So here we are are, just now finally getting around to writing a Christmas Letter (I know, it's a little late - but hey, better late than never, right?). So now that we've weathered the annual storm that is the holiday season, I thought it might be appropriate to pause for a few minutes and look back on 2006. After all, there's been a LOT of water under the bridge since this time last year.
SO... here are some highlights of 2006!
For those of you who'd rather just browse the photos, here's the appropriate set of links from 2006 from over on the photoblog
(most recent first).
For those of you who'd rather read have a summary, along with links to key posts, etc, here's that perspective...
- January - waaay back in January (seems like years ago now) we stepped gingerly over a cliff and started raising funds to plant a church in Missoula. Very scary, to send a letter to friends asking them to support you financially. Yet very encouraging (and humbling) to see how all of you responded. It's also done wonders for our family to see how fundraising is actually a beautiful thing. And right in the middle of all this, there was a Saturday night gale which will stay with me forever.
- February - ah yes, the month of images: the big snowstorm in Fischer Park, the great shot of Rebekah daydreaming by the window, and then that disc of childhood photos. Isn't it amazing how pictures play such an important role in our lives. Maybe its because they nourish our imagination, something vitally important for the fostering of faith.
- March - yep, March was a month of reflection on some really important things, like preaching the gospel to myself daily, getting naked relationally, and realizing that Jesus is not glue. It was also the first time in a long time that I picked up my guitar and wrote a song (called 18 years).
- April - we started things off with a family photo, sang our first ever Song of the Camelback Trout (huge fun w/ my buddy Jeff McRobbie!), and then took Malachi back out to Billings for baseball while I flew all over the country to work on fundraising. Oh yeah, there was that couple on the plane doing zero to sixty at 36,000 feet. And then there was that phone call, "Hello Pastor..."
- May - May was the month where I finally finished up 4 years of seminary and actually graduated, which was a great opportunity to decompress and reflect - on women's issues, on "Christian" music. I also wrote a couple of interesting papers, one on Sex in the Song of Songs, the other on Women in Ministry. And then it was time to throw one last party, pack all our belongings in a U-Haul and head for home.
- June - Malachi pitched his best game ever, Christian lost his best camera ever when he should have been at home studying for ordination, and we met new friends Daniel & Jen and our awesome realtor Mindy as we started house-hunting in Missoula.
- July - we saw Pirates of the Carribean 2 for the first time, went fishing on the 4th, and Christian kept studying.
- August - then in August, all the written exams were finally done. We took a couple of days to head for the mountains (since, after all, it never rains in August), we finally found a house in Missoula, and before you know it, we were moving to a whole new part of the Last Best Place.
- September - of course, as soon as we got there, Christian had to start studying again, this time for oral exams. (Gee, I wonder why there are no links for this month? Hmmm... ;-)
- October - then, just when it seemed as if we could hold our breath, God exhaled for us, and Christian was ordained. Wow. Only then could we finally start working on the house, and taking in the view(s). We also got to start talking to people, and boy did it get interesting quick (be sure to read the comments). Oh yes, we also went antelope hunting and carved pumpkins.
- November - Thanksgiving in Manhattan (Micah got his first deer!), and lots of work on the basement.
- December - and then came Christmas, w/ a whole lot more work on the basement. We managed to get the boys moved into their new room on Christmas eve, we finished flooring, painting, and electrical by New Years. And now there's just some finish work remaining. In the middle of all this, we took a trip out to Washington to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday, and we had Jake and Jen and my folks up for Christmas day.
Holy cow a lot has happened this past year. No wonder I feel dizzy at times. But God has been good and we are extremely gratefull.
If you're still reading, you obviously have an iron butt or care deeply about our family! We appreciate your interest, and look forward to hearing from you (and hopefully seeing you as well!) this coming year.