Christmas Letter 2016

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December 25, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

To say that 2016 has been an eventful year is probably an understatement at this point. For many people, it’s been a year of loss, dismay, confusion and fear. In our little family, we’ve experienced those feelings too. We’ve also experienced the vast joy and peace that passes understanding as we’ve seen our God work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We press on, knowing that whatever the future holds, we have a Savior who holds us. With that hope in mind, here are some highlights from our year.

This year, we bid a tearful farewell to our beloved cat Timaru. Timaru struggled with an illness for many months and it was finally time to let him go. We miss his playful nature and his aggressive cuddles.

Elliott turned 7 in November and is in 1st grade at Northrop Community School. Many of his classmates from his kindergarten class are with him again and it’s been great to see those friendships grow and new ones form. He continues to excel at his studies and his teacher compliments him (and us) often on his studious nature. Elliott enrolled in a 6U soccer class this fall and kindled an interest in the game that we hope catches fire. He was positively beaming when presented with a medal at the end of the season. Elliott loves to be outside, playing and exploring. He collects insects, rocks, sticks and other things as he rambles around the many parks in the Twin Cities area. He recently finished a school project by building a diorama to illustrate some facts about skinks. Elliott is currently planning to become a marine biologist. He’s a great friend, brother and son.

Zachary finished preschool in the spring and joined Elliott at Northrop in the fall. We wondered how he would take to all day kindergarten being that he’s so energetic and a bit younger than Elliott was coming into it, but we had nothing to worry about. Zachary has blossomed in kindergarten. He loves the activities and dives into them wholeheartedly. He’s quickly learning to read and has a newfound appreciation for drawing and coloring. His hands are perpetually stained with marker from all the sketching he’s doing in his spare time. He joined Elliott on the 6U soccer team and made new friends there. In January, shortly after cutting his cheek on the coffee table, he hit his head while sledding and needed more stitches in the back. In May, the coffee table struck again as he fell into it and knocked out a front baby tooth. He took comfort in the fact that he lost his first tooth before his brother. The kid is tough as nails. Zachary has many career ambitions, but he often speaks of wanting to design rocketships and be a ninja.

For a mom, it’s hard to see both your kids head off to school, but Becky has found many ways to stay connected to the boys. She diligently helps with homework and assignments and keeps the boys on track. She volunteers weekly in Elliott’s class, helping the students and building relationships with them and the teachers. She also volunteers in Zachary’s class regularly. She leads a Moms In Prayer group with Northrop moms and participates in PTA. Becky continues to serve as the Office Manager at Hiawatha Church and co-leads a women’s Bible study group weekly. Becky was privileged to spend a week in Connecticut this September welcoming her new twin niece and nephew. I’m constantly amazed by her dedication and love for others.

As for me, I continue to work at Aveda as Sr. QA Microbiologist. It’s been a challenging and exciting year there. I continue to serve as the Worship Leader at Hiawatha Church and I love playing and singing with my church family every week. A first for me this year was spending a week on active jury duty hearing a criminal case. It was a fascinating experience and very different from chasing bacteria in the lab.

We hope this letter finds you well and that God draws you close to him as you rest in the good news of his Son! Merry Christmas!

Love, Peter, Becky, Elliott & Zachary Carlson