About teenagers: "Focus on the donut, not the hole."--unknown
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is more valuable than a college education.- - Theodore Roosevelt.
Preach the Gospel always; when necessary, use words. -- St. Frances of Assisi
Women are like tea. . you don't know how strong they are till you put them in boiling water. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
2010 in review- Part I . .January- April
It has been a crazy event-filled year. . . .I thought the high school years with the children were busy. . .and they were. .but the past 12-18 months have been so filled with significant events in our family, that I wanted to recap them so I will remember the time line when I am in the nursing home. . .you know how we get our years mixed up and we argue about who is right and when things happened? Well, I'm going to chronologically go through the year, so that when the arguments occur years from now.. .I will be right! :) January-
Brittany moves back to Killeen after spending 8 months living with us while Austin was deployed in Iraq. We had 4 college-age girls living with us during most of 2009, so our house seemed like a college dorm. . .It was communal living at it's finest. .someone was always coming and going, but for the most part. . .it was great fun. . .We all learned to be flexible and considerate of each other and to operate out of our comfort zones. . . you have to do that to get along . .Georgia, Brittany, Lindsay and Myranda used all the extra bedrooms and poor August was a little homeless when he would come home from college and from traveling. . .but that wasn't often and we all managed.
August leaves for a semester of travel with Teen Pact as a student intern. August had been offered a internship with this ministry (http://www.teenpact.org/ ) but had already paid an apartment lease and a meal plan for the Spring '10 semester at Texas A&M. . .He tried all fall semester to sub-lease his apartment with no success, so he thought he would have to decline the internship. . However, on Dec 1st, some of his friends from Teen Pact offered to raise the money for him to replace the funds in his college savings that had already been spent on housing and meals. If they could raise $3,000 to cover what had already been spent, then we told him he could take the internship. . .His friends did all this fundraising strictly through email and Facebook. . It looked like it was not going to happen, but on Christmas Day 2009, he got a phone call that all the funds had been raised. . .so God definitely opened the door for this opportunity and when January 2010 began, he was off to travel through 10-15 different states to lead Teen Pact conferences till May. . . .Only God could orchestrate that series of events. . .
I took a 2-week trip to Ghana with Cindi Dauphin to visit Joel and Hollie Dickens, medical missionaries and long-time friends. . .Joel had asked Cindi to stay with Hollie while he attended a medical conference in Kenya, and Cindi asked me to join her since I had traveled there with Brittany and Georgia in 2009. . .There is nothing like traveling to the other side of the world to a 3rd-world country with only one other person. . it really cements the friendship! We definitely shared an adventure of a lifetime, spending time with Joel and Hollie and the children, visiting with the other missionary doctors who were filling in for Joel, seeing the clinic, the Ghanaian culture, and the incredible need of the people. . while also doing a lot of spiritual evaluation on ourselves. . .lots of memories. . .
My dad, Bill Helwig (age 80) passes away on March 3th, 2010. Dad had fallen while trying to pen some cattle in Nov. 2009, broke his hip and spend 40 days in the hospital. He lost over 40 lbs and his health did take a definite turn for the worse. .He was strong enough, however, to come home for Christmas and Mom did her best to care for him at home as he struggled to recover. . . His circulation in his legs was very bad and he had congestive heart failure, and when he woke on March 2th with a huge blood clog on his foot, Mom immediately took him to the hospital for treatment. . .The doctors seemed to think it could be dissolved with drugs easily, but early on March 5th, his health started failing fast, his organs began to shut down and he went into cardiac arrest. . .he was revived, but Mom made the decision not to do any other lifesaving measures with him, which was his wish. . .and he slipped into a coma and died that evening. With the serious heart condition that my dad had since he was 52, he lived alot longer than anyone ever expected. But life does change when you lose a parent. . . . The rest of the month is pretty much a blur. . . cleaning out and giving away Dad's things, making repairs on the house and helping Mom get adjusted to being alone.
Austin returns home from Iraq about April 10th after a year-long deployment. It was a much-anticipated return and one of my very favorite memories from 2010. . .It was joyous and patriotic and you could feel the sense of relief from everyone- the families and the soldiers. . .My heart went out to the soldiers who had no one there to greet them when they returned, as their families were too far away and it was too expensive to make the trip to Ft. Hood. . .I learned that if I ever attend one of these homecomings again, I will be giving away lots of the hugs and trinkets to the guys standing alone. I think everyone, especially government officials need to attend at least one send-off and a return of a brigade of troops from these long deployments to see for themselves the emotional and physical sacrifices of these troops and family members. . There is a cost. . .freedom does not come for free.
On April 15th, Georgia and I traveled to California to make final wedding plans and attend a bridal shower given by Jordan's family. . .We also spent an evening with Aunt Kay and Mal Bruce, my mom's youngest sister who coincidentally lives 25 or so miles from Jordan's family. Thanks to Jordan's mom, Cyndi Monroe, the wedding plans were finalized with wonderful friends who helped out and great vendors. . .and it could not have gone more smoothly. The bridal shower was my first chance to meet Jordan's extended family and friends and also see the location where the wedding was going to be held. It was an afternoon of great fun and wonderful memories. The Monroe family showed us off-the-charts hospitality and I loved getting to know them all.
The last weekend of April found us at HEB camp in Leakey, TX for House of Faith Family Camp. . .The location was outstanding, and it was total fun to watch over 300+ folks- parents, grandparents and children enjoying the Texas Hill Country and the Frio River- - canoeing, hiking, fishing, swimming and doing crafts. . .and the Video and Bible teaching , skits and worship were great! Todd and Scott Cotton helped at the canoeing station and were pros at it. . .It was a great chance for us to get to know the House of Faith staff and meet more of the families. We loved it! Can't wait till next year. . .