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Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Wow! A little hard to believe we have just started 2020. For the first time in MANY, MANY years I did not get a Christmas newsletter written. I normally have it printed and mailed before Thanksgiving but this year that date crept up on me and then I thought I would send out a New Year’s one. Well, sorry to disappoint you if you are one of those who normally receive our newsletter, it’s not happening. Here’s a synopsis of our year here:

The highlight of our year was definitely our trip to Montana. We were gone for 7 ½ weeks. On our way up we stopped at the Corn Palace in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Mammoth Dig, Hot Springs, Chinook (MT) where we used to live and Glacier National Park among others. Michael and Jess only live about 35 miles from the west entrance of Glacier so once we were with them, we were able to drive back into the park several times. We did several LONG hikes! We were able to park our rig beside their garage so that saved us a lot of money. They are doing well and it was good to spend time with them as well as the four granddaughters. Easton came to live with them last January and has settled in incredibly well. They are still waiting for her adoption to be finalized but that’s government for you! Early this fall they took in two teenage boys under the foster care system so they have their hands FULL!

Michelle is doing well. She got transferred to the morning shift at the guard shack – 6:30am to 2:30pm. That freed her up to continue working for one of the local theatres here in town. It wasn’t long before they moved her over to their gift shop where she worked two evenings a week until it closed for the season. We’re proud of her. She doesn’t earn much but saves a lot. In early autumn she came to us saying that she would like to get a new camper. Hers had served her well but was beginning to leak. To cut a long story short she was able to purchase a fifth wheel from friends of ours who had moved on to a motor home. It is still an older camper but newer than the one she had and also been well looked after. The Lord worked all the details out and she has been enjoying her new abode for quite a while now.

Hard to believe that Daniel is going to be 17 in February! He has been working on the farm part time and also picking up small odd jobs around here on the RV park. He is GOOD friends with the eldest daughter of the family that purchased Michelle’s camper 😉 It truly is amazing how the Lord orchestrates our lives.

Early January we received a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) for Hannah. Hannah is high-functioning and whilst the diagnosis does make sense we were disappointed that the Fetal Alcohol was not taken into account as we know that is present. Anyways, the diagnosis meant we were finally able to get her some weekly help. We were originally told that there were no therapists in Branson who could help her and we would have to go about 20 miles. That may not seem much to you but when you are dealing with a child that already disrupts your life, 20 miles is a LOT on a weekly basis. Thankfully Richard called the man who had done her assessment asking for advice and he told us that a colleague of his had an opening right here in Branson. What a blessing! Miss Sara has been extremely good for Hannah and keeps her accountable. Does that mean that Hannah has become an angel? NO! HOWEVER at least she knows that someone is on her case. The psychiatrist started her on medicine to help with the screaming fits and it really helped. A couple months ago an additional therapist started coming to our home twice a week. Recently we have put Hannah on a higher dose of  melatonin at night as it is known that autistic children do not produce enough. This has definitely helped with her sleeping. We still need God’s wisdom and patience on a daily basis dealing with her.

Caleb, 10, has been blessed this year to really improve his metal detecting skills. A new couple came to the park this summer who are avid metal detector users. Caleb has been out with the husband many times, borrowing his wife’s metal detector. Guess what we got him for Christmas?! Caleb has quite the collection of coins that he has found, the oldest being from 1911. The couple also have a dog named George (pictured above) who loves Caleb so when they are both at work Caleb walks George, earning himself a little bit of money.

Richard and I have been kept busy with websites. At the beginning of this year we developed a website for a local business here in Branson. We also started doing all their shipping. It has been a year of learning and we still have a long way to go to get the business where we want it to be online but we are making progress. If you recall we were also running our other business ABC Photo Art this time last year up at the Branson Mill. As the other  opportunity began to develop I had no idea how I was going to fit anything else into my schedule. God knew though, as the Mill closed down in April! Whilst most vendors found new places to go, Richard and I felt that was not for us. Hannah needs nearly constant supervision otherwise she tends to get into mischief so it was time for me to come back home. ABC is dormant right now but we believe it will awaken at some point in the future. In the meantime I have really concentrated on schooling the kids this year. Routine works so the kids know which days we do school, what subjects are in the morning and afternoon etc. Hannah, whilst definitely having some rough school days, has also had some good ones. It has been a fruitful time thus far and we are all learning and growing.

Richard continues to work on the ambulance for Mercy and then as a medic at Silver Dollar City, the local theme park. Our website business, CHVentures, has definitely seen increase this year for which we are very thankful.

SO that’s’ our life in a nutshell. We have some traveling plans for next year. SUPER excited to have just booked our tickets to the Gaither Vocal Band reunion in April. I had wanted to go to the one last year but it was not financially feasible at that time. Christmas week the weather was absolutely gorgeous so we took a long hike on Christmas Day. There are more kids on park this winter than there has even been since we have been here so our kids are happy. It’s so good to see them all playing nicely (mostly) together.

We wish you an amazing and blessed New Year.

Richard, Liz, Daniel, Hannah and Caleb

 

4 Responses to “Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!”

  1. Norma Sorenson says:

    It’s great to read the update on your family’s adventures. It has been a year since we’ve been to Branson, and we miss it. We’re looking to be there sometime in the spring and hope to see you then.

  2. Rachel Sandercock says:

    Happy New Year to you all. Hope 2020 is a special year for you and full of more adventures xx

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