Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Christmas Letter

We hope that you are doing well and enjoying the season.  2016 was our year of about to have and then having 3 in college.  This impacted our time, money, and use of cars.  Even with all our differing schedules, we did find time for a family trip to Virginia to see Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Highland.  Most of the family attended First Robotics Competition (FRC) events this year in Raleigh, Buies Creek, and Asheville as well as the state championship in Charlotte.  Four of us enjoyed our Venturing Crew’s Super Activity this summer during which we visited Clingman’s Dome, went zip lining and whitewater rafting, hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and went horseback riding.  We were a house divided when most of us attended the NC State football game at East Carolina.

Miriam is now in the 10th grade.  She continues to enjoy dance and was the lead in her recital this year.  Miriam became the Venturing Crew President this year and attended National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).  She was in charge of scouting on the Hitchhikers FRC team this year.  Miriam is also learning to drive.

Bethany just completed her first semester at NC State after graduating from high school in the spring.  She is intending to major in industrial engineering with a minor in business and has done very well so far.  Bethany was a co-captain this year for the Hitchhikers in charge of the business team.  She served on the staff for NYLT and is the Vice-President of Administration for our council’s Venturing Officers Association.

Carl is in his second year at NC State majoring in both computer science and communications and doing very well.  He was honored this year by becoming a Caldwell Fellow which provides him opportunities to develop his leadership skills along with funding.  Carl enjoyed a trip to Washington, DC and helped run a science and technology camp this year along with his fellow Caldwell Fellows.  He also had a teaching assistant position in the spring.

Christian is a senior at East Carolina and on track to graduate in the spring with a degree in computer science.  He took a very heavy load this past semester and did very well.  Christian is a mentor for the Pitt Pirates, an FRC team near ECU which qualified for the World Championships.

Leslie-Jean was our main chauffeur to the bus stops (our NC State students lived at home and bussed to school) and other activities.  She enjoyed our family outings to see a Johnny Clegg concert and a Vivian Howard lecture.  Dan continues to work at Lenovo and is trying to get back into good running shape.  He also became the Venturing Crew Advisor this year. Leslie-Jean and Dan actually took a few trips this year by themselves.  They travelled to Florida to help a relative move.  They also visited historic sites in Virginia at Petersburg and Appomattox Court House after taking the girls to NYLT.

2016 has been a busy year for us with lots of different schedules and activities.  This seems to be quite common these days.  Let us not be too busy this Christmas to miss the reason for the season: the birth of Jesus.  Let us be like the shepherds who went to see the baby Jesus after being told about His birth by an angel (Luke 2:8-20).  Let us be like Simeon who was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Lord’s Christ which he did when Jesus was presented at the temple (Luke 2:25-35).  Let us be like the magi who traveled afar from the east to see Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).  Let us all spend some time this Christmas seeking out Jesus, the savior of the world who died for our sins and rose again to give us eternal life in heaven with Him.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  May 2017 be a blessed year for you!