This has been a fairly big year for us, one of great blessings and also some struggles, but through all things the Lord has so graciously seen us through.
I’m not going to try and remember in order the things that happened this year but I will try to list as many as I can remember. Hmm woman with 5 children and a bad case of baby brain (yes it is a real condition no matter what you’ve heard, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), we’ll see how much I can actually remember.
One of the highlights this year was the news that we are expecting another precious bundle to add to our wonderful bunch of little treasures. And yes 2 ultrasounds have confirmed that God has indeed given us another one of the male variety. I am seriously getting out numbered here! So around April 2009 we will welcome little Noah Benjamin into our family. He already is a much loved addition and he has 5 very anxious brothers and sisters waiting to kiss and cuddle him.
The end of this year saw some worries with our little man Cowper. Over the period of a couple of weeks he kept passing out. Finally with an ambulance ride up to Caboolture hospital we were admitted and Cowps and I stayed 5 nights on the Children’s ward. As far as hospital stays go, we had it pretty good, a private room and a fully stocked play room at our beck and call (and 5 nights of no cooking for Mum). Dad held the fort at home and had 4 willing helpers. After heart checks etc it looks like the cause of the black outs was a condition where his bone marrow stoped making red blood cells, hence a very reduced ability to carry oxygen around his body. They say there is no apparent cause for the condition, about 0.5% of kids get it and it lasts for 1-2 months. After much praying for God to restore his little body after only 5 nights the tests showed that new cells were forming at a high rate and we could go home, Praise the Lord. He had a haemoglobin level of 65 (normal level is 130) and if we dropped to 50 he would require blood transfusions and a bone marrow biopsy. At present he’s on weekly blood tests and in January he has an EEG just to make sure the blackouts weren’t seizures, but all in all he’s happy and on the road to recovery.
One of the big plans of 2007 was the Scrap of Faith retreat in November that I organised. The weekend was amazing. It was just so wonderful to finally meet in the flesh ladies who have become such a big part of my life. The fellowship that was shared was truly a great blessing to everyone who attended and I can’t wait to organise the next one for early 2010. I’m already plotting and planing ways to try and top this one.
We’ve also gotten through a year of home schooling 3 kids. Holly grade 3, Hannah grade 2 & Mitchell in prep. Holly sat the National testing this year and I was just so happy for her that she did really well, above national average in all testing areas. I kind of felt like the test was not only about what she knew but also a test about our curriculum choices. Nice to know that so far we are on the right track. Next year will be full on, the work load for Mitchell increases and it’s Hannah’s turn for the test. I’ve just put in our order for 2009’s books and resources. I kind always get excited when the new books arrived, for a split second I think I might actually get organised for the new year and I’m one of those sickos that LOVE covering school books.
We’re also planing a move in early next year. Ever since Mark and I married we have longed to live in the country but never been brave enough to make the move. This year we really felt that call to make the move. After much praying about it we felt God tell us to wait until the summer of 08/09. Boy was that wait hard, but as always God’s timing is perfect! By waiting we’ve been able to take advantage of the first homeowners grant increase, the end of year cash bonus for having kids & the interest rates falling. So we’re on the look out for an old queenslander in the country. So far near Warwick is looking promising. I’m dreaming about vege gardens, chickens and wide open spaces. The girls are dreaming about ponies, the boys (big and little) dirt bikes. I’m praying that the right house comes along and that God’s timing has us moving just after bubs is born. But what is it they say… “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”
We also bought some cows. Marks brother and sister have been looking after them at their farm in Gympie and our little family of 4 cows grew to 5 and we’re hoping another calf is on the way. Hmmmm I can’t wait to get my teeth into some organic beef next year. And speaking of Gympie we’ve really enjoyed the trips that we’ve had up there this last year. Hannah is really in her element amongst the farm animals and has a real sense of spunk about her. Holly just LOVES the horses. The boys really come alive too and love the animals, playing in the creek and just being farm kids.
And drum roll……. After 12 years of wearing the same pair of glasses, Mark finally got a new pair of specs!! I can’t believe the difference a new set of glasses makes! If Mark knew the effect a new pair of specs would have on me I’m sure he would have had updated them long ago!!
And Alec & Mitch, what can I say about about those boys, except that they are super cute and your typical boys. Which means, getting into everything and learning things the hard way. But this stage will pass and we love them to bits. (We just have 2 more boys to go through this stage, hmmmm “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”)
We also had fun in the storms that hit Brisbane in November. The wind was blowing the water so hard it came in between the roof tiles and I had water coming through the light fittings in the kitchen and lounge. The timber surround around one of our aircons blew in with a ton of hail & we lost the shed. All this while Mark was out hunting. He drove back late that night after the storm and he said it was so eerie to drive through Brisbane with so many homes in darkness and trees everywhere. We were very blessed to have only lost the shed and be without power for 12 hrs.
So for 2008 that’s pretty much us :-) On Tuesday we head up to my Parent's beach house at Maroochydore for 12 days. The perfect way to finish the year, chilling out together with no work or school pressures. We always go the two weeks before Christmas. The beach is soooo quiet as everyone is too busy rushing around before Christmas. Then we come back home just after Christmas when all the builders and accountants are closed so we get a bit of a rest at home to do some cleaning and sorting. Perfect way to finish the year :-)