No Harm Done

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Family Christmas Letter

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Okay, well, not so long ago, and not so very far away. Pretty much just 2008, in fact. This year was an eventful one for our family. 2008 started out with a bang, and hasn’t let up yet.

“Happens to every guy sometimes this does” ~Yoda
Our adventure began in January with M. and *********parting ways. M. loved his job at ******* and the people he worked with. Though a generous package was provided by the company, it was still a scary time. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, we knew that God would do the best for us; we only worried about how painful His best would be. Yet, looking back, it is wonderful to see how God provided for us during the 4 months that M. searched for a new position. Not only was His provision evident, but our family grew closer to Him over those months and we continue to see evidence of that spiritual growth in our boys today.

“I am your father!”~ Darth Vader
In April M. accepted the position of Plant Manager at another company. M. lived in a hotel for over 2 months while we searched for a place for us to live. M. enjoys his new job, and especially appreciates the workplace atmosphere of this new company. The biggest struggle involved in this move has been finding a place for us to live. There are no houses in town for sale in our price range. As a result, we are renting a house in a town 30 minutes away. We are praying that some houses will come on the market in the spring.

"Wonderful girl. Either I'm going to kill her or I'm beginning to like her." ~Han Solo
Prior to our move, I continued to teach Latin to homeschoolers, and taught Sunday School to second and third graders at church. I also learned to knit, and have found great enjoyment in that new hobby!

In the fall of 2007 I began singing in a trio with some ladies from church. Before our family moved our trio decided to record the songs we had worked so hard to learn. Along the way we decided to change the focus of our CD from one that simply recorded the songs on which we've worked, to a CD that discusses our faith and the God for whom we sing. Pastor H. graciously agreed to write and record some devotional thoughts to be interspersed throughout the CD. The experience was terribly nerve-wracking and humbling, but we had so much fun!

“That’s great, kid. Don't get cocky.” ~Han Solo
Braden turned 13 and is in 7th grade. Academically, things begin to get serious this year, and that has been an adjustment for both of us! (It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sort of algebra!) Braden continues to study piano and in October began to learn the guitar. He earned his AWANA Timothy Award in May, and participates in a Trek group (the AWANA program for jr. high) in our new town. Braden swims with the YMCA team here as well. He “aged up” this year, and that is always difficult. “Aging up” means that he swims in an older age division: 13-14 year olds. Often the boys he swims against are much larger. It’s a good opportunity for him to focus on improving his times, rather than trying to beat the boy in the lane next to him.

“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”~Yoda
Brogan turned 8 in November and is in 2nd grade. He swims on the YMCA swim team, but loves trying all sorts of sports. This fall he’s taken gymnastics classes and next spring he wants to add tennis. Brogan began taking piano lessons from a “real” piano teacher this fall and is steadily working his way through his level 1 book. Most exciting is the maturity we’ve seen in Brogan this year. He has a tender heart, and we’ve seen some wonderful qualities beginning to develop. In many ways it seems like we’re just beginning to get to know him.

"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" ~Princess Leia
Colson is 5 and is learning to read and do math in our preschool activities. He currently has 2 loose teeth, and M. and I are in shock. How is he old enough to have loose teeth already? Colson loves to be the charmer and is convinced that everyone who meets him is destined to love him. He is one of those boys who knows no strangers; only friends he hasn’t yet met. We have been challenged to teach him that what adults may find adorable in toddlers, they do not find adorable in 5 year olds. He is slowly learning these lessons and we are thankful to have such an outgoing, friendly child!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Last night was our Christmas program at church. Both Brogan and Braden played a song. I videotaped their performance, but the lights were so dim that the only time you could see them is when someone's camera flashed.

So this morning I had them play their songs again, on our piano at home.

Here's Brogan playing "Angels We Have Heard on High."

Here's Braden playing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." (He apologizes in advance for that last note.) :)

Merry Christmas!

Before you leave a comment I should say this: Yes, I know our piano needs to be tuned. But we're moving again soon (hopefully) and we're waiting to be settled before having the piano tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's a Classic!

This is the third year that our family will enjoy listening to the following clip. This is from the group "Straight No Chaser," an a cappella men's group from Indiana University back in the 1990's.

Last year, this clip was so popular that the group re-formed and released a Christmas album called "Holiday Spirits."

Due to copyright laws, their videos are hard to find. So enjoy it while you can!

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Procrastination Manifests Itself in Many Forms...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Colson Likes This Photo.

He keeps asking me to post it on the blog. "So my girlfriends at RC Bible Church can see it, Mom!"

I'm not sure if I should help inflate his ego. Really, how much self-esteem does one boy need?

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'....

There's a lot of wisdom in this clip.

Disclaimer: M. has never been to this location over a gift. Read here about how my Christmas present last year really "sucked."

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Apologies

My apologies, Dear Readers, but today's blog photo is meant for primarily one person: my dear, sweet nephew, J.

I've been sorting through pictures from this summer and organizing them on my computer. In doing so I noticed a recurring theme. I realized that I am blessed with an abundance of family members who make an art of photobombing.

For example, on our camping trip whenever I aimed the camera in Nephew J's general direction he would pose. Sadly, not a suave or debonair pose, but a generally doofus-y pose.

Exhibit A:

Lovely, isn't it?

J., honey, this photo is going into my "Save it for when J. gets married and his wife wants pictures of his childhood" folder. Keep this up and I'll have a nice, thick folder all ready for her in, say, 15-20 years.

However, Nephew J. makes his photobombing obvious. He lays it all out there and hides nothing from the camera. At 13, he has not yet learned that subtlety is a photobomber's greatest strength.

My sister, Mallory, is especially talented. While I am taking a group shot, I make sure everyone is in my frame, and then I'm trying very hard not to move or jiggle the camera. Mallory will look lovely and adorable, but at some point her features slide unnoticed into a pose perfect for photobombing.

Here's an example: I have cropped the other people out of the photo, except Mom, who for some reason was looking the other way. (Was she distracted by the woman on her cell phone?)

Look at that expression! She moves so slowly and subtley that I usually won't notice until I get home and look at the pictures on the computer. Genius!

And so, Nephew J., I look forward to what I am sure will be many, many, many more goofy photos from you. May you grow in both skill and stealth.