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Monday, December 24, 2012

Our 2012 Family Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Jones! Its that time of year when we want to look back at all that has happened this year, and be thankful for the gift of life we receive each and every day. This year has had its abundance of life sized challenges but we are still here and there are many who have helped along the way. As we look back on this year, we have seen the results of what it means to feed your faith and not your fears. When we don't know all of the answers, we still have a lot of...
This morning a package arrived from the North Pole and Lincoln and Emma can't wait to open it. I feel like the Grinch telling them they have to wait, but Lincoln usually has a way of making me give in. How could anyone resist with a smile like this.
Lincoln is doing as well as can be expected with his treatment this year. We have taken him more places this year and he got to see all of his cousins on Thanksgiving. If I had to ask for a Christmas miracle for Lincoln this year, it would be that he could stay as far away from the hospital as possible. He spent the 4th of July in the hospital when he was diagnosed in 2011 and also ended up there this year with a high fever and infection. Since then nothing other than a normal ear infection has kept him from feeling like the little cancer warrior that he is. He still has two more years until he is declared Cured, but the prayers of over 1500 people on his facebook page will get him there. http://www.facebook.com/prayingforlincoln
Emma is getting taller, smarter and more beautiful each day. She is doing good in school and still loves to come home and search for frogs outside after school. One of the highlights of her year was when we went to the Butterfly Farm which is like a green house full of plants and butterflies flying around everywhere. She also has a facebook page where you can see some of her favorite things @ http://www.facebook.com/EmmaAJones0812
People often ask me if I am busy at work since its feast or famine in construction. The funny thing is, I have been out of work for nearly 6 weeks this year. January is always slow and I work 3-4 days a week, then in July I had a few days off to go to the hospital with Lincoln. Later in October we went on vacation which ended up being a full two weeks and now I am off for the rest of this year. When people ask if I am busy I tell them I average 57 hours a week which at this point has added up to 2000 regular hours and nearly 500 overtime hours! When I am done with my days outside I spend more time doing what I love, spending time with my family and speaking up to silence cancer.
Jenny is just as busy if not more when it comes to being a mom with a child going through a cancer treatment. Driving up the the hospital at least once a week and keeping Lincoln on track is one of the many challenges I am thankful that she is willing to take on. She has had many friends step up to support her this year even in the middle of their own busy lives. 
2012 has been a lot like 2011 and even 2010 in some unexpected life altering events. In less than 3 years we have lost 3 of our immediate family members, grandma Shirley early in 2010 and my nephew Conner a few months later from cystic fibrosis. 2011 surprised us with Lincoln's diagnosis and after a year of treatment 2 other family members were diagnosed with cancer. Finally in October 2012, during Lincoln's Make a Wish trip, his papa Bob passed away while with us, after the first night of our trip. After my grandma, I knew the next 10 years would see fewer relatives each Christmas, but never would we have expected to be without Jenny's dad this Christmas. It was a difficult loss and always will be but we knew his mission on earth was complete and all of those he inspired over the last 40 years will continue through us. 
Sometimes I wonder what our lives would be like if we had not taken the road less traveled. We are on a journey that is never easy but where we will always find light guiding us. While the world is becoming more and more darkened around us we keep hope alive because God never breaks his promise. We believe that we have a purpose to fulfill and we believe that time is on our side as God wills it, but as we realize how fragile life can be, we still wish that we can hold onto what we have for as long as we can.
For those of us who have loved and lost this year, even those children that we have never met,  I want you to remember that God gave his own Son, to a man and a woman to love and raise him as their own child, but who knew that he would give the greatest sacrifice known to man, laying down his life for the freedom of others. This is nothing less that the True Meaning of Christmas.

I wish I could share so much more but take some time this week and catch up on my blog posts from this year to see all that has happened.
Also special thanks to Julie Mullins and her family, Tonya Miller and Lisa Boyd who independently raised hundreds of dollars to help in Lincoln's medical expenses. Thanks to all of you who donated time and money to help our family this year.

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