Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012
All heights are accurate. :)


Otherwise known as 'minions.'

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in Review

2012 started out pretty awesome. We went skiing in Austria for the last time with friends that we had kept around for several years. The hardest part about making friends is leaving them when the military tells you to. This time, though, the Ingrams got leave first. Throughout our 4 1/2 years in Germany, we made some lifelong friends. We sat around the porch fire, watching the snow, watching the kids play in the beautiful back yard that backed up to a pasture and a hill, and we put puzzles together when the weather wouldn't cooperate. The men never puzzled. They burned things. Weirdos. We have never been more grateful for a duty station than we were for Germany, not because we got to go to Europe, which was pretty cool if I do say so myself; but because of the friendships and, more importantly, what God did with the 5 Ingrams. He taught us to be one unit, not 5 separate entities rooming together for a few years. He taught us to slow down and, literally, smell some flowers. He taught us that walking outside, bike riding, hiking, swimming, and building tree forts with leftover wood are all very good things to do as a family. He taught us some new family games through friends. He taught us to enjoy one another. When we moved over there, we stopped everything. Most of you know how busy we were with gymnastics, dance, tae-kwon-do, soccer...the only thing we kept was soccer because the boy needed it. In place of 'activities,' we did all of the things I just mentioned, and not one of us regrets giving those things up. Not once did my kids say, "I don't want to play a family game. I want ballet lessons!" We even went to their friends' ballet recitals, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. Not once did my kids say, "Please put us back in that!" God taught us that loving each other goes beyond providing basic sustenance and gets into the nitty-gritty of showing love every single day through actions. There's a song that changes the words I often say to my family, and I've taken to quoting it. I used to say, "Love is an action." Now I say, "Love is a verb." It is true. Love isn't a word. In May we started the moving process, and I have to be honest and say that we didn't handle it very well. We were stressed beyond our normal capacity to handle things because an overseas move is an entirely new set of rules, regulations, and paperwork to fill out, places to go, and people to sign off on things. Not only that, but Joe knew he was coming to a job he wouldn't necessarily love, which is always difficult. We left Germany on June 19th wearing jackets and shivering because we let the movers pack our heavier coats. We arrived in Atlanta, GA on June 19th, and because God loves us so much, He put some rain and clouds out in 75 degree weather. He knew we might actually die if we went from 50s to 100s in the same day. He met us in the middle, like He usually does. :) We have seen family, friends we haven't seen in years, and we are settling in, slowly but surely. Caylea is in college now. She will graduate high school just shy of an Associate's degree and, hopefully, a completed music album. She has the songs written. She just has to tweak them. It is amazing to watch her pluck entire orchestral creations out of thin air. It is also amazing to watch her walk out her faith, knowing that God has a plan, even if it isn't going the way she thought it would. Chloe is volunteering at a local vet clinic. Yes, she still has allergies. No, she doesn't care. She will be a vet or own her own zoo one day, and when God heals her of the allergies, she will tell everyone what He did. Until then, she will sneeze and grin like she always does. She'll be a freshman in high school this fall. In 6 months or less she will be taller than her sister. :) Joshua is still the Lego-building mega-mind. I handed him the pieces to our table that the movers completely disassembled and he single-handedly put it back together with no instructions. He is always saying, "Can I help you?" And if I ask him to, he does it happily. He has such a soft heart. I'm not sure where God is leading him. He never says anything about his future other than that he will have lots of kids because he doesn't want to be lonely and that he would love to be a Lego engineer. Yes, that's a real job. It's all on computer now, though, so when he starts high school (not yet, I promise), I'll have to hire someone to teach him that stuff. I'm only good at emailing. I don't know how it works. I just trust that the 'send' button will send. All in all, this move has been hard, good, tiring, and a blessing. We are so grateful to be so much closer to family. We miss our friends from Germany, but we have them a finger-tip away thanks to technology. You might wonder what the Ingrams will do in 2013. Well, our family goal that we set last year and hope to continue is to "Love one another deeply, from the heart." We hope that in doing that, we'll spread a little love around us as well. Also, I (Tori) hope to finish my book. We'll see....


superbadfriend said...

Welcome back to blogging! God Bless you, Ingram Family Happy New Year! Sending love and peace. XOJ

5Ingrams said...

Thanks, Jess. I'm not sure I love this blog site. I'm searching for a better layout. I don't like that it prints my blogs as one giant paragraph. I don't write them that way. :(