Greetings Friends & Family-
Merry Christmas! We hope you have had a great year and are looking forward to 2020. We know that we are looking forward to a new year that will include some big changes for us.
It’s been another full and exciting year for the Carlson family. As always, some ups, downs and a lot of life that ranges from the quiet to the full and the ordinary to the extraordinary. Our kids are growing up far too fast with the last year of middle school on the horizon for one and driving soon for another. We love our amazing family and while we have had some challenges in the fall, we also have had a really fun year together as well.
This year we spent Spring Break in Florida at Vero Beach and Hilton Head at the Disney Resorts. We had a family vacation to Disney World in October for fall break that was amazing. Disney and Star Wars are shared family favorites! Marcus and Jessica also had a nice trip in the summer during his sabbatical to Kentucky for a self designed Bourbon tasting tour! We did enjoy a nice summer together as Marcus was on sabbatical/vacation for nine weeks. This included some trips, time at home and a lot of work on our home and property.
Marcus continues to enjoy his buffet of life and activities at home, work and the community. The big life change for us as a family is that Marcus has decided to leave his Senior Pastor position. His last official day is January 15. There were some challenges after sabbatical and he decided it was in the best interest of our family as well as his health that he move on. He notes that God has never spoken more clearly to him on a decision, though it was a painful one. Marcus knows he is called to use his gifts in a broader fashion and will begin to do so by investing full time in this next season in a non-profit he started, Preparing for Amazement Ministries. We have included a brochure about that with our letter.
Marcus will continue the rest of his community roles besides his role as Senior Pastor. Marcus had a minor knee procedure in February, his 5th orthopedic surgery in 2 years, and will end 2019 with a procedure to correct an internal issue. We are all hoping this is the end of surgery for him. He is looking forward to getting healthier in every way after his surgery and job transition.
Jessica continues to keep busy as mom and in her work. Jessica is serving her fourth year as an instructional coach at Garrett Middle School (the same district as our kids), a teacher leadership position, and is doing a great job. She continues to teach one class a semester at the Purdue Campus in Fort Wayne and is the high ability coordinator for her school district. Jessica joined in the medical fun this summer with a severe foot/ankle sprain and a separate minor surgery but is on the mend. She loves leading Abby’s Girl Scout troop and serving on the pit crew for marching band for Micah. She also works with a suicide prevention program in the middle school and does a lot at church. She did enjoy some more time at home this summer to work on projects around our home.
Micah (14) is only an inch or two shorter than Marcus and is loving high school. It is his freshmen year and he plays trombone in the high school marching band and pep band and also participates in the Cyber Patriots (a cybersecurity club). Micah is also in Boy Scouts. This summer Micah went on a long trip with the scouts to Phimont and hiked over 100 miles. Micah also got to go to church camp and had some driving lessons out in the field. He enjoyed his first concert in Columbus, OH this fall with friends and is doing well in school. Math is his strongest subject and he is likely to finish two years of Math in the next month or two. Technology, music, art, writing and Disney are some of Micah’s favorite things. When arriving in the new Star Wars land at Walt Disney World in October for the first time, Micah said, “this is the best day of my life.”