2020 started out with our 1-year-old grandson’s birthday party in January and some MCC comforter-tying events. Little did we know what was about to happen! It’s crazy! But we’re all still here and in spite of the stress and strain of living in a COVID-19 pandemic, we DO have things to be thankful for.

1. Our clutch of grandchildren went from 3 to 5 this fall, as both Kaytee and Betsy brought new babies into the family. Betsy delivered Phares Dane Isley on October 23rd, and just a few days later Francine Lois Rose Isley arrived by c-section. It’s been a joy to meet them and watch them (mostly online) grow already in their few weeks on the earth.

2. Micah and Betsy moved back east this fall to start her new job in environmental science at the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Lexington Park, Maryland. Micah will continue to be a daddy full-time. We’re so glad to be able to drive just 3.5 hours now —rather than fly across the country to see them.

3. James and Maddie have moved into their new townhouse in the Baltimore area, and they are both adjusting to job changes: Maddie teaching high school music — all online, and James becoming an assistant manager at a different office of the leasing company.

4. Wallace turned 7 this summer at a party he partially shared with his cousin Freya, who was here for a few weeks from Idaho. We’re so fortunate to be a part of his life. He was already doing cyber school from home so the pandemic didn’t really change his routine at all. He’s become a reader of long books, especially ones that come in a series.

5. While on lock-down I made a lot of art! I worked hard to refine my skills in mosaic stained glass, and produced a number of new windows, for our house and for happy customers I’ve discovered both through friends, social media and the Artisan’s Gallery in nearby Boiling Springs. I also sewed a slew of comforters for MCC, and coordinated a group of volunteers from church to help with the various steps in creating these much-needed blankets for refugees all over the world.

6. Dawn’s child care business took a brief break mid-pandemic (while all of PA was on lock-down) but we’re happy that she was able to reopen in May. She took her regular 8 week summer break, and is now busy daily again with 5 very active children. Her families really needed her to reopen as they were all teaching or working from home.

7. We are also thankful that the political season is over, vaccines are on their way, and that in spite of the craziness / strangeness / hype of the year, we can still rely on God to be our hope in times of trouble.


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