MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014
2014 has been a busy year for our family. As always, I love being able to give you a glimpse of our year through pictures. Here are the highlights, one for each letter of MERRY CHRISTMAS:
(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)
Since I'm in the middle of writing a Lighthouse series, I've had lots of fun this past year visiting lighthouses. In fact, I even stayed for a week at an assistant light keeper's cottage in Eagle Harbor way up in the UP of MI on Lake Superior. (A BIG thanks to my mom for joining in on all my adventures!)
The year was filled with many exciting moments, everything from petting skunks, walking down 100 steps into an abandoned copper mine, hiking waterfalls, to plunging down waterslides at Magic Waters.
My husband and I continued to discipline ourselves to keep to a regular running schedule and found our health stats improving as a result. One of our daughters competed in her second triathlon and came in first for her age group.
During the early part of the summer, we finally had our 70's style kitchen remodeled. The lovely green counters are finally gone! Even though it meant several weeks of eating in the garage (and at my moms!), the final product was worth the trouble.
It's with mixed emotions that I watch my three oldest turn into young adults. On the one hand, I'm excited that my twins are learning to drive and that my oldest (a senior) is making plans to go to college. But I also fondly remember those sweet days when they were little.
Cats, Cats Everywhere
The cats still rule. Need I say more? :-)
After celebrating her 95 birthday during the summer with family, my dear grandmother went to her heavenly home in November. We're happy that she's finally free of her pain here on earth. Nevertheless, I still grieve for this strong woman of faith who was a wonderful grandma.
While "down time" is rare in our family these days, we had a few peaceful moments on family vacations, riding bikes, rock collecting, hiking the Dunes, and playing games.
International Mission Trip
My oldest son had the privilege of traveling to Haiti this past summer to work in an orphanage. It's all too easy in our culture to become insulated and calloused to the deprivation many suffer in other countries. We're thrilled he had the opportunity to develop compassion for those who are suffering and hurting.
As always, sports are a huge part of our family life. The kids were involved in swimming, basketball, soccer, ballet, and worship dance. This winter, my husband is helping to coach my oldest son's varsity basketball team for his senior year.
Trips to visit family
From weddings to birthdays to funerals, we traveled to several family gatherings this year. It's always a joy to spend time with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandmas.
Many new books
My writing career continues to expand. I love writing Historical Romances for Bethany House Publishers (my first lighthouse book just released!). But I also signed two new contracts with two new publishers this past year. My first young adult medieval will release in March 2015. And a historical will release in Sept. 2015.
Awesome photos of the year
For Mother's Day my family gave me a nice camera. Here are a few of the most awesome photos of the year.
In September I traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for a fiction writer's conference where I co-taught a workshop with a friend and critiqued manuscripts for aspiring writers. The highlight of the trip was winning the Carol Award for my book A Noble Groom.
From my family to yours,
We wish you a very Merry Christmas!