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CHRISTmas Letter 2012

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind. - Helen Steiner Rice

Treasured family and friends, I contemplated *not* even sending a letter this year. I wondered if people were weary of my letters every year, and then I realized that it’s important to connect at least once a year with those that are so important to us. I hope that I’ll be brief and concise enough not to be a bore, and yet fill you in a bit on 2012!

First a glance at the family:
Nicholas is in his 3rd year at Stout. We kept him quite busy this past summer with outside projects when he wasn’t working @ Deltco, and are so blessed whenever he is home!

Proud of his jersey

Nicholas with his best bud!

Nate graduated basic training [Army] in September, AIT in November [plumbing], and will start college in January. We are so grateful and proud of Nate for ‘putting on the uniform and pledging himself to serve our country’.

Nate getting ready to leave for Basic training--with his one and only sister…

Andrew started his 1st year at Stout. He continues to love football and dreams of being a sport’s writer. He also got his braces off this year-ah, darn, no more shopping trips to Duluth! ha!

Birthday Pie
LOVE this pictures--just feels like yesterday that they were 3, 2, 1 and newborn!

Jonathan graduates in December and heads out for Army bootcamp in January. We will celebrate his high school graduation in the Summer 2013. Also, we’re so grateful that Jonathan wants to serve our country and pray for God’s richest blessings to follow him.

Jonathan playing his guitar…

Daniel got his first deer this year with a bow. He did an awesome job getting it from field to freezer and we’re so grateful for the extra meat. He continues trapping and also keeps busy with two jobs and his studies. He also got his FIRST fox trapping. VERY exciting!

Daniel and Stephen

Stephen had his special ceremony to celebrate his 14th Birthday--acknowledging his passage into young manhood. He is now proud owner of a new gun. He also made quite a bit of extra money with mowing jobs this summer.

Mary attended her first ball [dinner/dance] this year with her adoring daddy. She is my co-laborer at the thrift store, and also made quite a bit of extra money this summer babysitting. She continues to dream of owning a horse and continually tells me that ‘we’re two peas in a pod’! LOVE it!

Sammy is in 1st grade and loves school. He continually makes me laugh! He made his first trip [since he was 4 months old] to KC to see Mimi and Popi and loved every minute of it, especially Mimi’s IPAD! ha!

Sammy having fun in the snow.

Birthday boy--turning 6

A bit of challenging news came to us on November 12th. Due to economic issues with the company, BFP chose to eliminate the position and office that Dennis has had for the last 5 years. After the initial shock, we’ve recovered and are in the process of searching for a new job. Thank you for your prayers. God has been VERY gracious and kind to us--beyond words loving in the way of gifts received beyond what we could ask or imagine!

My sweetheart

This year brought a few new things to my schedule: working at the hospital gift shop and thrift store once a month, and summer tutoring of an adorable 6 year old girl that our family came to love very much. Of course, I continue with the jobs of homemaker and educator, and most days, I’m grateful for my occupation! ☺

Trip Highlights:
Nate and Jonathan [and a mutual friend] went to the Boundary Waters for a wonderful camping and fishing trip!

Jonathan at the Boundary Waters

Nate at the Boundary Waters

I was blessed with TWO trips to Kansas City this year! Highlights included going to the KC symphony with mom, watching Downton Abbey together [TWICE!], eating out, going for walks, attending Nate’s graduation together, having fires on the patio, getting to hear my brother in concert, and just spending time with the greatest parents in the whole wide world!

Adore my parents!

Trip to Brookings, South Dakota! My girlfriend is the BEST hostess ever! She left me gifts on the bed EVERY morning! Can’t wait to go back--and Mary wants to go too and visit De Smet, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

My cherished friend!

And our husbands BEST friends, too!

Nate’s graduation in Fort Leonard Wood, MO! Such a GRAND time of reunion and celebration. Nate graduating basic at Ft. Leonard Wood…

Family picture [without 4 of us]

Overnights with Dennis--he gets loads of ‘free nights’ in hotels because of all the traveling he does, and it’s SO nice to get away for weekend trips! One time we were upgraded to the Presidential Suite and had the MOST beautiful view of Lake Superior at the Radisson Hotel.

Tearful good-bye’s
Had the privilege of co-hosting a going away party for our dear friends, the Colgroves! After 50+ years of living in Ashland, they moved to South Dakota in June. We miss them SO much, and there have certainly been tears!

We had to say good-bye to Jonathan’s beloved bird--Kiwi. SO, so sad! There will certainly be grand reunions some day in heaven! I can just imagine all our sweet pets waiting for us!

Daniel with Jonathan's Kiwi

Thank you for allowing us to share these highlights, we would so love to hear from all of you. We remember with fondness... “For auld lang syne ...For times gone by...!”

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! - Hamilton Wright Mabie

We wish you a very Merry CHRISTmas and a New Year of rich blessings!

All our love, Dennis, Susan, Nicholas, Nate, Andrew, Jonathan, Daniel, Stephen, Mary and Sammy

Stockings hung by the chimney…

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KATHYKIM 1/10/2013 9:50AM

    Susan - I have been away from Spark for the last couple months. I wanted to thank you for sharing your Christmas letter. I love seeing your family - they always make me smile. emoticon I am praying for your husbands' job.


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SANDEEB7 12/31/2012 2:02AM

    SO inspirational. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and news with us.
We pray a job is on the horizon. emoticon HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.

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CANDOSUE52 12/23/2012 2:35PM


Loved reading about your wonderful family. Praying for your husband's new job.

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ABETTERSOUL 12/21/2012 6:11PM

    Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing your Christmas letter...another year gone by, so quickly. Love hearing about your family and adventures. Have a wonderful Christmas. Love and hugs, Karen

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TEDDYBEARDONNA 12/20/2012 6:36PM

    I enjoyed reading your news letter. I had to look twice and yes that same fabric in on a couch that I have and have been trying to sell for several years. We had planned on building a den or great room as it might be called today and had planned on putting our old furniture in that room, but instead we put in a pool.

Have a merry Christmas.

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/14/2012 2:31PM

    Your Christmas newsletter is one of the best ones I look forward to each year. May you all glorify God through the beautiful lives you lead. Hopefully you won't be without solid employment too long. May God's great grace and peace be yours this day and everyday. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

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SAL1512 12/12/2012 8:27PM

    Please continue to cherish and share your Christmas letter!
Sally emoticon

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MWESTICH 12/10/2012 2:18PM

    I am glad you didn't give up on a family letter. I love reading them. Although I have only known you via Spark for a couple of years, I feel I know you through your writing and it is uplifting. I am praying for a new job for your husband.

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CEILIE2 12/10/2012 12:14PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful family & friends with us.
May you all have a very Blessed and merry Christmas.
Thank you lifting my spirits.

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JUSFOLK 12/10/2012 11:31AM

    What a lovely and well-composed picto-letter! You are indeed a blessed family!

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DOROTHYBERO 12/10/2012 9:14AM

    Just beautiful - thanks for sharing!

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GOLFGMA 12/10/2012 9:10AM

    A wonderful blog with lovely photos. Thanks so much for sharing! emoticon

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PATTYKLAVER 12/10/2012 7:31AM

    You have a great family and a bunch of great friends. Thanks for sharing your highlights with us. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday and a blessed New Year!

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ERIECANALGAL 12/9/2012 11:57PM

    Thanks for sharing. How lovely. Your family is so beautiful!

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ELSAT137 12/9/2012 11:35PM

    It is so fun to see you family!! My oldest daughter loves horses and Laura Ingalls too. Desmet is a great place to take the family. (Not too far from where we live) Have a Blessed CHRISTmas!!

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KADULAC 12/9/2012 10:15PM

    I love hearing about your family. What a blessing. Merry Christmas.

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DMSPEER93 12/9/2012 8:55PM

    We have a large family as well. It's a blessing! May you continue to see Christ's blessings during this season in your life! Merry CHRISTmas! emoticon

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2BE-MY-BEST 12/9/2012 8:16PM

    Thanks for sharing . May you and yours have a wonderful Holiday Season.

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KMICHA 12/9/2012 8:15PM

    Thanks for sharing . . . . it was a beautiful update on your family and a beautiful Christmas greeting!

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 12/9/2012 8:09PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us. I enjoyed every bit of your story. You truly are richly blessed, and I pray for continued blessings upon your family.

Merry Christmas!

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MJ7DM33 12/9/2012 8:08PM

  Beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing! Merry CHRISTmas & Happy New Year to You & Yours!

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 12/9/2012 8:02PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us. I enjoyed every bit of your story. You truly are richly blessed, and I pray for continued blessings upon your family.

Merry Christmas!

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BESTSUSIEYET 12/9/2012 7:19PM

    I can see that your love for Jesus and your family continues, despite many challenges. Isn't God good to keep us even when the situations we find ourselves in are full of stress and uncertainty? Think it is His peace that guards ours hearts and, passes understanding, when we keep our minds stayed on Him! May our Lord & Savior continue to direct and bless each member of your family through this season and the year ahead! Susie2Susie Hugs!

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GRACEISENUF 12/9/2012 6:16PM

    What a blessing to read your blog and see all the wonderful family pics! The picture of Mary and her Daddy really touched my heart, she looks so proud to be going to the dance with her Dad.

Thank you for sharing Susan. My baby boy leaves tomorrow for bootcamp. I have been praying for strength to say goodbye without a mess of tears. I know he is in the Lord's hands..I just know I am going to miss him so very much, especially at this time of year. Our first Christmas apart since he was born in 94. Looks like you have been there/done that. :)

I am continuing to pray for your family and the right job to come open for your husband.

Merry Christmas to all of you!


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BLEGNER1 12/9/2012 6:15PM

    God bless you and yours

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 12/9/2012 6:14PM

    Merry Christmas. It was sweet to relive these moments with you. You and your family have a special place in my heart. emoticon

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KITT52 12/9/2012 6:11PM


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