Saturday, December 31, 2011

So long, 2011!

Neither of us is sad to see this year end.  We've actually been counting it down with giddy excitement.  While this year hasn't been awful, it hasn't been enjoyable very much either.

Hitting dead end after dead end with figuring out Zambian adoption has drained us enormously.  Then, after working so hard for a year to save up for both of us to get to go to Zambia on a mission trip in 2012, I didn't receive the history grant continuation, which meant my stipend was no longer funding the meat of our account for the trip.  At this point, we're throwing every penny into the account we can, but we didn't get as many donations as we'd hopped for Christmas, and we're still over $4,000 behind.  I hit an invisible wall yesterday and had an absolute meltdown about this.  And don't tell me God's timing is perfect because I KNOW!  I'm not an idiot, but knowing something doesn't make it any easier either.  We'll get there when God wants us there, and for now, that has to be enough.
Sending HOPE to our girl!

Work has been hard for both of us this year.  With the shuttle program ending, NASA is in all kinds of uncertainty.  Isaac's job is incredibly secure, but the lack of direction for the organization is disheartening at best.  This Fall began the hardest year yet of my teaching career, with several days leaving me ready to throw in the towel.  A few more months are left in this current school year, but the light is bright at the end of the tunnel!

We lost three of our smaller pets this year, and while they were tiny, they left big impacts on our lives.  Losing Igor, Braveheart, and Sissy so close to each other was hard on us all.  Just a reminder that we aren't Home yet...
Bailey with Braveheart and Sissy

In happier times this year, our sweet Aggie Belle joined the family March 31st.  Isaac waited 3 1/2 years to find a weimy female puppy so that Bailey could handle the adjustment, and I'm so glad the wait was worth it!
Aggie Belle 3-31-11
We have a blast with all of my family when my little brother married a sweet girl, and our family grew once again.  What a fabulous weekend of laughter and love!

I've stayed healthy for 4 years this month, and despite a few scares that the endometriosis might be roaring its ugly head again, they've all been false alarms.  Hallelujah!

The Teaching American History Grant trip this summer was beyond amazing!  I learned so much first hand from Civil Rights leaders, fell in love for a 2nd time with D.C., and learned that NYC has it's bright spots.  I adored Ellis Island, and vividly saw life from 100 years ago.  The beauty of upstate NY overwhelmed me, as did Niagara.
MLK's kitchen table, Niagara, Statue of Liberty

In August, we celebrated 2 years of marriage and were treated to a family trip with the Ozingas.
Turtle farm, Date Night on the ship, and a sting ray

With an aching heart and no time table for 2012, I have to remember all of 2011's blessings, or else 'bleak' is the only word that comes to mind, and that's not true.  Whatever 2012 brings, God walks before us, and that is ALWAYS enough.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1 :17

Happy New Year from the Ozingas

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