Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Late winter and spring have had us busy but overall well and content . . . a very nice place to be!
Two weeks after Christmas we had an amazing visit from my sister-in-law Susannah, my niece Dina (and great nieces and nephews including my nephew Greg’s daughter Nicole from California). It was so wonderful to see/meet them. I hadn’t seen Susannah since 1975 and we met Nicole for the first time.
Emily turned 8 on January 24 -- beginning her 2 1/2 months of lording it over Samuel. She’s become quite the proficient reader and likes it, too!
February was “David month” -- he now has contacts and took his first ACT test (30 isn’t bad for the first try). He started his first college class (College Algebra) and is balancing that with the rest of his homeschool courses. He’ll continue with both for the next year and graduate from our homeschool in 2012 with a fair amount of college credit. He just received his red belt in TaeKwonDo, too!
Joel’s been teaching our adult Sunday School since late winter and continues to enlighten us with deep thinking and thought-provoking teaching! My favorite story regarding his business was when he recently bartered his services with his dentist’s: a new filling in exchange for computer repair. The man is resourceful!
Carly is going to Belize for a missions trip this summer and she’s been busy with fundraisers for the trip. Lucky her! She’ll be the first of us to make it back to Central America. She’s still busy with work and teaching Sunday School . . . and making nice birthdays for her two youngest siblings!
Samuel caught up with Emily last week -- now they are both 8! He’s heavily into his mini soccer season -- cold and rainy as it may be. This time of year they cancel almost as many practices and games and they play.
We’re in the midst of some minor remodeling -- after almost 20 years I think some new floors, sinks and countertops are in order.
Recently Emily placed a large branch under one of our trees. Why you ask? Because she wants the snakes to have an easier time getting to their food: a little nest of birds. Ewwww . . . she DOESN’T get her love of snakes from me! Sorry but I’m Team Birdies.
Future posts will detail two missions trips (Carly’s and Joel, David and me to Walthill, NE), a detasseling job, yet another crazy July 4th at Nelsons, a first-ever Noel Family reunion . . . and who knows what else! Stay tuned!
Monday, December 20, 2010
First off . . . I am ROTTEN at blogging!
I’m going to start with a recap of 2009’s wishes and HIS amazing love and provision:
May the Lord in 2010 keep Mark employed (HE did), bring a great house to Joel (HE did), connect Carly with His richest blessings for her (she had a full year!), enrich David’s life and bring him purpose (HE did), help Emily to learn and mature (YES!), guide Samuel in all ways (blessings here, too), and keep me out of the hospital : ) (HE DID!!!) .
Fast overview of 2010:
JANUARY -- Emily turned 7
APRIL -- Samuel turned 7;
MAY -- new residence for someone
JUNE -- Joel headed up our mission trip to Omaha Tribe
JULY -- My dearest mom passed away; vacation to Yellowstone
AUGUST -- 27th anniversary; Girl Trip to Chicago
OCTOBER -- David turned 17 / Carly turned 21
NOVEMBER -- Joel turned 25
DECEMBER -- Lookout Omaha: another Nelson on the roads!
It’s been a difficult year actually . . . eventful, too.
here on new
MARK: It’s been a good year for pushing projects ahead and this has given the engineer a great sense of accomplishment -- they’re pretty much all like that . . . they like to design and build but it has to DO something. He’s still enjoying hikes and playgrounds with Emily and Samuel and guy-time with David but has added spending some evenings with Joel and Carly at Old Chicago. With kids from 7 to 25 his life has variety!
JOEL: No job changes but he bought his first house! He’s really embraced urban living and likes his neighborhood (which is like a small town within a big city). Ministry-wise he headed up our mission trip to the Omaha Reservation and was sent to a national missions conference in November. More preaching and teaching (youth and adults), too. He made a trip to Chicago for another Cubs game and went on a ski trip the beginning of the year. He does a good job of living life to its fullest where God has him. 2011 promises to hold more missions involvement and teaching opportunities for him so follow him via his website, www.joelwnelson.com - look for the blog link there!
CARLY: Absolutely loves being a para-educator in special education for the Gretna schools! Her latest “award”: winner of the ugly sweater contest at work (only Carly could pull off an oversized gaudy sweater with a bright green tutu attached!). Check the photos. She’s still teaching Sunday School and helping Emily and she’s extremely effective! In November she was a bridesmaid for the first time -- she had a lot of fun and was beautiful! She’s the best baker I know and does a good job of keeping her mom entertained (and on her toes).
DAVID: Because of tightwad parents he had to wait 14 months but he’s loose now -- he received his driver’s license a couple of weeks ago! He’s our #1 fix-it/renovate man and still keeps up with TaeKwonDo, softball/soccer and Spanish plus the rest of his school work. He occasionally plays keyboards for our worship team. He usually has fun with Fantasy Football and Baseball (though he didn’t have a great football season so don’t mention it to him!). He still loves his computer, iPod Touch, music, friends, and American Eagle!
EMILY: Emmy’s making good progress in school! She did Girls on the Run with Carly this past fall and was one of the fastest for her age in the 5K run! She enjoyed a girls basketball camp -- she loves sports. She really likes and has an aptitude for science. She amazes Mark with identifying animal tracks in the snow. She’d be a good detective . . . she can tell us who’s ‘visited’ us from animal kingdom. Still full of hugs and gentleness . . . she’s a blessing.
SAMUEL: He does well in school and really likes his teacher. He enjoys playing soccer and is quite good at it. He has his own little ‘man cave’ in the basement with Mark’s old computer. What is it with boys and computers -- Joel works with them for a living, David lives on them and now Samuel! He’s Daddy’s little helper and if you need to stay awake on a long trip consider taking Sam -- he’ll talk the whole time and you won’t be able to sleep!
MELANIE: I miss my mom. I was so happy to see her 92nd birthday but two months later and she was gone. I’m grateful for some great moments with her in the spring and early summer. Even after her stroke she managed to raise her arms for a hug a couple of days before she died. I’ll always remember that. When my dad died (40 years ago) there was no opportunity to say goodbye . . . with Mom I have many memories of her love and encouraging words . . . even in the hospital when she could get words out. Though I wish she was still here some very wonderful things occurred as a result of Mom’s passing: 1) Emily trusted Christ as her Savior and 2) we were reunited with family (my niece and nephew came to spend time with us and attend Mom’s memorial service).
I don’t know if my family will read this -- but I hope so because I want them to remember I love them and appreciate them. I don’t think I will ever be able to give back to them what they’ve given me:
Mark tolerates me and gives me opportunities to explore life even at my age. I’m grateful that you listen to me. I appreciate you.
Joel: you take care of my heart and my head -- you are smart, wise and intuitive -- you always have been. Thank you for your companionship and counsel. Words really don’t touch how I feel, Joel, but . . . I trust you immeasurably . . . and love you dearly.
Carly: you always set the standard and don’t let me settle for mediocrity -- in case you didn’t know I notice you are always there when I have a disaster -- and I adore you for it. I’m there for you, too, even when you don’t think you need it. I love you.
David: you look out for me -- I notice and I appreciate that. You care enough to want to please and that is a wonderful quality. That says “love” louder than words. You are valuable and I’ll always love you.
Emily: your touch is precious. You always have a hug or a back rub and that means so much to me. I love you.
Samuel: whenever I need to talk to someone I know you’ll always be willing. You can show enthusiasm even in dark moments. You are loved.
May the Lord in 2011 keep Mark employed (and paid), continue to guide and open doors for Joel in his ministry, surround Carly with His love and blessings, give David joy and keep him safe, grow Emily loving and good, show Samuel real purpose in life, and give me hope, peace and a strong sense of His presence always .
The Nelsons cherish your prayers and love -- may 2011 fill you up with all His best for you . . . and give you eyes to SEE it ; ) .
Thursday, December 10, 2009
January -- Emily turned 6
April -- Samuel turned 6
May -- vacation in Lake of the Ozarks
June -- mission trip to Omaha Tribe
July -- girl trip to Colorado
August -- 26th anniversary / Joel’s first sermon
September -- emergency surgery for one of us
October -- David turned 16 / Carly turned 20
November -- Joel turned 24; new employment for someone
Reflecting back we realize 2009 was a year for “fixing what was broken” (or at least directing us on the path to that end!). We are so grateful the Lord knows everything and has a plan for us because much of the time we are clueless!
Mark: his job with the Corps of Engineers continues to be a secure job with lots of opportunities to “accomplish” something -- engineers get tired of pushing paper and never seeing anything “get built” -- so being a Project Manager is rewarding (albeit exhausting with travel and overtime). His newest hobby: buying coins on eBay! He’s the #1 Emmy/Samuel fun guy, too -- hikes, bike rides, playgrounds, the zoo!
Joel: no job changes but Joel has added a number of projects! He’s heading up all the extra mission projects for the Omaha Tribe outside of the annual week-long work trip. He preached for the first time August 23rd (it was great) but still has a few more years before he’ll go to seminary. He took two mini-plane trips for fun -- one for a Rockies game in Denver and one for opening day of Cubs baseball in Chicago! Buying a house in northwest Omaha is his 2010 goal. You can keep up with him via his website, www.joelwnelson.com - look for the blog link there!
Carly: she’s the one with the new job! After a meeting regarding Samuel, the principal at E & S’s elementary school asked if Carly was looking for a job -- two days later she was hired. Carly is a para in the special needs class. This homeschooled child always told me she was going to grow up and teach in the public schools -- good grief -- she actually is! She’s an amazing Sunday School teacher and tutor for her siblings;
David: he’s maintaining the population of Hilltop Christian School by himself these days. Baseball/softball in the summer, Taekwondo two days a week, guitar and Spanish once a week on top of whatever I heave at him. He recently bought a brand new Macbook and iPod Touch and is in love (with the electronics) . . . I keep telling him girls have to wait : ) . He likes to watch sports and enjoys working on the computer--writing software and managing a website. He loves music, his friends, and American Eagle.
Emily: we’re grateful the school is giving her extra help; she’s blossoming and has started to read! At home she just wants to take care of everybody. I’m quite sure she wishes we had five acres so she could have a horse (or snakes -- her two favorite creatures). And any guess as to what movie she’s been exposed when she has two Ken dolls both named “Mr. Darcy” (I don’t know how she tells them apart . . .).
Samuel: school helped us locate counseling for Samuel and we’re hopeful this will help all around. He’s a smart boy and does well in school. He loves to play outdoors and is Daddy’s sidekick for yardwork. He’s good at putting puzzles together and frequently entices his siblings to play games with him!
Melanie: I’m the one with the emergency surgery -- I suppose it’s a latent desire to keep my family on their toes (and to get a little vacation alone . . . though all those doctors and nurses didn’t leave me alone much). I’m busy running David to all his activities and struggling through Geometry with him. Buying and selling on eBay takes a lot of my time -- on-line garage sale! I’m the designated “big kid” fun girl, too. We eat out, shop, go to concerts . . . I’ve had a rich year. My mom is still alive . . . what a gift . . . I was thrilled to celebrate her 91st birthday!
May the Lord in 2010 keep Mark employed, bring a great house to Joel, connect Carly with His richest blessings for her, enrich David’s life and bring him purpose, help Emily to learn and mature, guide Samuel in all ways, and keep me out of the hospital : ) .
And may 2010 be a year when you see His hand in all you encounter, too.