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Darrell loves getting to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to send out a quick recap of our year and to let you know how much we love and appreciate you all. This year, it is my turn! And oh, what a year!!!

Bethany, Bailey and Isaac all did an amazing job in speech this year with all three qualifying for NITOC (National Invitational Tournament of Champions) and Bethany qualified in both Lincoln/Douglas Debate as well as Parliamentary Debate where she finished 15th in the nation. Ethan and Noah did their first junior speech tournament and finished 3rd with their duo, they had the judges in tears it was so funny! These were all HUGE accomplishments for all of them.

This was a year of 1sts for Bethany, she graduated high school in May, had her 1st paying job at Roots; traveled to Colorado twice, once with friends for NITOC and a second time alone, by plane, no friends and no idea what to expect when she arrived but she made some great friends, hiked an 8 mile trail up Pike’s Peak, qualifying as a ‘14er’ (a person who climbed a 14,000 feet elevation mountain), and came home with a heart resolved to live life on purpose. She attended Patriot Academy as a State Rep and simulated running the great state of Texas! She is currently working to finish up her sophomore year of college and is employed at Jarrell Signature, heading up marketing and overseeing the office for her dad. You can read more of what is going on in Bethany’s life at www.thefaceishowtheworld.wordpress.com

At the grand age of 16, Bailey has overcome her fear of speaking in front of others and fallen in love with Latin (who would have thought)! Bailey has begun to take dual credit classes at the community college and is tackling Algebra 2 with a vengeance!! She has joined the Gateway Generate platform ministry where she leads worship for the Amped (junior high) and MOR (senior high) students. SHE LOVES IT!! Bailey has been leading worship around our house for years; this is just an extension of who she is and what she loves to do!

Isaac (13) began the year with the title role in Oliver! at Artisan Center Theater. Ethan and Noah joined him on stage as orphans and members of Fagin’s gang. The three boys had a great run and had fun getting to do the show together. Isaac is a member of the Lyric Half Notes, a travel troupe for Lyric Stage in Irving. He has also been cast as a lead in Gateway’s Christmas Production, “It’s a Life…and It’s Wonderful”, where he has scratched a few things off his bucket list like shooting his first music video, getting to record a soundtrack and some one-on-one hip-hop lessons.

At 9, Ethan has made his move to master his role as middle son; he is getting taller, stronger and sweeter with each passing year. Classical Conversations (CC) has fueled Ethan’s education, it has inspired, enabled and equipped him to learn, process and think about life and how it works. I love watching Ethan ‘get it’, those ah-ha moments are so much fun with him! Ethan loves baseball, playing with Noah and hanging out with his friends. He is quite a guy!!

Laughter, smiles, hugs, goofy, good times Noah. How else do you describe the one who gets his way because he knows how to charm your socks off with his deliciously dimpled smile! Noah is fun, he is happy, he is pure joy. He is also very smart, very competitive and will be sure to do, say and be everything his brothers are or everything you say he can’t do. Noah is determined to live life and live it with gusto!

We were blessed with our promise from God this year. Ana Grace, the daughter we have asked and prayed for was born on June 21st at 7 lb. 14 oz. and is the sweetest, cuddliest bundle of love. We have each tried to savor all our moments with her, from the newborn snuggle in the crook of your arm to the wiggly infant that is beginning to reach for your finger and chew on her toes. I blogged our Journey to Ana at http://wp.me/pt1ER-2v check it out as well as other happenings in the Jarrell home.

Jarrell Signature has expanded and is keeping Darrell busy with a variety of remodel, roofing and construction projects giving him opportunity to continue to build the business as well as some opportunities to be creative and branch out into some commercial work as well. Darrell works hard to provide for our family but being husband and dad is still his favorite role of all. He loves getting on the floor with Ana and the boys and has been around for many a late night chat with the girls. I am blessed to get to teach in the marriage ministry alongside Darrell and we still love a night out when we get a chance.

Mom, that one word says it all. My life overflows with hugs, love, tears, conversations, tickles, giggles, kisses, discipline, training, bandages, teaching, learning, growth charts, scales, toys, naps, meals and wheels. The list truly can go on and on. I would not trade one day of it. I am forever grateful and overwhelmingly blessed to live such a life.

More than anything, this year has shown us the faithfulness of God, the passionate love He has for each of us and the true Gift we have been given in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is by grace we have been saved and it is His grace that fills our lives with love, joy, peace and hope. As we embrace 2013 and all that it holds, we pray your family feels His sweet embrace and find yourselves overwhelmed with His love.

With big love and warm hugs,

From our family to yours,

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 
Darrell, Tomi, Bethany, Bailey, Isaac, Ethan, Noah and Ana

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