Saturday, November 24, 2007


Despite being away from family, we had a great Thanksgiving. The boys started the day in the 'first snowfall of the season'. And blessing that is was, that's all the snow we got. Also, I found out what happens if you eat too much turkey (ok, so maybe it wasn't just the turkey that did it...)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

2007 -long short version

Dear Friends and Family,
Once again, another year has gone by so quickly. We have had several events thru out the year that have certainly made it enjoyable and one of the most memorable as well. I hope to give you a recap of some of the highlights and I'll try to keep it to the short version. I know I'm not the best with words, but I think I have a fighting chance in writing. But still, I'm reminded that I can be too long winded.
So here goes. Foremost, I guess I (we—Ben and I) want to share our testimony that our Heavenly Father is in control. He certainly provides us with choice opportunity, but ultimately, He plays an active role in our lives. Our year began with a warning or rather an attention getter at the end of 2006. After years of feeling our family was complete, we were blessed to learn otherwise. By way of a blessing, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I say it was a blessing because it was an ectopic pregnancy (which means it was outside the uterus) but required no surgery. Still, not something I would ever wish on anyone! But it got our attention and was cause for some reflection on our part.
At the same time, Ben was busy completing his application for a commission with the AirForce—a decision that we both felt would be wise from a career perspective, but more importantly it was a decision we felt very good about it. That process takes several months, much preparation, and required help from many of you. We thank you for that. All this meant that we had several months of unknown transition time to try to evaluate our lives and our situations. Every day we prayerfully asked that we would be where we needed to be when we needed to be there. By mid-May, we learned that the AirForce option was not to be, but instead, we would have the pleasure of a summer together. We decided to add a few other family members into our plans and made arrangements to visit Ben's sister, Carolyn (and her family) in Virginia and my brother Ben (and his family) in North Carolina. (the pictures in the slide show are a few of the highlights) Just days before our scheduled departure, Ben was contacted by a placement agency, asking him about his resume. He answered their questions and then some. And as that information was passed on, we saw blessings unfold. The short story is, the night before we flew out, Ben called me from the airport on his way home from an interview to let me know that he had accepted a job in Chicago with a 'small' company called Unilever! It made for a very exciting vacation—most of our 'relaxing time' was spent planning the what and the where of a pending relocation. But we had a marvelous time with both our families, getting to know the cousins that we haven't seen as much. Ben returned to UT a week before us and gave his notice to Hostess/Wonderbread. We came back to spend one week with him before he left to start this new position in Chicago in mid-July. We were blessed to join him by the end of August, just in time for the kids to start school. We stayed plenty busy with everything going on during the summer months.
And remember, I said our Father in Heaven got our attention as the year started? Well, add to our adventures of the summer, the task of warding off the joys of morning sickness. And to the tasks of moving (even with the company moving us) the fatigue of pregnancy... The kids were such troopers! But we survived. It's been challenging finding new doctors for all of us, but I think the “monsters have been slain”. Anyway, we are anticipating our 4th son to join us the first part of February 2008. I have faced a lesson of learning that even when we think we are in control of our lives, or our situations, things are not always as they seem. I know that our Heavenly Father sees a bigger picture of what we are capable of and of what we need to continue growing as we rely on Him. I'm not saying I enjoy this lesson, but I've learned to be very grateful for it. We are all grateful for it!
We hope that this finds each of you well. We love you , we appreciate the impact and influence you have had on our lives and on our family. We thank God for you, and pray that He is blessing you as well.
With love,
Ben, Charlotte, Andrew, Joshua, Michael, and ?