Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 - A Momentous Year

As years go, this one will go down as momentous. We've had a couple of major expected milestones, and a couple of, bumps in the road.

We began last year with a few happy tears. We sent our Hannah off to Italy from January to May to study for a semester abroad. She traveled all over on weekends, as you can see.

Not to be outdone, we traveled all over southwest Missouri watching David play his last months of basketball as a Liberator.  BHS boys basketball has afforded our family much joy and entertainment over the years.

Since all senior activities trump most of our other kids activities, we watched David play more than Elizabeth. But when Elizabeth's games were on different nights from David's, we watched her play too.

Proof she can do a left-handed layup
In March, Lou and I celebrated, albeit a little early since our anniversary is August 1, our 25th year together. We decided to celebrate that milestone by heading over to Europe for a couple of weeks. A huge bonus to that...we traveled around with Hannah for a week!

Our only cloudy day of the trip...Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria
Lucerne, Switzerland
Our first bump in the road this year occurred while we were gone on our trip. My mom, Violet Vaughan, became deathly ill. It was touch and go for a while and I made reservations to come home. Thankfully, she rallied, I stayed on the trip, and we are still enjoying her wit and wisdom as she lives with us now!
 My mom and our girls
At Easter, we took the traditional kid picture in their Easter finery, sans Hannah. To make sure she knew we missed her, we took two - and sent her both.

Spring found us still traveling around southwest Missouri, this time to track meets, soccer games, and golf matches.

David and his Liberator teammates had a banner year as the entire team made it to State. Fun!

Faith jumped her way to health and happiness, and she too, made it to State in the Triple Jump and with her 4x200 meter relay team!

This was not at State, but at a meet when she had just jumped a personal best. One of my favorite pictures on the planet. She's running to rejoice with her amazing Coach - Vicky Newcomb
Elizabeth earned post season honors in soccer: 2nd Team all COC, 1st team All District, and Honorable Mention All State. Proud of this sophomore!

Capping off (literally:) our spring were two huge milestones in the lives of our sons.

Luke graduated from the University of Arkansas in May. So proud of him! We were a couple of Harrises short, because David and Faith were at Sectional Track, but what we lacked in numbers, we made up in spirit. Woo pig sooie!

A couple of weeks later, David Elliot walked across the stage at Bolivar High School. Oh, the memories made there. Watch out world!

Summer 2012 found us anticipating our week where Lou volunteers as doctor of the week at Kids Across America in Golden, MO, and then a trip to hike in Colorado a couple of weeks after that.

Plans changed dramatically our 3rd day in at Kids Across America. On 7-11-12, we hit our second major bump of 2102 - literally. Lou was riding his bike over to one of the camps to check on a sick camper, when he hit a speed bump just wrong. That tumble over the handle bars resulted in 6 days in the hospital for a punctured lung, 10 broken ribs, a broken left hand, cuts, major road rash and bruises, a broken collar bone, scapula, and part of a vertebrae. For more details on that little event, click here.

Our local paper did an article on the wreck
This life changing event did not take our Lord by surprise like it did us, and we felt His love and grace through it all. Our community was unbelievable in their outpouring of love and support. It has been a humbling, hard, beautiful time. We are grateful to God for his mercy.

Lou is still rehabbing his right shoulder area, hoping soon to be able to lift his arm completely straight up!

August was a much anticipated month for Mary Grace because....(drum roll please), the braces came off! It still boggles my mind that out of our six kids, only 2 had to have braces. Ka-ching!

August also brought another couple of milestones. While the first day of a new school year is always a highly anticipated event, it really was this year. Mary Grace began attending public school for the first time, Elizabeth got to drive to school for the first time, and Faith began her senior year!

1st day of school Instagram
The first day of school here in Bolivar was also the day we drove David to the University of Arkansas to begin his freshman year. We've missed him being around the house, but it's hard to be too bummed when he's so happy. The only thing lacking in his life is sleep.

After we got everybody where they needed to be to learn what they need to learn, we put on our volleyball cheering hats and followed these two around. So fun having sisters on the same team. Game days were dress up days, and here they are looking pretty.

Speaking of looking pretty, Faith was one of 3 to represent the senior class at Homecoming. What a fun week we had!

So glad the whole family was home!
And fun is what Mary Grace and I have every other Wednesday when we leave Bolivar around 6:30 a.m. to drive to Springfield for her 7:30 a.m. violin lesson. It's early, but she's chipper, and I'm extremely proud of all her hard work to make beautiful music.

Mary Grace also finds time to play a sport she knows she's gonna LOVE until and after she's!

Nice serve
Faith serves up beautiful music every Wednesday night at our church's youth group. She and some other talented musicians lead worship.

October graced us with yet another unexpected phone call - this time from Hannah, a senior at the University of Arkansas, who "just didn't feel right." That little feeling led to a trip to the ER with a diagnosis of appendicitis. You've never seen Lou and me pack so quickly. Luke, who works as a pharmacy tech in the hospital she was taken to, kept watch (along with her loving roommates and friends) till we got there.

Next day and looking good.

Lou was looking good 13 weeks to the day after his wreck. He got back on the bike and thankfully, he and I had a wonderfully uneventful ride. So, so thankful for the way God made our bodies to heal!

As we end 2012, we must thank God for his love and care this past year. All that we are or hope to be and hope for is because of Him and his gift of salvation to us.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
                       (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)

From our hearts to yours...Blessings as you begin 2013!

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