Merry Christmas

OK, so it's a bit late for my Christmas greeting. But it's only the day after, so it still counts, right?

I just wanted to share a bit about the year that's passed and about what lies ahead.

This year has been busy and at times quite difficult. I'd say there were more valleys than mountains, but on the whole, I think I've come out the other end stronger and learning to trust my faithful heavenly Father much more.

We started our year with a positive pregnancy test for our fifth baby. That was scary and at times difficult to comprehend, but as the year progressed, we realised just how much God wanted this precious baby to be on earth with all the little miracles he performed along the way to make it my easiest pregnancy (no nausea, no fatigue until third trimester), my easiest labour (6 hours with only an hour and a half of active labour) and one of my most settled and calm babies (my eldest was by far and away the most settled!).

Lara Julie arrived on September 15th, smack bang in the middle of my favourite month that I had missed with my eldest when he was 10 days overdue. She delights our family (and quite a few friends as well!) with her gorgeous gummy grins, baby talk and lovely soft baby-ness!

In April, my husband began the process to apply for a program involving extra study, extra work and extra responsibility with his job as a paramedic. He passed all his tests with flying colours and was accepted to start in July. It began with five weeks away (home on weekends). I was heavily pregnant and so I needed help. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life to ask friends and family to help me out by coming to stay for a week at a time, but I really enjoyed it.

I missed my husband dreadfully during those five weeks, but we got through it! When he returned he was busy with full-time study and full-time work, however, we still managed to work hard at keeping things together at home. He passed his exams in November with extremely high marks - he's a testimony to hard work, perseverance and putting God first. He heads back into full-time study in February, followed by exams mid-year. The course ends with a final panel in September.

In October, my son turned 7, then was baptized 4 days later. You can read my previous post "Attack" for more info on that!

In November, we celebrated 11 years of marriage. You can read about that in my two previous posts, too.

This Christmas was spent at the ambulance station with other QAS families. Family is so important to me and I missed my extended family yesterday. However, we did have fun at the station and best of all - I didn't have to cook OR wash up! Yahoo!

We're now looking forward to 2013 with some big plans for later in the year.

I'm looking forward to using the words "Thank you, but no." more often when asked to help out with things. But details of that are for another post!

I'm looking forward to September holidays next year after my husband's study and course are finished and we can do our road-trip to Melbourne.

I'm looking forward to celebrating 12 years of marriage in November, possibly with a trip back to our honeymoon destination at Mission Beach while our little darlings spend time with their grandparents!

I'm looking forward to MOPS.

I'm looking forward to Friday playgroup at the local church.

I'm looking forward to church.

I'm looking forward to maybe returning to do a few casual teaching days.

I'm looking forward to planting some trees here at Nethaniah - a Manchurian Pear, a self-pollinating apple and pear tree, a 'Peace' rose and a Lilly Pilly.

I'm looking forward to blogging.

I'm looking forward to watching my baby grow and watching my older children develop, learn and flourish!

But most of all, I'm looking forward to doing all of the above under God's watchful presence, with His blessing, guidance and love.

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2013. God bless.

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