2015 was quite a year for us! We started the year out like any other year – well into our school courses, making some minor changes here and there, enjoying spending time together as a family on the ski slopes regularly, hunkering down on the incredibly cold days that occurred in the depths of our Ontario winters.

And then spring hit, and suddenly, everything changed. We had planned on staying in our home for a number of more years, but for many various reasons, we knew that it was time to move. One huge factor was The Man’s work – he’d been commuting 40 minutes or more for 7+ years, and it was really wearing on him.

So we decided to move across the city and pretty much begin everything all over again! Now, moving a family of 6 who hasn’t moved from their current residence for nigh on 8 years, is quite a feat. Especially since when we’d moved in there, there were only 3 of us and very little “stuff”. Multiply that by 8 years and 3 more family members, plus a TON of homeschooling and child paraphernalia (yikes!) and we were lucky to get it all packed into one truck (not to mention a trailer and multiple van/car trips. Whew!).

our empty home 2015

I also had no idea just how difficult a move would be. Oh, I knew it would be a challenge physically and emotionally, but I didn’t realize how long the effects would last. We’d been in our previous church for 10 years and had solid friendships with people that were really hard to leave. Here, we knew next to no one, and though we love our new church and the kids are loving the children’s ministries, it’s been hard to get connected. We had been a part of our old homeschool group for 4 years and loved the people there, and while we’ve been blessed with not one, but TWO groups to be a part of here, one is quite large and the other farther away, so we had to struggle with making connections with new friends.

old friends at the zoo 2015

But God is faithful and through prayer and tears and the wrestling and reaching, we have seen much good come of this move!

Reflections on 2015

  • The Man is able to ride his bike to work and has helped us all to have a love for biking.

Family biking 2015

  • We made some fast friends in our new homeschool c0-op in the summer just before school started, and have stayed connected with old friends.
  • All.the.field.trips! Being a part of a large homeschool co-op means that there are TONS of options for field trips!

orchestra field trip 2015

  • We’re starting up with a small group at our church.
  • We’ve been able to join a Classical Conversations group for homeschooling, where before we were much too far away.

Classical Conversations

  • There is so much to see and do outdoors! God has renewed a love for his creation in all of us. We are also more centrally located, which has provided more opportunities for us to explore new areas.

family biking 2015

Fall fairyland

beauty of fall leaves

Exploring Culham Trail

  • We are closer to The Man’s family and are able to spend more time with cousins (downside – we’re farther away from my family :/)

cousins Christmas 2015

  • We found the only other homeschool family in our church and God has been drawing us closer together as families.
  • 2 of our children, within a few weeks of each other, prayed to receive Christ as their Saviour. Praise be!

kiddos 2015

  • Though our previous house was a huge blessing and perfect for our needs, this house that we are now in is even better! God truly knows our deepest needs and answers even what may seem like silly prayers.

I am so excited to see what God has in store for us in 2016!

Central Park NYC 2015

I know we will likely face difficult things, because God doesn’t promise us an easy life. And those difficult things are what remind us of our need for him to be in the first place. Over and over again I’ve fallen on my face in frustration and fighting the circumstances, wanting what I want as a result and not submitting to his leading or blocking my ears to what I have a feeling he’s telling me. But more and more I’m learning, sooner and sooner, to relax, release and repent of wanting my own will, being willing to let him lead. And you know what? He hears those prayers – he hears those prayers for the hearts of our children (just maybe not on our timeline). He hears those cries of loneliness and an ache for friendship, and he answers (just maybe not with the people we had in our lineup). He knows our deepest sorrows and joys and shares in them with us, if we let him.

sunrise beach

No matter how hard the past year has been, for you, for me, he’s orchestrated everything for a purpose and has taken us this way, on this path, for a reason. One we might not yet be seeing the result of. One where we might still be in the middle of the difficulties. But one that is ultimately for his glory and our good.

Happy 2016!

(photo by Hannah Belvedere Photography)

The best is yet to come! Happy 2016!