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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Family Christmas NewsLetter 2011

Big Family EventsWe bought an RV and drove to Nauvoo, many church history sites and Utah! An amazing whirlwind adventure!  While in Utah we saw many family members (yea!) and we watched Brooks perform in three shows in the Utah Festival of Opera in Logan. For Thanksgiving we also took a shorter RV trip up to Michigan and saw many wonderful family members and visited some good friends, the Fredenberg's, on their new farm! 

We also signed up the children for a weekly homeschooling “Fun & Fitness” class this Fall. Through this class we made some good friends, the Metzger's, who inspired us to join them in ministering as a family to abortion-minded women one morning each week on the sidewalk in front of the busiest clinic in Charlotte.  The scriptures have literally come to life for us as we witness good vs. evil first hand. And the joy has been inexpressible!  We have learned that we don’t need to wait till our children are grown to make a real difference in the community and that countless souls need to see people “standing for truth & righteousness”. Most of these women just need Christ-like love, support and true inspiration to face their trials and keep God’s commandments. Your perspective on what really matters opens up as you listen to the challenges they are up against. But we know that ALL things are possible as we put our complete faith and trust in an ALL powerful God!

Jason: 1½ yrs, He’s as sweet as pie and as busy as a bee! What a blessing he is in our home as he is so full of joy! He gets lots of attention for his red hair and chubby cheeks and he just loves people! He is a happy camper whenever we have families with other babies or young children over to our home for a visit or when we are out and about town (unless it’s nap-time of course.)  Seems to have a natural affinity towards music…hmmm...This could be interesting again. :-)

Andrew: 3½ yrs. He has accepted Jason surprisingly well as they are usually the best of buds.  Andrew’s trial can be to share his beloved CARS with anyone at times.  We’ve decided he is going to be some type of engineer in the future as we have never had a son so obsessed with every sort of moving vehicle!  He is a real sweet-heart and likes frequently say to his mom, "You're cute." :-)

Michael:  6 yrs. Growing taller every day. Enthusiastic and bright. Loves to wrestle with his smaller brothers, play sports, math games and is a budding artist.   He loves his primary teachers and for anyone to read him stories, especially scripture stories. 

Kathryn:  7½ yrs. Our beautiful, wavy haired, strawberry blonde girl.  She is very kind and generous! Her favorite thing to do is to draw & color horses, sunsets, houses and all animals! She also loves to play math games and play with her friends.  A joy to be around!

Spencer:  9½ yrs.  Science is his favorite school subject.  He loves to play ultimate Frisbee and basketball. He is now the “man of the house” much of time with Brooks off to college.  A good hard worker and is mature in many ways for his age. He also enjoys riding our four-wheeler (with Dad or an older sibling), playing with (leading) his brothers, sister and friends and listening to audio books.

Julianna:  12 yrs. Her favorite school subject is history. An amazing nature photographer, home decorator and student!  Enjoys baking goodies for the family and is extremely helpful with the younger children. We’re always impressed with her diligence and hard work. She recently became an “official” young woman and is enjoying making new friends in her Beehive class.

Angela: 14 yrs. A real peacemaker in our home. She loves the gospel and is a great example of Christ-like behavior.  She discovered the novel “Jane Eyre” this year, among MANY other good books. To say she is VERY smart and an extremely diligent student would be an understatement! She also loves to sing and her favorite thing to study each school day is new vocabulary words (Wordsmart)!

Alisha:  15 ¾ yrs. Is a very loving big sister to our little ones.  She diligently reads stories to baby-brother, Jason in her free-time. She has had a busy and challenging year thus far with early-morning-seminary, on-line (live) AP Biology, English, History, Math and ACT Prep., in addition to our weekly fitness class & community service. Whew, she is busy! She is also a great chauffer for Mom with her learner’s permit and will have her full license in February! Yea! 

Brooks: 18 yrs. Has been truly missed while off to school on a vocal music scholarship at Utah State University! After singing for keynote speaker Michael Ballam at our annual LDSEHE conference last Spring Brooks was offered a Spring/Summer apprenticeship in his professional opera co.! He performed side by side with post-graduate Julliard vocalist (plus other top music schools around the country.) He is also busy preparing for his 2 yr. church mission next September & we think he will be a wonderful missionary.  Brooks will begin BYUI Winter term as a music composition major (vs. vocal). We think he got more than his fair share of talents!

Kristine: 20 yrs. Has met her “sweet-heart”, Kirk Perry, and where else but BYU! :-) They will marry in the Salt Lake Temple this April 27th. We rejoice that they have met and will build a life together! Kristine is currently a Jr. majoring in Family Sciences at BYU and loves working in BYU’s Math dept. Kirk has a few years of schooling ahead but they are both humble enough to be poor, married students for a while! 

Karolyn:  Is a blessed woman and works hard to keep track of ALL her blessings!  She had the opportunity to speak at the LDS Eastern Home Educator’s Conference in Virginia last Spring and will do the same this year, just two weeks after Kristine’s wedding.  She’s discovered that “writing” is a great nurturing & creative outlet for her personally, though has yet to find time for it. :-) She thanks the Lord for her very full life and for His tender, watchful care over her family.

Tony: “Busy as a man can be, he’s our bishop!” :-) Will life ever slow down for him? We kind of doubt it, but all is good as long as he gets an occasional nap. He still works for the same co. with frequent trips to NYC & Philadelphia. He is grateful to have employment during these challenging times and thankful to the Lord for His many mercies. Serving as bishop has helped him understand at a deeper level how involved and interested the Lord is in each person’s life.

We pray you and your family had a Christ-filled Christmas and that your new year is bright!

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