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Our 2023 Christmas Letter

  Merry Christmas from our crew to yours! We are in disbelief that another year has come and gone and continue to be grateful for all we have today. 2023 was a year of growth, graduations, change, and loss. John and Deanna inch closer to being empty nesters and can't belief they have 3 ADULT children now! Our lives as parents have seen a shift more this year as our oldest kid moved across the the country and the thought of the next season of our life is pretty exciting. We celebrated 25 years of marriage in August and hope to take an international trip at the beginning of 2024 to celebrate. We were able to take a few trips this year together along with a few trips with different kids. These adventures continue to be a favorite part of each year and the memories made have been incredible. Deanna and Joshua took a trip to Utah this summer before he went back to college and saw multiple National Parks. This peaked a new bucket list interest for Deanna who is now trying to visit every
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Our 2022 Christmas Letter

          We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas this year! We wanted to give you an update on our family and what we've been up to lately. 2022 was a big year of change for our family. After 18 years of owning a family business, we decided to sell it! John and his parents started The Maids in 2003 right after Joshua was born and grew it from 0 employees to 60 in ten years. They worked hard and long and it grew tremendously. Over time, they were able to hire managers to run it and begin working less and less. John's parents retired and once our kids were all in school full time, Deanna joined in the business too. All four of our kids were able to work there at some time over the past 10 years. There were times over the years where we weren't sure if we could press on, but God really showed us to persevere and really blessed us. During COVID both John and Deanna started working full time again to keep things running smoothly and we made it through. John had really enjo

Merry Christmas 2021!

  It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. Our crew had a pretty good year. Had a few milestone birthdays and we watched Jonathan grown about a foot. John and I worked together in our family business most of the year together and we are enjoying our new church as a family closer to our home. Ashlyn is now 21 and almost done with college at Truman State University. She is majoring in Computer Science and will graduate in 2023. She technically could graduate in May, but she's going for free and would like to graduate with her friends. So she is taking some extra classes next year and enjoying one more year before entering the full time work force. She going to live in Seattle this summer to complete her 3rd year as an Amazon intern. She's excited and nervous for the opportunity. She will leave in May and return to college in August. Joshua turned 18 and has made a decision about college. He will attend Missouri S&T (Science and Technology) in August studying C

Our Family Blog Archived

 So it seems I am not capable of keeping this blog updated. I update Facebook quite regularly and have intentions of posting similar stuff here and just never get around to it. I am thankful for all the posts I do have in here as a history of events/memories/pictures of our family growing up. So that's what it will be for now - a history. I hope one day to go back and fill in the holes since 2018 - at least some of the bigger events.  If you're new to the blog, check out the archive on the side - we began this thing in 2006 and there are some fun stories to be read. If you were an avid reader before, please follow me on Facebook.  Here is a recent picture of our "kids". Ashlyn (21), Joshua (18), Caleb (16) and Jonathan (14). We hope you have a great year!

Surviving 2020

Can you believe it's finally December? This year has been awful, but the end is in sight and there is still much to reflect on and be grateful for. Fortunately, we made it through most of 2020 without COVID until this week. Half of our crew has tested positive and the other half is getting tested today. It's been bearable and sometimes feels like the flu. John had it the worse, but overall, we're pretty glad to know that we did have it and that we now have some antibodies. Reflecting back to 2020, we have many things to be grateful for. We enjoyed much more time as a family for sure. Ashlyn was in her first year of college and ended up coming home for her last quarter. That was a great surprise for me! She was also supposed to move to Seattle for the summer to work at Amazon, and that job ended up being remote from home. So we got to have her home from March through August!  We played quite a bit of board games and video games together in 2020. We baked, we cooked, we binge

Our hopes of 2020 & the start of the pandemic

 As you all know, 2020 didn't turn out the way we were planning. Like most of you, we had many plans and ideas that never happened. Here are a few of ours... In December of 2019, we made the decision to homeschool Jonathan for the rest of his 7th grade year. This was all prompted because a friend of mine was doing an online school with our same school school district for her daughter and loved it. It was basically all the same curriculum, but from home on a 4 day a week schedule. We were excited to try that along with extra bible and reading curriculum we would add in. When we approached his counselor in December and eventually the online instruction department, they told us they do not allow students to participate for only one semester and that he could apply in 8th grade and do it for that whole year. We told them we would homeschool for the rest of 7th grade and then try it in 8th grade. They said we could not do that because once we pulled him to homeschool him, he was no long

Updated Pictures in 2020!

 I've not been consistent again with our blog, but thought I would add some 2020 pictures for our Christmas postcard. We were finally able to get some updated pictures this summer with my friend Lisa. We hadn't taken pictures with her since 2016 when Sue wanted to get some pictures with her grandkids while doing chemo. She passed away the following January and I just wasn't ready to take them again. The boys have really grown since then. Joshua was just catching Ashlyn and I in height and Sue knew he was going to pass her that month. Caleb and Jonathan have both passed us since her death. Here's a few of the last time we took pictures (Fall 2016) with Grandma Sue and one from this summer 2020. Notice how Ashlyn towers over all three boys in 2016. This year, she is the shortest of the bunch. It's crazy how quickly they each have grown in 3 years. Thankful I get to be their mom!