Kent led the 20th bike tour of 200+ miles as a fundraiser for our Bible camp,
served as a deacon, built a "castle" tree house in our backyard, planned and executed some solo bike/camping trips, was father of the bride, continued his work at Best Buy on the dot.com team, tutored Kalai in college Algebra now and then, built "forts" in the boys' bedrooms, and began to teach our 4th daughter, Malia, to drive.
Christy continued in home schooling our children and especially enjoyed the amazing group of families in our home school co-op, took a trip to Las Vegas to see some very missed friends (thanks to her helpful and kind husband), enjoyed lots of company during Tana's wedding, started doing more exercising, and felt pretty blessed to be enjoying a life rich with God's grace and strength through the busy years of raising children.
Alyssa, 21, continued on in pharmacy school in Arkansas, participated in a medical missions trip to Peru, worked at a Chinese restaurant, and made it home for just a few days now and then. She was one busy girl!
Tana, 19, finished her freshman year at college and married our new son-in-law, Patrick, in August. It was a fun wedding with over 250 dear friends and family joining us. She and Patrick promptly moved to Arkansas for college where she started her second year, and he found a job teaching. They are happily making their new home and meeting new friends all the time.
Kalai, 17, began her senior year of high school doing PSEO college from home, continued to enjoy her art class, went on a mission trip to Mexico, worked and camped many weeks at Bible camp, announced her love for ice skating on MN ponds, and is out snowboarding this very day.
Malia, 15, is learning to drive, went to Mexico also, identified 64 bird species on her morning walks, is working on writing a novel, is playing trumpet for her 7th year, and learned to make home made bread.
DJ, 9, is finding that he loves to read and especially enjoys all that is science related, has big dreams of hunting and fishing, does Geo-cacheing with dad, started band and is playing the baritone, is asking lots of questions about what it means to make Christ his Saviour, and still enjoys bringing all recyclables back into the house for a "project."
Levi, 4, often prays, "Thank you, God, for being so nice to me," has dreams of becoming a policeman, tells mom that she needs to teach him to read, hopes to play the trombone someday but says that the PVC pipe and funnel will do for now, loves to go to camp, and thinks "rainbow car washes" are the best.
Kade, 3, is sure that he's a fireman and makes many decisions based on "what will a fireman do," loves Bible stories, especially any that might involve fighting or war (sometimes to mom's chagrin), enjoyed going to a new family camp in Wisconsin with mom, dad, and brothers; he's still a night owl just as much as his brother Levi is an early bird. He's teaching mom and dad to keep being consistent and work on teaching him to please God.
Cody, 16 months, is such a bright spot in our lives, making messes, learning to talk, learning to obey, and giving many bright smiles. He's always trying to keep up with his brothers which is quite a task for a new toddler. Everyone always comments on his very "white" hair.
We're thankful for our church family and our life group, which have challenged us and encouraged us over and over this year. We are thankful for our parents who have continued to support us and love our grandchildren. Most of all, we're so thankful that God has given us a Savior, to whom we owe our very lives and existence. This truth we continue to learn daily, as we struggle to overcome self and find victory in Christ. Great is His faithfulness!
Love to all of you this season! We cherish the cards, pictures, and letters we've been receiving. Please come visit us if you're in our area!