Friday, December 31, 2010

It's almost scary how fast 2010 went. I am having a very hard time believing that only a few hours remain of this year. As a year ends, I always love looking over the year, and seeing what happened. The good things, the bad things... and whether the year turned out anything like I dreamed.
And then of course, you can't help but wonder what the next year is going to bring. There's always some excitement in wondering what's to come.

But 2010 had plenty of highlights, but some lowlights as well.

One thing drastic that happened this year, that I wouldn't have dreamed of at this point last year, is moving. The idea of moving never even popped into our brains until February, but by March, our house was already for-sale. I'd almost label that as one of the lowlights of the year, except really, it's not so bad here. But moving was SO hard for me. I really, really didn't want to do it... but I am getting used to living here. And while I still miss living at my old house, it's nice to live closer to towns, and there's more stuff to do around here. But I still miss my country yard, and living close to my church, where I could be more involved in it.

But also in 2010, I got to do a bunch of traveling. :)
In May I headed down with all the teens from my church to the Creation Musuem (run through Answers in Genesis) in Kentucky. I really wanted to go there, and I wasn't dissappointed. It's a great place, and anyone with unsaved friends should suggest a road trip. ;) They do an incredible job proving creation and proving why Evolution isn't true.

In June I got my drivers license!! :) That was a huge blessing! And after failing my roadtests twice before that, it was a  HUGE relief! :) That happened the day before we moved... so those were a couple of big days.

July was mostly spend unpacking and settling in, and that's also when I headed down to Mexico for a 3-week mission trip. Definately a highlight there. :)

In September, Jonathan & Jordan started school. It was so hard to send our babies off to school! They grow up too fast!!!! But off to school they went anyways... And since then, they have been blooming. School has done amazing things for them learning-wise... but unfortunately along with school, also comes the not-so-great things they pick up from other kids, too. :( But I have been completely amazed with all the things they have learned. God is SO good!! These are our autistic kids that are excelling! Jonathan has been doing so well, they pulled him out of the autism class, and put him in a normal Kin. room.

In October I headed off to Mexico again, but not before heading out through Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. As someone who LOVES traveling, and is perfectly content to just ride in the car, that was a super fun experience. :) And along the way, I met a lot of really great people, and saw/experienced so many new things. :)

November & the first half of December were spent in Mexico. But you all already know all about that... and what I did, and how much I loved it. :)

Throughout the year, there was also plenty of frusterating times. I can not claim life to be easy with my special-needs brothers. But I love them to death, and can not fathom life without them, so we just try to take things as they come. And God has definately used those not-so-great experiences and hard times through the year, so bring me closer to Him, and to teach me a lot. :)

What 2011 brings... we'll see. :)
I just pray for a year that brings me closer to my Lord and Savior, and to give my best in all I do, for His glory.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I've been home for 6 days now. 6 days that have gone by in a crazy whirlwind, yet 6 days that have seemed to drag at the same time.

Arriving home from Mexico I had no idea exactly how someone could be so happy and so sad at the same time. I was SO super excited about seeing my brothers. Sometimes I feel like they're my own kids, and being away from them for 2 solid months was not easy for me! I didn't want to miss anything! Not a lost tooth, a new expression, nothing! Couldn't everything here just freeze in time until I got back? :) So I could NOT wait to see them again!!

But at the same time, leaving Mexico was SO hard! I just love it there! Why? I haven't quite figured that out yet. Living in a country where you do not speak their language and the culture is so different from what you're used to, is not easy. Not to mention I never had any interest in Mexico whatsoever, until I somehow found myself there last year (there's a little more to the story than that, but that's basicly how it happened. :P It was definately a God thing). But I've managed to loose my heart to that place, and didn't want to leave. Not to mention Terrells, the missionary family I was staying with, are amazing and I now adore their 3 girls. :) So after 2 months with them, it was hard to leave.

But home I came on December 16th, like it or not, knowing that it was God's plan that I come home over 3 months earlier than planned. I KNOW that, and I KNOW He had a reason for that... but even so, that doesn't always make things easier. It should though.

I left summer-looking scenery in Mexico, and flew into fall-foliage in Houston. By the time I landed in Cleveland, I was into snow and 20 degree temps. It was so weird! :P Finally I landed in Buffalo, where of course there was still more snow. As I headed home from the airport, I was looking upon a winter wonderland with Christmas lights everywhere, and ginormous stores, and gorgious houses... I just wanted to go back. It was too much for one day. People in the US have no idea how well-off they are. How blessed they are.

I stayed up 'till early Friday morning, unpacking. Friday I braved the snow and awful roads to head into town (and yes, even though I've been driving since I was 16, that was my first time driving on winter roads. :P Mainly, because I didn't get my license 'till this summer, so there was no reason to), to get stuff I needed for baking. I headed home and made 7-layer bars. Definately my favorite Christmas food. :) Then as soon as I was done with all that, it was time to head out to a Christmas concert that some of my friends were in. That whole day went by quite quickly, but I'm not sure I could ever claim to have really been for it. :P I felt kind of zoned out for the whole day.

Saturday morning I made chocolate covered pretzels and then collapsed for a nap. That afternoon we had Christmas at our house. A bunch of my family came over and we had a wonderful time together. <3

Sunday morning I was able to go to church. That's something I definately missed while I was gone, so it was great to be back. After that, I headed to the mall. There's something about the Christmas bustle at the mal - while most people would rather avoid it, I love being part of it.

Monday my mom was sick, and that evening I picked up whatever it is that's been going through our family. Tuesday I was really sick, and couldn't do much all day. Today I was back to normal and babysat Jordan for a while...
But both yesterday and today I spent a lot of time online looking for a nannying job. After Christmas, I plan on going out and applying at some daycare centers as well. It's frusterating though, because there's not much around the area that I live in. People around here can't afford babysitters or nannys. So most of the jobs I've been applying to are like 40 mintues away. But So far, I've heard nothing back. I'm just trying to trust God on this though. In His perfect timing, I'll get a job. Maybe that's the part that scare me, though. :P I've applied for several jobs over the past couple of years though, and nothing's come of it. I'm getting the feeling that He doesn't want me to have a job at the moment for a reason.

So, these 6 days have flown by. Literally.

Yet through it all, it feels weird to be back. I really wasn't gone that long. But I don't feel like I belong here anymore. I love my home, and I love my family. There is really no place like home. But I'm just having a hard time getting back to normal. Some parts are easy to get back into - I am thrilled to have my piano back, and to listen to Sabres games on the radio, and drive my own car. But I am honestly having a hard time getting into the jist (sp?) of things. I'm totally lost in my own kitchen, and am re-learning how everything works around here with the boys' schedules, etc. Now granted, I've been only been here about the same amount of time I've been gone (we've only lived here since June 29th), and I've only been home 6 crazy days... But still. I feel lost.

While I was gone, the boys grew a ton. I'm still not used to them looking so big! :P And they're talking so much more, and more maturely. School has done wonders on them! But things are still high-stress with them all the time. But they're still my little guys, and I adore them anyways. :)

So... that's what's been going on since I've gotten home. I'm just a confuzzled mess. :P But these are the moments that God always draws me closer to Him. Because at these kind of moments, I wouldn't make it without Him. <3