I am truly astonished that I can call these kids mine. They have grown up to be great people if I do say so myself. Something I wasn't sure I would say twelve years ago when we moved them away from everything they knew and loved. Justin would begin his junior year in high school, Hannah began high school and Kelsey began junior high. Lauren wasn't in school yet. It's safe to say they didn't like us very much for a very long time.
This picture was taken on Thanksgiving Day, two years ago.(2012) The next day Justin pulled out of the drive way headed to North Dakota to work. He was back by March after working in the bitter cold of the windblown north.
As our turkey feast is over for 2014 and our Christmas celebrations begin I am wondering what our holidays will look like. At the Gates house we always do Christmas big,
Because we love Jesus big!!
We love to celebrate as a family.
This year is going to be different and I'm trying to adjust. But how can I be sad?
The greatest birthday party is upon us and I will not let a different Christmas Eve ruin that party.
Justin moved to Wyoming with his wife Melissa, where they are living and working. They love living at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. This is their wedding day, the day I became a mother to another daughter!!Justin has become a great man, I no longer call him a boy!! He is in his element here. I am thrilled they have found a great church where Justin says the pastor is very passionate when he preaches!!! I wonder who trained his ears and heart? 🙂
Hannah now lives in Phoenix, AZ where she works as an Enrollment Counselor for Grand Canyon University. We are thrilled Hannah is working for a Christian university which encourages students to find their purpose in Christ. Her latest blog post
tells you where she has been and where she is going.
Kelsey is living and working in Albany. She is on her way out of the country too, somewhere hot and exotic for the winter. What's up with these kids you say? All but one is still in New York. If you know anything about Rob and I, you know we have pastored four churches and lived in three states. We taught our children to reach for the stars in their dreams of what God has for them...and that has taken them away from the nest. While I love them with a heart that is bursting at the seams, I also hold lightly to them as they seek to follow God with all their heart, soul and mind.
Kelsey and Lauren apple picking this fall.
Lauren, well, she still lives at home because she is only 15. But I have a hunch she will be following in her siblings footsteps. Her first experience out away from the nest will take place next summer when she goes with our church mission's trip to Ecuador.
Rob and I remain the same and yet different. How can a day in and day out relationship with the Creator of the Universe leave you the same? Rob loves to preach and teach and encourage his beloved flock to love God. He recently said how much he loves what he is doing and the people he is privileged to work with and serve.
I am thrilled to have finally finished a six-year project. My first book, Confessions of a Farmer's Daughter, has been published. You can click on the book on the side bar and it will take you to Amazon where it is for sale. I diligently continue to pursue my loves of family, writing, baking and coffee drinking with friends and family. If you are ever our neck of the woods we would love to see you..and those of you who live here..stop by anytime..the coffee or tea is always waiting!!! A recent favorite is Chai tea!
Merry Christmas and may 2015 bring you joy and peace in our Savior.