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2016 wrap up

The past week has been a great one! 2016 was a great year and ended just as great!  First, we had Christmas morning.  Ray, Kimber Ben, and Freya came over before church and opened stockings and presents.  I really don't know what's wrong with me, but didn't break out the camera once.  LOL  Good thing Kimber did so I could steal a couple picture off Facebook.
John made a horse for Freya and Lillian painted it.  It turned out super cute.

Freya was trilled with the mermaid tail Kimber made her.  The rest of us didn't do to bad either.  I got a new iPad because I dropped my old one and I use it everyday all day.  John got a fitbit and has accomplished his goals 95% of the time this week.  Lillian sent me links to all the things she wanted.  I picked out things that worked with my budget and she was super happy.  Hannah was harder to shop for, but I think I did well with the shoes and skirt and the coloring book I got her.

John was in charge of the program at church because he directs the choir.  It turned out well.  My favorites were the song Hannah sang that was written by Allison Bevans and the song we sang as a family.  It was nice to actually not have to try to work at celebrating the real reason for Christmas.  With Christmas on a Sunday it was a natural fit!

After church we came home and enjoyed each other and made food... too much food.

Eventually we all got to talk to Chad.  It was fun to hear his stories.  My favorite is his giggle when he talks to Hannah.  Sure miss that kid.

Right now he is in Midland Michigan.  However, tomorrow he moves to Sault Saint Marie, Michigan near the Canadian boarder.  And he thought Midland was cold.  I looked it up and they get 150-180 inches of snow per year.

He now has less than a year left of his mission.  I think his sisters may need to make a paper chain to count down the days until he gets here. hint hint.

After Christmas  Lillian played with friends...

She got to go night skiing at HooDoo....

... and ice skating in Portland.

I am glad that she has a good friend like Brynn to hang out with.  I have to be careful.  Sometimes I say "play with" and "that's not what we do, mom."  insert roll of the eyeballs.

I, meanwhile, stayed home and made blankets for the grand-babies... and cleaned house... and watched a  few movies... slept in until 7:30 each day... wrote a few blog posts... and did our once-a-month cooking... it was a productive week.

I also went to the school and worked on the set for our next production and had a few rehearsals.  The snow days just before Christmas break bit off a huge chunk of rehearsal time.  We open in a week and half and we were just not ready.  I am glad the kids were willing to come in on the break.  

This next show is a fun show.  It speaks to so much of my daily struggles... fitting to keep the arts in school... teenage drama... the works.

These kids are super talented and I am excited to see them polish the show and get it out there.

Meanwhile, Hannah played with Dylan and worked on a couple jobs to help pay for her next semester at Willamette.  She made a cheese cake.  She made some cds. and painted a drop for a show at a charter school in Salem.  It works out nicely.

As I look back on the year I am impressed with all the things we experienced this year as a family:  John's job is doing well.  Saw a couple great shows.  Directed, created and/or performed in some great shows.  Had a Snoball Queen in the house and the winner of Mr. and Ms. Central Pageant.  Hannah was able to raise around $2200 for charity through the pageant. Danced in two recitals and sang in several concerts.  Auditioned for several colleges.  Won regionals of NATS and went all the way to Nationals, performing in Chicago.  Had a high school graduate.  Had a great year at CET.  Had a happy missionary.  Started 8th grade for the first time at a public school.  Started college at Willamette.  Had a new grand baby!  Had a great year teaching seminary.  

I'd say our greatest blessings have come because of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Without Him, we would have nothing.  We are blessed as a family because we try each day to focus more  and more on what He would have us do and as we try harder each day to be like Him.  We have blessed as we have extended understanding hearts and been blessed by His mercy.  We have been blessed as we share our faith and work at gaining more faith through study and service.  We have blessed as we center our lives around Jesus Christ.  He is the Redeemer.  Without His grace we are nothing.  It is our hope that we can all be more Christ-like and more devoted to him in the coming year.  2016 came and went. We are now embarking on the adventures that 2017 hold.


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