As Christmas approaches, we wanted to send you greetings from our home to yours. We have had a very busy year and there has never been a dull moment around here! Here is what’s new in our lives:
Our renovations on the house continue to progress slowly. We have experienced nearly every possible delay, and unfortunately, have not had good experiences with many of the contractors we have hired. It has been an exercise in patience, especially for Mrs. Gryce, who longs to “nest” (or at least be able to do our laundry here at home.)We are hoping to have most of the work upstairs completed by the end of this month, and then take a well-deserved break. In the spring, we hope to start with renovations to the downstairs.
This past spring, the exterior of our home received a bit of a facelift with the addition of a screened-in porch to the west side. We love the way it looks, and we enjoyed many evenings outside without a single bug bite! Also, this past spring, we planted our first veggie garden. We enjoyed fresh tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions, and beans. Mrs. Gryce was even able to make pickles and relish, due to an abundance of cucumbers.
Mr. Gryce’s job is going well. He works with a great group of people and business is booming. Unfortunately, due to the nature of computer programming, he often works evenings and weekends. Eventually he would like to pursue a career in Christian Counselling. This summer, Mr. Gryce has the opportunity to travel to Haiti for a week with Compassion Canada. He was able to see much of the work that Compassion has done throughout the country, and was also able to meet his sponsored child, Ezechiel!
Mrs. Gryce’s teaching contract was extended through to the middle of this month, as the teacher on leave decided to take a few extra months off. So far, though, no other teaching jobs have been available in the area. Mrs. Gryce will most likely be taking a break from the teaching profession, and focussing her interests elsewhere. She is hoping to find something administrative, though in the meantime, she will continue buying and selling items online to earn extra cash. In her spare time, Mrs. Gryce continues to enjoy thrift store shopping, as well as scrapbooking.
Our family is growing! Mr. Gryce’s sister and brother-in-law were blessed with twin girls, Molly and Lola, in September. Although they were born early at just 32 weeks, they are at home and doing well. Mrs. Gryce’s brother and sister-in-law are also expecting a baby at the end of April. We have had our “baby,” Charlie for nearly a year already. Despite the ongoing renovations, and the few times he escaped out the door, climbed out the window and onto the roof, or broken his leash, he has remained safe (though probably used up half of his 9 lives by now!) He has provided us with hours of entertainment, and for now, we are content to have him remain our only baby.
This has been a difficult year emotionally, for both of us. We continue to work through much pain from issues with our former friends and church, as well as dealing with death and illness in Jared’s extended family. On top of all that, we are still adjusting to married life. It has been a year of ups and downs. It has been especially difficult for Mrs. Gryce to feel at-peace in a new church, a new job (with massive classroom renovations happening all summer), and a partly-finished house. Some days we are both still overwhelmed. Through it all, Jared continues to host his men’s group at our home every Friday evening, and Mrs. Gryce helps facilitate a bi-weekly women’s group. We are thankful for these small groups and for the opportunities to learn and grow together. As well, due to their generosity of time, tools, and labour, we were able to cut, split, and store over 12 cords of wood this fall—a huge job!
We hope and pray that 2013 will give us a fresh start, and that God would restore our joy and our trust in Him and in others. If you are reading this, please know how much we value your love, prayers, and support. May you have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate His birth, and a happy and healthy New Year.
Mr & Mrs Gryce