Stan did a great job, on his blog, of reviewing the big events in our family from the past decade. You really should read it if you haven’t already: www.cultural awakening.wordpress.com. I wasn’t ready to tackle the decade. (2009 was enough to make my head spin!) With the busyness of moving, I didn’t send out a Christmas letter this year, so this will serve as a year in review, for those of you who are interested!
January–Stan started his own web design business, “Rodda Designs”. Since then he’s built 7 websites, learning all kinds of aspects of designing logos, photo editing and the technical side of building a website. He never ceases to amaze me with his ability to learn new things so quickly!
February–Avary and I celebrated our birthdays. (She turned two and I turned 31!) Having a 2 year old isn’t new to us, but having a 2 year old girl has been a whole different experience! Avary is a charmer and learned this year to use all her feminine whiles to, dare I say, manipulate any situation! She can get her brothers to do just about anything and even we fall for her charm once in awhile! She is a beautiful and smart and full of life and joy!
March–My Mom flew in from Arizona to visit. We were able to take a day while she was here to go visit my Grandparents on the farm, as well. (Our kids are so fortunate to have such wonderful grandparents and great grandparents!) Stan started P90X (for the second time) in March as well, taking 90 days to get himself in the best shape of his life! We also had the privilege of attending an FCA Banquet, where we met Kurt Warner! (For those of you who aren’t football fans, Kurt Warner is an NFL quarterback 🙂 )
April–Spring was here and we began taking advantage of any day we could to visit the park, go on a walk or play on the swing set. We took the training wheels off Grant’s bike and the boys would both ride any day there was sunshine. We celebrated Easter with egg hunts, church celebrations and a day with our adopted Petersburg family, the Wheatons.
May–Grant finished kindergarten and Ashton completed his first year of preschool. Stan’s sister, Kristi, graduated from college (from our alma mater, CCCB, to be specific!) After celebrating her success, we traveled to St. Louis to celebrate Grant’s 7th birthday! Thankfully, the family was able to come with us! Randy, Donetta, Kristi, Josh, Kendy and Joseph all traveled with us to the St. Louis Zoo. It was a real treat for Grant to be with some of his favorite people on his birthday! He continues to love science, hot wheels and bugs. We are amazed at his reading skills and creativity. Grant wants to be an engineer, an artist and an entomologist when he grows up!
Stan surprised me with plane tickets to Arizona so I could be at my sister Rachel’s high school graduation! (Yes, he is amazing!) It was such a blessing to be able to see my parents and sister and to celebrate such a big event with them. Rachel is a freshman at Arizona State University this year!
June–Stan and I celebrated 9 years of marriage! Kendy and Joseph were kind enough to come stay with the kids, while we went to Indianapolis for two days of celebrating! We stayed in a fun, romantic suite (complete with pool and jacuzzi), ate at a great restaurant in an artsy part of town and just enjoyed each other’s company!
July–Summer arrived in full force with a fun fourth of July celebration on the lake, a trip to my grandparent’s farm, Vacation Bible School and swimming at friend’s houses! Donetta and Randy came to visit this month and took the kids on their first fishing trip. The boys caught several blue gill, which they insisted on eating! (Thankfully, Randy cleaned the fish and got them ready for me!) They all had a wonderful time and hope to do it again soon! At the end of July we celebrated Stan’s 29th birthday. (That’s right, this year is the big 3-0!)
August–Grant started 1st grade with much anticipation! He loved his teacher, Mr. Zimmerman, and was looking forward to new challenges. Stan began a patio project as well as some outdoor painting. Our goal was to get all the outdoor projects completed before it got too cold. Thankfully, we met our goal, although Stan did have to finish the patio in the rain! (There are pictures in this blog from the fall, if you haven’t seen the progress or the finished product!)
September–We took a trip to the Northern Virginia area for some sightseeing and an interview with New Life Christian Church. We all enjoyed DC so much, although we tried to pack too much sightseeing into the days we were here and definitely wore ourselves out! While in DC, we celebrated Ashton’s 5th birthday. He missed his first few days of school because of the trip, but caught up quickly. Ashton loved preschool and all his friends, who he referred to as his “brothers.” Ashton is incredibly energetic and always excited about something. He has such a passion for life and also for people. We are constantly amazed at his ability to empathize and so proud of his caring spirit. Ashton is our athlete and enjoyed playing soccer this year, but his first love is baseball. He says he wants to play professional baseball and football when he grows up!
The interview with New Life Christian Church went very well. This presented us with a big decision. We did not take it lightly and spent several weeks in prayer and contemplation. After that time, we decided God was leading us to Northern Virginia, where Stan would take on the role of campus pastor in Haymarket. (New Life is a multi-site, three campus church.) We announced our decision to our family and friends and began preparations for the big move.
October–My parents came to visit us, at just the right time! I have a hard time with change, so it was good to have them here right after we made our big decision and announcement. October was packed with some of my favorite things…visiting the pumpkin patch, carving jack-o-lanterns, playing in the leaves and enjoying fall weather! We also put our house on the market this month and worked hard to get it ready for showings.
November–This month is sort of a blur to me. Busy doesn’t really describe the state we were in during November. Any of you who have made a big move know the stress that is involved. Thankfully, we were able to take a break from the stress to attend the Shriner’s Circus in Springfield. It was a great break during one of the most stressful times of our lives! Sadly, Stan’s Grandpa Rodda passed away and so we attended his funeral service in Indiana. He was a great man and servant of God and we are thankful to know he is now with Jesus! We also spent Thanksgiving visiting both sets of my grandparents and then had a “Thanksmas” with Stan’s side of the family at Kendy and Joseph’s in Jefferson City, MO.
When we came home from our Thanksgiving celebrations, it was time for the final packing and the move. Kristi and Josh and Donetta and Randy helped with the final details and preparations. Sunday, November 29th was our final Sunday with the Petersburg Church of Christ. It was a day filled with incredible emotion. We love many of those friends as if they are our family and so leaving was not easy. That afternoon a group of over 30 people helped us load our moving truck. (Because of their amazing help, we were loaded in an hour and a half!) Donetta and Randy traveled with us (what a blessing!) and we began the 830 mile journey from Illinois to Haymarket, VA.
December–We arrived at our new home on December 1st! It is still surreal to me that we now live on the East Coast. This Midwest girl never pictured herself in this part of the world! I am enjoying easy access to great shopping and restaurants, and our beautiful neighborhood. It has also been fun, on days off, to drive into DC to one of the Smithsonians or to another site or museum. Stan is incredibly excited about the ministry here with New Life Christian Church . He loves the team of people he is working with, both staff and volunteers and we are looking forward to what God has in store for us here! His role here is different than anything he’s done before so he’s keeping busy learning his new job and getting to know new people. We’ve had a very warm welcome here and are already making new friends.
So what does 2010 hold for us? In the immediate future, Grant will be starting school at Mountain View Elementary on Monday. Ashton is doing preschool work at home with me, preparing for kindergarten in the fall and Avary is working on potty training…well, I’m working on potty training anyway! For now, I will be working at home, full time as a wife and mommy! Soon I am going to start getting my name out to preschools in the area, hoping I can find a job in the fall. And of course Stan will continue his work with New Life. As a family, we’ll be working on loving Jesus and other people, more this year than we have before. Stan and I have realized that our first ministry is to our family, making it the best it can be and teaching our kids to be responsible, kind, respectful and loving. We pray that next January we’ll be able to look back and see that we’ve accomplished that goal! I can’t wait to see how God uses us and just pray that we’ll be open to His leading in our every day lives and that we will pursue Him more this year than last.