Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mom Heart

This weekend was the Mom Heart conference.
It's always a fun time ... hanging out with CC moms, eating out, and sleeping in a hotel.
I attended the conference 2 years ago.
Last year, I just stayed the night.
This year was their last year, so I decided to attend the conference again.

It was horribly disappointing!
Sally Clarkson is just not a good speaker.
Seriously, I felt like I was sitting in her living room as she showed me videos and old scrapbooks of her kids, while telling story after story of their childhood, and then bragging about their successes.
Not once did that woman open a Bible.
She rambled on and on and on.
She showed video after video.
She told story after story.
It was painful.

Dinner last night was fun.
But then I came down with a head cold, so I went to bed early.
Today, I stayed until after lunch then left, as I simply couldn't take anymore.

So now, I'm at Starbucks blogging.
I should have spent all weekend doing this, it would have been far more enjoyable and productive.
I'm glad these conferences are over.

I can hardly wait until we finish remodeling the school into a lodge.
Then, we can start hosting our own retreats.
A winter getaway for homeschool moms to be encouraged, empowered, and exhorted to finish the year strong, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And now it's time to go home and get some cuddles from my sweet kiddos.

Friday, January 29, 2016

SOS Outreach

We are blessed to be a part of this incredible program.
SOS is primarily geared to at-risk youth, but it has been extended to homeschool families, as they are income limited, with one parent staying home to educate.

$99
5 weeks of skiing or snowboarding
5 full day lessons
Equipment, including goggles
Arapahoe Basin


Landon wanted to learn to snowboard.


Shiloh wanted to learn to ski.


Steve is working with the Littles, teaching them to snowboard on the bunny hill.


I have been lucky enough to get a "chaperone" lift ticket and have been able to ski with Shiloh.
Its been fun watching the kids learn ... and progress quickly.
Just this last week (week #4) both Shiloh and Landon took a blue run.

I'm super thankful that the weather has been incredible.
17 degrees.
Sunny.
It's been warm enough that the kids have been shedding layers.

A-Basin is a fun mountain.
We are so fortunate to have been able to be a part of this program.
I hope we can do it again next year ... as Sawyer will be old enough!

Friday, January 15, 2016

SIX

This darling is 6 years old.


1 year old
Liberty is such a sweetie.
She's smart as a whip.
She chases her brothers and does everything they do.
She is in K-5, wishing she were in 2nd grade like Sawyer.
Yet, she still wants a tag on a stuffed animal, her "dee-dee" (blanket), and her thumb.
I love this little dumpling.



She wanted an Ariel cake ... and to go to the pool with the Davidsons.
She got her heart's desire.
We celebrated at home on the 13th.
Then, after CC yesterday, we loaded up 4 Davidson's in our car (double buckling 2 sets of kids) and set off for King Soopers, sub sandwiches, chips .. and the pool at the MAC in Castle Rock.
The Himes joined us ... and Poppi got ice cream sandwiches to eat after swimming.



She was one happy girl!  It was the perfect celebration for a SIX year old.
I love you, Liberty Cate.
You are such a gift.
You're my little dumpling.
My baby.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fifty

We have booked 50 weddings for 2016 !
When we closed on the property April 1st, it came with 32 weddings.
We managed to book 10 more and got it up to 43.

Our goal for 2016 is 60 weddings ... and we are undoubtedly within reach of this goal.
We are so encouraged.
Despite the setbacks, God has provided the contacts.
Without increasing advertising, bookings are up.

This business will most certainly provide for us for years to come.
After getting our re-zone, and remodeling the school to the Double M Lodge, we will be bringing in so much profit we will all be able to get a paycheck.

I'm so very thankful for this property.
When Shawn was talking about profit-sharing, I jokingly told my family ... "I'm so thankful that Richie did the sharing so that we can get the profit." =)

I'm thankful that Steve has a life-long career.
I'm thankful he is his own boss.
I'm thankful that he can take a vacation when he chooses and he still gets paid.
I'm thankful for our beautiful house ... and for the town of Evergreen we get to call home.
I'm thankful that after years of being displaced, struggling to figure out where we should be, what we should do, what Steve's job would be ... we are now settled.
This is it.
This is our life.
This is our future.
As long as we are on this earth, we have a place to call home.
And best of all, our kids have a home, and a future, if they choose to make this their own.
What a great legacy.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Cottage

It seems that all we've done lately is work on the Cottage.
We believed the promises from John back in April that he would have it finished mid-summer ...
which turned into late fall ... which then turned into December.
Now, we have 2 brides who have paid to stay in the Cottage January 7-10.
So, with the money already in the bank, we have no more time to delay!

Steve just finished it on Christmas Eve.
I stayed up until 1am two nights decorating and cleaning.
At last, it's finished.
FiNiShEd!!!!!
I think it turned out pretty awesome!







Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A short break

With Shiloh in Challenge A this year, our Christmas break was cut short.
The schedule for A makes it so that the kids have to do 4 days of work before the community day.
So, Shiloh needed to start her work on January 1st.
Neither of us wanted to do so.
Instead, we procrastinated until today.
Tomorrow is our community day.
We are not prepared for class.  I am not ready for Christmas break to be over.

It seems that all I did this year was work over the break.
It's been a significant transition managing our own business.
It's a huge blessing, but is also a huge demand.
We had weddings on the 29th and 31st and have 2 more on the 8th and 9th.
It's good.  We are regularly giving tours and booking weddings.
In fact, we're almost up to 50 weddings for next year.
It's a good problem to have ... but also creates exhaustion.

It seems that I'm either working on the business or schooling.
Blogging has become far less frequent and I find myself playing catch up, often entering 5 or 6 posts in one sitting, even adjusting the date to align with when events took place.
Now, for example, I'm writing on January 13th, but I'm writing about the 6th and the 7th.
So, I just change the date to align.

I'd like to find greater balance between the have to's and the want to's.
The business is a have to.  Blogging and hiking is a want to.
I find that the breaks are fewer and shorter.
It's almost impossible to find time to just sit and be.
I don't mean to complain.  I just know that I have to find greater balance or it will start to have a negative impact on me.  It's already having a negative impact on our family life.
We can't figure out when to take a day off.
When we are on the property, it's very difficult to relax.
There's always something that needs to be done.
I've had to ask Steve to commit to taking one day a week off to be with us.
Unfortunately, we haven't found a routine there yet.

Ready or not, the next semester is beginning ... and I have to give it my all.
I know I cannot do it in my own strength.
There but for the grace of God go I.
I will go and trust that He will meet me in my weakness and exhaustion.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Unshaken

...the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made
—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, 
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 
for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:27-29

 
Unshaken faith.
     As I look forward to 2016, I pray that my faith may be unwavering, unmovable, unshaken.
     I want an unshaken faith that will inspire influence, and impact those around me.

Unshaken faithfulness.
     To my marriage - working through our differences and conflicts, and growing in our love.
     To my family - and my resolve to control my frustration and anger, and grow in patience and kindness.

Unshaken conviction.
     For the least of these - those who live in hopelessness and despair, that God will use my life to make a difference in the lives of these.
     For those who live without the same conviction, that God will use my life to inspire them to find a deeper conviction to their faith and their Father.

Unshaken resolve.
     To personal growth and development, that I may not continue in my sin, but find strength through the power of the Spirit to make godly choices.
     To keeping my eyes wide open, to things of the Spirit, and the needs of those around me.

Unshaken.
     May my life be unshaken, as an act of acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, to my Father, the King of the universe, who has a kingdom that cannot be shaken.  It's because of Him and His kingdom that I can find my grounding and remain unshaken.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Year in Review

2016.
I am certain that 2015 went faster than other years.
The wedding business created more busyness, causing the days to simply evaporate.
So, I want to stop and reflect on all that has happened in the last 12 months.
It was a great year, with much change.

The year opened with us being in the thick of negotiations on the Evergreen property.
With those negotiations came much spiritual warfare.
We had some super hard things going on all around us ...
cars breaking down
trailer being confiscated
fireplace installation issues

and with all of these issues, money was involved.
It was expensive to fix everything that was breaking around us.
But God was doing much behind the scenes, we just had to keep on trusting.
I was reading the Circle Maker at the time, so I just kept on praying
and hoping
and believing
that God was about to do something huge.

Here's a small glimpse into 2015 in the Stucky home.

January
Liberty Cate turned 5.
Applying to banks to acquire a loan to buy Evergreen.



February
We celebrated birthdays.  Mom turned 60, I turned 44, Shawnie turned 43, on March 1st, Steve turned
45.
We filled the days with Awana, CC, ice skating, and even climbing stairs at the incline.
We also took a couple trips to Evergreen to meet with Christina and the realtors to continue negotiations.




March
Other than Awana games, March was a quiet month.
Final negotiations, pushing out the closing date to get everything in order.

April
April was a super busy month.
April Fools Day - closing day !!!!!
Easter
Faces of History
Putting our Castle Rock house on the market
Memory Masters
End of the year party for CC
Not to mention starting the remodel of the Cottage






May
Sawyer turned 7
Choir concert
Mother's Day
Packing & moving
Baseball




June
Evergreen open house
Shiloh turned 12
Unpacking & the start of wedding season
Shiloh got her hair cut
Swim lessons & the skate park
Steve quit his job at MSI to work full time on the property





July
Fireworks in Georgetown
Baseball
VBS
More weddings



August
Elitches
We bought a pop-up camper
Road trip to Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska
... YWAM's 30th, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Little House
We celebrated our 17th anniversary in Lakeside
Still more weddings












September
Start school - Shiloh started Challenge A!
Landon turned 11
Weddings, weddings, weddings
4th annual Passion for Orphans retreat in Beaver Creek




October
Harvest gatherings & Halloween
Still more weddings
Continued remodeling
School
First snow



November
Still more remodeling
Mavuno Market craft shows
CC kids craft show
Winter Park
Christmas tree cutting on our own property!
Lots of snow!
Thanksgiving with the Stuckys





December
Firewood gathering
Red Barn events
Christmas activities
More remodeling ... and finishing the Cottage on December 24th
Our first white Christmas in Evergreen!