Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

2011 Tordoff Holiday Letter

Greetings to the saints, faithful friends and family.  I've always loved how Paul began his letters.  Wishing my salutations to you could be so eloquent and inspiring, I chose to begin this letter with a snippet from Colossians 1:  9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

2011 has raced by.  Even though I am fighting the speed of each week with all my might by cutting out extras to enjoy each day, it still marches on rather quickly.   Our family has been blessed with another year of living life.   Though there are many days that we struggle to keep the house in order, the laundry under control, the sock basket full, the dishwasher empty, the garden weeded, school work completed... we press on.  Of course, my fantasy world would have me managing all my duties with excellence, always complete with plenty of time to study, draw, write, sew, bake, etc.   Reality smacks back and sometimes rather hard.  Having a choice of pondering the "if only's" or "keep on keeping on", I choose the latter and try to give thanks for all those duties.   Thank you Lord that when we hang out laundry we have the ability to enjoy nature for a few fleeting moments that I would otherwise not have taken time for. Thank you for this mountain of clothes to launder because you blessed my womb with a household of children fit for your kingdom and clothed them all.   Thank you for these dishes piled in my sink for you have provided my family with food.  Mostly this year, I thank the Lord for choosing a mess like me who struggles to balance life well and for constantly teaching me to find my identity in Him and not all my shortcomings (phew, that's BIG!).

John Russell is officially a MAN this year.   He is 18 and graduated.  He has been doing lots of odd work (from detailing cars, being the "geek squad" for a small company, and cleaning evictions) while saving up for personal training and nutrition courses.  He continues to enjoy working out, and hanging out with friends and family.  His dream would to one day own a Cross Fit gym. 

Nicholas, 16 and a junior in high school this year, has been working hard on his Classical Conversations Challenge II courses.   His favorite subject this year has been Biology.  He still enjoys running (like John Russell) or biking. He is now leaning towards being a linguist when he finishes his high school courses.   When we finish Latin II, he wants to begin Spanish, then Arabic.    He's more ambitious than I!

Timothy, 14, has had no more dramatic breaks to report this year, phew!  He has had no problems since his arm was repaired in surgery the year before.   He is working hard on his Challenge B courses.  His favorite subject this year is Science.  He continues to play tennis along with Praise, Michael and his cousins Clayton and Grace Anne.

Praise, 12, is in her last year of foundations in Classical Conversations.  Her favorite subject is art.  She and Timothy still cook a lot and she still dreams of owning a bakery with Grace Anne.    If we can not find her, she is usually hiding with a book.  She plays around at the piano so lessons are on the agenda and she enjoys tennis with the others.

Michael, 10, has probably grown the most this year.  His favorite subject is Geography.  He loves to camp outside with his brothers (unless he gets too cold), ride bikes, to swim, and play tennis.  He has made new friends through church and Classical Conversations this year.

Emily, 6, is in first grade and reading.   Strange to think I only have one more child to teach how to read.    Her favorite subject is math or as she calls it "numbers".   She loves playing at tennis :D, being outside with her siblings, and swimming in the summer.

Christopher, 2, is 98% potty trained hence my last year of diapers.  Happy for the savings but will miss the baby years.   He loves being with his nephew Jackson and making us laugh.   He woke up a few days ago and said he wanted to watch "Cake Boss."  He calls John Russell when he's gone and tells him to "come home" and "be careful".   He's still yummy to squeeze and smooch on.
Cindy's family is busy but doing great.  Brandon keeps busy with work and holding down the fort while Cindy is in school. Cindy is excelling in nursing school.  Rylie began Christian school at Augusta Christian and loves it.  Jackson, all boy, is a happy, smiley 3 year old.

Our family still enjoys lots of laughter.  I wish I wrote down all the funny things they say and do each day that keeps us in stitches and helps us struggle through life together with smiles on our faces.    I pray you had a wonderful year filled with laughter and joy despite any tears and heartache.  I pray you know the preeminence of Christ as found in Colossians 1 and know that 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.  I pray that (Col 2) 6 therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  
Love to all.  Be sure to keep in touch!

Merry Christmas to All
from the Tordoff Troop and
Blessings for a Wonderful New Year

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