Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

We are planners, organizers, lovers of order. We draw significance from placing mile markers behind and sketching lines out into the distance ahead. We eagerly anticipate some approaching landmarks and await others with quiet anxiety or even fear. This year, our family passed some of these markers that seemed so distant to us not long ago. We have found that the maps we’ve been sketching for 10 years are pale reflections of the masterful plan that was carved, not sketched, before the world was made. A plan to give us hope and a future, regardless of our anxieties and fears. A plan that Christmas celebrates as it points to the child who became a man and who bought us hope and a future with his shed blood on a cross. Our journey’s destination is Jesus’ side. The rest is scenery to be enjoyed. Here is some of this year’s scenery.

IMG_20151122_205459 (1)Becky and I spent the early part of the year praying, discussing and visiting schools, trying to decide where Elliott would begin his school career in the fall. Then in August, we nervously walked him into Northrop Urban Environmental Learning Center for his first day of Kindergarten. There were no tears from our boy, just quiet excitement. Now, almost four months in, he’s thriving. He loves his teacher and his new classmates. He’s quickly learning to read and he has always had a mind for numbers. He comes home every day bubbling over with news of his activities that day, so much so that he can hardly slow down to eat dinner. He invited some of his new friends to his 6th birthday party at a nature center, and the rambunctious group enjoyed a chilly fall nature hike and games together. It’s amazing to see how quickly he’s adapted to his new school schedule and we can already see that God chose this school for us.

IMG_0694Zachary turned 4 this summer and is growing like a weed. We sometimes get asked if he and Elliott are twins. While not twins, they are inseparable as Zachary loves playing with his older brother (which usually takes the form of wrestling). Zachary is enrolled in Pre-K at Bethlehem Childcare Center and spends 3 half days each week learning and playing. He doesn’t bring home homework at this level, but he is always up for “helping” Elliott with his in the evenings. We’ve sometimes made copies of Elliott’s worksheets for Zachary to try. He’s still a very active and physical kid and usually only sits still long enough to watch a TV show or read a book. We started reading chapter books with the boys this year and both have grown to love the episodic stories of the Hardy Boys and others. Zachary also memorizes songs easily and sings them throughout the day with impressive inflection. We almost made it through the year without an ER trip, but Zachary fell after standing in a toybox and cut his cheek open on our coffee table and required stitches. Thankfully, we took our Christmas photo an hour before it happened.

When we enrolled Elliott in Kindergarten, we decided we’d drive him to and from school this first year rather than put him on the bus. That means that Becky has added “logistics manager” to her list of jobs. Each morning she gathers up the boys and their gear and drives to school. This new circuit was added to her already busy schedule which includes working part-time as the Office Manager at Hiawatha Church, leading her women’s Bible study group and helping with the children’s ministry at church. The heart that God has given her to serve those around her is an amazing picture of the Gospel. Becky also helped cook up a surprise birthday trip for her mom to Connecticut this summer which included her first skydiving adventure!

As for me, I’m still enjoying my job as a Microbiologist at Aveda and have worked on a 11947845_10153452110306858_2257548813533955436_onumber of new projects this year. I also spend a lot of time planning and preparing the worship music each week for Hiawatha Church and I love playing songs with an immensely talented group of musicians there. Outside of those spheres, I enjoy hiking with my family, taking pictures, reading, and writing.

Becky and I celebrated our first 10 years of marriage in September and we are amazed by and thankful for what God has done for us. May he continue to work in and through our little family to point those around us to the marvelous hope that the Gospel holds for the world.

Merry Christmas! Love, Peter, Becky, Elliott, and Zachary

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