Wednesday, December 29, 2010
2010 Christmas Letter
The year of 2010 was yet another wonderful year for the Buhl family! I’ll recap some of our high-lights in this officially unofficial Christmas letter! Never mind the fact that Christmas has already come and gone...
While the majority of the year consisted of just the four of us, we had the opportunity not once, but twice, to open our home to foster kids. In February we fostered a 3 week-old baby, baby Smith, for 10 days while his adoptive family finalized some paper work so they could take him home. In June we welcomed a pregnant 15 year-old girl, Abby into our home. She spent nearly 2 months with us before she returned home. On the 1st of December, she welcomed her son, Wesley into the world! Mom and baby are both doing well. The most ironic part of our having provided foster care for 4 kids in the last year and a half is that while we are certified, we’ve never actually been on an active list to receive foster kids. Apparently God’s plans are different than ours!
After a year of transition, Rob officially became the Lead Pastor at North Albany Community Church at the beginning of 2010. He started working at NACC in 2002 as the Youth Pastor, and then took an Associate Pastor position in 2006. We have very much enjoyed being part of such a wonderful church family and we are hopeful that we will be able to call Albany home for a very long time!
This was a big year for Rob. Last Christmas I gave him the gift of a half-marathon. He trained for several months and ran the Vernonia half-marathon in April. Despite the snow, wind and rain he finished in less than two hours! I asked him if he wanted me to give him the gift of a full-marathon for Christmas this year. He respectfully declined.
I have continued to enjoy working part-time as the Children’s Ministry Director at NACC, as I have done since 2006. The end of 2010, however, will mark the end of my time officially serving in this capacity. I am excitedly looking forward to primarily being a stay-at-home mom, and to serving Rob more fully as his responsibilities are far greater in his new role.
My high-light for the year was a 10 day “Mommycation” to New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania where I got to spend some time with SaraJane, a friend of mine from college. Rob did a wonderful job being both mommy and daddy while I visited Amish country, toured Ground Zero, enjoyed a breath-taking view from the Empire State Building, and enjoyed many other New York City sites. On that trip I also got to meet Mike Huckabee, and attend a taping of the Huckabee Show. It was definitely a trip to remember, and a much needed time of rest and relaxation for me!
One of my other high-lights for the year was getting to meet a blogger, cook, author and photographer that I have learned a great deal from. I got to meet The Pioneer Woman at a book signing this Spring!
Leeann turned 7 years old this summer. She continues to be a compassionate, sensitive, helpful, sweet, caring little girl. She loves Tinker Bell, Polly Pockets and all things purple!
Leeann opened up her own seasonal coffee shop this summer. During the four days her coffee shop was open this year she earned enough money to purchase her very own Nintendo DSi XL! We are very proud of her hard work, diligence, saving, and patience. And we are grateful to all of her generous patrons who helped us teach her some very valuable lessons and life skills!
Leeann started first grade at a new school this year. She got an opportunity to be part of a dual immersion program, which is a pilot program in our district. She spends every other day learning all of her school subjects entirely in Spanish. If she continues to do well in this program she should be testing at or above grade level in English and Spanish by the time she completes 5th grade. She’s doing well so far. We are very impressed by how much Spanish she has picked up in just a few short months!
Titus turned 5 a few short weeks ago, and he’s nothing short of an absolute character! He is such a funny kid—a party waiting for a place to happen! He is constantly laughing, chattering, smiling and making new friends. He loves all things Lego and Starwars. And for obvious reasons he has a special place in his heart for anything Lego Starwars!
The high-light of his year was fighting Darth Vader at the Jedi Training Academy during our recent trip to Disneyland. I think it’s pretty safe to say that our trip to Disneyland was probably the high-light of the year for our family! We enjoyed 5 days at the Happiest Place on Earth at the beginning of December. This year, our 17 year-old niece, KayLee, got to join us. We enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with her, and we also thoroughly enjoyed getting to build a whole host of great family memories!
An overview of 2010 wouldn’t be complete without a nod to our becoming debt free. We turned a corner in our finances that we will never round again. Fourteen months after we set out to attack our debt with a vengeance we freed ourselves (due to God’s incredible provision) from $25,000 dollars in medical bills and student loans. We are committed to living our lives debt free and to being good stewards of what God has trusted us with, regardless of how much, or how little.
The feeling of freedom we felt getting out from underneath the burden of our debt is surpassed only by the feeling of freedom we feel by being free from our sins thanks to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the one who took our sins upon himself so that we can live for eternity in the presence of God. I can’t think of a greater gift this Christmas, or a greater reason to celebrate during this season and every season!
From our house to yours, Merry Christmas!
p.s. You can keep up with us all year long on this blog http://www.visitrobynsnest.blogspot.com/. This is where we post family memories. It's essentially an on-line scrap book that we get to share with our friends and family.
If you are interested, you can also visit my other blog Real Life Pastor's Wife http://www.reallifepastorswife.blogspot.com/. This is where I post non-family related things such as musings, commentary, recipes, hair-styles and such.