Another year has passed, all too quickly…so here it goes – 12 months of quick review for each of you. We started on Sunday, January 1, 2017 in a new place! It was Kevin’s first Sunday as Pastor of Sutton Free Will Baptist Church in Pocahontas, Arkansas. Matthew, Michael and I stayed in our Lake City home until the end of the school year, joining Kevin on Wednesdays and weekends in Pocahontas. We now live in the Sutton Church parsonage in Pocahontas. Matthew turned 18 on January 20th. Matthew and Michael played basketball once again so we spent lots of time watching basketball.
February was exciting because Bay played Pocahontas in basketball – we sat with Bay one last time as both boys were ending their season as Yellowjackets.
March winds blew in Kevin’s 44th birthday; the church gave him a Redskins baseball cap and other wonderful gifts!!! It also blew in a storm with lots of lightning which struck our Lake City house hard...Matthew was home with a friend and slept through all of it! Michael got his age-waiver approved for his driver’s license in preparation of Matthew not being around to run him everywhere once summer would come and during the upcoming school year.
During April we celebrated Easter and had a play at Sutton. Matthew was Jesus and Michael was Judas…our boys are total opposites, if you couldn’t guess! We were thrilled on April 30th to watch Matthew be ordained as a Minister by our association. Be still my heart, on May 5th Matthew and our niece, Sydney, graduated from Bay High School as co-valedictorians! Sydney went to ASU in the fall and Matthew headed to Welch Bible College.
In April and May we also watched our new community that we quickly fell in love with flood. It was so sad to see such devastation in the area. Finally on May 24th Bay school ended and we all were able to live under one roof again!!! On May 25th we left for vacation in the Smoky Mountains. It was exciting to be in a mountain cabin during a thunderstorm without water or power. I FINALLY got to see a BEAR! The momma with her cubs was my favorite!
June 9th-28th we watched Matthew fly across the Atlantic Ocean with E-Team Kazakhstan to serve on a mission trip. He had a wonderful time. Michael was busy in June with Basketball Team Camp.
On July 3rd, after only 3 days to recover from an 11 hour time change from his mission trip, Matthew and Michael headed to Truth and Peace Leadership Conference. Matthew attended his 4th and final year. It was Michael’s 1st year at Truth and Peace. Thankfully he ended up loving it!!! We ended July heading to Louisville, Kentucky with a group from Sutton to attend the National Convention of the Free Will Baptist & the Vertical III, National Youth Conference. Matthew taught Teen Sunday School at the conference and Michael worked some of the conferences. Both the boys competed in Bible competitions and with the Sutton Youth Group in a Drama. We made a quick trip to the Ark Encounter at the end the NAFWB, it was worth visiting. As soon as we got back home, Michael started playing on the Pocahontas Golf team and had his 15th birthday.
On August 6th Kevin and I had our 23rd wedding anniversary, but we rescheduled it until September (when life slows down for us). On August 14th Michael started Pocahontas High School as a sophomore…Go Redskins! On the 17th we moved Matthew into the dorms of Welch College….Go Flames! We had our 1st family photos made for our church directory without Matthew on the 18th – I didn’t like it.
In September the leaves were starting to change and I love our big backyard full of color, birds, and deer! We also finally celebrated our anniversary, we had rescheduled, by a little get-away to Branson.
October began my favorite time…Operation Christmas Child kick-off of collection season, starting to decorate for Christmas (yes I am that crazy person!), and deer season for the boys. Kevin and I both volunteer year-round with Operation Christmas Child. I am the Area Coordinator and he is the Logistics Coordinator for Northeast Arkansas. We had Parent/Teacher conferences…Michael is surviving and adjusting to a new normal. Michael has started playing keyboard in our youth praise band at church, we are very proud of him for using the talent God has given him.
November meant basketball was in full season for Matthew at Welch and Michael’s season was beginning. Michael skipped ½ a day of school on November 10th so we could head to Nashville to watch Matthew play ball – we had fun. Michael spent the night in the dorm with Matthew and Trenton. November 13-20th was National Collection Week for Shoeboxes and NEA collected 9,868 Gospel Opportunities (shoeboxes). Sutton had a 150th Celebration of the church, what a blessing. On the 21st I turned 42 and we spent Thanksgiving with family. Kevin and I continued our tradition of doing most of our Christmas shopping on Black Friday...he is a keeper!
December has been busy but fun so far…now I have 2 houses to decorate for Christmas!!! Matthew has wrapped up his 1st semester of college and seems to enjoy Welch. Matthew’s team came to Crowley’s Ridge College (in Paragould, AR) to play, then to Sutton Church, so of course the grandparents all came to hear Matthew preach! Michael has completed ½ a year at PHS. We just received news that Michael has been selected for his 2nd year at the Truth and Peace Leadership Conference, we are all excited (now to raise his $1500)! Kevin is busy as always and I am still doing my teeth thing. The hour drive to work hasn’t been bad at all; I have become a fan of audio books and have listened to 13 since June! Keep our family in your prayers as we strive to follow God's will for us. We are very thankful for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us in 2017. We are excited to see what will unfold in 2018. We are thankful for all the wonderful friends and family we have. We pray that you will have a blessed Christmas and will have a prosperous 2018.
We love you and hope to see you soon!
Kevin, Jennifer, Matthew & Michael
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