Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Friends and family,

It's funny, and sometimes not-so-funny how, as the kids get older, the years become less predictable. From the outside, things have looked rather mundane, I'm afraid, but change is in the air. We have had to field questions like: "Are you ever going to let your kids leave home?", and "What is Sarah going to DO with her degree?" I assure you, we were never raising a baseball team, we were and are raising arrows.
This year began like many others, but just a few weeks in, we had a scare with David's dad which resulted in major surgery. Next thing we knew, it was March already. Praise the Lord, Grandpa has made a lot of progress in recovery.

David and Andrew were able to go to their favorite pastors conference where Andrew met more pastor's and was presented a couple opportunities that he had to pray for direction over. Each one just didn't seem like "the thing" and by May he was back to hoping for an opening to study on the seminary campus in Wisconsin. He was offered a job there in June covering room, board and tuition. By August, he sold or gave away almost everything- even his teddy bear (which I got back)! It has always been his desire to not go into debt with school because his goal is church planting which is not a money maker. So, this was a huge answer to prayer. He expects to graduate with his Master's of Divinity by December 2017.

Sarah has had some crazy opportunities as well, but this year ended up looking like the previous one, after all. She teaches a writing class at at friends house and does some nanny work for my brother's family. Other things include: teaching William and Sam, meal planning for our crew, driving kids places and writing. I am treasuring this year.

Margaret is working on a Bachelor's in music and has a piano studio of about nine students humming along that is helping with the college expenses. It is called "Raincloud Piano Studio" and she is part of the Gig Harbor piano teachers guild. She really enjoys teaching and one of her students received first place in her division in the last Music Olympics. She often plays the piano for church choir, has one more year of piano competitions, and plays for a local homeschool choir.

Rebekah is 17 and learning to drive. She graduates from our home school at the end of this school year and has written and self-published two books. She writes whenever she can, and sometimes when she shouldn't. She also loves to play the piano and flute. Sarah and Margaret like to take her with them places as she is the social butterfly and that makes it easier on them in those settings. This year was especially fun for her because a couple of her writing friends came to visit and stay with us. One was a sweet family from Kansas and another from Eastern Washington. In fact, much of August we had company staying with us. Old friends and new friends fellowshipping with us. We made some wonderful memories without leaving our property.

Maxwell has begun his 10 th grade year of home education. He is very interested in computer programming and will possibly start College Plus next fall. He is 6'2" and has matured a lot over the last several years. He has had the opportunity to work for my dad and brother the last six months or so to save for college. He is thinking about driving. Remember, we do the "think method" for driving :) at least for a good while. Then we do LOTS of practice. He is playing the piano beautifully, as well, but he is not into performing. He enjoys singing bass in our church choir and in the home school choir.

David Clayton is in the 8th grade and 13 years old. He and Max love playing football in our field with their younger brothers, cousins, uncles, dad, friends from church, and anyone else remotely interested. I heard him ask Rebekah the other day if she wanted to play. Grandma Olson saves the paper for him when it has anything in it about college football, while the Seahawks go over to the other neighbor grandkids. That works out pretty well! Then, since we still do not have a television (yippee!), we watch the Huskey games over at grandpa and grandma Eddy's house. David is a details person. He CAN'T vacuum the living room without moving the furniture or organize the back porch without removing everything and getting every nook and cranny! This is AWESOME!... unless the company is already in the driveway. It really keeps us on our toes getting to know each of our children's gifts and helping them to develop them, as well as, strengthening their weaknesses. We need God's wisdom everyday.

Tabitha is 12 and becoming a young lady quickly. She has an interesting sense of humor- different even from Margaret's. If you haven't experienced it, then you can't understand what I mean ;). Her schooling is still sometimes a struggle but we have changed her diet quite a bit which is helping her sleep better and think more clearly. She manages her own diet and is not interested in going back to how she used to feel. Her Angora rabbit, Gandalf, is like a puppy or baby...or something. But he certainly isn't like a rabbit! She has really blossomed through having a pet to care for.

Marta is 10 and in the 5th grade. She is teetering between kid and young lady, but mostly still kiddo. She is trying to learn the harp from Sarah but the lessons aren't too regular. I hope that changes soon! Marta is our present poultry person. She is taking care of the chickens and ducks, faithfully donning Andrew's old work coat and my rubber boots each morning, through rain, sleet or snow. The birds hear her voice and obey.

William is 8 and doing very well in school. His mind is whirling constantly, though, and he'd be finished with school by now if he concentrated! Did you know there is a pattern to square roots?  Sarah is having a blast teaching him. He and Sam play great together. Usually. And the boys are put out if they don't have the cousins over every day. We have coined our property "Cousin County".

Samuel, at six years old, is still a pretty easy going guy, but he needed a few sentences to help him not be pushed around too much by William. He is allowed to say kindly, "I am not available to play if you are going to boss me."  Otherwise, it can be pretty frustrating being the youngest in a household of 11-12 people. And he wants a pet penguin.

David is still loving his work at MCC. There is always more to do, but our church family is so gracious towards us and they encourage us to build into our family and not just the church body. I have been able to organize some retreats with some other ladies recently and we have a new associate pastor this year. We are so thankful for their family! The  church seems to be enjoying the combination of our different strengths etc.

You can see, there have been some changes. There have also been plans made and cancelled that weren't mentioned here. There are plans in the works that may or may not come to anything.The letter is positive. I do make it that way on purpose. Not everything has been easy, simple or as predictable as it looks. But this year, as in every other year, God has been in control and, next year, however it goes, He will be in control still.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer.29:11

Merry Christmas to you all. Remember, we are here and we love you. Please, contact us for prayer anytime and may you find Jesus to be your ALL this coming year.
David and Carol Eddy
Andrew, Sarah, Margaret, Rebekah, Maxwell, David, Tabitha, Marta, William and Samuel

Websites and blogs in our family:   ( the church)      ( Carol's blog)     (Carol's essential oils website) (Andrew's blog)  ( Sarah's blog)  (Sarah and Margaret's blog)  (Rebekah's blog)    (Margaret's studio)