Sunday, 7 January 2018

** IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the post for last year. 2018's post follows this one so don't miss it! **

Greetings to our friends and family as we head into 2017!

Another year has swept past and we hope it's been a blessed one for you whether in ups or downs.

We headed north this year through Missouri and on to Michigan. We drove through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.  Over 3000 miles. We visited family and friends. We ate lunch at the restaurant Tartan's mom had her first job and then visited with extended family.  In Michigan we spent New Year's Eve with a sweet family we visited last year- in California! And we spent a (too) short time with a friend of Naomi's from junior high who recently moved from Houston to Michigan. (And  I waited until now to get together with her!)

Previously this year, Tartan Alex graduated with honors from HBU with a double degree in English and Creative Writing. He's taken a short term job as a tutor with the Houston school district.  Kyrie took classes at Lone Star College and is preparing to transfer to The University of Texas at Dallas in the fall. For two weeks in the summer, Kyrie, Abigail and Tartan went to Poland and the Czech Republic with Ballet Excelsior to perform a ballet of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in a variety of venues including a small theatre that had never had a Christian group perform before and where they had to turn people away because it was completely full. Another performance was in a large square in front of a church where many people stopped to watch.  Tartan spent his first couple of days there figuring out how to build the "stone" table and a frame for hanging prop curtains.

Aidan has continued with Boy Scouts and has until September to become Eagle. He completed his project and has just a few merit badges to finish. He is making progress in taekwondo. Though he has his black belt, there are degrees of black belt so he's working towards the next degree. His favorite class is weapons class. They don't fight each other with weapons but learn sequences of moves.

Kayleigh moved up to level 5 in ballet. She's a little young for pointe shoes; that'll likely come next year. However she danced in the annual Dance with a Purpose fundraiser for Ballet Excelsior. She loves ballet and hip hop, but her favorite is tap. Ballet Excelsior and the Excelsior Trainees perform in a Christmas show at Market Street almost every year. Kyrie is in the company and Abigail is in the trainee program. This year was special because Kayleigh got to dance with her tap class at the beginning of the show so all three girls participated. It was an interesting two days. The first night the temperatures were in the low 70s, high 60s. The second night the temperature was hovering around freezing.

Naomi learned a lot about the frustrations of gardening last spring. This year we're going to build an enclosed walk in garden box and hope for better success. She's also enjoyed loom knitting and plans to finish a small blanket and make a hat for Abigail (so she'll give back the one Naomi made for herself).

And now the photos…

 Tartan receives a scouting award in January

About to head to the Father Daughter Dance

T. Alex enjoying the love on his birthday 

Aidan officially receiving his black belt

Kayleigh after her grade 4 and Abi and friends after their level 7 exams

Kayleigh IS the fox (from the Christmas dinner scene in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, though this photo was in our back garden)

Mission trip to Poland & the Czech Republic with Ballet Excelsior

Kyrie depicting Edmund as he makes the decision to obey the White Witch

Tormented by the Queen's crones when she comes to claim Edmund

Charging into battle

 Abigail IS the butterfly

Aidan arranged for the children's wing at church to be painted for his Eagle project

Our annual visit to Renaissance Festival

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