It's been a year filled with ABUNDANT blessings from the Lord in every area of our lives. Even obstacles have become stepping stones to success for us, and for that we are grateful.
God has taught me amazing lessons and I'm
sure glad He has. Afterall, we can't move forward without a good foundation laid down. The book I am reading this month of December, "Never Give Up" is FILLED with awesome advice and encouragement. I am certainly loving it and recommend it to everyone! Another
book I am reading (and rereading once a week for the entire month, as they say to do in the last chapter) is titled "The Prayer of Jabez". It is a most amazing little book through which God is teaching me to become a prayer warrior that is open to God's abundant
blessings in my life, my family's life and in the lives of each person in the Messengers of Hope team, of which God has made me the leader. I have learned that on my own I can do nothing, but with His mighty hand upon me, empowering me and leading me all the
way, He works in my life, through me and around me in the most AMAZING ways. Can't wait to see what He will accomplish the rest of the month and throughout 2016. I am so excited! I am blessed
beyond measure in every area of my life, that is for sure. All praise be to God alone!
Dana continues to work in his own business - HELP Plumbing, Heating and Air. God has always provided work for him so that, by simply being available,
he can help people in our area with all their plumbing, heating and air conditioning concerns at a good price. Never once has He had to advertise! God blesses him with good health, strength and wisdom to know what to do in every situation.
Emmanuel finished 10th grade at Rancho Alamitos highschool and started 11th grade there. However, he came to a decision in October, that he prefered the unschooling lifestyle, and so he is back home. He still visits his friends at the highschool almost
every weekday, though, since he enjoys their friendship and doesn't want to lose touch with them. He will continue to enjoy learning at home and the plan is for him to graduate December of 2016, after returning from a 3-week trip to Colombia, South America.
He plans to get his driver's permit by next June. He continues to attend youth group on Sundays and enjoys singing in the youth choir at the Lutheran church we continue to regularly attend. He will perform once again in the musical that choir is putting on
for us on Christmas Eve.
Ziedite started 7th grade in September and continues to do it at home through the homeschooling state program called Community Homeschool Education Program, or CHEP for short. We do most of her work at home,
but she goes on Wednesdays to the building about 10 minutes from home where she attends 7th and 8th grade Club classes, as well as the yearbook group. She really enjoys all the activities CHEP puts on and enjoys meeting up with friends from there. She is a
very outgoing little girl who loves hanging out with her friends, that's for sure! She now is old enough to attend youth group and youth choir at church, so she has been doing that since September. She will also perform in the musical this year and will even
be able to do a small solo!
Dana Jr continues to live in the little room he rents from a family not too far from us. He continues working as Dana's apprentice. Dylan rents an apartment nearby and is currently working as car salesman.
We meet up with them once in a while for special ocassions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Dylan stops by pretty regularly to say hello and to wash his clothes.
We had our 10-day family vacation in Maine and New Jersey/New York
this year in August. In New York we met up with one of my friends I had met online many years ago, but had never met in person (Yvonne Osinga-Bisk and her husband Howard); we also met up with my childhood friend, Jorge Abril and his brother Oscar. The idea
was to meet up with two of my other online friends in New Jersey, but unfortunately that did not work out this time around. Then we headed to Maine, where we met up with some of Dana's family - his mom and stepdad, his niece and nephew and their kids, and
his sister Susan.
We plan to meet up on Christmas Eve with my brother John and his family, as well as with my mom this time around, for our annual piragi-making and Christmas celebration event. They will all attend the Christmas
Eve service at 5:00 p.m so that we can all watch Emmanuel and Ziedite perform in the musical.
That pretty much wraps up the highlights for our year! I look forward to all the amazing blessings God has in store for each of us in 2016. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)