We enjoyed many things we love to do together, like swing dancing, traveling and working on our home. Chris put in a new porch railing that just makes our house great for porch sittin’ and relaxin’! A great place to be after working on many car projects, paint parties and after Cowboy Church on Sunday.
Traveling to Kansas City for an early 28th anniversary celebration was a highlight worth mentioning! We dressed the part and attended the annual Gatsby Swing Dance. It was a lot of fun and a great weekend together. We also took the opportunity to celebrate Christmas early at Silver Dollar City in November with the kids which was a really fun time together.
Sarah continues to run her two businesses and create new networking opportunities in our area. She has enjoyed serving her clients and solving their graphic design needs as well as fostering creativity with her paint parties with every invitation! Both businesses are celebrating 4 years this year. She loves serving at Mothering Matters where she gets her “baby fix” twice a month and gives the moms a break. She was able to travel with her parents to White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Officer’s Christian family camp. Every previous director was able to attend, including her Dad and Mom who were the first directors of the camp in 1978. This proved to be a very special memory of time spent together.
David turned 24 on Jan. 18 (now already 25 as you read this!) lives in Fayetteville, AR and is still enjoying his work at Keystone where he travels to Colorado and Wyoming to service company owned hotels and properties there. He was able to visit Sarah’s sister, Becky and family, in Colorado Springs and meet a cousin, Anna, who shares a lot of the same technical ability and skills! We love being able to see him each week that he is home and hear his accomplishments. Sadly, we said goodbye to David’s dog, Spike, in July.
Abby turned 20 in February (now 21!) and had a lot of travel and new experiences this year! She traveled to Nebraska to see her birth family in March as well as December for the Carnes Christmas, New York City in April and worked at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. While in Branson, she was a leader in the Navigators Discipleship program in her off hours. She was also in the wedding of her brother, Chris and Jackie Thurstenson in June. Another new challenge for Abby is getting braces. She is accepting them with grace and seeing results! We are not sure how a sweet smile like that can be improved, but it apparently can! She also completed an internship at Loving Choices Pregnancy Center in Fayetteville, AR where she was given the task to give them a presence on campus by establishing the first chapter of Students for Loving Choices. In October, she and her team of compassionate young women were recognized at their yearly banquet.
Sarah’s family had more than her fair share of goodbyes at the end of this year. Her father’s sister, Kay, passed away July 6 and was released of her battle with Alzheimers. Her uncle passed away December 11 and her father passed away December 29. She and Chris traveled to Pensacola, FL to bid farewell to her Uncle Jimmie and be there for her Aunt Sandy (her father’s other sister) over the Christmas holiday. Shortly after their return, her father passes away peacefully in his sleep. David and Abby accompanied her to Kentucky to say goodbye to her dad and be there for her mother. His funeral was Jan. 4, 2019. Her mother’s cousin, Marjorie, also passed a week after Dad passed making it a very sad time for her mom. Both her aunt and mother are resilient women who are taking this new chapter in life with grace and courage.
As you can see, this year proved to be one of the most difficult years at the busiest times of the year—Christmas. It caused us to make a tough decision, but a necessary one. Due to cost and keeping the joy and peace in Christmas we will only be sending out this family letter through digital means in the future.
We cherish our friendship with you! I hope you will continue to follow our family and pray for us as we take on another year with God’s leading.
May God Bless You in 2019,
Chris, Sarah, David and Abby Thurstenson