Every family has a story to tell… Welcome to Ours!
At the end of each year, as many of you do, I reflect on the past year. It has been said that we need to affirm our past, appreciate our present, and anticipate the future.
To put a few things into context, my mom had a stroke three years ago in December 2015. This unexpected event led my wife and I to move back to my hometown of Kokomo, Indiana to help assist my parents transition to retirement. My role was to manage the family business, while my wife taught high school Spanish. Within a few short weeks of working with my parents in the summer of 2016, our business property took a direct hit from a tornado. For the next thirteen months, my job was to facilitate the reconstruction of our fifteen building apartment complex. It was a crazy busy and stretching season. The rhythm of our lives changed towards the end of 2017 as we concluded that project, and I transitioned from construction management to business management. By God’s grace, I am wrapping up my first year of managing the family business while my parents enjoy warm, sunny, Central Florida.
For those of you in the midwest, you may recall how bitter cold last January was. We were able to take our first winter vacation to head to Orlando to visit my parents as well as family in Atlanta and Bonita Springs. We were able to stay at a beautiful resort, enjoy an incredible day at Disney with friends, reconnect with friends, and explore the beach and an orange grove with grandparents.
In the Spring, we added to our small flock of chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Though we have lost some to predators, we have enjoyed collecting and sharing fresh eggs with friends and family. The kids got their first taste of soccer, hunting for arrowheads on the property, and going fishing with grandpa at a nearby reservoir. Alaina and Ezra caught their first crappies with grandpa this year! Alaina caught one of the biggest crappies at 15.25 inches!
We have been involved at an incredible church, with Heather helping in the Kids Ministry and I having the privilege to be a part of the teaching team. We have a great small group that we are building deeper relationships with and doing life together.
Over the summer months, our family enjoyed rural life on the farm with the horses, chickens, Australian Shepherd, swimming pool, trampoline, and four-wheelers. We were able host several couples and families out to the property for food, fun and fellowship.
In July, Heather and I celebrated nine years of marriage and in August my parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Our entire family enjoyed honoring and celebrating our parents milestone at an incredible restaurant in Indianapolis.
After being home last school year, Heather accepted a Spanish Teaching position at Northwestern High School. For those who don’t know, this is where my brother, myself, my nephews, and niece attended school. Alaina is in 2nd grade at the elementary school connected to the high school and Lydia is in Kindergarten.
In the fall, Alaina and I enjoyed a special weekend away together at DadCamp. We enjoyed camping out in a tent and roasting s’mores over an open fire. We went canoeing, hiking, practiced archery and paintball, played games and made memories. Back on the farm, we fixed horses fences, installed new goat fencing, repurposed a run in shed into a goat barn. It was a treat to get several Nigerian Dwarf goats this fall from the Columbian Park Zoo! In October, I was intentional about taking all three kids deer hunting. The kids loved seeing the doe walk under the tree stands. It wasn’t until opening day of shotgun season in mid November did I get my 9-point buck!
It has been a privilege to see the kids grow and mature in academics, athletics, and arts. The girls have been introduced to basketball and are working on the fundamentals. Alaina has been a part of two music programs: Veterans Day and Christmas. All three kids are excelling in their spiritual growth as they are learning God’s truth through the weekly ministry at Oakbrook Kids and then Awana every Wednesday evening!
Heather is getting into her rhythm with teaching and I am finishing up another year of property management. For those that have followed me on social media, we are in the process of either building a new home on our 5 plus acre property or purchasing our neighbors home on 6 acres after the new year. We will keep you posted on what materializes.
We are eagerly anticipating what God has store for our family in this upcoming year!