So here are some highlights of the past year.
Of course, less than a month later, my family got the opportunity to go on a cruise. We had never done it before but the price was right and the destination (western Caribbean) was perfect. I had to ask what one must do to be appointed the pastor of the Antigua Methodist Church! ;-) One of my highlights was snorkeling. That was a blast! We didn't even mind being "stuck" on the ship, and I was the only one who ever felt seasick. Running around the little track while the ship was moving was somewhat adventurous!
In the Spring, Jonathan continued to play soccer, and I was one of his coaches. We had a good time, and it was fun to see the kids grow in their skills. Andrew decided not to play Spring soccer, because he just wanted to play baseball. But when soccer season started, he was very disappointed to not have a game!
Both boys got to play on the same t-ball team; Andrew loved it and Jonathan put up with it. I've never been a baseball player or fan, but I managed to get out a lot with the boys to play catch or to practice batting.
In May, I ran a personal best in the half marathon at Cap City (Columbus). I ran 1:36, which was16 minutes faster than I'd ever raced (though I'd run a 1:44 in training). It was a fun race; I could get into racing half marathons!
June, July, and August had us taking short travel breaks. In June we went to Lakeside (for my Annual Conference) - we took a side trip to ride on the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad with the cousins. In July we went to Lake Michigan with Tara's family. The boys always enjoy the beach. In August we went to Camp Sychar and spent ten days there. It was really hot, but I still managed to have the most mileage of the summer while we were there, as the Kokosing Gap Trail was a mile away from camp.
Erie, Pennsylvania, was the setting in September, as I ran the Erie Marathon at Presque Isle. I was shooting for 3:20, which was the cut-off for my (new) age group to qualify for the Boston Marathon. My training was solid, but I fell short in my attempt by 4 minutes. I wasn't upset about it, because it was still as 16 minute personal best. Who can complain about that?
For my 40th birthday this year, I went for a three-day silent retreat, and I loved it. I loved getting to spend uninterrupted time with God. What a fantastic birthday gift.
Jonathan also started Cub Scouts this year, meaning popcorn sales, den meetings, pack meetings, badges, everything-o-rees, and Tara and I leading his den. He really enjoys it, and Andrew can't wait until he gets to be a Cub Scout.
We also joined AWANA this year, and it has been a blessing watching (and helping) the boys memorize scripture and have such fun doing it. During my Christmas sermon, I was so proud as I watched Andrew quoting John 3:16 along with me.
Through this year I have made some good friends, especially running friends, and have been blessed by so many people. I am looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2012!