Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2012!
One of our family traditions is to go around the dinner table and let everyone give an update on the “best part” and “worst part” of their day. In celebration of the New Year, everyone had a chance to give us the best and worst part of 2011 – so here it is!
Ben’s best part was going to Reptile Gardens during our vacation to the Black Hills! He says his worst part was after he got the John Madden Football game for wii on his 8th birthday. The boys fought too much while playing and we had to put the game away. Having pneumonia last spring was also a “bad part” for Ben! He is in 2nd grade and amazes us with his memory and math skills.
Jon’s best part was having a good deer season and shooting a nice doe with the .243. The absolute WORST part was not getting a shot at “Heartbreaker”, a buck of a lifetime that he and Joel saw on one of their first days out. He also really loves his 5th grade teacher, and Reptile Gardens was a hit for him too. Touching the crocodile was “Awesome!”
Matt’s best part was getting a bass guitar for Christmas and filling both of his deer tags. He got a doe with his bow and a buck with the muzzleloader. Matt is a freshman and all the high school students receive a computer. Matt’s worst part was when Ben accidently dropped his school laptop.
Jayne had a good year. She is 16 and a junior. Her best part was participating in Cross Country and meeting her race time goal. She also started taking piano lessons and although she’s only had two lessons – she ranks that as a best part too! She ran track, participated in speech, was selected as a prom server was in band and earned a spot in the Chadron State Honors Band. She also recently started a job at the grocery store. One of the worst parts from a parent perspective was that she hit a deer and totaled out our faithful Buick. She says that her worst part was in the spring when Joel had his “crazy time” (More on that later – and you thought this was going to be a typical family update!)
Beth says her best part was graduating for High School in May! She also liked our family vacation to the Black Hills. Joel’s side of the family had a reunion at Smith Falls over the 4th and that was a super-fun time too! (She did not have a worst part)! She is currently at Chadron State College, found herself a job at a restaurant and is enjoying her new freedom! She said today that “things seem a lot more expensive when you’re buying them with your own money…”
Joel’s worst part was taking the antibiotic Cipro this spring. He reacted badly and basically didn’t sleep for more than a couple hours at a time for a whole week. Then he started having anxiety and panic attacks. God is so faithful and used it as a springboard to deal with other issues in his life. Even though it was a hard time, we were so thankful for all the church friends who shared their own stories of depression and humbly came along side of us to pray. Just the fact that we could all sit at the table today as a family and laugh about it, speaks volumes about the power of God to work in even bad times. Jesus is so kind and loves us so much. Going to “Hills Alive” in Rapid City was one of Joel’s 2011 highlights. The heat was horrible and Joel was only four days out from gallbladder surgery but great music was a great way to recover! He is also very thankful for his band “Finding” and the songs that God has given him to share. Along with being the worship leader at church, he hopes to do more concerts in 2012!
I can never just have ONE best part! I really loved Beth’s graduation party. It felt like a perfect culmination and celebration of her school career. In April Joel and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. I am still working up in Rosebud South Dakota, Valentine and Bassett Nebraska as a dietitian and I really do love all my jobs. And of, course spending time as a family, whether holidays, vacation or lazy weekends rank way up on my list! My worst part was probably this last Spring in the middle of all Joel’s health issues. The hardest part was the uncertainty of “WHEN is this going to get better” and then wondering “Is this EVER going to get better?….” I think that now in hindsight I can say that one of the greatest things about knowing Jesus is how he can take the bitter times and turn them sweet. I’m glad we can look back at the hard times and see the ways we were being shaped and molded to be more like Jesus.
We all hope you had a great Christmas season and we wish you the very best for the New Year!
The Barrow Family