Well, I guess my last blog post was over 6 months ago! I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t been writing for that long! I have been so far behind on a lot of things lately. I am currently in the middle of a month long vacation which has allowed me to take a minute to catch up on some of my life. We spent some time with my family in Michigan and are now in Iowa with my husband’s family. Since it has been so long since blogging, I figured that the easiest way to update everyone is to share the Christmas letter we sent in our Christmas cards (so some of you have already read it). An update to the letter is that Shane is already a week into his time in Arkansas. I hope to blog a little more frequently this year but with so many unknowns in the future I have no idea how frequently that will be. I hope that all of my readers are doing well and blessings to you all during this new year!
Dear Family & Friends,
Christmas time is my favorite time of year! I hope that you and your familes are doing well as you prepare for the holidays!
Shane is still in the Air Force. He has had trouble adjusting to his workplace here but God blessed us by opening up the opportunity for Shane to cross train to Flight Engineer. He is really excited about this change for his career! He left for training in August and finally came home in time for Thanksgiving Day. His training was a long and difficult process and we are greatful for all of you who took the time to keep him in prayer during that time. He will be home for the month of December but will be leaving the end of January for six months of training in Arkansas. Then he will come home for a short while before leaving for New Mexico for another few months. After his cross training is completed, we have projected orders to be stationed in Florida!
I, Alysa, really miss our friends & life we had in Okinawa (not to mention the Oki climate since I absolutely hate being cold!). I am extremely grateful for the few close friends that I do have here and for the people who so willingly helped when I needed them while Shane was away from home! I am also grateful for cell phones and facebook that allow me to keep in contact with my family and close friends in other states or countries! This year, I have become a distributor for Juice Plus+ and absolutely love sharing my story, helping others to be more healthy, and doing wellness presentations! I also started working part-time at Hallmark which I also love! When I am not working, I am home with the girls who are my greatest blessings!
I started homeschooling Kendal last year but she was not interested at all and we had several discipline issues. After a lot of prayer, we decided to put her into a Montessori Preschool. She is doing well and absolutely loves going to school! Kendal will be 5 in January and will be able to start kindergarten in the fall. She really loves to color and draw. She is getting very good at coloring! Audrey is still home more often than not. She will be 3 in January. We are hoping to put her in preschool next year after we move. She loves cats, kittens, and anything that has to do with them. She carries her stuffed cats around with her everywhere! Both girls are energetic and love to learn. They love to watch movies and play on their Leap Frog learning computer. They both also love to play outside. Please keep the girls and I in prayer this next year while Shane is away again. The girls love and miss their daddy and it is always an adjustment each time he leaves. We still have Keenan, our dog, and Hashi, our cat. The girls love their pets! Keenan is getting grey all over. He loves the girls no matter what they do (or try to do) to him. Hashi is pretty much my cat and only comes out when everyone else is not around. He tolerates the girls but doesn’t like Shane at all 🙂
As the holidays approach, I remember the people around the world who have had great trials this year. We felt helpless when Japan, our host country for four years, was destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis earlier this year. Although, most of our friends were in Okinawa and were safe, we still felt the loss and pain of those who were affected. This summer, our town of Minot, North Dakota was also flooded, and has been called one of the biggest natural disasters in the US that was not covered well in the national media. We were blessed that we were not flooded but many of our friends who lived in town completely lost everything and were displaced. Please continue to keep the people affected by these disasters in prayer throughout the new year.
Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner! Presents are bought, wrapped, and under our three trees (yes 3)! Advent countdowns have begun and the Christmas lights have been hung outside. My favorite decoration of all is my Nativity because it is a visual reminder of why we are celebrating this holiday. As you shop, open your presents, spend time with family, and watch Christmas specials on tv, keep in mind that we are celebrating the Hope of Christmas. Even more so, we are celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ because without Him we have no hope!
May your holiday season be filled with the love of Christ!
Love, Shane, Alysa, Kendal & Audrey