The year in review: Grandchildren are now at five, though Henry David (David and Meaghan's next little one) is still hiding in the womb. Joshua Flynn was born to Lauren and Dean back in June. Sawyer is always busy and active and chattering away; Annabelle knows no fear and boldly goes wherever her whimsy fancies; Lydia is a tad more timid but like those two filled with laughter and joy. Flynn is a wonderfully happy little baby whose smile will melt your heart. Before our eyes we see what the Lord meant: "Of such is the kingdom...."
Cindi keeps busy with working for White Mountain Financial, sitting for Lydia a day or two each week, and running the household. She still loves cooking, entertaining, playing pinochle and Liverpool, singing with choir and the Collinsville Chorale, crocheting and working out. She survived a horrible car crash (rear ended and narrowly escaped being pushed into oncoming traffic). It took months to heal up and still she feels the spot on her face where it slammed into the window. Bill finished up a book for CPH (due to be published this Spring—Celebrating the Saints: the Feasts, Festivals and Commemorations of Lutheran Service Book), keeps up with his daily radio gig (Thy Strong Word) with help from his dear friend Randy Asburry, and still does the chaplaincy at the LCMS headquarters and serves as Director of Worship. He also has been regularly playing organ for neighboring parish and then occasionally for St. Paul's and often at the International Center. He's found he enjoys assisting worship with music quite a bit. Aside from Cindi's accident, it was a year of good health for which we bless God!
The year included a cruise to the Caribbean with dear friends, John and Karen Klinger and Carlo and Stephanie Van Ulft. Lots of pinochle! We decided Barbados was just perfect and we'd happily take over the centuries old Anglican Church there and make it Lutheran! If only it weren't so far from the children and grandchildren....
Bekah has been dating a thoroughly delightful young man, Andy. His father is a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran pastor. She even spent Thanksgiving with his family this year. We've enjoyed getting to know him. She is still a nanny and does some homeschooling with the children she nannies.
Summer brought lots of pool time, biking time, gatherings with friends and family. A bit of anxiety for Aunt Sandy, as she was hospitalized for a very long time this summer. She's doing well now, thanks be to God! In the fall, Cindi took a few days out in North Carolina with the Herberts. Bill was suitably jealous. She assures him she gave the kiddos lots of kisses and hugs from their "pa."
Winter thus far has been unseasonably mild, but we did have a monsoon right after Christmas. From St. Stephen's Day through Holy Innocents, we ended up with, yes, 10 inches of rain. A battle to keep it out of the basement. We think we fought that battle and won. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the joys of Christmas roll on. This morning, for the Second Sunday after Christmas we sang the beautiful hymn of Paul Gerhardt: "Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising."
Christ from heav'n came descending
And in love our race befriending;
In our need His help extending,
Saved us from the wily foe.
Jacob's star in all its splendor
Beams with comfort sweet and tender,
Forcing Satan to surrender,
Breaking all the pow'rs of hell.
May that comfort sweet and tender be yours this entire year. We love you all. The door is ever open. Come and see us!
Bill and Cindi
P.S. Isn't this the greatest pic? Our four grandchildren (Sawyer, Annabelle, Lydia, Flynn on pillow) enjoying a tea party. Meaghan's idea and photography.