Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
It is hard to believe that a new year is on the horizon once again. Something feels fresh about another year beginning. But even more is the excitement as we approach the celebration of our SaviorÔÇÖs birth.
2008 was a wonderful year for us. After getting engaged to be married last December, there was a lot of excitement and planning for our wedding in July. Just before our big day we took a short respite during our annual family reunion in Branson, MO. It was an opportunity to relax and also come together to finalize the last of the wedding planning and see some relatives who couldnÔÇÖt make it to the wedding. Aimee was given the opportunity to meet family members that live quite far away. She felt like she fit right in.
It was wonderful to have so many of our family and friends witness our commitment on July 12th. The wedding was a joyful celebration and our honeymoon on an Alaskan Cruise was an exciting experience. GodÔÇÖs creation was simply magnificent.
I am still working at JurInnov. I enjoy his job and take a lot of pride in the company and my work. JurInnov is doing well despite the state of the economy. I have been managing the IT team while doing some work with storage technologies and occasional database consulting. JurInnov worked with Hitachi Data Systems to test a new storage device in the early part of the year and I appeared in several articles following the release of the product.
I work in the playhouse district of Cleveland so it is convenient for us to see plays, musicals, operas and other performances. We have a goal of eventually seeing all of ShakespeareÔÇÖs plays. This year we went to see AllÔÇÖs Well That Ends Well in April and Macbeth in September. We enjoyed both plays. They came alive for us as we saw them acted out.
I am completing my second year of his doctoral studies and will start the dissertation phase of the program in January. I have about two more years of study and research before I will complete the degree.
Aimee has been working at Cleveland Clinic for 6 years. She enjoys her position on a Surgical Telemetry Unit. She will refocus her career toward Mother/Newborn Nursing at some point, but this was not the year for any more changes in her life.
Aimee is considering returning to school. She would work towards the MasterÔÇÖs degree that is required for becoming a Midwife. It will take some time to discover the proper direction for her because she has an even greater passion to serve in WomenÔÇÖs Ministry.
Aimee had three years of Bible Training in Akron that has ended now that she lives in Westlake. This year she helped lead her first Bible Study in her home. Her friend Amy Allen was a co-leader for Beth MooreÔÇÖs ÔÇÿBreaking FreeÔÇÖ, an in-depth study of Scripture. It was truly a blessing to study GodÔÇÖs Word and get to know women from the area and Calvary Community Church. She looks forward to doing another study in the spring.
We bought a house in Westlake prior to getting married. 2008 has been a year of many home improvements and landscaping. We are thankful for our parents many talents in helping us make this house a home. I spent a lot of time outside during the Spring and Summer working on the Japanese garden and koi pond. We are enjoying the improvements, especially the back deck and hot tub, and are working on finishing the home theater in the basement for more group gatherings.
Nothing brings us greater joy than to use our home to spend time with others. We will continue LAN parties (friends playing computer games together), annual Costume party around Halloween, game nights, and our annual New YearÔÇÖs party; as well as Bible Studies and Go and Philosophy nights. (Where a few of my friends play ÔÇÿGoÔÇÖ and discuss meaningful topics twice a month. Go is a Japanese strategic board game.)
We enjoy having others over but we also have three cats and about 30 fish to keep us company. After one of our cats, Angel, passed away we decided to look for another cat to keep Mouse company. We ended up adopting not one but two cats named Gavin and Midnight. It took a little while for Mouse to get used to two male cats but now they all play well together. They make quite a cute trio.
AimeeÔÇÖs family has their annual family reunion just after Thanksgiving. It is always a fun time. We are glad that both of our families make it a point to keep in touch. Eric feels like he fits right in with AimeeÔÇÖs family. In fact, both of our families play Dutch Blitz for fun. How perfect.
There are some things that we do different. Camping for instance; Aimee could camp many times a year while I would rather play or work on his computer. We have both compromised a little where Aimee has learned to do more on computers and Eric made it to the 10th Annual Labor Day Camp out in southern Ohio. We donÔÇÖt combine the two (technology with nature outings) but we have broadened our horizons with great joy.
ÔÇ£Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.ÔÇØ ┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬áÔÇôLuke 2:14
We wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. May God bless you richly and draw you closer to him each day.