Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December Newsletter

December 5, 2015 -- Pedersen Family Newsletter

From Laura, 16 … Lately, I have been contemplating the beauty and power of music.  A movie depicting epic pictures of nature is lovely to watch, but, when stirring music is combined with it, the images are transformed into scenes that are powerfully alive.  In addition, the many different types of music provide for any situation.  After a long and stressful day, a peaceful song can do wonders to enable relaxing and unwinding.  Then, when your heart is full of joy, sometimes music that just makes you want to dance is best!  

From Becca, 19 … This month I learned how to make turkey and fudge.  Here’s my philosophy of cooking: to have friends, you must have fellowship.  To have fellowship you must have food.  To have food you have to cook.  And cooking is an adventure!  Well, sometimes it is; other times it’s just … blah.  But even blah cooking is for a good cause.  Anyway, I had fun this week making ten loaves of cranberry bread and ten packages of fudge for a customer, all in the space of two crazy days.  I’m so glad I get to do these things.  I love making food and it’s good for me to be really busy with deadlines to meet because it keeps me from being lazy.

From Seth, 22 … Over the past couple of months our church has been going through a book together about counseling.  I appreciated what the author said about getting to know people (namely that we should do it).  Too often it's easier to keep our interactions with people casual, non-invasive, and "safe", and to never go beneath the surface and learn what makes them tick.

From Anna, 25 … Our church held its annual fall conference at the end of October.  I've been helping with registration for our last several conferences, but this year I was responsible for co-organizing the entire conference.  It was different being involved with multiple aspects of the conference, instead of focusing on only one, but I enjoyed it.

Our topic this year was a critique of the Word of Faith movement.  It was a much more relevant and intriguing topic than I expected beforehand.  I had never thought much about the actual beliefs and theology behind the outward manifestations of this movement, and looking at it in that way made me realize that these ideas are much more prevalent than I tend to think.

From John, Megan, James (3), Ezra (2), and Joy (4 months) … Life with three children 3 and under has been very busy to say the least.  The boys love their sister, and Joy loves her brothers.  She will be 4 months old next week.  A few weeks ago Ezra turned 2!  His vocabulary continues to grow and he is starting to speak in sentences!

We have moved on to a living room/kitchen remodel for our house while putting the master bathroom on hold.  This past month we have gotten the new pantry built and it's nearly finished!  After we get things moved from the old to the new, we can remove the wall that separates the living room and kitchen.  It will be very nice to no longer have a wall between rooms so I can keep an eye on children more easily, and when company is over so people are less separated while visiting.

From Ray, Katie, Peter (6), Samuel (4),  Andrew (3), Grace (1), and baby (due April) … Peter finished kindergarten in early November.  He is an eager learner, and it’s so much fun to see new things unfolding for him.  It’s also impressive how much the other boys pick up along the way.  We’re taking a break for the holidays now, and are enjoying some extra projects and activities related to that, along with reading books from the library.

Our baby on the way is doing well.  We’re halfway now!  I enjoyed seeing him or her moving around during the ultrasound this week.  We’re waiting until the birth to find out the gender.  It will be a fun surprise.

We had a special time with the Pedersen clan on Thanksgiving.  Although we see each other often, it’s always extra special to be together on a holiday.  This time, I found myself reflecting on how much we have to be thankful for through the ups and downs and changing seasons of life.  What a blessing to be led by our unchanging, faithful heavenly Father.

From Judith … For our annual international study/celebration this year we chose Sweden.  We learned about the country over a period of weeks, then prepared for a special Swedish meal with decorations, music, and costumes.  These are always fun and interesting.

We will do one more of these international studies next year.  We’re down to our last child to formally educate.  After Laura graduates in a few years, we’ll be done with homeschooling our children.  It will have been thirty years since we started with Katie in 1987.  That sounds like a giant change, but really it has been gradual.  The balance of how our time is used shifts a little bit more as each one graduates and even as each one has become a more independent learner.

From Gerald … I recently taught a class to members of our church.  It was an all-day session on God’s principles of finances.  It has been a long time since I have done this, and it took some time to put it together, but it was very rewarding.  My prayer is that the participants in the class will have an increased awareness of what it means to be stewards of what God has entrusted to us and that they would be able to use the tools and guidelines provided to carry out that responsibility.  We hope to do this class twice a year.