Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Summarizing and Sharing the Worden's 2015...

I am retired so I have nothing to do!!!  That is so not true - fortunately.  How our lives could be so full and busy is perhaps difficult to understand but it is the case for us.  That is my explanation for not posting our Christmas letter on this blog until today.  So here it is.  Old news for some but others may not have heard anything from us for a long time.  Hope you enjoy reading about and seeing some photos of our lives during 2015.

Dear Family and Friends,                              December 2015
Matthew 1: 21-23
”She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Christmas is the season when we prepare for, remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  This baby boy was welcomed by many but his sinless earthly life would be willingly ended by crucifixion.  And that sacrifice would be the price He paid so that those who believe in Him can receive forgiveness for sin.  How grateful we are to know and experience this gift of salvation. 
Rear L-R: John C., John G, Phillip, 16, Stephen, 15 (in Dec. 2014)
Front: Linda, Sarah, Diane, Lydia, 11, Joanna, 13, Constantine, 4, James

We celebrated Christmas 2014 in Detroit, MI.  Son John, Diane, Phillip, 17, Stephen, 16, Joanna, 15 and Lydia, 12, (current ages) stopped for a couple of days as they drove from their home in Richmond, VA to the home of Diane’s parents in Crookston, MN.  John continues with Chick-fil-A and Diane teaches kindergarten at Veritas School where those four grandchildren are students.  It’s a busy family with very active children – soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross-country, school, work at CFA, church... 
A happy hockey player...

James and Constantine, 5, continue living in Detroit where they proudly embrace all seasons – especially hockey.  James works as Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Charlotte Mason ElementarySchool.  Constantine is in a Pre-K class at the Waldorf School.

We returned to Detroit in February to provide support for James due to a snow-boarding accident in January which resulted in 6 fractured ribs, internal bleeding, a broken thumb and a couple of surgeries during the spring.  He has healed well and had excellent medical care.

Sarah, in her sixth year as the librarian at Fort Sam Houston Elementary in San Antonio, joined us for another Detroit trip in early May.  At that time, we attended the wedding of niece Jessica Worden to Mark Jones.  It was a lovely time with many Worden family members.  
Front row L-R:  Cindi Worden Peterson, Mark Jones, Jessica Worden-Jones, Sarah Worden, Linda Worden
Rear L-R:  Bill Peterson, Ethan Worden, John G. Worden, John C Worden, James & Constantine Worden
Team of 7
June 19th we headed back to Moldova for our tenth summer mission trip to that small, eastern European country which we have come to love so dearly.  Sarah and James were part of our team of seven.  Our work was nearly the same as it has been in the past but we had a Day-Camp program 
Precious song leaders...

Boys spending some of their free time to memorize verses.
in a town instead of a camp.  It kept us very busy but we experienced much joy and strength for all the activities and teaching and loving that we were able to do.  One priceless part of the week was introducing scripture memory to eager children who willingly participated.  We posted memory verses on windows and handed out a take home page so that children could accomplish the task.  
Practicing John 3:16
Our last day of this week held many moments when we saw God opening the hearts of many of the children so that they were ready to become one of his followers.  That story is told on my blog and you'll find it with the link I'm sharing here.  
Each day I added an update with photos to a blog post.  If interested, you can read about it on the blog.
Before returning to the states, we stayed in Kiev, Ukraine for a few days.  It was relaxing and beautiful in that city.
  Sharing the time with two of our children made it extra special. We were especially thankful for James’ level of proficiency in Russian as it was a huge help in navigating and enjoying our time there.  My blog includes more photos and details about those days also.
Relaxing in a Kiev Botanical Garden

With Mom for after surgery check up
Joanna starting vollelyball
Our travels continued in August and September.  We spent two weeks in Richmond, VA to give our son John’s family support as they got ready for the school year and as Stephen recovered from jaw surgery.  He needed alignment of his jaw in order to prevent nighttime teeth grinding.  He learned to enjoy his food in liquid form for six weeks.  It was intensely busy but also lots of fun. 
Game night with Grandpa

Sibs at home church in Winona, MN
From VA we flew to WI.  There we joined Linda’s siblings and spouses for a family reunion.  We had great times of story- telling and traveling backroads to reminisce.  
Sibs at Cross Ridge School where all attended the one-room elementary school
Cross Ridge School reunion
Fountain City Farm Fest - Jim Groves and childhood classmate, Myron Bork
Matson counsins enjoy brunch at Borgen's in Westby, WI
Jim and I with our birthplace farm in the background outside of Viroqua, WI
Farm home where I spent most of my growing up years outside of Fountain City, WI
Thanksgiving was spent in Detroit along with Sarah.  Son John, along with Phillip and Stephen, joined son James and us for a Redwings hockey game and family fun before they experienced a College Day in PA.  

James, Constantine and Sarah on Farnsworth in Detroit

Grandpa and Cozzie
Grandma and Cozzie
Cozzie and Mish Mish
Baking pumpkin pie
We will drive to Richmond, VA for Christmas with stops along the way to visit family in Houston, TX, Nashville and Piney Flats, TN.  Sarah will join us for the travel and James will fly in for the time in VA.
With my brother, his wife, their daughter and her son.
With my Aunt Ming and one of her granddaughters in Nashville, TN
With cousins in Nashville, TN
With John's sister, Cindi Peterson, in Piney Flats, TN 
With son John and his family in Richmond, VA
James, Sarah, John C, Linda and John G. Worden
All the Wordens that were in Richmond for Christmas

It has been another year of good health, meaningful ways to serve the Lord through our church, in our community and in work.  Linda continues as a Hostess at Laity Lodge.  John is completing another year as president of the board for the Pregnancy Center in Kerrville.  God has been blessing and expanding that ministry.  He will rotate off in March 2016 as he completes six years on the board.  John’s Parkinson’s is under control with his 3 medications and seems not to be advancing at this time.  For that we are very grateful.

You are welcome in TX.        Come see us.  Find us on Facebook:  Linda Groves Worden