2006 has truly been a year in which we have been reminded to celebrate life!
We were blessed with a new niece and nephew in May, born days apart, Georgia Grace and Wesley Everett. They've grown so fast and are at that fun stage now, keeping us entertained with their many smiles and laughs.
On September 12, Aaron's Uncle Jimmy (his mom's brother), was in a horrific head-on motorcycle accident. He sustained extremely serious injuries, including rib, arm, wrist, pelvic, and leg fractures, as well as internal injuries and resulting bleeding. This caused complications with his kidneys, bladder, colon, stomach, and liver. The doctors gave him no chance, as they had never seen anyone with his injuries come in and survive, but the family prayed for a miracle. And we've been watching one unfold ever since. He is still here, and has made significant progess towards recovery!
Our own challenge this year has been Aaron's wrist, which he broke in November 2005 while dirt-bike riding. He had a cast on for over 3 months, just getting it off in mid-November. Now he has a brace to wear indefinitely, as it still hasn't healed at all since his surgery in October when they put a screw in and did a bone graft. Aaron has continued to work all this time, but house projects have been tough (although we redid the back fence the day after he got the cast off) and we've missed several dirt-bike trips to Yerington.
I'm still working at the Center for Youth Citizenship, for almost 3 1/2 years now. Along with coordinating Free to Learn, a character education pilot project for elementary schools, I continue to design marketing materials for the office and maintain the website at www.youthcitizenship.org. I also got to go on my first business trip, attending a conference in DC in October. The last night there, I took a twilight bus tour and got to see the new World War II Memorial and FDR Memorial. Aaron's family's business, R&M Electric, continues to stay very busy. Aaron has also enjoyed going on several ride-alongs in Galt and Stockton with buddies that work for the police department.
Aaron and I love our home church, Horizon. I'm still teaching 4s & 5s sunday school with my mom. I also started working with the high school kids, co-leading a small group for Jr. & Sr. girls. Aaron has been so faithful to the high school group, now co-leading the Jr. & Sr. guys small group and always helping out on regular group nights and at sunday school. We continue to enjoy our couples Bible study as well, which currently has three couples expecting, one with twins! We started a leadership/discipleship class in September that meets weekly until May. It's called the Journey and you learn a lot about yourself and your relationship with Christ.
In August, we took a vacation and went to Tennessee and Arkansas. Aaron has been a lifelong fan of country music, so we went to Nashville and saw the historic Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland Hotel, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, and a full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon. Then we drove to Memphis and visited Graceland (which Aaron loved!), walked around Beale Street, saw Sun Records where Elvis & Johnny Cash recorded, ate an anniversary dinner at Texas dae Brazil (an experience in itself) and took a sightseeing cruise down the Mississippi. From Memphis, we drove into Arkansas, stopping in Marked Tree, the town that Aaron's paternal grandfather grew up in. Then we visited old family friends of Aaron's in Paragould for a couple days. We made our way back to Nashville along the northern edge of the state, stopping in Paris and Fort Donelson (a civil war site). We ended our trip visiting the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home) before flying home. It was neat to be in a totally different part of the country and experience different weather, scenery, accents, and lots of good food (mmmm...fried okra).
To see pictures from the past year, visit Christina's website at croper.keepandshare.com or Aaron's website at aaronroper.keepandshare.com.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Aaron and Christina