Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Braun Times - 2009 Newsletter

2009 is coming to a close and I think we Brauns are ready for a new year. With many challenges under our belts, we have come to realize that God truly knows what we can handle way more than we do.

The year began with the loss of Robin’s father, Harold. We are still trying to get used to the idea of not being able to just call him up and chat or stop by for a visit. His godly wisdom is something that we miss everyday, but still cherish .

While coping with the loss of Harold, we found ourselves trying to figure out how to keep his beloved home in the family. Faraway Hills, as he liked to call it, is a place that he always dreamed of passing on to his son and keeping the Braun heritage alive. Things don’t always work out like we plan, but in the end, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we blessed Harold by keeping the property in the family.

2009 also meant we received an education in strokes since Robin’s mom, Beverly, suffered one in October. We never thought twice about how a stroke can affect the victim’s everyday life or the loved ones involved until now. We are blessed to know that God has complete control over this situation and that Bevie is a true fighter. She is making progress every day. Praise God!

Shortly after Bevie’s stroke, we learned that my mother, Judi, had passed away unexpectedly. “Devastated” is the word that first comes to mind, but relief also in knowing that she, too, like Harold, is with her Savior, Christ Jesus. There isn’t a day that goes by, where one of us doesn’t say we miss them. But we are so grateful to have had the time we had with them.

After all this loss and hardship, one might think, “did anything good happen this year?” YES! We were able to spend many wonderful and cherished days with family in Wisconsin and Washington. We are SO blessed to have the friends and family that we do have. Loosing two of them is a big reminder of how we are to make the most of each and everyday we have together.

Other highlights this year: The sale of Cascade Business Park—which means one less plate spinning in the air. Also, we made the move out of the Seattle office—and that means Robin is home with his family each and every night! ...and even some during the day when he works out of the home. Home-schooling the kids has been great for our family (going on 3 years now), and I don’t think we could imagine it any other way.

Yes, this has been quite a year, but it is bittersweet with love, blessings, and faith!

Savanna's Scoop

This year I started new curriculum in school, and it is computer based. I am in sixth grade. We live in Bellingham, Washington and Shawano, Wisconsin, and we have classrooms in each place. Everything pretty much works out fine.

I turned 12 this year, and spent my birthday in Spokane with my Granny (Bevie), who was in the hospital and came home on my birthday. It was the best birthday present ever!

Also, we spent July 4th in our motorhome. We went to Priest Lake and watched fireworks over the water. I enjoyed the kayak so much that I think I counted 13 times that I went in it. I also liked Daddy’s birthday, which was 2 days later. We made a cool cake in the shape of the American flag topped with whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries. Daddy said it was the best cake ever...and he doesn’t even like sweets!

Lydia's Year

One of my favorite parts of this year was going to my cousin Kristen’s wedding in Wisconsin. I love to get dressed up and dance. I also liked being in Spokane to see my Granny and Ganddaddy, Grandpa Jesse, Grandma Bonnie, my cousin Keaton and Uncle Jody. My sister’s birthday was fun. She had a cupcake cake.

In school, I am learning math, reading, and even a little Spanish from my sister. I like being homeschooled because I get to see my whole family all day when I’m doing my school work.

I also like to be at our house in Wisconsin because we can go down to the lake and our dog, Blitz, can run and run. I also like being able to visit all of our family and friends there.

My brother, Robbie, is funny and cute when he’s asleep. That’s when I like him the best, not when he’s so rough and tough.

Life With Robbie

This year I turned 3, but I like to tell people I’m 4 just so my mommy can put her hands on her hips and shake her head, “no”. My favorite things are Spider Man, Thomas the Tank Engine, and riding on the ATV with my daddy, because “we’re dudes!” I like to run and jump and for some reason, every time I see a mud puddle, my shoes just seem to leap into it. I don’t mean to make a mess, I just LOVE jumping!

My sister, “Lala”, taught me how to use the computer this year. I’m learning neat things on it like ABC’s, 132’s, and music. My other sister, “Disder” (Savanna) plays cars with me a lot. We also have fun running around outside, pretending to be animals.

May God bless you all this holiday season and throughout 2010!

Robin Braun—Editor in Chief
Jamé Braun—Senior News Correspondent
Savanna Braun—Contributor
Lydia Braun—Contributor
Nathaniel “Robbie” Braun—Contributor