For once we are organised enough to send the Christmas letter! What a year it has been, full of blessings and challenges.
Our most major change is that we have finally bought a house. In the end it was yet ANOTHER land lord making noises about selling the house we were living in that finally spurred us into really looking for a house. We are now living in Mole Creek and it is clearer every day that this is where we are meant to be. The community is wonderful and there is a strong feeling of coming home. The house itself is a definite fixer upper and Jon’s every weekend is spent renovating and repairing. A few weeks ago Erin lamented the fact that the old house wasn’t broken like this one! Thing is, the old house probably was as “broken” but as we were renting we weren’t repairing and renovating, we were simply living with it. At least here there is an end in sight – even if it is still a fair distance off. We are also adjusting to having slightly less space temporarily which has made unpacking somewhat of a challenge. But at the end of the day, this is OUR place and it is rare that a day goes by where I am not thankful that we are no longer renting. Moving is always traumatic and, Lord willing, we won’t be doing it again for at least a few more years.
Our other big blessing is our newest baby due in January. The excitement is definitely building now! Billy and Erin are old hat at all this Baby stuff and consider themselves to be seasoned older siblings. Erin has not got her wish for twin girls or boy and girl twins this time as we are certain there is only one in there (in spite of the constant “are you sure there is only one in there?” question I seem to get). She is still hanging out for a sister but is prepared to be content either way. Billy doesn’t seem to mind as long as it’s a BABY and Christopher remains fairly oblivious to it all. ! Jon and I are thrilled to be having another blessing to our home.
The change in the kids in the past year is amazing. Erin is now a real ‘grown up’ little girl. Her major accomplishment this year is learning to read. She is sitting next to me as I type writing yet another of her stories. Hours are spent filling scrap books with surprisingly legible writing every day. She is loving life in Mole Creek with a social life including play group and having everyone in town on a first name basis with her dolls. Her ability to chat with anyone and everyone is lovely.
Billy has gone from being a baby to a real ‘big kid’. His vocabulary is amazing and he has a dry, quirky sense of humour that often has me in stiches. His work ethic, which started with him INSISTING on stacking wood before his first birthday, has continued. He sets the table for breakfast every morning of his own accord and helped clear the rocks, bricks and rubble out of the garden using his own little red wagon. In winter he was also fetching wood to the back door, my big helping man at age 2 ½ .
Christopher is our sunny baby. His ready grin and laugh light our day and he is doted on by the older two. The boys seem joined at the hip – partners in crime more often than not. Erin and Billy spend ages trundling him around the back yard in a wheel barrow or wagon. He earned himself the nickname “Emperor” as he often is the one calling the shots (actually, it WAS Emperor Chins because he has a few extra chins, but Daddy suggested we may want to avoid making that long term!). His personality is as strong as the others, but I guess that is to be expected. I’d rather have to deal with his strong will now than have him grow up to be wishy washy!
Most of Jon and my time have been taken up with this move and renovations this year. We are looking forward to having time for a few more projects. Jon’s shed will be a welcome addition to the homestead next year and he will finally have space to work on his cars and various projects. We have grand plans for the gardens which we will hopefully be able to make a decent start on next year as well. The dream is to have this place become a comfortable haven for us and our family and friends. We would also like to get out a little more next year and see a bit of Tassie with the kids. While renovating etc. is great, we don’t want their childhoods to slip us by so hopefully we will be able to plan in a few trips, even just long weekends.
I dream of finding time to write more and do a few other projects I have had simmering in the back of my mind, but to everything there is a season and this is a season of lots of little ones – they are my most important (and time consuming) project at the moment! There are semi-weekly updates of our family goings on in my Blog (http://the-life-and-times-of-jess.blogspot.com/ ) but be warned, it also contains a lot of my mental dribble with very poor editing!! Enter at your own risk.
As the world at large seems such a scary place at the moment with wars and rumours of wars, threats of recession, drought, famine, floods and storms, we seem in a rare position of privilege here in our haven of peace. We aren’t completely isolated from these goings on and our prayers and thoughts are often occupied with such things. For the most part we realise that we are indeed one of the richest families on earth and we endeavour to use these blessings to God’s glory. We are indeed becoming richer by the day simply because we have each other.
God’s Blessing to you this Christmas Season,
With lots of love from,
The Guest Family:
Jon, Jess, Erin, Billy, Christopher and Newbie