The joy of the Lord is our strength.
2013 was a better year in the Collier household. Honestly, just about anything would have been better, but God has been merciful to us this year for which we are thankful. This letter was started before Christmas, but somehow it didn't quite make it out until now.
Most of the changes and events in our home as usual involve the children.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Tartan Alex is a sophomore at HBU. He finished his freshman year well, getting on the Dean's list. He also won first place in the Danny Lee Lawrence Writing Awards for creative fiction. After working over the summer at WalMart, he was happy to get back to school. This summer it looks like he will be traveling to Oxford for a two-week seminar. I look forward to telling you a little about that next year.
Kyrie and I went to New York in the spring for her to dance in Times Square for Project Dance with the Ballet Excelsior Trainees. She got to experience a little of what it's like to be part of a traveling dance group. She had to keep everything in one carry-on bag, including her costumes. She learned to travel light which was a great precursor to her traveling with Ballet Excelsior on their Japan tour. She didn't dance but was part of their stage crew. It was an incredible experience for her; take a look at the previous blog posting for some of what she experienced. Her other big moment this year was getting her driver's license and being able to drive what we oddly call the "Goldberry" (it's a metallic orange color, and the name was inspired by Gus' car on the TV show Psych). Her many hours of dance at the studio include ballet level 7, tap, modern, conditioning, a couple of level 8/9 classes, and, of course, BET, the trainee program.
Aidan added TaeKwonDo to his schedule this year. As of December, he is an Orange belt. In Scouts, he achieved the Star rank, and was also inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Next he works on achieving the Life Scout rank and then on to Eagle. Besides school at home, he is taking one outside class: junior high science. He is doing well with that. In September, he'll be 15 and old enough to get his driver's permit. I'm so glad Tartan teaches that subject!
Abigail is twelve, not quite a teenager, but she seems to think she is one anyway. She is dancing in level 6/7 so she has several classes with Kyrie this year. Apparently, their teachers find their sister dynamic really interesting (and perhaps entertaining). For school this year, she is working on her own Sonlight core which she is finding to be challenging. She is working on balancing that with her busy dance schedule and her need for "socialization". Besides ballet, she dances tap, modern and hip hop and takes the conditioning class. She is an assistant for a couple of beginning dance classes.
Kayleigh is a laid-back eight year old. She seems to find her school load interesting but not too time-consuming yet. Using Simply Music, she's been learning a few songs on the piano, and Music Ace helps her learn music theory. She's Grade 2 in ballet, so for the first time she has two ballet classes a week. She also continues with tap and hip hop and has been able to take the drama class at Excelsior. Her other interests include Build-a-Bear (including her own collection as well as the online games), reading (the Percy Jackson series and the Sisters Grimm series are her current faves), and recently she added loom knitting.
I do often think about what Aimee would be doing now; what her interests would be and how she felt about things. How I wish I could know, but someday I'll get to know all about her and what we're missing now will seem like nothing. And I can say that with confidence not because of myself, but because of Jesus. Happy birthday, Jesus - and say happy birthday to Aimee for us.
We have also finally made the first disbursement from Aimee's Memorial Fund. Thank you again to all who contributed to it. We chose to give to Compassion's disaster relief fund. The massive typhoon that struck the Philippines did not severely impact the child we sponsor there, but it did many other Compassion partner organizations and the families they assist. We have sponsored Neil since before he could write his own letters and now he's 16.
We pray blessings for you all this year, whatever it may bring.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.