Merry Christmas News Letter 2006
We would like to wish all of our friends and family a VERY Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and keep you and draw you closer to Him.
This year has been a very eventful year for us. We have had many ups and downs and experiences that we never thought we would be a part of in our lives. We are grateful to the Lord for holding our hands this year and guiding us through yet another year.
In January, we had a wonderful New Year's Celebration with all of the kids and their wives home for the holidays. I was running around keeping coffee made, and making sure snack dishes were filled and just watching the magic of 4 sons, 4 daughter's in law, 2 daughters and 2 grand daughters, along with many friends and extended family, all running around the house, playing cards, talking, laughing, crying, and just having a great time. Mike and I went to bed that night, and praised the Lord for His many blessings.
Sarah graduated from Kindergarten early and started 1st grade in February. She continues to amaze us with her reading skills.
She is still the class clown, but as school gets more serious and challenging, she is stepping up to the plate and getting things done.
Most of you know we have a new member to our family. Erika Noelle Olya Minich. Erika is now 8, and is a precious, precious child.
We received an unexpected call on March 19, that we were to be in Ukraine in 1 week. Oh my, we were sooooo very excited. We knew that Ukraine had been shut down for international adoptions and we had left Erika's adoption in the hands of the Lord. Isn't that a great place to be?
We didn't need to worry or fret. Our Lord has never failed us yet.
Our dear daughter in law Emily and our Son Timothy were on call, for "the call', but I think we were all taken by surprise. We had to leave our 2 little girlies behind as we went to Ukraine to get Erika. We didn't know what to expect and had been told many stories about foreign countries.
We were so very excited. This was also a chance for a much needed Vacation/ Honeymoon all rolled into one!
We got to the airport, said our tearful goodbyes and went on the trip of a lifetime. When we were waiting to get on the plane, Mike felt really sad, that he had forgotten his wedding band. We couldn't go on a honeymoon without a wedding band, so I excused myself and found a gift shop with plain bands. I found one for him and we renewed our vows, kiss and all. Then, it was proper to get on the plane. We were gone for 1 month and when we came home, more miracles. The love of friends and family, the meals, the support was incredible. You can read about our experiences at www.minichfamily.org in the chronicles section.
It has been very interesting watching a child learn english, just by talking to us. It has been a joy watching her find her place in our family.
She was shocked to find out that she had 4 brothers and six sisters! Learning all those names!!!!
She will finally meet her brother Joe and Sister Becca in 3 more days. She has been counting down the days. She is so excited.
Sarah learned how to ride her bike this year! She has joined Anna as a 2 wheel girl.
We were able to spend some of the summer going swimming with our friends and a few times with Daddy at Hawaiian Falls. He is such a fun daddy.
In June, we celebrated Sarah's 7th Birthday and Erika's 8th birthday. On June the 15th, Anna, Sarah and Erika are all the same age. This year it was the lucky 7's. Next year will be the crazy 8's.
We visited with Gramma and Grampa Minich and Uncle Jim, Aunt Cindy and Little Emily, Uncle Bob and others, over Labor Day Weekend in Oklahoma.
Everybody went to the Lake and had a really wonderful time. Boats, jet skis, inner tubing, water skiing, eating, swimming, and a great meal courtesy of Lois. It was a very fun time. On the way home, we stopped at the Dallas Ft. Worth airport to meet our friend Hal Tait. He lives in Washington D.C. and it was one of our only chances to see him. He was instrumental in bringing Sarah into our lives and opening the world of Ukrainian Orphanages and TB Sanitariums to us.
Sometime during the Summer, we were given the very exciting news that we have 2 grandsons on the way. They are not twins. Joseph and Rebecca and Marcus and Ivy are going to be parents. They are due sometime in February/March. We could not be more excited!
We also were able to spend some time with our grand daughter's Katie and Lillian. They are a delight and their parents can be proud of having such sweet little girls.
It was time to start school again. Anna in 2nd grade, Sarah in 1st grade and Erika in Kindergarten. Home schooling is going just fine, and while I can't believe I am teaching reading once again, it is REALLY a joy. And, I also get to teach all that history again, and read all those fun books again, and see the magic in the girls eyes when they learn a new math concept. What could be more rewarding?
Mike is close by thanks to the shoppe being behind the house and he stops in to check on how we are doing several times a day.
On September 28th, Erika entered the hospital to have her feet amputated. She did so very well and learned that the morphine pump can really be your very best friend.
Anna and Sarah were the very happy visitors to the Schlimme family while Erika was in the hospital. They also went to Aunt Elaine and Uncle Chris's house, where they went on a VERY long bike ride. They also visited the pumpkin patch and made nature notebooks. We are so thankful to all of those who have helped us out this year with caring for the girls. This made it possible for us to stay with a very frightened little girl who really needed us to be with her 24/7.
We decided to have a low key Thanksgiving. We had chicken, and Turkey, and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
We played games and watched Miracle on 34th Street. Then next day, we started yet another Christmas Season. The girlies were so excited putting up the tree and decorating. Erika was just looking at everything and beaming with delight. Anna was explaining to Erika everything that was going to happen and showing her all the ornaments she has. She was telling Erika, we are going to let you pick out your own every year and the longer you are here, the more you will have. It as so cute watching Anna just glow with Christmas spirit. Sarah was joining in, and then when they went to bed, I thought they were talking. I went in to tell them it was time to be quiet and go to sleep, but found they had been singing a little worship song and were praying together in their beds. Erika had little tears of joy in her eyes. It was very special.
Our dear son Joseph has graduated from Catholic University of America. We are so thrilled for him and Becca. They are a great team.
I'm sure Becca feels like she has graduated too!
I must admit that I had really hoped that Erika would be walking by Christmas. I also had hopes that the various projects we find ourselves in on the house would be done in time for Christmas. Instead, projects are incomplete, laundry is forever mount washmore, dishes always need to be done, and there are the bills to pay, work to be done. You know how we can have expectations for how things oughta be?
Then, I started to think about Mary and Joseph. How did they think things should be? Mary being pregnant before she was married. Joseph and Mary having to travel at the last minute before the birth of Jesus. Could you imagine riding on a donkey being great with Child? What about having no home or hospital to give birth in. Instead, he was born in a stable, placed in feed trough, and kept warm by the love of his mother and father.
May we all experience the Love and Warmth of our Loving Heavenly Father during this special time of year, where we set everything aside, and basque in His presence, and worship our King.
Merry Christmas to ALL
The Minich Family
Mike and Christie
and the Noelles
You just might notice our last little surprise. Erika's Dr. sent her home a few days ago with her prototype feet so she could enjoy them until Jan.
If that isn't just too cool!!!!! :)
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)