One of the delights of the holiday season is reading Christmas letters from family and friends. It brings smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts as we reunite with the unfolding stories of the people who mean so much to us. This years stories of our family and friends include births and deaths, marriages and graduations, promotions and terminations, sickness and recovery, trials and victories, remarkable travels and the ordinary day-to-day happenings of life. And indeed we are enriched as all of our stories are interwoven into a fascinating tapestry of lifes wonderful diversity.
As we reflect upon the story of our year, we realize that we have much to be thankful for.
Dan is thankful for life. Last December he blew a tire on the freeway causing his car to slam into the concrete barrier at 60 miles per hour. He walked away with no serious injuries and continually is grateful for Gods hand of mercy and Toyotas safety system. Dan finds fulfillment in his ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. His responsibilities as the Internet website developer for his division (http://www.fuller.edu/cll) have been challenging and exciting as he utilizes technology to bring practical training to pastors and church leaders. Dans enjoyment of web developing has spilled over from his job and has become his current favorite hobby -- developing the familys website. A highlight of Dans year was a trip to Chicago in May where he spent a week at a conference. He was able to squeeze in some great site-seeing and put more than 850 miles on his rental car!
Dena, supermom, is a marvel at keeping the family organized and on track. Shuttling the kids to their myriad activities is a major task by itself. She enjoys her part-time job as librarian at Hodge Elementary School (where Christa attends) along with her responsibilities in the parents organization. She also continues to take classes in library science at Citrus College. For relaxation, reading novels is her first love.
Micah has long surpassed mom in height and, at six feet tall, is catching up with dad. Hes excited about going to the DMV next month on his 17th birthday to get his drivers license. Yea! -- Another chauffeur to help mom! Micah is a junior and continues to do well in school. He played junior varsity and varsity football this year and earned his letter helping take his team to the playoffs. He also keeps busy with the church youth group, Boy Scouts, and his favorite pastime, skateboarding. And he is thrilled that he finally got his orthodontic braces off. What a smile!
Anna entered her teens this year. Shes a bright 8th grader and enjoys honors classes, serving on the yearbook staff, and playing her flute in the band. She loves to perform and was delighted with a part in Cinderella at Citrus College this year along with Christa She also has been taking voice lessons and is, of course, active in the church youth group and drama ministry.
Christa is 91/2 and in 4th grade. She also loves performing and had a great time in Cinderella with Anna. She had a solo in the church Childrens musical recently and did an awesome job. Christa began saxophone lessons this fall and is anxious for the few thousand hours of practice to pass before she is skillful enough to join dad on the church worship team. Christa is now a Junior Girl Scout.
Other family highlights include spending a week in the snow last year in Truckee, California. We vacation there every year in the summer, so last Christmas we thought wed give the Sierra winter a try. It was the closest thing we have ever had to a white Christmas, and a change of pace from our annual Rose Parade tradition. Our big house project this year has been remodeling the girls room. Were nearly complete and everyone is anxious to move the girls back into their room.
So thats a glimpse of our story for this year. And of course, the greatest story of all is that God loved us enough to send his Son that we might enjoy fullness of life. May the Christ of Christmas bring blessing and fullness to you and yours during this holy season and into a new millennium.
The Simpsons Dan, Dena, Micah, Anna, & Christa
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