Puddle Jump Through Life With Us - Living... Loving... Growing... washed in the love of Christ

Puddle Jump Through Life With Us - Living... Loving... Growing... washed in the love of Christ

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Monday, December 2, 2019

What a Year - Scott's 2019 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas from the Scotts!

As has been our custom since 1992, the year we were married - though now completely digital, here's our year-end Christmas letter. As we end 2019, I don't know about how your year went - and we certainly hope it went smoother than ours, but in our household, we are more than happy to see new beginnings.

...So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, or whatever beverage suits you, and sit down in your coziest chair. I'll do my best to hold your interest and not turn this letter into a bedtime story, putting you to sleep with boredom as you read. I've tried to include highlights of our year without so much detail that I put you to sleep reading. And, of course, there are always plenty of pictures - A perk of doing this online as opposed to paying for printing...

OK, here we go...

What a year this has been! Full of storms and promised rainbows and a rollercoaster of emotions in between.

I find myself looking at the calendar now every day and wondering in both devastation and awe - How did we get here? Devastation, because of all of the trauma this past year has brought. But, awe, because I'm not sure why God has sustained us and allowed us to get this far.

Our family started 2019 in grief and disbelief that we had lost Tere's mom on December 6, 2018 following a fall she took on Thanksgiving that year while preparing the meal for our extended family's gathering, something she loved to do. She loved when our family got together for the holidays, and it's really hard to march into our first full holiday season without her here with us.

As we picked ourselves back up to face life without her, our family chugged along into May. As most of you know, on May 17, John quite unexpectedly suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.... And, while he is showing remarkable improvement, his rehab and continued recovery has pretty much consumed the rest of our year. If you missed it, you can read the 6-month update for more detail.

We will be forever grateful beyond words for all of your generosity. While we were surrounded by friends and family during the initial scare, sometimes, even though she longed for some quiet and alone time throughout the ordeal, Tere finds herself to be a bit disheartened as the crowds dwindle and less people show up at his public shows than they did to support his comeback performances, and the miracle seems to become almost passe', less spectacular to everyone as the days move on and John is able to perform almost as if nothing happened...

...But, it did happen. And, we as a family are still processing it all.

Bear with us for just a moment while we peel off the wallpaper and unfold the bare truth down to the rough drywall of the structure we call our family... We promise to make the rest of the letter a bit more upbeat:

The truth is that our entire family took a big hit on finances that were already rocky at best, though John was set to have his biggest year yet, and Tere had climbed in the ranks with her writing and such. Then, May happened. We had to cancel more than 70 performances throughout the summer, and then found out along the way that some places who had John booked went ahead and wiped him off of their calendar for the entire year while they filled up their bookings for well into 2020 with other musicians that John would have filled, leaving us with additional loss. On top of that, about a third of our income that came from John's guitar teaching is now gone as well. And, Tere is just now starting to pick up a few small writing gigs again that are being stuffed into early morning hours.

If you would like to continue to help, we sure could use it but none of us are really that good at begging. So, I will simply include a few links here to make it easy on you if you feel so inclined. Hopefully by this time next year, we will be completely back on our feet and able to give back to others - GoFundMe is still ongoing - Venmo - @John-Scott-19 - Paypal - Send to Joyfulsoundsdj@juno.com.

So, if you're looking to spread some Christmas giving cheer or merely want to stop hearing us plead and beg for help for pity sake - We appreciate your kind generosity!

Moving on as promised...

We have been slowly discovering our new normal and adjusting best we can with God's grace. Gone are the years when we took a 5-week tour through Upper Michigan and Wisconsin, but we still got to take a short trip to Wisconsin again this year at the end of August/beginning of September. John had an out-of-town gig scheduled before May happened, so we decided to combine the travel with a quick trip to our favorite spot on Lake Michigan and threw in a couple bonus gigs for John to perform during his recovery which not only helped to pay for the trip but also made him and the entire family feel normal again if even for just a brief couple of days. This turned out to be an amazingly healing time where John was able to experience hope that he will still be able to do things he loves, like travel. And, we think it was actually on this trip that he began to get more words back.

So, here's a brief recap of each of us:

John - John's year got turned upsidedown on May 17 when he had his life-threatening emergency. Up until May, he was on track to having the biggest year in a long time with being a full-time musician. He had more than 360 shows scheduled for the year including several with his reunion band Souvenir. From mid-May through mid-July, we had to cancel more than 70 shows before he was able to slowly build up strength to perform again. He is currently back to performing his full schedule but has not been able to return to teaching guitar students or to talking with new clients to book weddings or parties and such. We are forever thankful that he is able to essentially conduct his own music therapy, and the rest of us are discovering just how talented he truly is.




Tere - Tere's year started with a void left from losing her mother in December of the previous year. Every time she began to pick herself back up and get on track, something seemed to knock her back down a notch or two. In Feb-Mar she was hit with the worst flu she has ever experienced. She was just about the sickest she remembers ever feeling in her life and took several weeks to regain her strength.

For Mother's Day, she put together a short tribute video honoring her mom.

She had gradually and very slowly started back gung-ho picking up the pace with writing work again when May happened. Since then, she has poured everything into John's recovery leaving her to become a chauffeur, roadie, booking agent, etc. She is slowly starting to write again for a few clients and is still selling on eBay, Poshmark, and attempting to sell some of Eliana's creations on Etsy. She is also still homeschooling Eliana and Jaléna, though they have been doing a lot more independent work as of late. During the medical emergency and following recovery, she made the tough decision to not return to the Homeschool Review Crew whom she has been writing reviews for since 2012. This was a tough and emotional decision. Though, through her work on the Crew, she has recently been asked to be an affiliate for a Christian kids finance course, Kingdom Code Kids, which she blogged with Eliana on a 27-lesson journey. She recently has also been asked to be an affiliate representative for an online coding course.



Graham - After graduation in 2018, Graham had decided to take a gap year before deciding about college or career. In the spring this year, he decided to take his basics online with the end result of transferring credits to a local university to obtain his Computer Science degree. He was on track until May hit and threw him off course a bit. He really stepped up during our crisis to minister and pray for our family not knowing at first whether or not he would essentially become the "man of the house." As things began to calm down, he is still programming and got monetized on his YouTube channel where he presents various live streams including some Sonic gaming as well as programming streams. He also maintains an online modding library called Hedgelib. In June, he made the decision to be immersed through baptism, and John had the privilege of baptizing him.


Jaléna - Jaléna is a senior this year, though she technically already has enough credits to graduate. She wants to walk with her homeschool class in May of 2020 through SCCHE, St. Charles Christian Home Educators. She is very active with Lifelight Youth Theatre, en pointe ballet, voice, Choir, church expressive worship group, and spending time with her boyfriend. This year she played Mrs. Darling and grown-up Wendy as well as performing an intense dance number as an Indian in Peter Pan and also interned for Lifelight Youth Theatre's summer camp helping with younger students and took part in a summer camp performance of Frozen. In June, she volunteered at Crestwood Christian Church's VBS, helping to lead the songs and a group of children. She is also cast as Grace Ferrell, Daddy Warbucks' secretary, in Annie for a Dec. 6 Christmas performance.

Eliana - Eliana is an 8th grade homeschooler this year. She also returned to Lifelight after taking a year off for ballet and tap dance. She's very artistic and creative and enjoys knitting, drawing, painting, and is learning to sew. She was baptized in June by John alongside Graham. It was a glorious day! In the midst of all of our catastrophic May events, Eliana has become our personal chef, cooking amazingly Pinterest-worthy healthy dishes she enjoys serving to us. She has also become a little St. Louis Blues hockey fan.





We do not know how we could have kept going without the help of our friends. So many of you rallied around us in our time of need and helped. For this, we can never thank you enough. If any of you feel more mercy and grace on us and would like to donate. There are many ways you could help.

Hope this letter finds you in good health and praising God with joy! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy - and much healthier - New Year into 2020!

For those who have asked and those who want to help us enter new beginnings, following are ways you can give! Aldi or restaurant gift cards are also much appreciated.

GoFundMe is still ongoing -

Venmo - @John-Scott-19

Paypal - Send to Joyfulsoundsdj@juno.com

John or Tere Scott - 2976 Wheatfield Farms Drive - O'Fallon, MO 63368