NOAH

I did lots of fun things this year. I played my first season of t-ball on the Cubs. I was a bumblebee in Sleeping Beauty and in Babes in Toyland as Jack be Nimble, both Artie’s Playhouse shows at Artisan Center Theater. I am having a lot of fun in Classical Conversations where my favorite subject is geography. I got two new puppies, Bonnie & Belle and I love playing on my skateboard, too…except when it is cold.

ETHAN

This year I have participated in both baseball and in productions like my brothers; but, my most favorite thing this year is joining Pack 98 Cub Scouts. I have my Bobcat Badge and I am working toward my Wolf Badge. In Cub Scouts I am making new friends, leading others in prayer and learning how to build campfires and set up tents; in fact, the whole family went on a campout for the first time together. It was great…until the temperature dropped to freezing.  I love that something I like to do brings the whole family together.

ISAAC

Mom and I went to Chicago in 2010 we went to see the Cubs play at Wrigley Stadium and ventured to the top of the John Hancock building for a magnificent view of the city. I played my seventh year of baseball and my team was undefeated until the final playoff game. This fall we began attending Classical Conversations where I am having fun with history, science and making some great new friends. I have played in the multiple productions this year. One of my favorite roles was Gavroche in Les Miserables because I got to sing and then die. Another favorite role was Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird because it was a very serious role, in a serious play, with serious characters…seriously.

BAILEY

As we snuggled under a pile of sleeping bags, blankets and any other smoky smelling pieces of material we could find, the wind shook our tent, trying to blast it away. The temperature felt as though it had dropped below freezing, and the seven members of our family, ages ranging from five to the ‘mystery age’ of our mom, tried to sleep peacefully inside our massive tent. This is my family. One of the things I love about us is that we do everything together. One of my brothers recently became a Cub Scout and we began the tradition every other scouting family is known for: camping. The short glimpse of our camping experience above is true. Though our faces were naturally blushed and wind-chapped by the end of it, I will never forget how we played ‘imaginary go-fish’, a real go-fish game with pretend cards, and how I, not exactly known to be the ‘cuddler’ in the family, was squished in the middle of my tribe members. I love that night and I know no other family could make me warmer. Yes, we did throw everything in the truck the next morning and blazed out of the cold air, back home to our heaters and fireplace; but, I will always remember it because we did it together, as a family.

BETHANY

Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”  Over the course of the last year, opportunities of all kinds opened up for me. I participated in seven community theater productions; from Les Miserables to A Christmas Carol. I spoke on numerous public platforms such as the Homeschool book fair, before a gathering of war veterans, and at a Lion’s Club meeting to name a few. I am privileged to co-lead a Mother-Daughter Bible Study and participate in the NRH Teen Court as an attorney. It was this verse that served as a reminder to trust God before, after, and during every minute I spent the public eye. In all the excitement this year has brought with it embarrassing, hilarious, and exhilarating moments, (like falling on the stage opening night, getting frozen on my first camping trip, or watching myself on television) there were enough in this year to prove that I can count on God to always be at my side, and bring to pass all He has said.

TOMI

No one can begin to define the normalcy of my day; amidst agendas, lesson plans, bills, texts, meal prep, coffee, chauffeuring, grocery shopping, library runs, baseball games, rehearsals, phone calls, coffee, worship, dog food, math problems, & bedtime prayers; no two days ever look the same.  The only thing the same about each day is I get to wake up next to the man of my dreams, watch my daughters learn to walk in grace and beauty, kiss my boys good night after bedtime prayers, and offer a prayer of thanks for the goodness of God in my life.  Each day is a new adventure, a new set of challenges waiting to be met and a new step in fulfilling my purpose as daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend.  This year has been one filled with many new friends, new depths with old friends, new experiences, new understanding to old experiences, new exploits and new moments of love and trust.  These precious moments are full of trial, triumph, laughter and tears but I would not trade one moment, one sigh, one kiss or one friend, new or old.  This year, I am thankful for a Savior who died for me, a Bridegroom who woos me and a God who rejoices over me. I am thankful for family, friends, laughter and love and I am forever thankful for you!

DARRELL

At this time of year it is always appropriate to look upon a year passed and reflect on something good as the coming New Year promises a better round of life.  Well 2010 really is worthy of a second glance for the sake of reminiscing highlights of the turning calendar no matter what comes next. After all, memories were made and intrinsic relationships forged.  My family, like a traveling variety show, painted the community with various moments of acting, dancing, singing, and playing from one theatrical venue to the other this year.  I have lived the songs of Les Miserable, Sleeping Beauty, Babes in Toyland, and roamed the 1935 streets of To Kill a Mockingbird. The expressions of joy and learning filled my house as I listened on to my children chant historical facts about Charlemagne, at the same time singing songs about all 44 presidents.  I have a teenage woman…or two reaching for new prospects of driving and broadened horizons.  I don’t feel old enough to be a witness of such things.  It’s always fun to be among the boys with swords a blazing, and grunts and smells.  I guess you had to be there to really appreciate that guy stuff.  There is so much to tell, but so little room for words to tell the whole story. Tomi spins our little world like a yarn scarf with no original rhyme or reason, but as time ticks on the product of her efforts are truly amazing.  How many five year olds do you know that can cite the particulars of Waterloo?  It will be an astonishing thing to see when she completes her mission of schooling and raising our kids.  I can see awesome days ahead for us all no matter what the present holds if we will continue on with the task at hand being careful not to overlook the moment we are breathing in.  Life is happening, it’s busy, and it’s good to be a part of God’s work in us.  I will miss the stretches of 2010, yet I am expectant of great adventures ahead.  Merry Christmas to you, our family and friends and a Blessed & Happy New Year.

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