Sunday, December 16, 2007

Virtual Christmas Letter

As opposed to sending out a letter to every family member and friend on earth, we decided to write a virtual Christmas letter here online! Enjoy : )

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from snowy Maine! This year we've had more snow than usual, and now we're in the midst of another snowstorm. Today we're supposed to get 5-8" plus sleet and freezing rain. Oh the joys of living in Maine! We hope that wherever this letter finds you, you and your family are happy and healthy this year!

Scott and I have had a very full year. One thing that has kept us quite busy is Scott's job as the youth pastor at Church of the Open Door in Hampden. In March, we had our annual Winter Retreat for the teens, and this year we combined with another local church and went to Fairhaven Camps for the retreat. That was a lot of fun, despite being snowed in at the church for the first night (and sleeping on the floor). Later in the year we went to New York with 3 teens on a Group Workcamps missions trip. Although we had a small group, God still taught us a lot on that trip. The theme was "Renovate", and while we renovated other people's houses, we were also learning about how God wants to renovate our hearts and lives.

In the past few months, we also did a trip to a local farm, Treworgy Orchards, and did the corn maze there with the youth. That was followed by a large bonfire at one of our volunteer's house. Finally, we had a Christmas party for the junior high and then one for the senior high the following day. We had the traditional Yankee Swap, but instead of having the kids purchase gifts, they had to find or make something. Then, we collected donations from them to put towards a gift through World Vision's Christmas catalog. Our group chose to donate some chickens and a goat to families in developing nations. We raised over $200 between the two groups!

Scott is still enjoying his job a lot and is often amazed that he gets paid to tell kids about Jesus! We have many students coming from the local public schools. We also have many students who come from other churches that do not have youth group programs. We are very blessed to be a part of their lives, and we learn a lot from them. In the fall they surprised us with a bunch of cards and a gift certificate to Dysart's. Thank you guys!

As for me, at the start of the year I was still working full time and had just recently started a new home business as well. This has been an exciting year, as I have been able to cut back to working part-time. I am now at Families & Children Together as a Family Advocate, which is a fancy way of saying I'm a case manager for foster children. I enjoy the job a lot - it's 20 hours a week, flexible hours, great co-workers, and wonderful families to work with.

My new business has been going well also. I've been helping others get safer, healthier products for their home, and also earn some extra money if they want to. In October, I advanced to Director IV, which is much more than I originally thought I'd do last year at this time. However, it has truly been a lot of fun, and I feel blessed to be a part of such a great company and support team. In August, Scott and I went to Altanta, GA for the convention. Mom and Paul also went with us. We had a lot of fun despite the 90+ degrees weather every day (we were inside most of the time).

One other exciting event of this year is that we added a new family member. No, not a baby... we got a puppy! His name is Moxie, and now he's about 8 months old. He is a black lab, and we got him from our friends when their dog had a litter of puppies. He's been a spunky addition to our home. He's still learning how to behave appropriately, and I often find him with laundry strewn about the bathroom or licking out a pan on the stove. However, we do love him, and he and Mia love to play together.

Another thing that has kept us busy this year has been renovating our home. Most of you know that we bought this house 4 years ago with hopes to renovate. We did a lot before we moved in, and have continued since then. But the living room and dining room have been neglected as it was such a big project. We were able to start tackling this project this fall thanks to my business income. We are in the middle of painting the two rooms, and soon we'll be putting down the flooring! We'll be sure to post photos here when we are done, so be sure to visit often.

Thank you all for being a part of our lives. We pray that God blesses your family this Christmas as much as He has blessed us!

With Love,
Esther & Scott
(and Kira, Mia, & Moxie)


The Booker Blog said...

Oh, yay! Beautious letter, sweet Esther. Quite the smart idea, actually! Can't wait to see the new renovations in your home. How exciting! Love you guys! We have absolutley no snow here, so that's a reminder to me to go out and get Kaden some snowpants and boots before we head home! Crazy! Love you! Merry Christmas!