Merry Christmas 2008!!!
We send you warmest wishes as we celebrate our first old-fashioned Christmas at our cabin Bluebird Hill! As most of you know, we relocated to the Raleigh/Durham area in June and are still living out of boxes as we await the completion of our new home in Cary, NC. Targeted completion date is late Feb/early March.
In the meantime, we've found our church home at Good Hope Baptist Church, which is about 1/2 mile from our new home. And we've started to get a taste of what family life can be with a 10-minute commute. We've realized that, for the most part, you won't find a much slower pace of life here -- if anything, there is more for families to do, but that is the big difference: the focus is more on families and not on work and that's exactly why we came.
John's new job was worth the wait after nine months of unemployment and has been a rewarding, flexible and affirming place to work. It has been a "dream job" on many fronts so far. He has joined a men's Bible study and also joined the Cary Tennis Center and hopes to get on the ladder in the Spring. Another highlight was enjoying a few family outings to the Durham minor league baseball park to see Team USA Baseball and Durham Bulls games, not to mention a "roadtrip" at the crack of dawn into downtown Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. He is just generally home more and we are loving every minute!
Beth is biding her time by rescuing stray kittens, starting to write a book, praying about homeschooling next school year (did I just say that out LOUD?), dreaming of starting a new Christian school in Cary, juggling the needs of 3 young children with special needs, anticipating another paper pregnancy in the near future, and trying to sort out decorating ideas for the new house. She has joined a women's Bible study and a Christian women's bookclub and is excited about some new friendships that are forming. The Lord has been faithful this year amidst the challenges and stress associated with the move to a new state and He is showing her more and more of His overwhelming love in the process.
All three of the children are adjusting well and are enjoying watching the new home go up each day. It is fun to see them flit around the church during Sunday mornings and Wednesday night fellowship meals and feel so at home. Jonathan (8) is in second grade at Carpenter Elementary and continues to get literacy and ESL (English as a Second Language) support that is helping him make great gains in reading comprehension and fluency. His heart condition is not even a second thought and the only heart surgery he has endured this year was spiritual: he recently prayed to ask Jesus to be his Lord and Savior and we are excited to see him grow in the knowledge of that. He continues to be the happy-go-lucky, affectionate boy and adores his younger sisters. Actually it is BIG LOVE all the way around for these three as they often give hugs and exclaim, "We LOVE our family!" We are truly blessed by the Lord knitting our family together in such a special way.
Mia (5) is in a half-day transitional pre-K class at Salem Baptist Preschool with some very special teachers and classmates -- she loves going to school each day and has taken a recent interest in learning to read. She is starting to wean off her kidney medication again, is still in remission, and is seeing the top pediatric nephrologist in the area at UNC, who also happens to be the head of the clinical trial she was on while in VA. The current plan is to take her completely off her medicine on April 1 if all continues to go well so we would love your prayers for a miracle of permanent remission at that time. If she relapses this time, she won't have the option to go back on her current medication and would have to try others. Mia is our sweet, sensitive, affectionate fashionista, a real girly-girl who likes all things princess and fancy (but who also makes pets out of earthworms she finds in the dirt!).
Sophie's smile still lights up the room and she loves being outside, pushing strollers, and playing with her siblings. She is four and started out on the Salem Baptist Preschool waiting list, got into a two-day program, and now we are taking her out in January to be homeschooled as her teacher is leaving and therapist visits are monopolizing our time. Because of an unenviable 16 months in an orphanage to start out her life, Sophie has a sensory modulation disorder that impacts speech development as well as has some trust and attachment issues that she is making progress on overcoming through weekly therapy and lots of love from her family. She is an anxious but bright, fun-loving, and sweet girl who also prayed to ask Jesus into her heart recently. She is our little prayer warrior with an uncanny memory and passion for all things purple (or panda). We are excited that the extra room in our new house will allow us to include a "therapy room" with lots of fun swings, ladders, a trampoline and more.
We have certainly had an eventful year and look forward to putting some roots down in the coming year in Cary. Our intention is to slow down and simplify, but maybe that just means limiting weekly commitments and making family time a priority. The Lord is faithful and just, abounding in love, and we are so grateful for His sovereign control over the details of our lives. And we are so thankful for all of you!
Have a Blessed Christmas Celebrating the Birth of The King!
John, Beth, Jonathan, Mia, Sophie & Princess Peppermint Snowlily Lossing (a.k.a. Lily)