Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Newsletter

August 6, 2016 -- Pedersen Family Newsletter

From Laura, 17 … I started learning how to drive recently!  I have my permit now, so along with the online courses, I can also do practice driving on the roads.  In Texas my permit has to be held for six months or until I turn eighteen.  Being six months out from turning eighteen makes it all very convenient and I can get licensed right around my birthday.  Besides the fact that I think driving is really fun, I am looking forward to some of the opportunities being able to drive will open up for me!  I'm the last of my siblings (as with everything, being the youngest) to learn how to drive and it will be nice having a more equal amount of independence as the others.

From Becca, 19 … It’s hard to believe that the wedding is in less than a month!  It has definitely been at the front of our minds for the last few months, with all the talking about it and preparing for it.  But we’ve been doing other things too.  I have had a lot of fun going geocaching with Seth, Anna, Michael, and some friends.  Basically we’ve been climbing trees, hopping over ravines, poking under bridges, crawling through bushes, and visiting cemeteries and libraries—all this looking for small containers with logbooks inside.

I am reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.  I feel inspired to use the creativity that God has given me to make life more beautiful for those around me and to praise the God who created beauty in the first place.  (I might start by cleaning my room.)  I found that the book is really more about “art” than about “homemaking” and it applies to everyone, not just those who fit the traditional definition of “homemaker.”

From Seth, 23 … I was recently inspired (by what, I'm not sure) to start reading more books, so I asked a bunch of friends for book suggestions. They gave me a very nice variety of reading material, and these books have taken me on a journey that is at various times sobering, insightful, hilarious, tragic, and inspiring. I've had a glimpse of what society might look like if freedom, truth, and history are erased by a totalitarian regime. Through the fictional advice of one demon to another, I've gained a better understanding of the subtlety of temptation and how overflowing, God-centered love is central to the Christian life. A hilarious tale about a group of child geniuses who help save the world provided hearty laughs as well as keen portrayals of the importance of truth, friendship, courage, and sacrifice. An Auschwitz survivor showed with grim poetic rawness the depravity bound up in the heart of man, and how, tragically, the hellishness of the Holocaust caused him to lose his faith in the only One who provides the true answer to man's depravity. Currently, I am being inspired by the story of Eric Liddell, who was one of the fastest men on the planet, but who always kept his running secondary to serving Christ and His church.

From Anna, 26 … It’s hard to believe that I’m getting married in less than three weeks!  It has been fun seeing things come together for the wedding, and Michael and I have been so blessed by the many people who have stepped forward to help out in multiple ways.  As exciting as the wedding is, though, it has been even more fun planning for life together and setting up house!  We’re grateful for the ways that we have been able to use this time of preparation to get to know each other in deeper ways and build a solid foundation for our future together.

From John, Megan, James (4), Ezra (2), and Joy (1) … Life is never dull here.  This month Joy will be turning one on the 11th!  She is walking, babbles, loves watermelon, and is still as happy a little girl as ever, with the addition of being silly.  We went to the zoo this past weekend as her birthday activity.  James is four and is learning to read and write.  He has recently learned to read “See me read.” and “See me eat."  He is very proud of himself!  We are using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  It seems to be working!  James is almost done with pre-K and will be starting kindergarten soon.  Ezra is two and a half and learning how to interact well with others around him.  He likes to listen in on James' school lessons and picks up more than I think some days!  He is very interested in trains and loves it when we pull out our large model train.  He'll just sit there forever watching it go around in circles!

From Ray, Katie, Peter (6), Samuel (5), Andrew (4), Grace (2), and Benjamin (4 months) … We've been on some fun outings this summer, including a historic ranch, a Lego exhibit, and the demolition of an abandoned apartment complex. We've also enjoyed beating the heat with playing in the wading pool almost every day.
Grace is at a very cute stage with language. She has taken off remarkably in the last month or two. She runs after her brothers saying, "wait me!!"

Benjamin is a squishy, cuddly bundle who is starting to coo and smile more. He still has his eyes crossed much of the time and doesn't seem to see well, so we are taking him to a pediatric ophthalmologist later this month. We didn't think he'd be the first of our children to need glasses, that's for sure. We'll see what the doctor says.

From Judith … In June Gerald and I flew to San Diego for the scattering of my Dad’s ashes out at sea and his memorial service.  I was very grateful to Dad’s wife for providing this opportunity for greater closure and grateful also to his step-daughter who made it all happen and added many special touches.  We had good visits with Jo Ann (Dad’s widow) and I was able to look through some of Dad’s belongings.  All of that was meaningful and special to me.  There wasn’t much I could do to help from Houston, but I was able to put together a picture presentation showing the spectrum of Dad’s life using photos from both his and my digitized photo collections.  Doing that project was an additional salve for me and was appreciated by others who saw it in San Diego.

A recent project for me was to assemble the flowers for the wedding.  Anna bought the silk flowers she wanted used and I took it from there.  She bought 4 pre-mixed bouquets that didn’t need much work and will be used on the reception tables.  They aren’t decorating the church, so that just left the bridal bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres.  I enjoyed the work.  Using artificial flowers is sure a lot less stress than using real flowers!

From Gerald … My biggest recent project on our property is our driveway.  It was horribly broken up and uneven due to damage from tree roots.  Because of the trip hazards, we have removed the concrete pavement and are planning to bring in gravel.  But there are some issues related to drainage that I am working to resolve before the gravel comes.  (Our garage floods with heavy rain.)  So, currently our driveways are worse than before we started this work.  It’s all sandy soil now, so if it rains we’ll have mud.  It’s not an unusual circumstance that conditions get worse before they get better; I just hope the time between bad and better is not too long.   

With love from the Pedersen clan

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Anna and Michael

Michael and Anna will be getting married in less than four weeks!  Here are some pictures of them from the last few months.

Michael scattered rose petals all over the family room and proposed to Anna at the beginning of May...

We had an impromptu popcorn party to celebrate.

Then we drove over to Michael's new house and had a tour.

A few weeks later we had another party and Michael gave Anna a beautiful ring!

We have been working on various projects to get ready for the wedding.

Addressing invitations...

...and arranging flowers.