Since I didn't send out Christmas cards or holiday letters this year, I decided to create a "Top 10" list of 2012 for the Carlson family. And since we are a real family it wouldn't be fair if I only shared the best moments without also sharing some of the not so great moments as well. Overall it was a great year and choosing a "Top 10" was not easy. So here goes:
#10 - In May we took our first college visit & Christian participated in his first SEC football camp. Now that he's a junior the college search gets more intense. At this point we have no clue where he will decide to go to college.
#9 - When school started in September, 3 of the 4 Carlson kids were at new schools. Noah started high school, Madison started middle school & Tyler moved to the intermediate school. Noah struggled a little at first adjusting to harder classes, but he seems to be applying himself more now. Madison never really adjusted to middle school and has struggled with the environment of a public middle school. So we have decided to return to online charter school for her and Tyler as well.
#8 - Noah went to his first school dance. He & Christian went to the Homecoming Dance with friends from church.
#7 - In September, Christian got his driver's license. Other than the increase in insurance, it has been great to have an extra driver in the house. He did have a minor incident with a light pole just a couple weeks after getting his license. So we don't let him drive the van...only the jeep!!!
#6 Christian and Tyler both had great football seasons. Tyler's team went to the Super Bowl and came in 2nd!! Christian's team made it to the first round of playoffs. Christian and 2 other d-linemen were featured on the cover of the local paper's sport's page. Then the following week he sprained both of his ankles and missed 2 games. He did make All Conference as an Honorable Mention.
#5 At the end of July, we spent a weekend camping at Natural Bridge, Kentucky with friends. We had a great weekend of hiking, swimming & family fun.
#4 We saw the FCA ministry grow throughout Dayton. We saw new huddles starting and new contacts made for huddles starting in 2013. We celebrated the end of the school year with a pool party. We were invited to partner with the Salvation Army for a kid's camp and it went so well that we'll be doing it again in 2013. Rich also spoke in the chapel services of Oneida Baptist Institute. We are still struggling with trying to raise enough support to become paid staff. God is continuing to meet our finacial needs and we have to continually remind ourselves that we must trust Him and His timing in funding.
#3 We started the summer of 2012 by going to camp!! Our entire family spent the week at Seneca Lake Kid's Kamp. It was my 3rd year as a Bible Learning Leader & Rich's 1st year as Rec Director. Christian & Noah both helped with rec while Maddy & Tyler were both campers.
#2 We spent lots of time doing missions & ministry trips. Rich & I returned to Nicaragua and were able to bring Noah with us. It was an amazing week of evangelizing & building a playground. Christian went to Haiti with a group of youth from church and conducted VBS. Then we went on a family missions trip to Oneida, KY. We went with several other families from our church and conducted VBS for the children of Oneida. We were able to return to Oneida in December and help deliver new shoes to all the children from Oneida Elementary School.
The top highlight for 2012, was definitely the donation of our van. After our blazer died in mid December of 2011, our only transportation was Rich's Jeep Cherokee. We began praying for a 2nd vehicle that was larger and would fit our family of 6. We were blessed in mid February by the generosity of friends from our church who God used to answer that prayer for our family. Without that van then most of the other projects we were a part of in 2012 would not have been possible.
As I look back over the past year, I see moments of victory and agonies of defeat. I see my children grasping a concept of who God is and I see them breaking His heart with their disobedience. I see parents who invest in teaching their children godly values and I see distracted parents letting disobedience go unpunished. I see days of showing loving patience to each other and I see days of harsh words and frustration. I see a family taking small steps closer to where God wants them to be and I see a family falling on their knees pleading for wisdom to make better choices. Through all of this looking back, I am thankful that through God's grace we have grown in our walk with God.
As we start a new year, I'm hopeful that we will continue to take steps to grow in Christ. So that when we come to the end of 2013, we can look back and realize that we're not the same as we were today.
Happy New Year from our family to yours!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.