Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas 2011

“Christmastime is here, happiness and cheer, fun for all that children call, their favorite time of the year”…

Dear Friends and Family,

I cannot get Charlie Brown Christmas music out of my head for anything these last few days. I know that’s important for you to know, going into this letter, so that’s why I’ve told you. Don’t you feel better now? I do.
So what is new with us? I have a feeling this letter may be a little dull. It’s been a pretty uneventful year for us (good and bad!). As you may recall from last year’s letter, we moved back to Missouri in early December of 2010. We started up Health for Life in earnest at that time and have had our ups and downs since then. As always, God has provided for us through it all, but starting a new business is always difficult and starting one in this kind of economy is possibly a little bit insane! But you do what you have to do right? And as I said, God provides, and we’ve never been left in need.

Probably the best, most exciting news for us this year was when David finished his doctoral dissertation! This was back in March, and he is now officially Dr. David Rostollan (most of his clients call him “Dr. David” as “Rostollan” is a bit intimidating)! I think he plans on eventually publishing his dissertation which I would love for him to do. Most recently David has been working on a new website for the business that is geared more towards supplement sales as the first website wasn’t really designed for that. It was a huge undertaking but the site looks great now! Earlier this year he also got involved with The Poppy Seed and consults with clients there every Wednesday and Friday (or at least is available on those days; work is slow and he doesn’t always have appointments). Rhonda, the store manager, has been a huge blessing to us, handing out our business cards like they’re candy and encouraging her customers to give David a call. I’m honestly not sure we’d have made it financially this year without her tireless “advertising”. Work for us has been slow at The Poppy Seed, just like at our home office, but even being slower than we had originally hoped, it’s still been a huge benefit to us, and we are thankful for both it and Rhonda and Linda (the owner).
I closed down my old Etsy.com shop and opened a new one “Good Nosh“. Unlike my past attempts this one is actually working. I sell health-friendly baked goods. Grain-free, sugar-free (and sometimes other-thing-free), muffins, cookies, and the like. I opened the shop at the end of March after much encouragement from my husband and mother and have had 63 sales thus far, and several repeat customers. It can be hard work, but it is rewarding when my customers write telling me that they liked their cookies or muffins better than any other gluten-free baked goods they’ve found in any of the gluten-free bakeries in New York City! I also did a lot of gardening this spring and summer, which kept me occupied. David helped me immensely getting set up. In spite of the drought and pests, God blessed our efforts and our harvest was decent. I did a lot of hand-picking pests to protect our crops, but never did get brave enough to grab tomato hornworms bare-handed.
For David’s graduation my parents paid for a trip down to Texas for us (along with something else that I can’t remember!). Obviously a win-win gift for them, since they not only gave him a gift, but got to see us for two whole weeks! It was a lot of fun to take a break from the stress of trying to get a new business going and just relax by the pool again, and of course, see my parents, older sister and her family, and my best friend Brandi and her husband. After nearly four years of marriage (seriously, four this May! Whaaaaa?!) I think we can safely say that these trips will be regular for us as often as the good Lord allows them!
In August we got a puppy! She was nine weeks old at the time and weighed around 4lbs. She’s now coming up on 6 months old and has more than doubled her weight at 9lbs. We named her Miso, at my sister’s suggestion, and have had a lot of fun (and a fair bit of frustration!) training her. She’s mostly obedient now and fully housebroken, which was the most important thing to me! She still has a lot to learn, but she’s making great progress. She also barely sheds which was extremely important for us. I don’t like animal hair floating around the house getting into food and such. Yuck! Plus we had to consider our clients and their allergies.
So overall a very uneventful year for us! Hopefully next year will be a little more exciting to write about. ;)