2014...it's hard to believe that it will be history in just a few more hours. This year has been filled with its own joys and challenges, but God's love has been abundant through it all. With such a grace-filled year, I wanted to share a cross-section of some the most memorable moments of 2014. Enjoy!
1. Definitely one of our favorite memories of the year, our trip across the western part of the U.S. was an amazing time to grow closer as a family and see a new part of the country. Daddy had a math conference in Portland, so our whole family took a sabbatical from the farm and went along for a three-week camping trip. And what a fun, breathtaking, crazy three weeks it was! We hiked, swam, drove, froze, and melted by turns, and it was all good.
2. Another highlight of our summer was swimming at Paw Paw's. He only lives fifteen minutes from here, which makes us feel like we have our own private pool--with the added convenience of free drinks and a beautiful country view. We would be the envy of all the kids at school.
Except that we're home schooled.
Which means that I did my English assignments by the pool.
All the more reason to envy us with, my dear.
|"And the study book is...JONAH!!!"|
3. Yet another highlight of our summer/fall/year/life was the Bible Bee. This was our third year to be involved in it, and it was by far the best (but I think I said that last year, too). From June 1st--when we stopped at midnight on our way to a family reunion just to open our box of Bible Bee materials--on up until Nationals, God's grace has been so abundant. I'm so glad He led our family to get involved in this three years ago...it's difficult to imagine what 2014 would have been like without it.
4. God's grace was also very abundant on November 24, when our precious Mama Em went home to be with Jesus after a two-day stay in the hospital. She was so loving, caring, funny, and generous right up to the end, and I was (and am) extremely blessed to be her great-granddaughter. If I could only touch the lives of half the people she did...what a legacy!
|A bridal shower for our sweet friend Lillie--we're so excited for her!|
5. And while we're on the subject of touching lives, I wanted to share a little about our church family. We have enjoyed growing with them this year in so many ways.
Spiritually...through our pastor's Bible-grounded preaching (1 Thessalonians earlier this year, now Leviticus)...
Relationally...through spending time with them at baby showers, bridal showers, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and game nights...
Musically...through leading music with Daddy when our music leaders were on vacation, choir practice, and singing and playing during the Advent season...
And in so much more! We love you, Pleasant Plains!
6. Another big part of our year--Daddy's promotion to chair of the math department at Union University! (And I apologize for the randomness of the picture. It's the only one of Daddy at work, so now you're also treated to a picture of George studying for the Bible Bee.) We're so excited for him--and we love going with him to study either in the library or in his spacious office.
7. And now on to George and Samuel's business venture--the egg mobile! They have been saving and building for a while now, and plan to buy a hundred chicks in the spring to expand their business. So, to our neighbors: this is not another storage building balanced on a trailer; to ignorant city-dwellers: we will NOT pull this around the neighborhood like a healthy version of an ice cream truck; but to all who love farm-fresh eggs: George and Samuel will soon be back in business!
8. The Birmingham End NF Walk back in May--a very special time to support our sweet cousins Philip and Helen, affectionately known as "the other Mosses". A few years ago, Philip was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disease that causes (normally) benign tumors to grow anywhere on the nervous system. Aunt Renie and Uncle Philip have done so much work to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for NF, and we were thrilled to be able to go and support them. Love, love, love you, Mosses!
The "other Mosses" were awarded the Children's Tumor Foundation Strength and Honor Award for their dedication to finding a cure. To watch it--and to find out more about their sweet family--click here.
9. Hunting was another big part of our year (although not as big as George would like, I'm sure). I started the 2014 Moss hunting adventures back in January when I killed my first deer, a spike--which I felt pretty good about until a few days ago when George shot a ten-point.
Love and tears,
Trying-not-to-be-jealous in Tennessee
P.S. I was not AT ALL jealous when George and Samuel killed a copperhead in the upstairs bathroom. It's funny how the choice of game affects your feelings.
P.S. #2 To all the friends who have suddenly decided that they will no longer visit us in the future: There have been no more snake sightings in the Moss house since that momentous occasion--unless you count the rash of fake snakes that popped up after the occasion, thanks to several anonymous Mosses.
|9 Mosses + 6 Wards = 15 lifetime friends|
10. While on the subject of guests, we've had quite a few friends in our home this year (I don't think they knew about the snake). We have loved meeting Daddy's students, spending time with our church and extended family, and catching up with out-of-town friends--all from the comfort of our home. We're so thankful for all of you...come see us again!
11. (Okay, a little background on this one: For our thirteenth birthdays we do a little something special. The birthday person can do something special, go on an overnight trip, have a party, etc. July, 2013 was Anna's turn, but she chose to wait until this spring.) So, for Anna's thirteenth birthday she wanted to go to Montgomery Bell State Park--nothing in particular once we were there, but she wanted it to be completely stress-free. It would be a special time to relax, eat convenience food, swim in the indoor pool, wear our Bible Bee t-shirts, and generally just be together. And, believe it or not, it WAS stress-free. We got to spend time together without worrying about anything!
12. Another relaxing time--tubing with Mr. Nick and "Miss" Peggy. They were Mommy and Daddy's youth group leaders back in high school, and Mommy and Daddy really looked up to them. They invited us to go tubing and kneeboarding with them a couple of times this summer, and we had a blast! Mr. Nick is very good at knocking us off the raft, which made for lots of screams, laughs, and flying through the air. It was so much fun to spend time with people who knew Mommy and Daddy when they were my age.
|Dutch Blitz--a new (highly addictive) favorite around here|
13. Chess, Pen, Spoons, Inkum-pinkum-feather-duster, I Have Never, Apples to Apples, Dutch Blitz, Psychiatrist, Snake Oil, Kemps, Settlers of Catan, Pandemic...you name it, we like it. As you may have guessed from the previous sentence, we have learned/rediscovered quite a few games this year. We each have our favorites, but every one has been a fun way to connect with family and friends.
|The Moss Beach Reunion--June 2014|
14. If I had to sum up 2014 with one thing I've learned, it would be to treasure time spent with family; every day is a gift. Love them, spend time with them, and share the gospel with them. Two thousand and fifteen is almost here. Use it to love one another.
Happy New Year!
Lots of love,
Joy for the Mosses