Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seasons’ greetings from the Milwaukee Roses! We pray this letter finds you enjoying some simplicity and stillness each day has to offer. We had plans to send you a picture card early in the Christmas season, but Abby became quite crabby one night trying to fit our picture into the card
that she liked online. So she (I) gave up in a flurry and boycotted
the whole process until now. Yeesh and sorry. So we can use this time to say
that we hope that your Christmas celebrations were filled with opportunities to
reflect, adore, enjoy, and be the blessing that you are.

As for our 2011, it sure is hard to capture in a
letter. (But we will try:) It has been filled with alphabets and
promotions, transitions and travels, growth and love all covered in grace.
Our little Gabe (Gabriel) turned 3 on November 5th and we really can’t believe how the time has
flown. What a light he is for us. He has grown up so much in this past year and
we can’t help but look at him most days and admire and thank God for not only
making him but using him to teach us and Lord-willing bless others the rest of
his days. Gabe loves to learn and then tell and teach everyone else around him what he knows. (We are working on that:) He loves anything with letters, numbers, and
shapes. Puzzles, crafts, typing, games, hide and seek, devotional skits, cooking with momma, and wrestling with daddy fill many of his days. Phonics
fascinates him the most these days and reading has become his new challenge to
master. It is incredible to see the passions we are given and the excitement and joy we get from them. What a gift. Gabe loves being around people.
I try not to get too offended when his eyes light up brighter than the
stars when the doorbell rings. Playing with cousins, going to the library, visiting zoos or farms, park visits, and any play date seem to be his favorite pastimes.
He is getting excited to teach the new baby everything he knows. His favorite song these days is, “We are family….Daddy, Mommy, Manny, and me.”

We can hardly wait to meet this new little baby (yes, we are planning to name him Manny..:-) He could come any day, but I think it won’t
be for a month or a little less. What an opportunity to be able to carry and be the vehicle to give breath to another soul. I love the opportunities God gives us because if He knows we have the potential with his power, then I sure can have such faith. I really have enjoyed
feeling Manny’s movement this pregnancy; and he sure likes to move. I am picturing him to be on dancing with the stars in no time. We will keep you updated for when he comes to
start his earthly journey.

Eric has had quite a year of changes from the work front. He went from
being promoted to retail manager, to now the general manager of Lenscrafters in
Menomonee Falls. Gabe and I are quite proud and thankful for his provisions in many ways. It has been encouraging to see God bless Eric’s hard work and faithfulness. Eric
also had an opportunity for two weeks in September to go on a onesight mission
trip through his company. They were able to help almost 10,000 people receive “sight” in northeastern Mexico. God sure has used traveling outside of America for more than just vacation purposes to shape us and help us look at our days differently here. We are
hopeful for more opportunities to serve internationally. Eric was able to use his love of baseball
this year coaching our church summer coed softball team, playing on Dundee’s
church team, and almost cheering the Brewers to their first world series win. J It’s always a good year to be a baseball fan. Eric also remains to be Gabe and my entertainment most days. His jokes, nicknames, games, and impressions always keep us laughing.

This year seems to have taught me oodles. Much the same as every year I imagine,
but this time I am praying for it to stick more than ever. We found out early in May that God blessed us with much grace allowing us to have another child. Later that month I stopped working for Milwaukee campus ministry that I had been working for for three years. I felt led to not only spend more time at home, but also focusing ministry opportunities with international friends. I have been volunteering with a southside ministry providing English and “living in a foreign country” help. Every week I get to visit a friend from Iraq who has three children and no family or friends around. I am praying to be the truest of friends to Nuha and her family. God really has blessed me with a growth and love for “domestichood.” Since being around lots of people and being more of a tomboy come easy to me, my prayers and petitions to be a faithful and
loving mother were many this past summer. Also miracles for cooking skills were asked for. hee hee. God has been faithful like always and has allowed me to grow even more in love
with teaching Gabe, learning to be more creative and resourceful, organizing
our days, and taking care of two little ones. (I get to watch our neighbor boy Ollie three times a week too.)
We are not sure at all what 2012 will bring but we are certain that God is going before us. So with this we are thankful to approach the year with anticipation, loving motivation, and contentment. And our prayer would mimic that of a billboard that I saw for a soda recently.
(can’t remember which one) Be refreshing just like coke. (Or if you don't like coke you can choose the drink of your choice) Lord, may we be refreshing and filled with your light as we go.

With much love,
Eric, Abby, Gabe, and Manny

1 comment:

  1. What a blessed year 2011 has been. I can't wait to hear of Manny's entrance into the world. Congratulations to Eric on all his work accomplishments. I loved hearing about the work he got to do in Mexico. How wonderful. And, how awesome to be a mentor to the lady and her kids from Iraq. Hope you see you soon.