Saturday, December 13, 2014

October-November Newsletter

This is our new family picture.

From Laura, 15 … In October Papa and Mama purchased a new piano!!  I could scarcely believe it.  Our previous piano was an electric that was over twenty years old.  The speakers had gotten messed up and some of the notes were giving out.  This new one doesn’t even compare!  Not only is it acoustic, but is also a fairly new one and in very good condition.  It is a tall upright with a beautiful mahogany finish.  The keys also have a firm touch which is important to me.  It has very good sound and is pretty loud when the lid is open.  Its final location will be in our new family room, so volume will be important then.  I look forward to teaching lessons with it and putting on recitals and concerts in the family room!

From Becca, 18 … In October I took the driving test and passed!  Papa is a GREAT driving instructor.  He has only yelled a few times, when a crash was imminent.  He has let me get lost a few times to test my (nonexistent) navigational skills, he makes me back the truck into the curved driveway every Sunday, and he doesn’t hesitate to have me drive the family downtown in heavy traffic at night and even go on harrowing escapades in the city that include scary roundabouts and broken traffic lights.  He is very patient and encouraging in all of this.  Anyway, it has been (mostly) fun to be able to drive and I feel very grown up to be able to go places by myself. 

From Seth, 21 … I recently attended a conference hosted by an organization called Engineering Ministries International.  It was really fantastic to be able to spend a weekend with 150 other engineers who love Jesus and want to use their skills to be a blessing to others.

 From Anna, 24 … It seems like this time of year always involves a lot of extra singing for us.  Last weekend we attended an annual Messiah sing-along, which we’ve been participating in for the last few years.  It’s so exciting to sing that beautiful music with so many other people!  There’s also a Sacred Harp singing at this time of year that some of us go to, and then we usually end up with at least a couple of caroling parties.  I’m so grateful for the gift of music and the joy and unity that comes from sharing it with other people!

From John, Megan, James, and Ezra … (by John) It's been an interesting couple of months for me at work.  I had a few jobs that had to be finished by certain dates for various reasons, which created a lot of pressure on me as I tried to get everything done.  I was blessed to have some very patient customers who were flexible with me.  I have also been blessed by my new helper, Robert, who started working with me in mid-November.  The last few weeks have been very satisfying for Paul, Robert, and me as we've brought several large projects to completion.

I've also been humbled lately by seeing how as I get older, more and more people are affected by me and my actions.  When I got married, I suddenly had someone who leans on me for protection, provision, and love.  Then I had children, and the stakes multiplied.  Now I find myself with two employees whose support of themselves and their families depends on my character and wise management of the business.  I finally am starting to feel like a grown up!  I am beginning to have more and more opportunities to pass on to others what wise teachers and life experiences have taught me, both practically and spiritually.  I know that I can't do what I need to do in my own strength, which keeps me leaning on the Lord.

John and Megan’s family blog: A Blessed Life:

From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel,  Andrew, and Grace … (by Katie) We went camping with the Pedersen clan and a bunch of friends and had a wonderful time.  The weather was perfect.  This was our first trip out with our new travel trailer, which we really enjoyed.  After we got home, the boys wanted to know when we would go camping again.  We are all looking forward to our next trip.

Grace is reminding us how much babies grow and change in their first year.  She got a second tooth, started sitting up, and figured out how to crawl all in this past week!

From Judith … I’m starting to realize that I’m far too unrealistic about what I’m likely to accomplish in my remaining years.  I need to chuck the projects that I don’t think I’ll ever get to.  That’s okay.  I’m finding that, more and more, my time is being given over to people-related activities.  Babysitting is happening quite a bit, which helps the young families and allows me to nurture my relationships with these beloved little ones.  I’m seeing an increase in time spent with various women in my life.  These activities are very satisfying to me.  The awaiting projects at home pale in comparison.  Probably most of the projects are rather insignificant, when I consider what matters in view of eternity.

From Gerald … Here is an update for those of you who are following our remodeling projects.  John and his crew have completed our new bathrooms.  Hurrah!  This is a real milestone because I never have finished a remodeling project.  I normally get it to the point where it is functional and then move onto a different project.  The goal always is to come back and complete them later, but it seems like there is always something else pressing in on my time.  Actually, now that I think about it, there have been a few projects that I did complete just prior to closing when selling a house. 

We also now have a completed patio in the back.  We had a stamped and stained concrete patio poured.  It is beautiful and functional.  It’s so nice to be able to go from our house to the garage or the new family room without walking on the board pathways we had put in the yard to keep us out of the mud. 

Regarding the garage, Becca and Laura have removed all of the drywall from the walls and ceiling and I have tackled one wall as a trial for how we can replace the rotten components.  I believe I have a workable solution that allows us to keep most of the existing structure while getting the bottom plates and studs up where they will be protected from further water damage.  Once that phase is done, we will get someone else to complete the windows, doors, and siding. 

Then, we can move the garage contents back from the family room and proceed with the interior work in the family room. 

With love from the Pedersen clan

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