Thursday, January 6, 2011

These are supposed to sound cheezy, but here it is.

This is the New Year's letter that I am sending out to "everyone I know" who wants one. Generally, it tends to be people that send us cards for Christmas. As my blog readers, you guys already know everything on here, but it may be fun to have it with a current spin??

I always feel like these are cheezy, but everybody does it, and it's not a whole lot different than a blog post. The photo shown is what I am sending out. (50 free when you sign up with Shutterfly)

So, print this out (if you like paper) and sit by your fireplace with a cup of tea. Eat a Christmas cookie (if you haven't started your diet yet) and think of us. And then send me a link to your letter, OK?

Love you guys! (Letter follows)
Happy New Year! 2011

I hope this letter finds each of you in good health both physically and spiritually. We are rejoicing in our health and the joy God has given us to serve him for another year.

This year we embarked on the first phase of launching the fleet. The fleet, being our family; and the first plane to launch was oldest son, Jamie graduating from high school and leaving for college in another state. There were 30 homeschooled graduates who joined him in a graduation ceremony in May. Jamie did not receive an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, as his original desire was. But he did receive a “category 7” ROTC scholarship (four year, full tuition, full room/ board + stipend) to Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan. Despite his initial disappointments, he enjoys his college program so much that he opted to not apply for USAFA for next year. His first semester went well with a 4.0 G.P.A. , many new friends and experiences and a position on the color guard. I keep up with his happenings when he posts pics on his facebook account. I thought it was very funny that the freshman cadets went to perform for an elementary school on veterans day, and the kids handed out cards that said, “thank you for serving our country”.. for an entire semester! LOL.

Speaking of which, thank you for serving our country, if you are currently doing so. It’s been over 12 years that we’ve lived in cushy civilian surroundings, but we are ever mindful of our beginning years of military life and the treacherous lifestyle it brings! Speaking of milestones, this spring will commence Will’s 10th year at Hamilton Sundstrand, AND our 20th anniversary. And probably equally noteworthy is that.. we’ve actually lived in the same house for over 9 years.. and some walls have been painted three times over, but who’s counting?

We still have no pets, but we did have a garden for the past three years. Actually, it should be a crime NOT to have a garden here with this bionic soil. Perhaps being built over a cow pasture could have something to do with it? My favorite crop is, as always, pumpkins. Every year we make pumpkin butter--sort of a spreadable pumpkin-pie.

So, our oldest daughter, Joanna, is currently a junior in high school. She is taking a break from her viola lessons to explore photography and historical costume making and dress design/ alterations. Her big purchase of a Canon Rebel T1i this year has transformed our lives into a fishbowl. Don’t make a funny face--it will get on camera.. just sayin. Seriously, she is an awesome photographer. But what does she want to explore after high school? I think we have it narrowed down to either: studies in linguistics, fashion design, photography, or helping out in an orphanage in India. As of now, all boys are purely brothers and helpful for lifting stuff. At this rate, I’ll be a grandmother when I’m 110. Seriously, our kids’ desires to focus on their development/ education at this phase of their lives is a decision we wholeheartedly approve of!

And then there’s the Hud. A strapping 6’1” freshman in high school, has gone from being a shy, blushing kid to the.. (dare I say it?) outgoing “MC” of the annual Christmas program and live busking for the Y cafe with his cello playing? Whose kid is this anyway? He loves to cook and wants to study Italian for his foreign language. So far, his cello fan-club includes our family plus a few close friends. This new year will bring him to the advanced groups in our music academy--Measure 5 and Cello Choir. Yeah for Hud!

Nathanael started the 7th grade this year and wasted no time taking a full load of classes--including art. To call him a generalist sounds rather boring, so I’ll just say that he appears to be “good in everything” including public speaking and debating. He tells me every so often that he’s NOT going to law school some day. In fact, he argues vehemently with convincing evidence that he’s NOT going to do that.. Hhmmm…

Emily is officially “in school” this year as a homeschooled kindergartener. Her favorite class is “Literature”--where she “travels” to various countries and gets her ”passport “signed. In her spare time, she “writes” a newsletter for anyone who is willing to buy a subscription (for a penny, no less). She calls it “The Pet Shop Newsletter”. A friend remarked that she would love to see what sort of news a five year old without pets would be putting in her newsletter..? One issue featured “Chance” the service dog for a friend who has seizures. There is no lack for creativity around here, as you can imagine--even without pets.

Will is doing a lot of cool things these days. After getting bitten by the “Bible School Bug”, he is officially half way through his degree at Moody Seminary. His last class was Greek II, which was not only another A on his transcript, but a real boost to his Wednesday night Bible teaching on hermeneutics. Work had him traveling a little this year. I was able to go with to the A-340 Symposium in Berlin! Sweet! I will say that if you love history, Berlin is fabulous--Egyptian artifacts in abundance--I thought they were all in London? And of course the whole Cold War history/ Berlin Wall is fascinating.

As far as other travels, Will went to France a few times and Moscow. He went with a co-worker of his who (apparently) has lived his entire life wanting to visit Moscow. And those of you who know how much Will loves sight-seeing… “If I see one more matrishka doll, I’m going to barf..” he did quite well. Much better than his Siberia voyage in ’09.
The photo is a family trip to Caribbean for the Webber grandparents (Jon and Marilyn) to celebrate 50 years of marriage for them. What a generous gift they gave back to their own family--not only demonstrating such faithfulness for 50 years but the cruise to celebrate it as well --with 22 of us total.
As for me, Jena, my life is filled to the brim with fun: being a wife and mother continues to be the most challenging, fulfilling and interesting occupation I could hope for. When I’m not doing all of that, I teach a few pilates classes at the Y and at Hamilton Sundstrand; English and study skills at the homeschool co-op; a Bible study of ladies on Mondays; and write my blog a little here and there..
May the Lord draw your hearts closer to him. May repentance be a real part of your life. May Jesus be your closest friend this year. And pray for us that we may do the same. Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to achieve--a peaceful heart, a quiet spirit, a content soul, and a generous hand. But what richness we would have! May you have these kind of blessings. Forget about the sinking economy. Find true riches where moth and rust can not touch them.
And most of you know where we live, so don’t let me hear that you “went through Rockford” without stopping by. That is a crime for which there is no forgiveness. Until then..

May your crockpot always be on, and your guest bathroom full of toilet paper..

Lovingly and In Him,

(imagine my signature) LOL!


Herding Grasshoppers said...

That is a GREAT letter :D


Mrs. Parunak said...

Fun to read your letter! Even though I knew some of it from your blog, there was definitely some new stuff like that Joanna is interested in linguistics (my college major) and that Will has made it through Greek 2 (drool--I'm trying to learn Greek from as I have time, but that isn't very often).

The dB family said...

Can you write my letter? Yours is fantabulous! I especially love the last part about prayers, blessings... So true! Thank you for sharing your Christmas, ahem, New Year's letter.


Organizing Mommy said...

Deborah!! I'd love to write your letter! Send me the specs/ details, and I'll whirl them in the blender of my brain. organizingmommy (at) sbcglobal(dot) net.

Gretchen said...

Great letter, I must confess I love reading Christmas letters. We make a prayer/Christmas Card book every year for the last 12 years, and I surely will be adding your family. :o) I love visiting your site from time to time, need to see if my husband appears again. :o) Much love dear one. We also have a family site.. in which hold's our Christmas letter. Feel free to take a peek. :o) See you around.

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Gretchen said...
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CC said...

I loved catching up! Thanks for writing, and always!