Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas 2011

     This year has been incredible for our family. Just incredible! I love to read all of my past Christmas letters and see how different each year is. I am deliriously happy that I have chosen to trust God and let Him be in control of my life and my family. I got the opportunity to take a Bible Study that went through the entire salvation History of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation back in 2005. I am now teaching this Bible Study to a group of 15 teenagers. I love reliving this study. If the Bible could be broken down to one central theme, it would be, “Do you trust God?” One story after the other puts the Israelites in a position that seem impossible to overcome (conquering a populated city of giants….Surviving 40 years in the desert with no sign of food or water…etc.). Do they trust God? Most of the time, the answer was no. Those consequences usually ended up with God handing them over to their enemies. But, when they said yes, it was a glorious story, a miraculous story. Bread would rain from heaven, water would flow from a rock, walls would come tumbling down on their own, babies would be conceived from barren women (old grandma type women!). So, when people respectfully ask me questions of concern that a large family is commonly asked (What about paying for college?....What if you have another special needs child?....What if something happens to your husband, or you?), I just have to smile. Well, what if I give up all of my control, die to myself, and let God have all of me? It’s a scary thought but to me, it’s even scarier not to. The graces pour over our family and I so want everyone else to see and experience it too.

Roy finished off another year of Theology of the Body (TOB) for Teens and began planning to teach it again for three different classes this Fall. Those plans had to be delegated out due to an unforeseen deployment to Afghanistan. He left in September and scheduled to come back for 2 weeks in May. He will be home for good in September, 2012. He loves his job. He is in charge of the northern ½ of Afghanistan’s equipment. He recently gave up all of the military vehicles to the Afghan army and now puts around in tiny little civilian cars. I giggle at the thought. We get to talk to him on the computer a couple times a week. We can call him whenever we want using a regular phone number and not that long 21 digit number I had to use back in 2003.

I got to facilitate a Theology of the Body class for adults over the Lenten season. I loved it! I wanted to continue in the Fall but, thanks to Roys deployment, I couldn’t add one more thing to my list. Instead, I use some of my time to take some Catholic classes with the Bishop Helmsing Institute . They have been great! They are classes for adults to continue their education. It didn’t end after Confirmation you know! I took on Roy’s TOB class for the homeschoolers on Fridays. It has been great. So great, in fact, that this is one of my biggest obstacles when Roy comes back! I don’t want to give up teaching this and Roy will NOT give it up either and I think teaching together will just be an interrupting contest between the two of us. Pray for us!

This is the first year that I have had all 8 kids home for homeschooling. I have a few different avenues for schooling them so I don’t have to do it all and the kids get to travel around, meeting other people and having different teachers. We have a large and religiously diverse co-op that meets at my church, Coronation of Our Lady. It is so nice to only live a few blocks away. Not only do we do school there on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but we are able to take turns going to daily Mass and volunteering whenever we want. Travel time has no effect. The kids also take a Writing class on Wednesday and Thursday in Overland Park with the finest, nicest and most productive teacher on the planet. Every Monday, I do a co-op with 3 other families. We rotate our homes each week. My dad teaches the teenage boys Physics and I teach the elementary Chemistry class and the High School Personal Finance class. Actually, Dave Ramsey teaches the class, I just pop in the video.

I haven't mentioned any of my kids yet! Oh well, they don’t have to make every letter do they?? Just look at the picture. They are bigger and one year older than last year. Enjoy.

In July, our church was blessed with a new priest. I had been praying so hard for a particular priest to come and God answered my prayers with a priest that I believed was too unattainable to even pray for! Wow. Have I learned nothing in my Bible Study!! Fr. Stephen Hansen. What a man! What a priest! What a saint! This is a man who is on fire for his Catholic Faith, so much so, that he has even made it contagious. He ran up to me in my car with an arm full of candles to show them off to me. Sometimes he will yell across the hall to say a Hail Mary for him on my way to the car. He stops me and asks me how I am doing and how Roy is doing. For the first time ever, I feel like I have a real spiritual father. He makes me want to be a saint. He makes me want to be a better wife and mother and teacher and child to my parents and to God.

The day before Roy flew off to Afghanistan was one of the most exciting days of my life. Sounds bad right? Well, not if you’re me! LOL. On September 8th, the homeschoolers had our back to school Mass at our church with MY new priest. Yes, he’s mine and everyone should be jealous. The church was packed from front to back. Our family was sitting in the front row and got to witness my father make his very first Holy Communion. Yes, he is a Catholic now. I am no longer a child in a divided home. Haha. What a beautiful night. It was a perfect way to end Roy’s time at home. The very next morning, we drove Roy to the airport. Our van got sniffed by dogs for bombs because it was so close to 9-11. Makes me worried about why we are leaving Iraq and Afghanistan. I fear that we are inviting them over here. We have too many “Israelites” complaining, “We can’t afford the war….We should just talk out our problems with the enemies….We could never win….there are too many of them….they are giants!” Ok, well, I haven’t heard anyone complain about the terrorists being giants but you get the idea. Do you trust God or not? If we are to be handed over to the enemy, maybe it’s not because we couldn’t afford it or they are giants and we could never have won. Maybe it’s because of our own disobedience to God and His Law.   

On that note, Merry Christmas!!!

                                                                                            The Christy’s
Roy, Katy, Nick, Mary Kate, Samantha, Max, Theresa, Benjamin, Josephine, Matthew

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