Sam is currently doing the full time Army gig with Los Alamitos base working on setting up a Domestic All-hazard Response Team (meaning, if we have a natural disaster, we have to have a plan in place so that we don't have another Hurricane Katrina-like outcome where everyone gathers and then sits around with their thumbs up their butt wondering what to do. Sorry for the crass visual). He is also currently teaching in intro to Philosophy class for Ashford University online. The classes run for 5 weeks and can be a bit stressful at times making sure everything is up and running, but it's a nice way for him to use his degree and keep himself in the Philosophy world for now.
I'm still doing my job at Bethany Bible Fellowship and mostly loving it. I think that ministry always has a dichotomy of "I love these people so much and I love my job" and "What the heck am I doing?" feelings. At least that's what other pastors tell me. I always have to be absolutely certain that I'm tracking with my own personal studies and connecting with God before I can lead these students through the murky waters of being a Junior High student. It's incredibly difficult at times. Especially when the kids are in a "we're not listening to YOU" mood. I sometimes fluctuate between wanting to throw things at their heads or burst into tears and run from the room. I'm not sure which one would get their attention more. But, I really do adore these students. They make me laugh way more than they make me cry, and there are times where they get it. Yesterday we were reviewing the first part of Romans and I reminded them of a few illustrations that were used, and they immediately remembered the point of those lessons. It was kind of cool. In February we have winter camp, and I'm going to help with the high school winter camp as well and I start co-teaching the Bible Elective at the Academy. I will also be organizing a TON of stuff as we prepare to add another darling little boy into our family. I happen to be due right around the time of our Beach Weekend camping trip, so there is a lot of planning going into this right now so that I don't leave my leaders high and dry.
The boys are in for a huge year of adventure and change. Nathaniel is starting violin lessons this week! These lessons are per HIS request. I promise I'm not turning into a crazy parent. He's seen me playing my viola for different church events and always wants to play with my instrument. I told him he's not allowed to touch my viola, but that if he wanted to he could learn how to play his own violin. He's pretty excited (although, he suddenly changed his mind and wants to play drums. I told him he has to be 10 to play drums) and I've worked out an exchange with my friend. She is teaching him violin while I teach her daughter viola. :) Nathaniel also starts kindergarten in the fall, which is exciting, but super sad for me too. He will be at the Academy so he'll be right on campus with me most days (except for the days I don't work, then he'll be on his own). I guess I'm sad because it's a new stage and I know that once school starts, life goes zooming by.
Aaron is all set on the road to becoming a "big boy". We're going to go get a toddler bed for him this week sometime and transition him into Nathaniel's room. Along with that he's potty training (which is going fairly well!) and he already moved up to the 2-4 year old classroom in Sunday School. He turns two next month and he was the biggest kid in his class so, per the request of the nursery, he moved up. His mind is a steel trap and he is still one of the most sweet natured kids I have ever met. When he's disobeying all I have to say is, "Aaron, do you need a spank?" and he shakes his head no and stops doing whatever it is he's doing. (Time outs don't work for him, he enjoys them, but the lightest little tap on his diapered butt causes him to cry as if he's incredibly offended, so we do what works for him). I'm anticipating a little bit of a regression here since there are so many transitions happening at once, but who knows. Maybe he will surprise us! In June he will start up at the preschool at church for daycare. It will be nice to have all of the kids in one spot since I will be returning to work sometime but will be keeping the baby with me for the first 3 months.
That's about it here. Lots of changes and lots to look forward to. Hope everyone has an equally exciting new year planned! I know that many of my friends are expecting new additions to their own families, which is super exciting! 4 of us from our group of friends from high school are expecting kids. It makes me SO EXCITED! (My friends are awesome parents and they make incredibly cute kids too).
Happy New Year!!