Dear Friends and Family:
Here we are at the start of 2009, wondering what happened to 2008! Here are a few highlights from the past year in the Difino household!
Jim and Linda stayed busy with family, work, and church responsibilities. As the chairman of the deacons at Lombard Gospel Chapel, Jim spent most of the year heavily involved in our recently completed building project. During the spring and summer months, Linda’s work took her to homeschool conventions all over the U.S, and copywriting, tutoring, homeschool consulting, and babysitting enabled her to work from home during the remainder of the year. Sunday school, AWANA, music ministry, and the regular demands of homeschooling and family life kept both of us busy. But by far, the biggest highlight of our year was a summer trip to Tennessee to celebrate Linda’s folks’ 50th wedding anniversary. Mom and Dad, along with all the kids, spouses, and grandkids, spent a whole week vacationing together in the beautiful Smoky Mountains! What a wonderful time we had hiking, splashing in mountain streams, and relaxing on our big front porch overlooking the mountains!
Darcy, 21, will soon begin her final semester at Northern Illinois University. She just completed her 1st grade student-teaching assignment and had a wonderful time! She is living at home this year and has gotten quite involved in ministry and social life at the chapel. After one more semester of classes, she will graduate in May. We’re all hoping and praying that Darcy will be able to find a teaching job that will keep her close to home!!
Janna, 20, is also living at home right now while pursuing her college degree in a slightly less traditional manner. She is earning “credits by examination” and has accumulated 63 college credits in the past 14 months! She hopes to earn her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences by December of 2009! Janna also babysits regularly for a local family and is enjoying getting more involved with the college and career group at the chapel.
Nina, 18, is in her final year of high school (still homeschooled!) and is considering what the Lord might have in store for her future. She went on a youth group missions trip this summer that the Lord used to increase her interest in missions and ministry. It will be exciting to see how the Lord leads her in the days ahead. Currently, watching hockey and enjoying time spent with friends from youth group are the highlights of Nina’s life!
Jimmy, 5, will begin (officially) Kindergarten in the fall. He is already “doing school” several days each week and loves it…most of the time! His current obsession with roller coasters and fast rides keeps him screaming through the house at breakneck speed! A Christmas trip to Stormy Lake included MANY fast rides down a snowy hill on a tube! He LOVED it!
All in all, 2008 was a wonderful year spent enjoying God’s rich provision for our family. We are especially thankful to him for the friends and family that he has blessed us with!
May God richly bless you in 2009