Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Cyber Christmas Letter

The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome Him.
The nobler part Of all the house here, is the heart,
Which we will give Him; and bequeath This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do Him honor; who's our King,
And Lord of all this reveling.

-- English poet Robert Herrick

Christmas Cheer from our home to yours!

How do you condense 365 days of loving, laughing, crying, shouting, whispering, giggling, and living life with gusto nearly beyond measure? How do you define life with Nancy, Heather (almost 12), Kelly (almost 15), Jill our wonderful Fuller Seminary guest, Cindy (8 dog years, almost 60 in people years – complete with bad hips), and Boo Boo (the new kitten)? Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he talked about “the abundant life”. However, often Steve and Nancy think maybe this could be “the exhausted life”.

When Dad asked Kelly if she wanted to write anything here, she said, “you can do it Dad”, and went back to her homework. She is every bit a 14 almost 15 year old, and we love it. She is now a freshman at South Pasadena High School – and we hear your collective sigh – yes, its true. She is funny, creative, chatty (beyond belief) and full of life! Last spring Kelly had a chorus part in the Middle School play “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (Dad is still working on that one). This fall, she is on the JV water polo team! She is super-involved with her youth group at Hollywood Pres, and went to Mississippi again this past summer for a cross-cultural mission experience. In summary, Kelly rocks!

From Heather – who insisted on writing…..”I am almost 12 (in February) and this past year has a been a time for transition. In June I graduated from Marengo Elementary School and it was time for me to move on. The summer was so much fun and excitement. My family and I went to Hawaii for about two weeks! Before that I went to summer school that lasted about 2 months. It was fun and a good time to get ready for the middle school. I really like moving from class to class. This year has been a tough time for me in Math. I don’t have the greatest math teacher but I am learning to live with her. I have just finished my soccer season for this year. I really enjoyed my team and my coach. I have made many new friends. Every morning I meet my girl friends at 7:35 at the corner of our street to walk to school . I‘m really and looking forward to this next year! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. –Heather”

As for Nancy, she has asked me to highlight the year, as she is busily addressing Christmas cards even as I type. In February of 2005 she took a long weekend trip to Tijuana with a group from Hollywood Pres to build a home for a very deserving family. Wonderful time; transforming and hope-giving! She loves her roll as Mom, and is a mentor Mom with the MOPS program at church. As you may have guessed, we returned to our long-time church home in late summer, after a spring and summer of emotional turmoil in the pastorate, which is now behind us. We are excited to move forward, and see what God has in store in a very challenging time. Just two weeks ago, Nancy had a bit of a jolt – as she learned her father Cliff required a pacemaker at 76 years old. Cliff is doing well, and now it will be he who will be getting the jolt, regularly, thank God. The spring of 2005 brought profound sadness and pain, our dear friend Julie succumbed to her valiant battle with cancer. She leaves behind her husband Tony and two small children – Emma and Thomas. Say a Christmas prayer for continued healing in this dear family.

Steve is just plain thankful. Everyday. Thankful for two weeks with his sweet girls in the brilliant August sun and blue seas of Hawaii, a place so close to Heaven, and a time he will not soon forget. Deeply thankful that his parents are now living in a lovely assisted living facility, with lots of new friends and caring people, only 10 minutes from our house. Thankful for our freedom, and for those defending it, in far off places that are very dangerous. Oh, and if you are really completely bored, you can always see what is on Steve’s mind at his Blog (he is so hip) at

Each day, as we awake, we take a moment as we wake to tell each other “I love you”, as we reflect on the grace of more than 17 years of marriage. We are thankful indeed. We wish you profound Christmas Joy, Peace, and Wonder. Amen.

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