Here is our year in a nutshell! Every year is an opportunity to exchange time for what will make a difference for eternity. We pray that the Lord will direct how to best invest 2018!
Christmas is not religion, traditions, memories, giving, or family; it is Jesus Christ living His life in and through us [Emmanuel]; giving life to religion, imparting meaning to traditions, making memories eternal, infusing joy into giving, creating harmony in family, and so much more. Without Him we can do nothing. He is LIFE. God blessed Donna and I this year with grace through trials; with children who continue to love God, with two new grandchildren, and with encouragement from family, church, and friends.
Donald – The Lord used Psalm 27 to encourage me to keep seeking Him in a host of art opportunities that included giving chalk talks for large and small groups, painting full-size illustrative pictures, creating Bible story coloring pages, and designing an online art course. We gave thanks on Thanksgiving Day for harvesting a record four deer in one morning; including my first noteworthy buck.
Michael – I continued doing hive inspections part time for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. In August it was an inspiration to hold a FEW in Quebec, witness their steadfast love for the Lord and each other, fellowship with them, and look into some bee hives at a farm there. Another first this year was harvesting and tasting American Pawpaw fruit. I am grateful to the Lord for leading me and turning me to Himself each step of the way; truly He doeth all things well.
Robert & Kendalyn were blessed with Cadence Elizabeth Staddon in January. See http://robertloveskendalyn.com
Esther – I spent special time with Grandpa Brannon caring for Grandma during her last days; please keep praying for Grandpa. I heard and recorded many of his stories about growing up in Salem. God also expanded my vision to work with the IBLP development team to expand the online Character curriculum into printed booklets. Despite unexpected obstacles, the first three booklets have been printed! I also set up a part-time office in Big Sandy and have enjoyed being with Robert’s and Daniel’s families there.
James – I enjoyed photographing for Home Educators Association of Virginia, the St. John’s Church Historic Society, the FEW Conferences, and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I taught photography at 5 homeschool conferences, shot a couple weddings, photographed the August 21 total solar eclipse, and traveled for photography with friends through Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, California and West Virginia. To accommodate my busy travel schedule, I sold my little Corolla and bought an Outback, which should also help me be more mobile during West Virginia winters. When not on the road, I’m developing Lenspiration’s online photography services to promote integrity in photography.
Daniel & Kathryn were blessed with a little one in the spring. See http://danielloveskathryn.com
Jonathan – I was excited to see the Lord work through me to lead a child to Christ at church camp this year. I was also encouraged to receive my Remote Pilot License so that I can use my drone for business as well as personal purposes. This enabled me to do a lot of traveling with James on video and photography adventures. One such trip was to North Carolina where we captured a total eclipse.
David – I enjoyed developing friendships with local children and their families at our annual Church Camp. I am glad to be involved in all that is going on in our family: growing in the Lord, traveling, pursuing ministry opportunities, gardening, and maintaining our home and property. I am also grateful that God has given me a lot of work to do in graphic design.
Happy New Year,
Don, Donna, and Family