It's hard to believe that there are only a few hours left in 2013. Our year has been filled with showers of blessings. I asked my family what were some of the things we remembered from the year. Here are thirteen of the many we came up with:
|With John at the hospital|
1. John's birth ranks first on the list without a doubt. He is such a blessing to our family and we absolutely adore him! He is spoiled rotten but at the same time has such a sweet spirit. It's hard to imagine 2013 without him.
|Before and after: James and William play in the freshly tilled soil, and our lush garden in late summer|
2. Our garden was bountiful this year and God provided us with a good harvest. We have had plenty to eat and share others. And--excitingly-- we had NO tomato hornworms! Those frightening creatures --who usually devour our plants--vanished without a trace.
|George chasing a chicken|
3. Although this one would probably not go down under "favorite memories", George has had quite a memorable year with animals, both "tame" and wild. Other family and friends have been involved in many of the encounters,. but since George is both a hunter and an animal lover, these memories chiefly belong to him. So, without further ado, here is a sampling of George's animal adventures: trapped and killed many possums, trapped two skunks (with a strong aroma thrown in for free), shot a deer, was bitten by a mouse (it was stuck, and he was truing to rescue it), buried one dog and got another, shot and ate multiple squirrels, helped Joy deliver twin goats in the middle of February (while Daddy was at work and Mommy was in bed with the flu), trapped, killed, and ate a raccoon (with the help of Daddy and our friends, the Moores), and--with Samuel--sold eggs to friends and family. It makes me tired just writing about it!
|At the local spelling bee|
4. Thomas, Anna, George, Delie, and Samuel participated in our local home school spelling bee. They all did great, and we were thrilled when Delie advanced to the regional bee in Memphis. My favorite memories of the bee are watching George spell R-U-S-T-I-C and watching Thomas spell anything. He was so adorable trying to reach the microphone.
|Samuel after the wedding|
5. This has been a year of weddings. After sometimes having years with no wedding at all, we had four! Two of Daddy's former students married in May, a cousin in June, a cousin in August, and a friend in October; and we have two more coming up this winter. We are discovering that the typical wedding is now anything but typical, but all four were beautiful. Samuel was the ring bearer in our cousin Sam's wedding and was so handsome in his tux. Wouldn't you agree?
|With a live alligator and a fake one (I leave you to decide which is which)|
6. After Daddy's cousin's wedding, we stayed in Louisiana with my great aunt and uncle. And they really were great! They showed us around downtown Lafayette, took us to the circus, toured the Tabasco factory, and fed us what must have been tons of yummy food. But everyone's favorite part of the trip was the swamp tour. We saw trees, flowers, birds, and more alligators than I can remember! Thank you, Aunt Helen and Uncle Randy, for a wonderful vacation!
|At our spring recital|
7. Music was a big part of our life this year. We took instrument lessons in the spring (we took the fall off for John's birth and the National Bible Bee) and this winter I was able to play the violin with our church and the girls and I sang in our Christmas choir. We were very blessed to be able to spend time with the ladies of our church and learned a lot about the art of singing to the glory of God.
|No cars were hurt in the taking of this picture ;D|
8. Delie and I got our permits this year, and I got my license, so driving was (and is) a very memorable part of 2013. We have already been able to bless our family with two more drivers. Just don't ask Delie about the time I almost walked out of the store without the items I had just paid for. I told her I did it just to make her feel needed :D.
|The beautiful building that holds an even more beautiful church|
9. This summer, after visiting for about a year, we joined Pleasant Plains Baptist Church. It's a small church--less than a hundred members, I believe--but we love it all the more for that. The fellowship is wonderful, the preaching is very biblical, and we have been very blessed by this body in the past year. From bringing meals after John's birth to teaching us girls how to heal with herbs to praying for and encouraging our family, they have shown us time and time again what it means to be the body of Christ.
|Samuel and William in a tunnel at the Chickasaw playground|
10. We went camping at Chickasaw State Park this summer. After hiking and pedal boating in and around the lake (and being rained on quite heavily while doing the latter), Mommy and Daddy decided that camping in a storm by a lake did not sound like fun. We all heartily agreed, but now what? We tried renting a cabin. The rangers told us that all the cabins had a capacity of six. So much for that idea. We considered returning home. No one was really excited about that. After all, it seemed a shame to unpack everything that we had packed only hours before. Then Daddy suggested "the Farm". His parents' hunting cabin was warm, dry, and yet somewhat primitive. Perfect for a rained-out camping trip. Daddy and Mommy decided on that--and it was so much fun! It was one of my favorite camping trips ever, and sleeping in a real bed was nice--until Anna suggested that there might be mice under the blankets. Call us cowards, but we never pulled down the quilt to find out :D.
Still, it was a great family vacation!
|Anna, Samuel, George, Delie, and Joy after the Local Bible Bee|
11. Our year was chock full of the Bible Bee. I've said so much about it in previous posts that I'll keep things short and sweet here. Both Locals and Nationals were wonderful, and greatly impacted my life, both spiritually and otherwise. I can't wait 'til next year.
|Christmas with the Hayeses (left) and the Mosses (right)|
12. We spent a lot of time with our extended family over the many holidays in 2013. From swimming at Paw Paw's house on the 4th of July to geocaching with our Moss cousins at Thanksgiving, we made lots of special memories with the people we love.
|Praying around the breakfast table|
13. And then there is the everyday life. Working together, playing together, praying together--these are the things that we will never forget. Two thousand and thirteen has been a wonderful year, and as we look back on God's grace to our family we can't wait to see what His plan is for next year.
See you in 2014!
Happy New Year!
~Joy, for the Mosses