Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Christmas letter

I finally got a Christmas letter written.
I never used to send cards to the people "in town"
-- cards were a way to keep up
with loved ones who were far away.
Since we've moved, then,
my address list just increased exponentially.
In my present condition,
I'm not quite up to getting it all sorted out.
So please accept these cyber-greetings
and know that we love you,
and we hope that your Christmas
is exactly as special as it should be.
Merry Christmas from the Carpenters!

We live in Illinois now!  No disrespect to central New York, but we love the Midwest. Even though we’re a ways south of Minnesota (south being a very good direction to be from Minnesota), there is something comforting, familiar and appealing about the weather, the sky and the landscape.

How did we get here? Well, last January Shawn left his career of 19.5 years at Sonnet Software and took a position with Delcross Technologies in Champaign, IL.  

 Shawn, in his new Delcross logo shirt.

That same January, I resigned from my job of 6 months at Faith Heritage School, teaching secondary English.  Shawn set up an office in the basement, and I set about trying to get our house ready to sell.  

Delcross was kind enough to allow us to stay in Syracuse until the end of the school year, when David would graduate from Syracuse University and Jonathan would graduate from Liverpool High School.

Shannon’s life remained relatively stable this past year, as she continued forward in her PhD program in organic chemistry at Yale.   

She passed her orals and was granted a Master’s degree in May, shortly after the time David was playing his senior recital to cap off the music degree he earned in saxophone at Syracuse.

I was diagnosed with Lupus, which was actually a relief after not knowing what was wrong with me for so long.  They put me on a daily medication (an anti-malaria drug! ha!) which has helped tremendously with much of the pain I was experiencing.

Over the spring, David chose to go to Duke’s medical school.  I love everything about Duke except that their team is called the Blue Devils.

David and Jon’s graduations both went off nicely...

 David at his Syracuse University graduation.

 Jon, just after graduating from Liverpool High School

...and our house sold quickly, so then it was time to move.

Moving is not my favorite, but we survived and are thankful to be here now, basically unscathed.  On the heels of the move, David went off to Duke 
David in his white coat

and shortly thereafter, Jon began his first year of college, pursuing Biblical Studies at Grove City College...
 Saying goodbye to your youngest child is rough.

...along with Laura who is now in her senior year there, completing a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education.   

Shawn and I were left alone in a new place, all our kids “back east,” in states that border the Atlantic (CT, NC and PA).

In October, Laura became engaged to Matthew Mucha, and we praise God for this fine young Christian man who will marry our precious daughter in July 2014.
 The actual proposal...

 And a little later, so you can see what their faces look like.

I’ve had some health challenges and a couple of surgical procedures, but I can see the mercy of God’s timing in bringing these events while I was in a life season with no responsibilities and no children at home.

Last night as we went to bed, I told Shawn that I was sorry about how little “Christmas” I’ve been able to do.  He said, “Don’t worry.  You have all the Christmas you need, right in your heart!”  He may have been joking, but he was right.

 Here is a picture of our Christmas tree 
from last year, when we had a Christmas tree.
As I recall, that one went up late, too...
so there is still hope!


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