December 2008 Dear Family and Friends, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We hope that you had a great 2008 despite mudslinging political campaigns, our economic “correction” and disappointing Super Bowl commercials (we really hope they fix that last one this year). As usual, this year was ripe with all kinds of Appenzeller entertainment. And so without further adieu, here are the highlights from 2008… •
If global warming is real, it’s not in Vermont. We didn’t have a record setting “one time” snowfall like last year but managed to have a little new snow almost every day of winter, causing a salt shortage and a bunch of snow days to make up at the end of the school year. We made the most of playing bumper cars, discovering alternative driving routes, and general character growth opportunities. We were quite happy when the snow stopped falling in June.
Our house has B&B possibilities (but we don’t). We managed to host around 15 people for a weekend this year. Yes, the food was questionable, not everyone had beds, and we were probably in violation of some noise pollution ordinance. But it was a great time anyway! If you missed out, come and join us this year!
Move over soccer, kickball is the new “in” sport. Our kids and the neighborhood kids conspired to challenge Dave and Audrey to repeated games of kickball. The kids had the rules, energy, and numbers on their side. The adults had skill and Ben-Gay. Needless to say, youth won every time.
Movie theaters are now an entertainment option. Historically, our kids wanted nothing to do with the loud noise and pitch black environment at movie theaters. However, the lure of High School Musical 3 was too much, so we actually made it to the theater and stayed to the end.
Well, that's a few moments of our past year. Here are some quick family member bios: Tobey (a.k.a."BIG BOY”). Tobey has started many big boy adventures like AWANA cubbies at church and story time at the library. In spring he will go to preschool. He talks more than all the girls combined and has become quite the puzzle wizard (talking to himself the entire time). Tobey loves his trucks and playing “tough guy football” with Dave. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Tobey emphasizes that he is already grown up and is a BIG BOY.
Cailey (a.k.a. "The Wrestling Princess"). Mild mannered Cailey dresses up like a princess, but acts more like a professional wrestler - attacking Dave as soon as he walks in the door. She loves coloring, puzzles, “reading”, telling stories, and pretending to be animals. Cailey has decided she wants to grow up to be a dog, but will go to kindergarten next year anyway, just in case the dog thing doesn’t work out.
Kirsten (a.k.a. "Cutie Pie"). Even her 1st grade teacher calls her “cutie pie.” Kirsten continues to surprise us with her relational abilities and hilarious one-liners. She is a loud (actually VERY loud), burst of excitement. Our “happy go lucky” girl, Kirsten continues to be involved in various sports and activities, mainly for social opportunities. She started playing the piano this year and enjoys wearing tights. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she replied, “Why?” Jordan (a.k.a. “To be or not to be"). Jordan hit double digits this year, moved to a new school building for the 4th and 5th grade, started playing the clarinet, and hasn’t looked back. She continues to be involved in a variety of activities and has added the following to her accomplishments: crashing a friend’s electric scooter, directing and staring in a detective movie, and inventing a variety of “sure-to-need-medical-attention” dance moves. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she started listing possibilities and still hasn’t stopped. Audrey (a.k.a."What happened?”). Pulled hamstrings from kickball, losing a foot race to a 10 yr. old, and hyperventilating after climbing a tree to remove a kite have all contributed to a sense of aging. This has led to a new stretching routine and less physically demanding activities like writing Bible studies, leading a women’s ministry at our church, and multiple speaking opportunities. She also volunteers in the school teaching kids about nature without having to actually go outdoors - that works for Audrey. Dave: (a.k.a. "In Denial"). In an attempt to pacify some deep insecurity, Dave is rejoicing now that his Phillies won the World Series (never mind that we learned the players names during the playoffs). It’s amazing what a desperate Eagles fan will do… On a more civilized note, Dave’s had a fun but busy year at NETS learning all about real estate transactions and continuing the transition to a “small business owner.” He’s had multiple opportunities to give talks and sermons at our church and enjoys leading Sunday worship. Well, that’s a bird’s eye view of what’s been happening this year. We’re are thankful to God for another year of opportunities and blessings. But as much of a blessing that family is, we are most thankful for God’s ultimate blessing. The economy might nosedive, family memories will fade, and our health will eventually fail. But through it all, we have a hope that will never disappoint. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin and was raised to life on the third day. And by simple faith in Him, we are given the ultimate hope of eternal life. This year, we would urge you to consider receiving the best Christmas gift possible, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you’ve already accepted God’s gift, then please join us as we rejoice in and enjoy our great hope of salvation!
Love, Dave, Audrey, Jordan, Kirsten, Cailey, and Tobey