From Laura, 15 … One Sunday in January, after our worship service and fellowship meal, our church had the opportunity to hear an amazing pianist perform. He was a Russian graduate from the Moscow Conservatory of Music visiting his relatives in town. I felt so privileged to be able to listen to this superb musician in our very own church for no money at all! He played for over an hour, with everything he played being memorized. His playing was flawless and beautiful. It’s not very often that something keeps my eyes glued to one spot for that long! It was a wonder-filled experience. Afterward I hurried up to him with my autograph book. I wanted to remember the special occasion forever!
From Becca, 17 … This month I wrote a research paper about the history of an area called Klein a bit north of where we live. It was settled in the 1850’s by German farmers. I really enjoyed learning about the people who used to live here—they were hardworking farmers and strong Christians. We also visited an old cemetery just down the road from our church and saw many gravestones of people I had read about.
From Seth, 20 … Last time I wrote about getting a job with a land development engineer. One interesting part of the job has been the different meetings my boss has taken me to. They are usually with clients or county officials, or sometimes other private engineers. Being in the meetings has made me keenly aware of the importance of clear, to-the-point communication. When ideas are not clearly articulated, carefully heard, and logically considered, meetings drag on, people get grumpy, and little is accomplished.
From Anna, 23 … I managed to get in on one of Southeast Texas' rare snowstorms last week. I was staying with some friends in Bryan (an hour and a half out of Houston) and we woke up one morning to find snow on the ground! It was less than half an inch, but it was still enough to look pretty, and enough for snowballs! It was fun to watch the children experiencing the novelty of it all. When they first went out, they went running from one place to another making discoveries, since the snow had made every familiar, everyday object into something new and exciting. Then there were snowball fights, snow angels, and miniature snowmen!
From John, Megan,James, and Ezra … (by Megan) These past two months have been full in many ways! John's business is growing and he is currently working on a kitchen remodel; one of my sisters got married; we are adjusting to life with two children; we passed all the holidays celebrated with family and friends; and we have thrown dancing in there somehow. During these crazy busy times, we have seen God's grace in each day as he has brought us through easy and hard days. James loves his little brother, and Ezra loves his big brother! James is learning to love Ezra gently. We can't imagine life without our boys!
From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, Andrew, and baby … (by Katie) We found out that our baby due in May is a girl! It's really a novelty after three boys. At first, we couldn't really believe it, but we're getting used to the idea, and getting quite excited. We love having boys, but it will be nice to have a girl too. I'm enjoying seeing the adorable baby girl clothes starting to come my way, and I'm looking forward to the various aspects of having another girl in the family. We hope we can avoid having her be either spoiled or a tomboy!
From Judith … It boggles my mind that our “baby” is now 15 years old! I’m pleased to find that age 56 doesn’t feel nearly as old as I thought it would 15 years ago. I tended to wonder how it would be for Laura to have such “old” parents as a young adult, but I don’t think I’m as close to the “pasture” as anticipated.
Boy, I sure did miss Gerald while he was away for two weeks earlier this month for Weatherford (see below). My heart goes out to wives whose husbands are frequently away for long stretches. It wasn’t because it was hard to manage at home. It’s just that we’re a team, united as one, and I felt like I was limping. I was grateful for Skype so we could have video calls, but next time he’s away, I’d like to have more private calls without other family members gathered around. J
From Gerald … My big adventure recently was a trip to Germany. My job took me to Hanover for two weeks. This was my first time to go to Europe. I missed my family, but I also enjoyed my time in Germany. Everyone was very hospitable; I felt very welcome. Anna found an English-speaking Reformed Baptist church that I attended both Sundays I was there. That was a real treat to be able to fellowship with like-minded believers so far from home.
Here are a few interesting cultural things I noticed. Every morning, each of my colleagues would step into my office and greet me with a handshake. They ate pizza with a knife and fork. Glass drinking glasses, cups, and plates, as well as metal tableware were commonly used in situations (at the office and in restaurants) where we would use disposable items in the USA. All of the cars were small. The traffic lights turn yellow both before red and before green.
I was able to do some sightseeing on the weekend. It was nice to be able to get away and see some things.
With love from the Pedersen clan