Greetings to all our family and friends!
A humongous Thank You to all of you who sent Christmas cards our way this year! we love to see your faces and to read of your life happenings.
As we didn’t mail anything this year, we thought we’d send this e-letter your way instead.
2017 has been a year of growth, change, and transition for us.
Cyrus began the year with a missions trip to Guatemala. He and a group of seven other men served through Forever Changed International by completing various construction projects and spending time with orphan children. A few months later, Cyrus graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Corban University!! We are all very excited about this accomplishment. Shortly after, in June, Cyrus received a call to minister as Associate Pastor at Willamette Community Church in Albany, OR. He had been serving as Youth Pastor and then associate pastor at Keizer Community Church for nearly 11 years. It was with feelings of sadness as well as excitement that Cyrus began serving at WCC on August first. We were able to sell our home and buy a new home in Albany over the course of the summer. We moved in over Labor Day weekend – just in time for the kids to start school. Cyrus is thoroughly enjoying his new position at WCC and looks forward to how God will use him.
Kim also received some education this last year. In May, she completed a year long course on Biblical Counseling and is now certified through the Association of Biblical Counseling. It was a tremendous blessing for her to take this course and she looks forward to using the skills she learned to minister to women in our new church. Kim continues to be a stay at home mom, but also enjoys volunteering in the kids’ school and staying involved in church activities such as Bible studies and the mom’s group. We also began hosting a community group in our home. Kim continues to blog here at kimrettmann.com in hopes of encouraging others in this walk of faith. Cyrus and Kim have also had the privilege of offering pre-marital counseling to engaged couples throughout the year.
Ruth is in 5th grade this year! It’s hard to believe that we almost have a middle-schooler! Ruth, Lydia, Charis, and Caleb all were able to get into a dual language school here in Albany. We are very thankful they are able to continue in this course of study. Their Spanish is improving all the time and we look forward to taking them on a missions trip to Mexico this Spring. Ruth is continuing to play the violin this year. It’s been a bit more challenging, but she is rising to the occasion. Ruth and her sisters also were able to participate in a youth track and field program this last spring. Ruth ran sprints and did the high jump. She particularly enjoyed this sport and hopes to keep on running and jumping in the future. Ruth also enjoys reading, drawing, and art.
Lydia is in 4th grade and doing very well. She transitioned between schools better than we anticipated – we are very thankful. This fall Lydia was also able to join the orchestra for the first time and she chose to play the Cello. She seems to be picking it up pretty well. In Track and Field, Lydia also enjoyed the High Jump. She ran the 400 and 800 and smiled most of the way through. She is a child who loves and needs to be in constant motion! Lydia loves math, doing head stands, and joking around.
Charis entered 2nd grade this fall. Our move was probably most difficult for her. But, we can tell she is beginning to settle in more and more as time goes by. Charis ran sprints in Track and Field in the Spring, but she especially enjoyed the Long Jump – and she did really well! Her longest jump was just shy of nine feet! She is pretty excited to keep improving in this area. Charis has also really grown to enjoy baking and cooking. She’s starting her own collection of kitchen tools and decorating supplies and has dreams of owning her own bakery someday 🙂 Because of some issues with her vision, academics have not always been her favorite thing. However, we are noticing a lot of improvement since she has been in eye therapy. We are very thankful to have caught this problem early on and to have access to helpful treatment.
Caleb started Kindergarten this year and is absolutely loving it! He is very social and most everyone he meets becomes a friend. He also loves the academic aspect of school. He catches on pretty quickly and likes to talk about what he is learning. We sometimes jokingly call him ‘the little professor.’ Caleb really enjoyed learning to swim better at grandma and grandpa’s pool this summer. In the past he has been pretty nervous around the water, but he made some great strides this year and now begs to go swimming. Caleb enjoys biking, playing at the park, and video games.
Lukas turned four in October. His is our first child to attend Pre-school. He goes Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It’s fun for him to get to be with the other kids since all his siblings are at school all day. Lukas also became a much more confident swimmer this summer – even jumping off the diving rock a few times! Lukas loves puzzles and coloring as well as scootering and just running. He’s developing quite the sense of humor and is undoubtedly the ‘baby of the family.’
Whew! If you’ve made it to the end of this letter, a round of applause to you! Thank you for loving our family!
A few thoughts before we sign off:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17
What an indescribable truth to witness and participate in – that in Him all things hold together – big and small, simple and complex, grand and personal.
We have experienced God’s loving sovereignty in 2017 – our year of change. We hope that you are able to recognize God’s hand in your past, present, and future as well.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With loads of Love,
The Rettmann Family