I did not write a Christmas newsletter this year to send out with our Christmas cards. I was just glad I got some cards sent! But after reading Ginny Youmans' family update online I decided to return a brief message to her of the lastest happenings in the Crum family. I got it all typed out, but didn't want to push the "reply to all" button shown. In my search for another option, the message was lost--at least I couldn't find it (which I realize is not the same thing). So I decided to compose a new chronicle, post it on my blog, share the address on facebook, and let all interested parties come here to read it. If you've completed this long, and unnecessary, introduction, the newsletter follows.
"Although there were no marriages or births in the family this year, it was by no means uneventful. Others in the family may want to add their own highlights, but the following are my top four.
1--David and I enjoyed a fantastic vacation in Great Britain this summer.
We had fun planning and anticipating a life-long-dream trip. Finally we were off to spend several days each in London, Edinburgh, and Wales, but our home base was a delightful farm in the Yorkshire Dales. Will and Rebekah Shermer with their children, friends from church here in Catonsville, live in a converted cow barn on a working farm near Pateley Bridge. They graciously allowed us to use their home while they were here in the States on vacation. I'm still trying to sort through all the pictures we took. (Do other people's digital cameras mix the photos up?--I was counting on their chronology to help me recall what all the photos are.) But, even this sorting process is a pleasure as I get to relive the memories of the bustling cities and the pastoral countryside.
2--In August, shortly after returning home, I had surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.
My dear sister Beth, Jonathan, and many from church kindly helped me and the family through my hospital stay and recovery. I expected to be back on my feet with a full recovery within two weeks, but my brain (and the Lord) had other plans. My right arm and leg were not at all cooperative at first. Beth had me writing the alphabet in the air, and soon the strength, mobility and coordination returned to my arm and hand. My right leg, especially my ankle and foot, took much longer and required 20 sessions of physical therapy, but I am glad to report that I am almost back to "normal". I notice a slight limp and find climbing stairs challenging when I am tired, but I am able to drive, cook, teach, read, write, and do all the things I really want to do. I was able to begin homeschooling Elisabeth, William, and Jesse in September, as planned, and also to tutor Biology twice a week at their homeschool tutorial program, Heritage Instructional Services. Having the Heritage assistance in their education this year has made life a lot easier for me.
3--David and I were thrilled to have the entire Crum family home for Thanksgiving.
Peter and Jess with Jude, Ashley and Aravis flew in from Colorado. Peter works in construction while Jess has been promoted to managing an office which places home health care workers. The children are in 4th, 3rd and 1st grades, and Peter and Jess became homeowners for the first time this year. Matthew and Emily live in Bloomington, IN, with their new puppy Chipper. They, too, bought a home this year. Matt is a copywriter for a medical supplies company and Emily is a speech and hearing therapist in the local public schools. Benjamin and Michal also live in Bloomington with their sons Daniel and Zion. Ben works for a self-publishing company while Michal is a hard-working stay-at-home mom. Jonathan and Nathaniel are both students (also in Bloomington), Jon in education and Nate in art, and both live and work as care-givers for Bob, a deacon in their church, who has cerebral palsy. Thomas was a furniture delivery man in Bloomington until two weeks ago. He and younger David have enlisted in the Marine Corps and report to boot camp on January 4. Thomas will be in the reserves and will return to college in Bloomington after completing his training this winter, spring and summer. David will be serving in the infantry on active duty for the next four years. Stephen is a junior at Catonsville high school and is also talking about joining the Marines after graduation. In January, David, the elder, will celebrate four years as pastor of Bishop Cummins Reformed Episcopal Church in Catonsville, MD.
(Please note this disclaimer--I may not accurately have described anyone's job. The only one mentioned that I have ever held is Michal's, so I know she's hard-working. Please post corrections in the comments section.)
4--Although there are currently 21 members of the Crum family, we learned yesterday that Katie Killingsworth of Missouri has agreed to become member #22 when she and Nate are married this summer. All of the Indiana Crums had already met Katie, (in fact, Ben and Katie's brother Jody introduced Nate and Katie) and the rest of us were delighted to meet her at Thanksgiving. She will be a welcome addition!"
We wish all our family and friends a very merry Christmas and a joyous new year
filled with the wonder of our Savior's first coming as a humble baby
and the anticipation of His triumphant return.
With love from,