Hoffman/Ladwig Family (Easter 2008)

Hoffman/Ladwig Family (Easter 2008)
Christopher (14), Jay, Hannah (2 1/2), Linda, Lily (1 1/2), Ian (16), Delaney (8), Renson (11)

Friday, February 15, 2008

2007 Recap

As I try to catch up on this blog to get things up to date...I find that I need to combine some things to move things along! The following is an excerpt from our family Christmas letter for 2007.

January 1st, Jay and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We both agreed that it felt like it had been longer than that because we already had 6 children! The weekend of our anniversary, we ended up taking our 3 1/2 month old, Lily to the urgent care in Marshfield. She had been running a very high temp. with no other symptoms for a good week. They ran some tests and found out she had a urinary tract infection. Because she was so young, they decided that instead of just sending her home with an antibiotic that they should hospitalize her overnight for observation and IV antibiotics to help give her a quicker start to recovery. So, Jay took Hannah home and I stayed at the hospital with Lily overnight. The staff were all very nice to deal with and took very good care of Lily. They all loved having a tiny baby to take care of. (Jay likes to joke that I did get to go away for our anniversary, it just wasn’t what we had expected at the time!) Lily was allowed to leave the next day with a recommendation that she be tested for kidney reflux soon to help identify the reason she got the infection. So, in March, we did have her tested and the test showed reflux to her right kidney. That meant that we needed to check her again in a few months and then yearly for a while to make sure she grew out of it or worse, have her go through surgery to repair it. Thankfully when she had her follow-up testing last week, she passed with flying colors! No more reflux! So something that started our year out a little scary, finished it up with a praise to the Lord for taking care of us once again!

We also had Lily's Dedication in January. Jay's sister Gerriann and her husband Kurt served as sponsors for Lily. The only bad thing was that day was the beginning of the flu in our family and it lasted for about a week. So, we called her dedication service "the drive-thru dedication."
In April, Jay and I along with a couple of our friends, were blessed to be able to see Selah in concert in Wausau. Their music is such a blessing to the Lord and it was for us too! If you ever get a chance to see them...do it!
In May, Jay and I along with my Mom, Ian, Christopher, Hannah and Lily all took a trip westward. It was so much fun! The trips goal was to end up out in Hazen, ND where my brother David and his family live to celebrate our niece Sarah’s graduation from high school. On the way there we took our time and stopped in Plymouth, MN to visit with my sister Brenda and her family overnight. The next day we continued on to Fergus Falls, MN to visit with my good friend Maija Hanson and her family. She and her husband graciously opened their home to us for 2 nights as we visited with other family and friends in the area. It was so good to be in my home area for a couple days and see so many people I have been missing for too long! We left Fergus on Saturday morning and stopped in Fargo to meet up with my good friend Colleen for lunch. I hadn’t seen her for so long...it was a short visit but very nice. We finally arrived in Beulah, ND (just southwest of Hazen) and checked into our hotel for the weekend. We had a great time visiting with my brother and his family. We also were able to catch up with my cousin Danny and 2 of his girls, Cody and Stephanie, who somehow are now all grown up into young women! What fun it was visiting with them and catching up on what’s going on in their lives now. On our way home we stopped in Jamestown at the Buffalo Museum. It made for a nice distraction from the fact that we drove the entire 12-13 hours home that day! We were exhausted when we returned home, but all agreed that it was a good trip.
In June, Jay, the babies and I went to Dubuque, Iowa for the 4 State Dairy Conference. We stayed at a hotel with the smallest hot tub I have ever seen in my whole life! I think our bathtub here is bigger than it was! While Jay was at the conference during the day, the girls and I took walks around the area and did some shopping. In the evening, we took a drive out to Dyersville to the movie site of “The Field of Dreams.” We walked around the bases, pretended to play catch and watched Hannah run around on the grass and Lily crawl around. It was fun reading about the process of getting things ready for the movie and all the history behind it. On the way home from the conference we stopped in Madison and had lunch with Jay’s brother Richard who lives in the area. It was fun getting away for a few days.
June and July were also busy with running the boys out to Milan, WI to play softball in the Milan Little and Junior
Leagues. This year Ian’s team came in 1st in the Junior League and both Christopher and Renson’s teams came in 3rd in their respective Leagues. Delaney is anxiously awaiting the time when she will be old enough to play (next summer!).
In July we traveled once again to Prairie Farm, WI for the Score family gathering for the 4th of July. It’s always fun to get together with family to catch up. Later on that month we went to Ridgeland, WI for my Uncle Paul and Aunt Marilyn’s 50th anniversary party. (The next day was the 50th anniversary celebration of my Uncle Severt and Aunt Bea in St. Cloud, MN) We had a wonderful time visiting with relatives I hadn’t seen for a very long time or had never seen! We definitely need to attempt to get together more often!
The end of August we started a family tradition that we hope to continue for many years to come. We spent 4 days at Camp Forest Springs in Westboro, WI for family camp (www.campforestsprings.org). Jay will tell you that I drug him there kicking and screaming, but within the first day, he was very glad that we had gone. The kids all had a wonderful time as did we. We met some wonderful people and learned a lot about “Visionary Parenting” from the speaker that we had during camp. On our second to last day there we had a terrible wind and rain storm go through and had to all congregate in the main buildings. I think that was one of the most exciting times for the kids...running through the rain to get to the building, what an adventure!
The weekend of November 2-4, Jay and I returned to Camp Forest Springs in Westboro, WI to attend our first of many “couples retreats.” We had a wonderful time with each other and the other couples that we met that weekend. This was the first time the two of us had been away alone since we had Hannah in 2005! We will definitely be doing that again. While we were there, besides the wonderful sessions we attended, we worked together using a crosscut saw to cut through a tree. (Check out the photo down below in our Photo Gallery)We found out later that the tree that we were cutting was part of one of the trees that had been uprooted during the storm in August while we were at family camp with the kids! When we told the kids about that, they thought it was “cool!”
All in all this year has been a continuing proof to us that we have been blessed to be living the lives that God has given us. I have found myself singing the hymn, “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Jay and I pray that as we begin a new year in a few short weeks that we will all be willing to add to our prayers the phrase…”if God wills it” and then allow ourselves to trust and obey that God’s plan for us is always right. May God truly bless you all this coming year 2008!

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