Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Year in Review

The Zarzycki Family
 I have a confession to make...  I just sent out our "Christmas" cards on Friday.
I never actually expect to get them in the mail before Christmas.  I like to really think about our year, contemplate & reminisce.  Pray & ask God for direction for the coming year.  It is a sweet time for me AND a hard time.  
Time passes so quickly.  Our baby is 11 months old now and officially walking.  My oldest "baby" turned 18 a month ago. 
I'm so thankful that I am able to see my baby's first step, to see her smiling face when she wakes up from her nap.  I'm so thankful I wake up to Lukasz & Anya crawling into bed & not an alarm clock.  I'm so thankful that my husband gives me this gift of full time motherhood, full time wife duty & doesn't ask that I go & help him with financial support.  I'm so thankful that Kathryn comes to me with questions & trusts the answers Daddy & I give her.  I'm so thankful that I can remember the time, not so long ago, when I got up to an alarm clock, rushed everyone out the door, rushed to work, rushed home to feed everyone.  Plop into bed.  Do it all over again.  Because I can remember, I'm thankful even in the really hard times.
This past year was very hard.  The theme was "letting go".  Letting go of people so that God could take care of them.  Letting go of people who I thought were my closest friends, but when I couldn't "be there for them" because of my expanding family, they disappeared.  He is Lord.  He knows best.  He then blessed us with older friends that have been such an encouragement to us, surrogate parents & grandparents.  We love them dearly!
I hope you enjoy a little snippet into our lives.

February 2011
            I’m not sure how it got to be February already!  Last year was so full!  So full of the good, the bad & the ugly!  J 

"Yep, I'm cool, even with this orange hard hat on!"
           We celebrated Ryan’s 18th birthday a month ago.  He has grown in so many ways this year!  God has changed him.  He went from being a child who hated to read to one that is hard to get away from his books.  He used to be really timid.  Now, he is bold about his faith in Jesus Christ.  I think he’s learning to enjoy the journey, to relax & live by faith.  He continues his apprenticeship with Daniel & homeschooling.
She is our sweet "Bella Bean"!
            Izabella Richelle was born on March 12th.  From the moment of her birth, everyone has adored her, even those siblings that were a little jealous.  She is a beautiful, joyful, sweet little angel.  Her daddy is almost embarrassed by how much he goes “ga, ga” over her.  J 
Lukasz is our reserved one.
In May, Lukasz turned 4 years old.  He loves to be outside, working with the guys.  He loves to ride his bike, play with Izabella, read with anyone who will read to him & do puzzles.  He came up with our new little saying around the house.  He had a little bit of a hard time when Bella was born and would say he hated me.  It about broke my heart.  I prayed & asked God to fix it & that’s when Luke started saying that to me.  Even if we had a really bad morning, at naptime, he would say, “I like you and I love you, Mama.”  God is good.
She's our nature lover!
In July, Kathryn turned 14.  She is becoming a young woman right before our very eyes.  How did this happen?  She has become my right hand woman, but with her personality, she has to be reminded that she’s not the “queen bee” around here.  J  That’s my girl!  She loves to teach the younger kids & she was the one who canned most of our applesauce, peaches & tomatoes this year!
            In September, Daddy celebrated his birthday!  He has had another busy year working, Praise the Lord!  He also put together raised beds, put up a deer fence & cut down several trees to expand our garden.  We were blessed with a bountiful garden full of tomatoes, squash, corn, lettuce, kale & more.  His ministry is his family, as he says.  He stays busy mentoring our 7 children, teaching them to think for themselves & to really live for Christ.
            October is my birthday month.  Most of my year has been spent adjusting to having the 7th, letting go of the “perfect laundry room” myth (I didn’t have a washing machine steadily for almost a month L), learning to balance all that God has for me to do & letting go of the things that are not TOP priority.  Mostly learning to follow the leading of the Lord & realizing that God doesn’t make sense to me sometimes.  But His life for me is abundant & I don’t have to understand.
Ha!  I'm not looking!
          Anya turned 3 the day after Thanksgiving.  She is our family greeter!  She smiles & says “hi” to everyone she sees.  She has told everyone that she is 3 now.  She hugs strangers & holds their hand.  She is a sweet little girl most of the time, but then there’s “Miss Crunchy Face”.   She is another go to girl, who has her own ideas on how things should be done.   
Look at that smile!
            Rosalie turned 12 in December.  She is a beautiful little lady.  She loves to smile & giggle & help Daddy with whatever project he has.  She just loves to help & please others.  She is still an avid reader & loves to help teach Anya’s Sunday School class. 
Gabe!  Not so reserved! :)
Gabriel turned 6 in December, as well.  He keeps me on my toes every hour of every day.  He’s a smart little man, learning to read, with little instruction from Mama, picks up math like nothin’ and loves to build and take things apart.  He is his father’s son.  He has decided that he’s going to be a carpenter & a preacher when he gets bigger & gave his first sermon to Anya & Luke the other day. 
            My new favorite quote is from Charlotte Mason,
            “Are my children learning enough?  That is the wrong question.  The question is, “What do they care about?  Who are they becoming?  These are the questions that matter most.”
            That’s a glimpse into our year, our lives, our children…  This year has really been one of tremendous joy & tremendous pain.  We are so thankful that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us & carry us through.
As we have reminisced about our 2010 & are planning our 2011, we are eternally grateful for our God.  He came as a babe, lived a sinless life, died on a cross as payment for OUR sin, rose from the dead & now lives in heaven, preparing a place for us to come when we die.  But that’s not all.  He sent the Holy Spirit to live in each of us that accept His free gift, accept our need for a Savior, and accept that nothing that I do can take away my sin, NOTHING but the blood of Jesus. 

Praying for a blessed 2011 for you
from the Zarzycki Family!!!