Friday, February 05, 2010

Our New Year's Letter

For those of you that might not have received our New Year's letter, here is a copy of it. The main difference is, as a reader here, you get a lot more pictures with the letter than those that received it by snail mail.

January 2, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas has come and gone and we are taking advantage of the remaining vacation time to provide you a quick recap of the past year.

December 2009: Dixie's family gathered here with us for Christmas on December 26. They came from Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and Kansas. We had twenty-seven people in our house over Christmas weekend and sixteen of those were children ranging in age from 14 years to 3 months. We saw our new nephew Silas for the first time. The next time we see Silas, he will probably be walking; and that is just kind of sad. The kids went ice skating for the first time with their Sunday School class. Sam ended up with a huge bump on his head but the other kids emerged unscathed. They enjoyed it.

The Weingard Family

Silas intrigued by the lights overhead.

Samuel after having fallen on the ice.

November: We traveled to Kansas to spend Thanksgiving with Jeff's family. All of Jeff's immediate family were there. Although our time there was relatively short, we enjoyed our visit with them as well as Jeff's grandmother and some of Jeff's extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles). Jeff made buttermilk pancakes one morning using a new recipe he learned about from a friend's blog this year. Both Jeff and Dixie ventured into new cooking territory and enjoyed extending their cooking horizons just a little.

Wade family plays volleyball!

October: Dixie developed a greater interest in photography and took a photography fundamentals class through the IUPUI Community Learning Network. She really enjoyed the class, learned quite a bit, but realized that she still has much left to learn. She plans to take more classes in the coming year. For Christmas this year, Jeff surprised her with a new Nikon D300s. We are both pleased with the initial pictures we have obtained with the camera though we know they will be even better as she gains more experience.
Christmas 2009

September: Our family vacationed in Massachusetts and Maine this year. As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed our time near the New England ocean. While we were on the east coast, we visited Portland Head Light, Nubble Light, York Beach, Boston, Plymouth and Cape Cod. Jeff especially enjoyed sitting by the beach on the eastern coast of Cape Cod. A mild storm was brewing and it was incredibly beautiful and refreshing. We were able to take Dixie's Mom with us for the first weekend and get her to the airport Monday so that she could be home in time to teach her classes on Tuesday. Dixie's sister Heidi and her husband Mike were also able to join us that first weekend and we enjoyed their company. On the 19th of this month, Dixie's youngest sister Lyndi brought a new little boy into the world - Silas LeRoy.

My Mom at Portland Headlight, ME

Heidi and Mike standing in front of the Mayflower.

Our five kids watching the waves at York Beach, ME.

Silas LeRoy

August: Our 9th year of homeschooling started this month. Dixie struggled to balance her responsibilities at times this year but obtained some outside help in an effort to keep on top of her vast undertakings. Curtis is now in sixth grade and his favorite subjects are science and history. This year he is studying ancient history and reading about World War II. A few other things he enjoys are drawing, building with Legos, throwing a football (something that he can do well), and listening to Jonathan Park. Samuel is in 5th grade and enjoys reading; but his real love is being outdoors. He was thrilled with the bow and arrow and Red Ryder BB gun that he got for Christmas. Alex is in 3rd grade and enjoys math, history and reading. We were not too many days into our Christmas break before Alex was asking when school would start again; he wanted to work on Math. He also loves to play with miniature army men, knights, Legos and Playmobil. Briana is in 1st grade and is doing a great job reading. She loves to read, write, draw and color. Julissa is still in those days before the responsibility of school and enjoys coloring; looking at books; being read to; and playing with Legos, her dollhouse, Snap 'N Style Dolls, Kelly Dolls, baby dolls, My Little Ponies, etc. She loves to play, has many pretend friends, and tells many stories to her dolls. Couper is a great little dog and is loved by all the family.

Briana and Couper

July: This year we went to a church family camp in Niangua, MO. Dixie's sister Jodi did the cooking for this camp and did a fabulous job. After coming home from this family camp, our kids attended a kid’s camp in Greenfield, Indiana which they thoroughly enjoyed. It was also the month for our annual Vacation Bible School at church. Jeff's employment as a chemist entered its 10th year. Time is on a merciless march but he is thankful for his interesting and rewarding job.

Cousins coloring together at camp.

VBS Theme

June: This was the month of our annual family camp for our home church. As it is but thirty minutes from our house, we attended the evening services nightly.

Jeff on Father's Day 2009

May: A year ago this month Jeff went to Europe on a business trip for work. He visited France, Hungary and England; and he enjoyed the business and cultural experiences. Jeff's contributions to this business trip were not significant but he gained knowledge and business contacts that may be of value to him and to his company in the future. As we did not send out a letter last year and could not think of anything interesting that occurred in this year's month of May, we decided to include this bit of belated trivia instead.

Canola fields in Europe

The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France

April: Ah, 'tis the month when Dixie attends the annual homeschool convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is the highlight of her school year as she looks forward to gleaning new ideas and coming away recharged and refreshed for the coming year. Jeff went to the convention with Dixie this year and was stunned by some excellent seminars led by Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing fame. He feels it is a pity that we must learn to raise children while we simultaneously try to raise them properly, but he is grateful for some newfound knowledge and some literature that promises even more. We spent Easter in Salem, Ohio with Dixie's Mom and two of Dixie's four sisters.

Our three boys - Easter 2009

Our two girls - Easter 2009

March: We attended revival services at our home church and were favored by a visit from Dixie's Mom and her sister Lyndi.

Alex and Sam playing in the creek behind our house. (March 2009)

February: We visited with Jeff's family in Kansas as we were unable to get together over the previous Thanksgiving or Christmas. After leaving Independence, we traveled north to Ottawa, Kansas where we met with Dixie's sister Jodi and her family for a few hours. We got to see Joashleiah Lynn for the first time and ate at a Chinese buffet before we headed back home.

Regina, Jeff, Grandma, and Tamara

January 2009: The month was apparently so busy that we did not get out a New Year's letter after missing the Christmas letter deadline. But we don't remember anything that we wish to share herein.

Our home - January 2009

December 2008: Due to life-changing circumstances, we did not get a Christmas letter out last year. On October 2nd, 2008 Dixie's Dad was in an automobile accident. After 9 ½ weeks in the hospital, he went home to heaven on December 8th, 2008. He is missed as greatly as he was loved, but we can only hope to see him in the world that is yet to come for us. On the 27th of this month, Dixie's sister Jodi welcomed a new little girl into the world.

Dad - June 2008

Joashleiah (about a year after her birth)

Jeff redeveloped a keen interest in theological studies this past year and has learned and relearned a number of important Bible truths. While particularly impressed with the sound scriptural reasoning found in the works of Methodism's founders, John and Charles Wesley, Jeff was gratified to learn that other theologians share their view of some important theological truths. These writers are from diverse Protestant theological perspectives and include the following famous Christians: Martin Luther, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and Oswald Chambers. He posted some quotes from his studies on his blog ( and plans to continue this practice in the coming year. Please feel free to visit the blog and register your agreement or disagreement with the perspectives offered by these great Christian thinkers.

Dixie updates family items regularly on her blog ( and includes many more pictures than we could afford to send with this letter. We highly recommend that you make it a habit to visit this site if you wish to keep up with our family. For as you know by now, a letter like this one is no yearly guarantee.

Until next time,

Jeff, Dixie, Curtis, Samuel, Alexander, Briana and Julissa

1 comment:

Laura said...

I haven't had much time to read blogs lately, but I quickly took time to read your "letter"... enjoyed the news about your family. Your home is beautiful, your children, precious!