Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We hope 2014 has been a good year for you.  It has been an interesting year for us.  We started the year with three teenagers, added a fourth, and then returned to three as Christian is now 20!  Carl, Bethany and Christian (as a mentor) competed in two FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) regionals in the spring in South Carolina and North Carolina.  They also competed in two other FRC events this fall as well as participate in the Cary Christmas parade with their robots.  We traveled a few times this year for visits with friends, family and schools.  In April we traveled to the Midwest making a couple of college visits, checking out the FRC Championships, and visiting Dan’s sister’s family.  In May we traveled to Washington, DC for another college visit and also went to the Marine Corps Museum.  In July we visited adoption friends. In September Dan and Leslie-Jean went to the coast for a day to see a lot of Colglazier relatives.

Christian is in his second year at Wake Technical Community College.  He is working on finishing up an associate’s degree there before transferring to a four-year school.  Christian has become a very good programmer.  He developed two Android apps this year: one that can control an FRC robot and another that helps scout other robots and can predict match outcomes.  Christian’s expertise in making Lego brick films was highlighted in a book by Sarah Herman entitled Brick Flicks.  In it he is quoted about lighting, camera movement, inspiration, and working with Carl.  Pictures of two of his sets appear in the book, and he is an entry in the index.

Carl has had a very busy year with the addition of college and scholarship applications to his other activities.  He became an Eagle Scout in January.  Carl participated in mock trial this year as the defendant when on defense and as an attorney when on prosecution.  He and his team were well prepared and did an excellent job.  Carl’s StudentCam documentary “Due Process” won third prize high school this year.  He was honored for it with a visit by the C-SPAN bus and an award presentation.  Carl’s documentary on the history of Cary was awarded a Paul Green Multimedia Award presented by the North Carolina Society of Historians.

Bethany has started taking dual enrollment classes at Durham Technical Community College and has done quite well.  She has been very active in Venturing, was elected her crew’s president, and earned the Venturing Bronze Award.  Bethany has also been active with her FRC team as business lead. 

Miriam has become quite a good dancer.  She is part of her studio’s company and has enjoyed the extra challenge and performances that has offered her.  In June Miriam performed en pointe for the first time as Tinker Bell in her studio’s production of Peter Pan.

Leslie-Jean had another busy year homeschooling and being on the committee of the homeschool co-op we participate in.  After more than 30 years with IBM, Dan now works for Lenovo.  He is still doing performance design guidance for Intel servers with basically the same people as the entire group was sold by IBM to Lenovo.  Dan now works in a much nicer building with a shorter commute and likes working for Lenovo so far.  He also got to retire from IBM.

With Dan’s move to Lenovo from IBM, some things changed and others did not.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us consider what changed and what did not at the first Christmas.  What is it that we are really celebrating?  God makes it clear in the Bible that He does not change.  Malachi 3:6 states, “I the Lord do not change.”  God did not change at Christmas, so what did?  There were many prophecies about the birth of the Messiah.  At Christmas these changed from promised to fulfilled.  Matthew 2: 22-23 tells us, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us.”  This passage also points out another change that occurred at Christmas: God was now with us as a man dwelling among us.  Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  This is the miracle of Christmas that we celebrate: God becoming a man and dwelling among us!  Amazingly he did not come to rule over us but came instead as a servant.  This was the beginning of his sinless life which qualified him to be our perfect sacrifice for our sins on the cross years later.  Philippians 2:8 goes on to say, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!”  Three days later Christ arose from the grave overcoming death so that we will someday go to be with Him in heaven.  This all started at Christmas with the birth of Jesus – Immanuel – God with us!  This Christmas let us thank God for the greatest present ever: His Son born a man to dwell among us, become our perfect sacrifice, and be our forerunner to eternal life with Him!  May 2015 bring God’s blessings to you and yours.