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“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle – August 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

2011 has been the year of years for the Goinses.  Jeff had a feeling it would be the year of changes, and boy was it ever.

In November of 2010, you may recall that Ashley changed jobs at Provident.  After working in Accounting for three years, she moved to Mainstream and International Sales.  This has been a challanging, fun and very busy change for Ashley, and she very much enjoys all the different projects and people (including those all over the world) that she gets to work with on any given day.

In January 2011, it was Jeff’s turn to change jobs.  After working as the Director of Marketing for over several years at AIM, he moved on to a department called Kingdom Dreams.  He is currently the interim Director of Kingdom Dreams, helping to build and shape a department that’s goal is to to help people figure out what’s next and pursue their dreams after coming back from a mission trip.  Jeff very much enjoys creating new things, so being a part of something new like this and also helping people chase their dreams are both very exciting things for him.

house

First Home – June 15, 2011

Then April caught us by surprise as we started looking at houses.  Our plan was to look in the summer so a move would be timed right with the end of our apartment lease.  But we’d been watching the market for about a year, keeping our eyes on what was available and where, and this almost-too-good-to-be-true house showed up in an amazing location so close to Downtown Franklin under our budget.  What started out as a “let’s go look and see, just so we can put our mind to ease once we see what’s wrong with the place” ended up being a day of falling in love for the both of us.  We spent the next two weeks looking at every house that was even a remote possibility and realized very quickly that what we had stumbled upon was quite a gem.  We ended up making an offer at the beginning of May and closing on June 15th.  We spent the next month painting (thank you to our amazing friends who helped!) and moving and have called this place home since July 1st, 2011.  We cannot believe the blessing that was afforded to us.

Cooney30th1 30th Anniversary Reception3

Pat and Pam’s 30th Wedding Anniversary Reception

May brought Ashley’s parents’ SURPRISE 30th Wedding Anniversary!  The four of us (Ashley’s brother and wife plus us two) had been conspiring over the past several months to do something grand, inviting family and friends from all over that have shared this journey with them over the years, and it was so fun to see it come together and to celebrate them.  A fun time was had by all, and it was a great time of remembering, celebrating and catching up.  Congrats to Pat and Pam on 30 years!!!!

Marissa's Graduation Marissa's Graduation2

Marissa’s High School Graduation

May also took us to Alabama for Jeff’s youngest sister’s high school graduation. It’s hard to believe that another Goins is off to college. Congrats to Marissa!

Cliffs of Moher Giant's Causeway

Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway

For a long time it seemed we’d at least been talking with Ashley’s family about making a big family trip to The Motherland… a.k.a Ireland.  Ashley’s parents had gone with her dad’s sisters in 2009 and wanted to go over as a family ever since.  So we were quite excited when August finally arrived, especially Ashley who, other than a month in Mexico and a Port of Call in Jamaica, barely had any international travel under her belt.  The six of us spent 10 days driving all over Northern Ireland and Ireland taking in most of the places you associate with Ireland.  It is as beautiful as it looks… and that’s because it rains so much.  Which it did.  But it was amazing.  Jeff’s favorite town was a small fishing town called Dingle.  Ashley loved that the sun didn’t set until after 9:00 each night and that every single town we drove through, no matter how big or small, had a main street full of colorful doors, beautiful flowers and shops.

Lyric's 2nd Birthday2 Lyric's 2nd Birthday

Lyric’s 2nd Birthday

Then in September we become one of “those couples” who threw an adoption day/birthday party for their dog.  But we’d do it all over again.  Lyric has been such a joy to have this past year, and it is really hard to believe that it has been that long already.  He was thrilled with the ice cream and all the dogs that came to play, but he didn’t seem to be a fan of the hat or the balloons.

Jeff signs book contract

Jeff signs 1st book contract!

In October, one of Jeff’s dreams came true.  Jeff signed a book deal with a major publisher!  This was beyond exciting, and we are thrilled that in such a short time, the dream will be fully realized.  Be looking for his name on a book on bookshelves in bookstores around SEPTEMBER 2012!!!!!!!

The end of October also brought us the incredible news that our family would be growing very soon!  It’s crazy to think that in just six short months Baby Goins will be here.  Look out world!!

Then came the start of the holiday season.  We waited until Thanksgiving to tell our families, so we could tell them in person and do so in what he hoped would be a fun and memorable way.  We were relieved to finally have a few people to talk to about it with, because keeping a secret like that for a whole month was much harder than we ever expected!

Robin's Graduation

Robin’s Graduation

And now here we are today.  This December is shaping up to be a crazy busy time to be filled with some wonderful time with friends and family.  Last weekend we headed to Alabama to attend Jeff’s Mom’s college graduation!  What an awesome achievement – congrats Robin!!  We’ve also had the pleasure of hanging out with most of our old church at a wonderful Christmas party in the beginning of December.  Oh how we miss fellowshipping regularly with those people!  And then we finally announced it to our friends and the whole world that we’d be a family of four (can’t forget about Lyric!) in June.  It has been great to finally freely talk about Baby Goins and to have so many share in our joy.  Thank you to each of you for being a part of our life and for sharing in our excitement.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

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