Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring Family Update

Photo: September 2015

I feel like we are long overdue to give a family update.

2015 went by in the blink of an eye. I had grand visions of writing more on the blog. But I didn’t. So I figured I’d write a Christmas letter. But well, I didn’t do that either. New Year’s came and went (and I missed the opportunity to finally get that letter out), but hey, lookie here, I’m so early for my Easter letter. Aren’t you proud?

Instead of a year in review however, I’m going to give you some of the answers to our most frequently asked questions:


How is your family? In short, we’re doing well. 2014 was a really difficult year for all of us. 2015 was a year of healing. We’re already categorizing 2016 as a year of hope. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for our family in the year to come!

Our days are currently filled with a whole lot of education. The kids are doing online school (see below), but the latest news on the horizon is that Rob is also going back to school! Rob is in the process of getting his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in non-profit management. He’s doing this online through Corban University, so he’s able to juggle work and school. So far, anyway.

Everyone around here is studying something these days!

Are you still in Albany? Yes. However, in the past two years we’ve mentally considered a move to Salem, Klamath Falls, St. Helens, Monmouth, Dallas, Tigard, Corvallis, Portland, Oakridge (all in Oregon), Ellensburg, Spangle (Washington), Anaheim, Lake Forest, San Diego, Santa Clarita and Dos Palos (California), Denver (Colorado), and Phoenix (Arizona). We’ve also considered moving to Guam, Thailand, and Canada.

But yes, we’re still in Albany! 

Rob- Looking quite dapper!
Is Rob still working in Salem? No. He actually got a job in May in the Albany office of the Oregon Employment Department. He is helping local businesses recruit employees, while helping people who are unemployed find jobs. We are grateful to have him so close, and he is very grateful to shave his daily commute down from 90 minutes to 8 minutes.

Is Rob looking to get back into ministry? Ultimately we would really love to get back into ministry. We both feel strongly that God has called Rob to be a pastor, and he has called our family to serve the local church. We’ve knocked on some doors, filled out some applications and even done some interviews, but God has not yet opened the door for us to walk through. We are prayerful that our next ministry will be one that is a really good fit for our family and that our family will be a really good fit for that church. We’re willing to wait patiently until God makes our next move clear, but we’d both be lying if we didn’t confess that we’d prefer God to open those doors sooner rather than later!

My primary job at this point
is being a fake patient for
medical students to practice on!
Are you working? Leeann (12) asked me recently what exactly it is that I do, as in, what is my job title? Rob and I both laughed because the truth is, I have several part-time jobs in such a wide variety of fields that it's hard to put a label on exactly what it is that I "do" for a living. In this past year I have worked as a church secretary, I have filled in at a school as a secretary and a kindergarten assistant, I have worked as a standardized patient, a standardized patient coach, and a standardized patient educator at a medical school, I have provided personal life-coaching and home organization assistance, I’ve done photography, I have also taught cooking classes to kids and created baked goods as part of my small home bakery business.

In the past I have also been employed doing children's ministry, foster care, childcare, retreat speaking, event planning, and wedding coordinating.

Additionally, in an unpaid capacity I enjoy writing, financial coaching, instructing, and assisting wherever there is a need for my skills and abilities. Hence, the lengthy list of part-time employment!

So, back to the question, “Am I working?” Yes. However, I am intentionally pulling back on work to spend more time educating my kids at home. At this point I am mostly focusing on being available for acting jobs at the medical school, though I’m still open to picking up a random job here or there as needed.

How’s the bakery thing going? I officially got my kitchen licensed in July of 2015! I’ve spent a lot of time baking and dreaming and thinking and praying about what God might want me to do with this desire stirring within my heart. I’ve mentally done everything from baking on occasion to opening up my own commercial bakery.

The reality is that I enjoy baking and creating beautiful tasty treats. I like taking pictures of food and writing about my experiences with food. I love sharing my creations with people! However, it’s not something that I want to do every day, and it’s not something that I want to put pressure on to make enough money to cover regularly occurring family expenses. Therefore, I think I’m going to leave my little Robyn’s Nest Bakery in the hobby category for now. I will continue to bake and share my creations, and sell the works of my hands as the opportunity arises, but I’m not going to work diligently at turning it into a profitable business at this time. 

Leeann and Titus on their
"First day" of 4th and 6th grade.
I call that the beauty of home education!
What are your kids doing for school? This year both of my kids are doing online school through Albany Online. They both went to public school in a dual immersion program up until recently. We started homeschooling/online schooling Leeann spring of 2015 and decided to include Titus on this new family adventure in the fall of 2015 as well.

Albany Online is an online public school that uses K12 curriculum. So technically, we are still connected to the school district, but they are doing their school work at home. They both have teachers they receive some instruction from, but most of their instruction comes from me (their learning coach). For Leeann we are doing a little bit of a hybrid actually, some K12 and some of our own independent study curriculum. We are still trying to find the best fit for everyone!

She just throws her arms around me and
leans against me like it's no big deal!
Is Leeann taller than you? Yes. Really, it’s hardly even a question anymore, because it’s so obvious now. But still, we frequently get comments on her towering height from people who haven’t seen us in a while! Leeann (12) is nearing 5’4”. Titus (10) hit 4’2” recently. I’m holding steady at 4’11”… and a half, for the record! I feel like my kids are growing so fast. In fact, they’re hardly kids anymore. We’ve definitely entered the preteen zone and we’re quickly coming into the full-fledged teen years.

I know these days won't
last forever. I treasure every
one of them!

We are enjoying this stage in life with our family. Our kids are a blessing and a joy, and our love for each other continues to grow and develop in ways that I never could have imagined when we started out on this journey together of life and love 15 years ago! This truly is a sweet stage in life.

Many blessings from our family to yours, 



Kirsten Fox said...

I love the update! I am very impressed with your early Easter letter, I've given up on writing any such letter this year :D It sounds like you are all doing so well!

Scott said...

I vote for Phoenix if you ever do decide to leave Albany! Thanks for the update!

Dave Bertolini said...

I vote for Dallas, OR 😜