We’ve obviously been out of communication somewhat as several of you still have our old address. Luckily our mailman catches most of our mail (we hope!) So take note: the new number is 2042!
Here’s the story on the move, if you missed it: Spring of 2001 brought a call from our neighbors to tell us they’d received an air force assignment in Germany. Later that night a thought occurred to me: that house would be great for us! We had always been content to stay in our 1300 sq. ft. house forever, and almost had it paid off, but it was quite cramped and cluttered with our hundreds (thousands?) of books and other homeschooling materials—not to mention Mark’s computers and equipment. Were we supposed to snatch up this gem from the owner before it went on the market?
An extra bedroom (for Mark to have an at-home office), a huge kitchen, built-in bookshelves, closed-in porch, a nice backyard, more square feet... it seemed perfect for us. The more we looked into it the more it seemed to be God’s will—an opportunity we hadn’t sought out or desired, but that would meet our needs better and enable us to open our home to guests.
We hastily prepared our home to be put up for sale and anxiously calculated how long we could sustain two mortgages if it didn’t sell (no contingency—they were leaving the country and needed the money). Thank goodness ours sold in 10 days because we couldn’t have kept it perfectly clean much longer with 2 little ones there all day (and an arts and crafts loving 8 year old :) We were able to close on both houses the same morning and with some wonderful friends’ help, moved all our belongings 5 houses down the street in just 2 1/2 hours! We had to unpack fast because a week later we had a huge group of kids over for Jordan’s 9th birthday—a science party!
It’s been such a blessing to have people over. At a recent homeschooler’s gathering we had over 20 children in the yard with all the older ones in the 8'x8' tree house built by Mark’s dad last Christmas. We love our big kitchen and eat much healthier now that we have room to cook and create together (all three girls usually have to be involved with everything of course!) We are thrilled that Daddy can work at home if necessary (he is the web designer for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory). God has been so generous to us!
The purchase of a digital camera has allowed Mark to dabble in photography. He enjoys working with the images on the computer, and posts many of his pictures on his web site. He entered a photo in the fair on a whim and received a third place ribbon for his efforts. Earlier this year he appeared as a magician in a commercial for Tucson Water. He and Jordan spent the day filming with an “all-star” cast that included the Mayor. Mark said it was fun, but he’s not quitting his day job! Speaking of which, he has recently been recognized for his innovation in web design and was invited to present on the subject of Cascading Style Sheets at 2 national web design conferences this year. I was able to go with him to Seattle in July, and Jordan and I both accompanied him to Boston in November for the field trip of a lifetime. We crammed an incredible amount of art, science, and history into those 7 days!
This year marks our sixth as Awana Commanders at Christ Community Church. We’ve also had the privilege of putting together workshops to present at the last 3 state Awana conferences. Jordan helped out in my class this past year—how to memorize scripture using music and sign language for better and longer retention. She earned her Excellence trophy this year, I earned my Citation, and the little ones are well on their way to treasuring much of God’s Word in their hearts—all of us under the teaching and guidance of Mark who is Pastor and Shepherd over our flock at family worship and “in our going.” (Deut. 6:6-9)
We’ve been out of music ministry for some time due to the demands of Awana and our children being so little, but we were able to participate in the church’s 3-night Christmas presentation early in December which was quite a joy (Mark on viola, me on bass guitar—the church bought a stand to hold the guitar since it is too heavy for me to hold now). Jordan had a solo in the children’s musical again this year—we are so blessed by her voice and her servant’s heart. She’s been working on piano a few years and shows promise there as well.
Moriah received a pint-sized guitar for her 6th birthday and has started piano. She is quite expressive in dance and song as well. Three year old Bethany, who is quite lively at home, is often reserved outside of that haven (especially if a balloon is present, of which she has an intense fear!)
We are so blessed by our three gifts from God and would have loved to have even more, but my body can’t handle the extra burden that pregnancy places on it. I continue to work through the challenges of living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I can’t drive anymore (so we’re actually HOME to homeschool everyday!), and the pain and fatigue is always present, but He gives me strength (Phil. 1:6).
Kim, for Mark Jordan Moriah and Bethany