Wednesday, December 15, 2010
2010 Family Christmas Letter
Dearest Family and Friends,
The Barrett Family wishes you a holy Advent, a joyous Christmas, and a blessed New Year in our Lord Christ! May His Spirit, comfort, and abounding love fill your hearts and homes this season and always!
2010 has not been the easiest of years for our family. Like you, we have experienced highs and lows, but throughout it all, God's goodness has been very evident, and for His blessings we are very thankful indeed—especially for being able to live in this wonderful small town amongst winter-tinged mountains.
We celebrated the 11th birthday of our youngest, Benjamin, earlier this month with a day at Sea World, thanks to season passes from my parents. Benjamin is in 5th grade this year as we continue to school the boys at home. He is taking classes in California History, PE, and Lego Engineering at our co-op Class Days and is studying German for a second year. Benjamin is very artistic, and his antics around the house keep us constantly laughing—lately he has taken to imitating a Hobbit...all day, every day. He is quite the character.
In 8th grade this year, Jonathan turned 13 in June, and he continues to excel in his musical studies. He is in his third year of guitar lessons with the Free Teen Guitar Class of Alpine Anglican Church, and he started piano lessons again this fall with Teri Carpentier after two years of earlier study. Jonathan played guitar in the Pine Valley Days Parade in July and also performed at our town's Christmas play earlier this month. He is also taking courses in General Science, chess, and PE at Class Day, and he has joined his older brother in learning algebra from “Auntie Jo,” my dear friend from college, Johanna. He's also decided to study Japanese this year which he really enjoys. Jonathan is definitely our “cool kid.”
Timothy will be 16 in March and is in 10th grade. He continues to enjoy learning art techniques and is taking a class in Fine Arts as well as a double-period Biology Lab at Class Day in addition to studying German at home. Timothy and Jonathan have joined forces in creating their own yardwork business around Pine Valley, and they've enjoyed the added responsibility and income. Timothy has also become very much involved in our town's community garden, and he and Benjamin have spent many hours helping some older residents with gardening duties. It's been wonderful for all three of the boys to become more involved in the Pine Valley community.
Now 18 and in her first year of college at Point Loma Nazarene University, Elizabeth graduated from Heritage Christian School (our homeschool group) in June. We enjoyed throwing her a 1950s “Sock-Hop” graduation party to celebrate her accomplishment. Elizabeth is a literature major in my former department at PLNU. Living in the dorms during the week and coming home most weekends, she is thoroughly enjoying college life. (I think she misses Dash our dachshund more than us!) She loves her dorm-mates dearly, and her RA is really wonderful. Elizabeth is completing her first semester this month, studying German with my former professor, plus classes in Biology, Theater History, Tennis, and Writing. Elizabeth is hoping to get an on-campus job next semester after working most of this year at the Pine Valley Bible Conference Center.
I've been busy this year, as always. In addition to teaching the three boys at home, I'm teaching Intermediate and Advanced Writing courses to high school students at Class Day, plus teaching various online classes in research essays, grammar, poetry, story writing, and Shakespeare at BraveWriter.com. In addition, I am helping to edit a new edition of the Book of Common Prayer revised by Father Acker at Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity where the kids and I continue to worship on Friday mornings and Holy Days. Keith and I have also joined the Scripture Reading Team at Lake Murray Community Church in La Mesa which we have attended for over 17 years. I still help out various churches and missionary organizations with proofreading and editing in addition to writing poetry and even a little fiction now and again. In August I also celebrated my 4th anniversary of blogging at MeditativeMeanderings.
Keith has been working very hard this year, attempting to make ends meet. He has been doing a lot of handyman work for many clients, but especially my parents this year as he helped to design and install an elevator in their Pacific Beach home as well as renovate their mountain cabin atop Mount Laguna. He continues to work in the office with his dad on some remodels and other projects as well as designing two small custom homes—doubling last year's workload. Keith is planning a new stained glass window, a peacock this time, and may have a stained glass commission coming in the spring from clients who have seen his two windows in the Ademas' home. Keith continues as Head Chef in our household, often drafting the kids into the kitchen as his Sous-Chefs.
Our family wishes you a joyous and healthy 2011 as we all go forth in the love and grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! Come let us adore Him!
With love and prayers,
The Barrett Family
Keith, Susanne, Elizabeth, Timothy, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Dash, too!
Wishing you all blessed Holy Days,