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Mike McCollum From: Date: To: Subject:

"Mike McCollum" <mike.mccollum@live.com> Saturday, December 25, 2010 10:25 PM "Mike McCollum" <mike.mccollum@live.com> Merry Christmas from the McCollum Family

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Merry Christmas – 2010! As I write this letter my family is watching The Santa Clause. I’m surprised every year when I realize it was released the same year my oldest daughter was born. Speaking of my oldest daughter… Ariél – 16

Elle turned sixteen this year. She learned to drive and did really well at Northwestern Bible College for her fall semester of “home school.” She is one of the student-leaders during Wednesday evening youth group at church and has developed some very good friendships. Connor – 15

Connor is in high school…which is keeping him very busy. When he’s not studying or hanging out with friends, he’s playing guitar or Wii. He’s really growing up. In fact, I’ve only got about 1” on him. (Well, more like 10” if we’re talking waist rather than height.) Ian – 12

Ian had a great year pouring himself into his academics and even began studying a martial art! A few weeks ago, Ian had one of the speaking roles in the musical at church put on by the children’s choir. He did a great job and I think he was surprised at how much he enjoyed it! As for growth, he’s almost as tall as Brenda! Lillian – 10

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Lily is discovering that she has a real love of art. She loves to draw and I am always impressed with how well she does it. Her drawings are far better than anything I have ever done. Like Ian, she is still being taught at home by Brenda and is studying Tae Kwon Do through community education. Brenda

Brenda’s year has been filled again with homeschooling the kids, including serving on the board of a home school co-op for her second year. To that she has also added running the nursery at the co-op and teaching Sunday School to a group of 11th grade girls, including Elle, at our church. She’s busy but she loves investing in the lives of our kids and their friends! Mike

I am still thanking God for my job at Wings Financial Credit Union. I’ve been there about 1 ½ years and am quite happy to be there. I am also busy serving at church; I get to hang out with Ian on Wednesday evenings as the 6th grade director for Stockade and on Sunday mornings with Connor as a teacher for some of the 9th grade guys. I also have the honor of serving on the missions board. Jim and Sandy

In the spring, Mike’s parents decided that after many years in Cedar Rapids, IA it was time to move to Huntley, IL. This allows them to be much closer to Mike’s sister and her family which is helpful because of Jim’s struggle with Alzheimer's. SEND International

Although we resigned from SEND in June of 2010, a few thousand dollars were left over after all our SEND expenses were paid. The leadership where we served had full discretion on how to disburse those funds for ministry. We are grateful that they granted our request and blessed Baptist Church Dubrava in Zagreb with that money. Remember

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This Christmas we have much to be thankful for, including you. We are most thankful for salvation that has been offered to us through Christ. As you gather this Christmas, take time to remember what we are celebrating; the creator of the world sent us his son who lived among us, taught us the truth, and offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins. For Brenda, Elle, Connor, Ian, and Lilyâ&#x20AC;ŚMerry Christmas!

P.S. Some clickable pictures of our year are included below.

Ian won 5th place for speed in the Pinewood Derby.

Ian turned 12.

Brenda and Elle are good friends!

Even better than Elle and Fiona.

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Brenda and the kids in a silly pose.

Elle had a costume party for her 16th birthday...

...and Brenda joined in!

Lily turned 10 in June. Our BABY is TEN!

Connor enjoyed the fire pit in our back yard.

Actually, we all did.

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Elle and Lily went to Illinois...

...and enjoyed Oma, Papa, and "the Chicago cousins."

Ian...

...and Lily waited for the 4th of July parade...

...that turned out to be one guy in an Elvis costume.

Summer days with friends...

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...and family made for lots of fun.

Lily in the lake at our friends' cabin.

Connor getting in that same lake.

Another special treat was celebrating Brenda's great-uncle's 90th birthday.

Ian and Lily at Tae Kwon Do.

Connor's 15th birthday.

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Get Windows Live Mail to create your own photo e-mails

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2010 Christmas Letter