Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Name them one by one . . .

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy holiday season to stop and check up on our lives. If you are new to this blog, feel free to search through the archives and read about our last year and a half. If you would do us the honor of book-marking this blog or adding us as a link on your blog, we will do our best to keep our updates regular so that your visits will not be disappointing.
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Holiday letter writing is a humbling exercise of looking back over a year of bountiful and undeserved blessings to see God's hand working in our lives. Let's see, if we look back over our year we can see God's working in lots of ways . . .

* James came one year closer to graduating with his engineering degree without allowing ornery teachers or sticky subject matter to throw him off track. He is among only twenty some left in his graduating class that started out with over a hundred. Only one more semester to go! Thank you, God, for giving James the strength and endurance to keep it up!

*Andrea worked another year at a job she loves--helping bilingual kids learn English. James gained a summer of experience working as an on site inspector as a neighborhood road system was built from the dirt up. Thank You, God, for an income we can enjoy and learn from while earning it!

*James has just been hired by his boss from TNH who now works for a much smaller and more focused company that designs roads. Not only did this boss pursue James to hire him and give him a nice sign-on bonus and wage, but the company has agreed that James is only hired for the spring semester, and (although they will offer a full time position in May) he is free to look for work opportunities at other companies that might prove more profitable! Wow, God! Thank You for Your generosity and the peace of mind that comes with a secure job.

*We both participated in another year of classes from our church's Valley Bible Institute which provids college-level Bible classes for those interested in going deeper into the Word. Thank You, God, for VBI.

*The Young Adult group which we've been with from its infancy is growing stronger and more independent from us (good thing, because we're beginning to push the "young" category a little bit!). The relationships in it have helped grow and mature faiths and lives. Now the YA group has its own Bible class on Sunday mornings! Thank You, God, for our friends in the YA group. Please help it to grow as You want it to.

*We worked as Bible teachers at camp this year and loved every minute of it. Junior camp kids have the perfect mix of maturity and humility to love Bible class and still get a kick out of fun activities that instill Bible principles. What an awesome experience! Thank You, God, for the opportunity to be Bible teachers at camp this year!

*We had the opportunity to teach girls' and boys' teen classes and get to know our valley teens better over the past year. Many are excited about the possibility of going to AIM. Thank You, God, for the beautiful hearts of our teens. Help us to encourage and teach them to do Your will.

*Titus has grown up into an obedient, behaved, loveable dog. He's a momma's boy who loves to cuddle, sits and waits (well trained by Dad) for food or leash, and has left 99% of his bad habits back in puppy-hood. Thank You, God, for giving us wisdom to be good dog parents and growing Titus up into a dog we can live with!

*Our loved ones have come through some scary sicknesses. Thank You, God, for your mercy and protection, and please bring them to full health.

*We each lost a grandparent this year. Grandma Kuenning succumbed to pancreatic cancer on March 15, and Grandpa Limberious passed away on June 18 (Grandma Kuenning’s birthday). Although we mourn their passing, we praise God for their lives. Thank You, God, for a loving Grandma and Grandpa and memories we will always cherish.

*Having all of our parents and siblings near by has been a huge blessing. Getting to be a part of our dads', moms', brothers', sister-in-law's (and sister-in-law-to-be's!), and neice's life is special. Who knows where our paths will eventually take us? It is nice now to share this part of life together. Thank You, God, for our family!

*Our little apartment has finally become a home. While James has been busy studying, Andrea has been working on her "home making" skills. Thank You, God, for such a perfect retreat to come to at the end of a busy day.

*On December 31, we will celebrate our second wedding anniversary. What a beautiful year God has given us to get to know each other better and grow closer as a couple. Thank You, God, for our marriage and help it to always keep You in the center.

We truly do not deserve all of God’s good gifts to us. We are so thankful for your friendship and the ways that we’ve been able to stay connected over the past year. We pray that your year was as blessed as ours.

May God bless you in this season of family and togetherness and in the coming year. Keep in touch!

James and Andrea


  1. Team Mate Guy11:52 AM

    Wow, has it already been two years? That means I'm at 2 1/2! Crazy!

    That was a very nice recap, and I do hope you keep your goal of posting more. I miss hearing from you guys, but do always appreciate your comments on our website, Andrea. (And James, you've been doing better.)

    Katie and I intend of becoming rich, and we would like to do so in the next few years (no plans on how to make it happen yet, but hope is a good thing) so we can come and visit you both. Katie still has not been blessed by your families and the beauty of Alaska, and I haven't been blessed by those things...um...enough. :o)

    I had no idea Brady was getting married! Tell him congratulations for me.

    Well, this has turned into an e-mail, and for that, I apologize. I suppose I could just copy and paste it into an e-mail, but that would take, like, thirty more seconds and I need to go to bed.

    Love you both (Katie says hi).


  2. Very nicely written and interesting window into your lives. The Lord bless your grateful spirits!

    Greetings from Antalya, Turkey, the homeland of Saint Nicholas and the gathering place for the Brinley Family this Christmas. Tim, Rebecca, Marcus, Michael, Andrew and Katie, Anna and Kyle.

    Kutlu Noel Gunu
    Kutlu Yeni Yili
    Срождеством Христовой
    Сновом Годом!!!!


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