Jim is the one who took care of the Christmas card and letter updates every year. So, now that I am in charge, you are lucky to get anything at all. Having said that, I do know that many of you have asked about how we are doing and wishing you had an update. So here goes:
Miriam – I still work at Davita/Lifeline Vascular Access in the central billing office. I like the people I work with and I have a new boss, but I wish I worked closer to home (it is a 50 mile round trip in traffic) and that I was doing something more in line with the way I am wired. I occasionally look for something else but that often gets discouraging. Mostly I thank God for his provision and know that I just need to keep things relatively the same for Clayton so he can finish without any other major upheaval (if possible). I am trying not to be stressed over the real possibility that we will have to move when our lease is up in June. But if we do, we do! I am well supported with family and friends but very lonesome for Jim.
Clayton – He is doing well overall. He is playing club soccer and his team had back to back undefeated seasons! He is also playing varsity soccer at FUHS. He recently took up the guitar. He plays keyboard in the high school worship band at church and has some really good friends. He got his braces off in November and his goal for 2012 is to get his driver’s license. He got a waffle iron for Christmas and has been making waffles for all of his friends ever since!
Emily – She had a rough first semester at Biola, but we are working to get her the emotional help she needs so that she can thrive. She is an art major and lives on campus. Biola is a good fit for her, but she has put a lot of pressure on herself to not embarrass her dad’s memory. She still paints shoes for Tom’s and sings occasionally at church.
2011 was a hard year for Jim’s family for more reasons than I will share. 3 months after Jim died, his dad joined him in heaven , and so did Tammie’s (Jim’s sister in law)mother. Linda also had to put down their cat Sheba. The biggest blessing was the birth of our great-niece, Abigail. Alex is her mother and the last person Jim married!
We all took our own vacations this year. Emily went to Europe for 2 weeks after graduation. Clayton went to Hume Lake for the first time. Together the kids went to Chicago to visit their friends, but they said that for the first time it didn’t feel like home anymore. I went to Panama City, Florida where met my relatives and I parasailed with my aunt Crystal. Then I went home to Alabama with them.
We are all looking forward to a better 2012 with graduations and happy celebrations and more unexpected blessings and surprises.