glancing back over my shoulder for a recap, then heading straight into 2012

Everyday I go toward what I don’t understand.” ~ Yo Yo Ma

Scott and I are both very much looking forward to 2012 – even with its inevitable changes, scary and happy.

For the past 4 years I have worked with a non-profit organization. The NPO was made up of all volunteers – except me, the only paid staff. I wrote grants, planned events, coordinated marketing and communications, set up infrastructure systems for membership tracking and was a general liaison between each of the committees and the NPO board. When ‘The Buck Stops’ at just one of you, there is always plenty to do. It has been a very stressful position with no back-up help and I’ve been running on empty for the past 2 years. If you’re the pastor of a 400 member church, you know what I feel like. I don’t want to make this blog a place of venting, but it has been a challenge.

After the recession hit, they surprisingly kept me on for another two years. However this year, they did not renew my contract and are making deep cuts all around.

I say all of that to say this: Scott and I feel comfortable with this direction. I’m sure we should be panicking in many ways since our income will be slashed. But we’ve had a few months of preparation and are going to be ‘forced’ to live in the simple way in which we have always desired. There is something very exciting about that.

Meanwhile, I am using my time to volunteer for some organizations that I believe in and know I can contribute to the team efforts. We will see if any opportunities arise out of these volunteer efforts – but at least I know I will be in the midst of like-minded individuals when or if it does.

Scott is still traveling 3 hours to Marysville, Kansas to go to work. From there he gets on a train and takes it to North Platte, Nebraska. He’s gone from home for two days, then is back home for two days. It makes it somewhat difficult to know when he will be home since he’s working on a rotation, but we make the most of it when he is. He is in his second decade with Union Pacific Railroad. What a blessing that job has been!!

Midway through last year Scott began taking classes and becoming certified as a gun instructor. It has been interesting to me the people who want to learn to target shoot for sport (most likely paintballers in their youth!) as well as those who want the added security of knowing how to handle a gun. My view of the sport is changing. It seems so…..so, “pry it from my cold, dead fingers” Charlton Heston’ish when I first was introduced to it all. Unfortunately, I’ve known some pretty radical gun owners in the past. Right-wing nuts that believe more in starting their own militias then in working together to find solutions. My Democrat-leanings rose up to oppose weapon carrying. But then I began learning about the instruction methods used by the NRA and appreciated them a bit more. “The best fight is the one that never happens.” Scott repeats that to me often. Learning how to avoid a confrontation is a large part of what he teaches.

It’s been interesting to hear of the people who Scott consults with that are merely interested in learning about guns, but never really grew up around them. There is a great fear among people unfamiliar with guns (a healthy thing!) so sometimes Scott just sits down with them in their homes and explains the parts of the guns and how they are used. Which guns will do what. What ammo is used for different situations, etc. It is a much less threatening scenario for them then walking into a gun shop and asking for help.

So I will also be helping Scott get the word out about his training and consulting business. We are grateful for the business that has come our way in the last half of the year and look forward to working with more people next year. The face of a gun owner has changed significantly these past couple of years – for sport or for protection. I’ve been relieved to find out they’re not all “angry crazy” (as would have been my previous description.)

Scott has a new guitar to learn and I will continue blogging and scrapbooking. A few of the areas of pleasure we greatly enjoy.

Our children are all healthy and happy. Jessica, Baird, Ryann, Hannah and Haleigh are all living independently – working hard and going to school. We are extremely proud of their entries into adulthood. Their work ethics are solid. Luke is 15 and still living at home in Council Bluffs but has a driver’s license now and is enjoying his entry into freedom.

And our new child, Fiona. A 2-year-old English Bulldog/Boxer mix that has captured our hearts very quickly. We adopted her last month and have been thankful for her sweet spirit and playful excitement for us. She is a 73 lb friend that we brag on often.

2012 will be another adventure that we gladly accept. Somehow Scott and I manage to make each experience fun. For that, I am supremely grateful!! New friends, new experiences, new challenges, new heartaches, new issues. But the same consistent love for each other and for our families mixed with the same abiding love from our Father.

Absolutely blessed.

2012. Bring it!

Contact information:
Mailing –
P.O. Box 30104
Kansas City, MO 64112

Scott’s cell –
816.507.4191

Greta’s cell –
816.506.6804

Home phone –
816.291.4517

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