2007 Taylor Family Christmas Letter

14 12 2007

Merry Christmas from the Taylor’s

             2007 Family Christmas Picture

It is only a few weeks before Christmas, and Josh and I were just realizing that this will be our 5th Christmas together- how blessed and thankful we are! Recounting our married Christmases together we’ve spent 2 in Maine, 1 in Ohio, 1 in Texas, and this year we’ll be celebrating in Virginia.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our past year in Northern Virginia and finely seem to be finding our place in our jobs, church, and community. This July was the first time ever we’ve actually renewed a lease! Our cozy 2 bedroom apartment is beginning to feel like home.

Having lived many happy years in Maine, and a few too many in Texas we have come to love the diversity of geography here in Virginia. We are but an hour from Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail and only 2-3 hours from the beach. We spent time camping and hiking in the park and a mini-vacation this summer to a quaint B&B in Williamsburg, right on the beach. Here are a couple pictures from our adventures to both throughout this past year.

Bethany, Belle, and Joshua on Skyline Drive

Bethany and Joshua

If you recall from last year’s Christmas Letter I planned to convince Joshua to join me in competing in a second half-marathon. In April of this past year we were joined by my dear friend Laura and ran in the Charlottesville, VA ½ Marathon. What a blast we had! It was great to run with Joshua, he was in better shape then I and encouraged me the entire way. Laura proved to be the fittest of us all and blazed on ahead! I am contemplating the full Marine Corp Marathon next fall. But who knows, I guess we’ll see!

Another highlight this year was having my family visit us in Virginia for Easter. Rachel and Luke drove up from Liberty University and my parents and Melissa flew in for a long weekend. Luke’s girlfriend (now fiancée) Anna, Rachel’s boyfriend Josh, and our cousin Isaac also joined us for the weekend. We enjoyed touring downtown DC, visiting the zoo, and somehow managing to sleep a total of 10 people in our apartment.

I have continued to enjoy work as a part-time nanny here in the area.  This September brought a change of families for me as the kids I worked with entered full day school programs, but I’m still working with a 3 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. I so enjoy working with children. A highlight of this past year has to be some of the conversations I’ve had with the kids. Inquiring 3 year old minds want to know if God has a neck and why strawberries are red -and not yellow. They also seem to find measurements of speed, time, and money completely interchangeable. For example- Q: Bethany, what time is it? A: 12:26 Response: Wow! That’s a lot of money!

Joshua finished his job at Christian Services Charities in November when an excellent opportunity arose for him to join a media production company managed by a gentleman in our church. This past few weeks have flown by for him as he has been immersed in: video editing, radio production, advertisements, and filming. He is thriving in this position and loving the chance to use his creative gifts and ideas to benefit this company. Joshua also began attending Liberty University full time through their distance learning program in order to complete a Bachelor of Science in Religion. He has excelled in each of his classes and is immensely enjoying this chance to further his education.

As we look forward to this next year we have some exciting news to share. We are planning on adopting! We are still in the preparation stage of praying through things and seeking counsel, but hopefully in the next 12-18 months will be bringing home a little boy or girl! As some of you may be aware Joshua and I have tried for many of the years we have been married to have children of our own. At this time we feel that our hearts have become open to adoption. We are leaning towards an Ethiopian adoption but haven’t completely ruled out the idea of a domestic adoption. Please keep us in your prayers as we pursue this exciting opportunity. And be sure to check back on our blog because we will be creating an adoption journey page very soon.

We have experienced the grace of God in so many ways in 2007. God has provided wonderful friends and has been so kind to put us in a community of people who genuinely love and care for one another. We are finding our faith in God increasing and our relationship with Him deepening. Our prayer is that you will experience the same. May you find true joy in this upcoming year!

Grace to you- Joshua and Bethany


A Blogging Challenge

13 12 2007

Heather recently asked if I would blog 7 things about myself, either odd, unknown, or interesting. Well here it goes!

1. I have survived 2 house fires. One in March of 1989, We lost our entire garage and the house was mostly smoke damaged. And then December of 2005 I came home from work for lunch and opened my front door to smoke pouring out. Praise God not much was destroyed, and that our pets survived. God is so gracious to me!

2. I have passport stamps from Panama, Bolivia, Mexico, London, India, Dominican Republic, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, South Africa, Namibia, and Guatemala. I have also spent a night in the Bahrain airport. No passport stamp though cause I never got to leave the airport.

3. I have showered in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays locker room! No joke. During my Teen Mania days, I managed an aspect of promotions for a youth event held there. On a preparatory visit three of my girlfriends and I had traveled through the night in a van from Texas to hold an advertising event there for youth pastors. We had to be very presentable and didn’t have time to go to our hotel first. So they let us shower there.

4. I have 24 first cousins. I think that’s quite a few, right?

5. I have climbed Pike’s Peak in Colorado twice. 14,110 ft

6. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis 5 days before I got married and slept about 18 hours a day on our honeymoon. =)

7. I have moved 6 times in 4 years of marriage. This past July was the first time ever we’ve renewed a lease.

I think the next challenge should be to blog 7 unknown things about our spouse. Good things of course. . . a kind of gift to them. Anyone up for it?

Funniest Video I’ve seen in a long time. . .

12 12 2007

In need of a few ideas. . .

7 12 2007

So, what makes for a great Christmas party?  Is there a certain year that sticks out in your mind as the best ever?  Does anyone have any suggestions for food, games, activities for a holiday party?  If you were attending a party hosted by me what would you most enjoy doing?

A.  Competing in a gingerbread house making contest for catergories such as: tallest, most elaborate, most creative, and worst (any other catergory suggestions???)

B.  Decorating Christmas cookies

C.  Going Caroling

D.  Participating in a Yankee Swap (gift exchange)

E.  Partaking of a nice meal and fellowshipping together

Elf Yourself

6 12 2007

This is really funny!  Hope you all enjoy it.