we would have taken him back to the store to return them and apologize [also true], and why weren't we doing anything to discipline Seth for these actions.

It is interesting when you are the parents of a special needs child. You make allowances for them that you would never make for your other children. Others do as well. Obviously.

We listened to our distressed 11 year old and Jonah and Rob went off to the store to return the pretzels and to apologize to the store manager for Seth having stolen them. The manager told Rob that no one had seen him enter the store alone, take the pretzels or leave the store alone either. That is scary to me. An unattended child entered the store, took something off a shelf and exited the store without paying for the item and no one noticed.

After this conversation with the manager, Jonah turned to his father and said, "Dad I had no idea it was SO easy to shoplift!" Wrong lesson learned I think. :0)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well, Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there. I realize that for some people Mother's Day is a very hard day. They have either lost their mother or they have lost a child or children and so this is a day that is very bittersweet or out right painful. Mother's Day around here is usually full with all of the usual Sunday activities and then some activity that we do as a family. It's still early, but I have been given my gifts from my kids and I have had breakfast made for me by my wonderful 7 year old daughter. I can't wait to see what the rest of the day has instore. I thought I would share with you the gifts that the kids made this year. I love hand made gifts. They are hands down my favourites and this year everyone made me something, including Seth, which is very special indeed!!
Spencer made a hand painted jar that is currently being used a vase [her babysitter put some tulips from her garden into each one after the kids painted them]. But, I'm thinking that I will ultimately take it to work to use as a pen holder.

Lauren brought home several items, including this hand painted jar with Marigold seeds in it. She also created coupons I can redeem to get her to do different jobs around the house along with a hand made card.

Seth's class is in the middle of a unit on frogs. So, for Mother's Day, he made a very interesting frog along with a hand made card and gift bag.

Jonah even surrendered and wrote me a letter. He gave it to me very reluctantly, but he gave it to me. Having an eleven year old requires having a thick skin from time to time.

Well, all in all, a terrific Mother's Day for me. I wish all of you a safe and happy Mother's Day today. Whether your family is near or far, we can all sit and spend some time remembering what our mothers mean to us and all that they have given to us.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Working From Home

I feel so blessed. I am so enjoying my job at RDC [Red Deer College] teaching in the nursing department. It is really a challenge to impart what I've learned over my almost 15 years [yikes] of being a nurse. [Am I really that old?]

I also love having new research more readily accessible and being able to learn why we do what we do in our practice. After you graduate from your university years, you follow the policies set out by your institution, but who has time to scan the literature yourself? With 4 kids and our busy schedule, I sure didn't. But now that's part of my job and I LOVE it!! I feel like I am really using all that I learned all those years ago at Ryerson U and that I am actually finally working at my full potential. I still have SO much to learn in order to ensure that I'm as effective a teacher as I need to be, but I really feel that the College supports that and has an environment that fosters that learning to take place. For the first time in my career, I feel that I'm not just a cog in the wheel, but really a part of something dynamic.

I have a very nice shared office at the College that is spacious and I'll post some pics of it here soon. But one of the best things about working at the College is the ability to work at home from time to time. So, that's what I'm doing today. Taking some time away from the hustle and bustle at the College itself and working at home in the peace and quiet since the kids are at school today. It is so liberating to sit in your jogging pants and a t-shirt and work to your hearts' content without interruptions.

Well, back to work for me.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Useful Woman

Today was a LONG day. I had several meetings to attend at the College as well as having my interview to teach next year. I was stressed and went from meeting to interview to meeting with no break in between. When I got home Seth was already home from school, and was having fun with his dad.
Seth always changes his clothes when he gets home from school. He takes off whatever he wore to school and puts on a t-shirt and shorts. Usually he chooses the same t-shirt and shorts. When I arrived home Seth was searching for his shirt and shorts. He was having a difficult time finding them. So, I joined the search. Luckily for me...I found them. Hooray for the mom!!

After I found them, I brought the clothes to my wonderful son and he said.....

"Congratulations Mom!! You are a very useful woman!"
He's absolutely right of course. I am very useful....mostly for finding things I guess. :0)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The doctor

Rob has been gone for the last 6 days - 3 to Pastor's Retreat just north of us here in Alberta and 3 to Fond du Lac Wisconsin for Faye and Steve Daniels' wedding. He just returned home today and Spencer was VERY excited to see her Daddy. She kept running into his arms yelling, "You're home're home!" When everything settled down, she and her father had the following conversation:

Spencer: "Daddy, I'm gonna be a doctor."
Rob: "Really? That's nice. Will you take care of Daddy when he's sick?"
Spencer: "Nope."
Rob: Oh, why not?"
Spencer: "Cuz, I'm leaving right now."
Rob: "You're leaving to be a doctor right now?"
Spencer: "Yep."
Spencer left the room. Within 5 seconds she was back with her hand outstretched to say...
Spencer: " Dad, I need money!"
I so enjoy conversations like this one with my children. Conversations like this happen all the time. I need to take the time to really remember and enjoy these. I guess I also need to start saving for medical school. :0)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What to write???

February was a fast month. It seemed to go by in a flash. I was busy wrapping up a clinical session at the College, I was getting the house and the kids ready for Rob and I to go away, I was away on the cruise and then got back and had to immediately dive into another new clinical session. I feel like I hardly had the chance to breathe. So, now it's March and I haven't posted anything in weeks. So, you might be wondering what's new.'s the scoop...

Jonah was given an award this week at school. It is called the Timothy Award. It is awarded to one student from each class in the school who has shown outstanding Christian character over the school year. So, our young man [I want to say little boy - but he's not any more] was the recipient of this award for his class this year. He has a wonderful certificate which he is very proud of. We're proud of him too. Way to go Jo!!!

Seth is thrilled that his Mom and Dad are home. He struggles the most when life doesn't go according to the established routine. It is so great that he can now actually articulate how he feels. He has settled back into life easily and is enjoying his days. His class just had a skating field trip to Bower Ponds, a lovely park here in Red Deer that has wonderful outdoor skating facilities in the winter. They spent a morning last week outside skating and having a snack by the ponds. He told his teacher, "This was the best field trip EVER!!"

Lauren is already planning her birthday party. Her birthday is July 1st, but she has big plans and is already discussing her options. Right now she's choosing between taking a few friends to a movie, going bowling or having a party at home. She really wants to have friends from school so we likely will have the party before school is done for the summer. She wants to grow up so fast and it is a challenge to get her to enjoy being 7.

Spencer is a happy well adjusted 2 year old. She knows her own mind though and fought with her Grandpa about being toilet trained while we were away. I realize that many people are strict about toilet training. It's just not me. I figure that they won't graduate from high school wearing diapers so, when they're ready it will happen.

Rob has some exciting things coming up at work like a missions trip to Greece with the young adults this summer. So, he is on cloud 9 loving ministry. He wakes up every day excited to get to work and be part of what God's doing at CrossRoads and here in Central Alberta.

I am learning so much and even though I've had some difficult situations to work through, I can see that I'm growing and I really enjoy teaching. Watching nursing students grow in understanding and confidence is VERY rewarding for me. I am spending some of my $2500 of professional development money on a conference in Boston in May. So I'll be going with a few other instructors to Boston for the weekend, to learn how to be better at what we do. I'm looking forward to it.

On a darker note, my father was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. It is in the early stages and he has decided to have surgery. So, he'll be having his surgery in April. I wish I was closer so that I could help out more once he gets home, but I won't be able to do that. Both he and my mom are happy that they have had such great care by their family doctor and the specialist and we are all very hopeful for a successful outcome. If you are so inclined, please pray for them, it is a stressful time.

Well, that's everything that's new with the Tannahills. Wishing you all a wonderful spring full of new opportunities.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The English Boy

Over the past few weeks I have been taking the time to make brunch for our family on Saturday mornings. It has become a wonderful family time. We get to share food that takes some additional time to prepare and is more special than the average morning breakfast, and most of all we sit and have time together. So over the last few weeks we have had bacon and eggs, pancakes, Eggs Benedict....well you get the idea.
This week I thought that I would do something different and I made French Toast. That is breakfast food I really like and it had been a really long time since we had enjoyed that.
So, I started making the French Toast and of course the aroma of the cinnamon and nutmeg started bringing little Tannahills from all over the house. Seth arrived in the kitchen at that time and the conversation went like this:
"Mom whatcha makin?"
"French Toast. Would you like some Seth?"
"No, I don't eat French Toast."
"Why not?"
"I don't eat French Toast because I'm english. I'm english Mom. Will you make me pancakes?"
So, we had French Toast and pancakes. :0)

For a boy that had little to no real self awareness a few years ago, I thought this was great understanding of self . It also shows that we need to do a little work around trying new foods!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Old Man

You know how children say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? All the time.
Well, Rob had that experience this week with Seth. Seth was getting his winter clothes on to leave for school and Rob was helping him get his boots on. Seth grabbed Rob's head and asked, "Dad, what has happened to your hair?" Rob replied, "My hair is wet because it still isn't dry from my shower." Seth then said, "No it's not wet, it's GREY! You are an OLD MAN Dad!"
Poor Rob. I thought it was so funny and asked Rob if he was going to start combing Just For Men into his hair. :0) No mens' hair dye has shown up, so I guess he's made terms with it. Thanks Seth for keeping it real!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I don't think that I have posted any pictures of our puppy Rex. This is a fairly recent one of him with Spencer. As you can see she loves him. She is forever petting him, feeding him, giving him commands and yes even cuddling with him. He is very accomodating. He is close to 75 lbs, so when he is excited he can be too energetic and knock her down by accident to which she looks at him and sternly commands, "NO REX!!" Usually with an outstretched pointer finger.
Mostly she loves him. As I look at this picture I'm thinking that he's in desperate need of a good grooming. I should get on that before we go to Mexico. He doesn't love hair cutting, combing and nail clipping so it can take a day to two to get all of the grooming tasks completed.
Rex is celebrating his first birthday this week. He has been with us since May. It certainly is extra work having a dog and there are moments when I have thought about whatever could have possessed me to get a dog, but mostly I love him to death.
He has such a protective instinct that I no longer feel scared when Rob travels with work. Which is good because I'm getting too old to go for days on end without sleeping and single handedly looking after 4 kids like I did for years when we lived in the States. Back then, when Rob would go to camp or ski trips or conferences I would be up most of the night listening to every sound and pacing around the house. By the time he would come home I would be exhausted. That's part of the reason why we picked a Giant Schnauzer. He is protective and I wouldn't have to worry about anyone breaking in - certainly not unannounced anyways. :0)
So, there's a recent pic of our boy. He is sweet and a nice addition to our family. Happy Birthday Rex! Thanks for all you've added to our family!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A long...LONG...L..O..N..G.. week!

This was a VERY long week. On Monday, the power steering on the van died. Tuesday it was fixed with just under $200 of parts, labour and fluid put into it. On Wednesday our good friends Chelsea Lefeber and Nate Boyer arrived. It is great to see them and I'm glad that they are here. It is the bright spot in this otherwise terrible week.

Thursday Seth woke up pointing at his mouth and saying "What is this?" His gum was huge, red and yucky looking so off Rob took him to the dentist. Verdict? An abscessed tooth. He's currently on 7 days of antibiotics and then will have the tooth removed IF he will co-operate with the dentist to have it removed. If he won't, then he will need to have an extraction under sedation and currently there's a 6 month waitlist for that in Red Deer. So, we would need to take him to Calgary to have that done if he does need it. We're praying he doesn't.

Then on the way home from the dentist, Rob's car died. The one he just got to replace the one that got totalled in the accident he had. So we are down to one vehicle with 2 people going all over town each day, 3 kids that go to 3 different schools and one baby that needs to go to her sitter every morning. The next few weeks are going to be interesting in the transportation department. I will be praying that it doesn't get really cold so buses don't start getting cancelled.

All in all not the best week, but I guess not the worst either. So, there's an update on us for this week. Enough said.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

It is January 1st 2010. Another whole year has come and gone. When I think about this time last year, Rob and I were staying in Ontario with our parents and we were preparing for a long 3 day drive to start our life here in Red Deer. It was a time filled with excitement and a lot of uncertainty. What would our life in Red Deer be like? Would it be all that we were hoping and dreaming it would be?

2009 was a wonderful year. After a very long, dark time for us, this past year was a sort of jubilee year for us.

Rob started out his ministry at CrossRoads Church. The young adults are a wonderful group. He has spent the last year meeting, greeting, counselling, consoling, rejoicing and at times grieving with the young adults of this congregation and community. He is working with men and women who love God and do ministry in a way that makes sense to us. He loves going to work each day.

I started 2009 working in the ER. It was job that I found was not something I could do, but I prayed and sought God about this and soon after our arrival, He provided me with a job that I enjoy more than any other I have had in my 14 years of nursing. Working at Red Deer College is a gift. The people there really are committed to helping each staff member grow and develop. I enjoy that so very much. Instead of hearing about all the areas that the nurses need to improve floor nurses know what I'm talking about...finally I work somewhere where the time and work I put in really is appreciated and I'm told that it's appreciated. More mature instructors are coming alongside those of us who are green and are helping us develop the skills we need with instructing students.

Jonah struggled with his transition back to Canada and to a new school, but as 2010 starts he has great friends and really likes his life here.

Seth had issues with adjusting to a completely new life. Now that he is in the right school program for him, he is doing so very well. He is making progress in areas that he has really struggled in.

Lauren settled in with vigor. She does miss her friends in Wisconsin, but she has really never looked back. She loves life and adventure and started out the year committed to making new friends and trying new things. As 2010 starts she is looking forward to making even more friends and having new adventures.

At the start of last year, Spencer was a one year old that didn't like anyone but her immediate family. She sobbed and cried any time she was left and wouldn't talk to anyone. She has spent the last year at a wonderful day home and now will go anywhere and talk with anyone. She really loves life now, and she's a joy to take places.

Well, that's a little about where God brought us over the last year. As I look into 2010, I'm amazed that 15 years have gone by since I walked down the aisle to meet my wonderful husband and start our life together. We will be going on a cruise in February to celebrate this milestone. Other than that, the year is an open slate. I have no idea what the days, weeks and months hold for our family, but I know that God will be with us every step along the way.