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Christmas Letter 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

As our family bundles up for the winter season and reflects on the Savior’s birth, we find ourselves thankful and grateful for another blessed year.  The providence of God handed us another baby, L, born in September.  She reminds us of our first-born with the same alertness, gleeful smile, and size (large)!

The children had an adventure-filled year, learning, accomplishing and growing in character under Gena’s tutelage.  For a slice in the life of our home-educated family, go to Gena’s blog (full of pictures, too!) at

We continued to develop our family tradition of road tripping in the summer.  This year we drove out to South Dakota to visit Sioux Falls, DeSmet (Laura Ingalls’ homsestead), Pierre, the Badlands and the Blackhills.  We stayed in a beautiful house on the top of a hill (a tad steep and a gravel road, but the minivan bravely made it!) near Deadwood.  We had fun driving through Custer State Park, hiking, going to a chuckwagon dinner, seeing the buffalo, Mt. Rushmore, etc.  After the trip B asked, “Dad, what’s worse, Las Vegas, Hollywood, or Deadwood?”  I could only muster, “that’s a good question.”

Also this summer, B and I discovered the Des Plaines River bike path.  We rode up and down it a bunch of times with B pushing each time for a new “record” distance.  I think by the end of summer we were up to 20 miles round trip.  

Gena continues to enjoy her homeschooling mom’s book club.  This year they studied The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.  The central message challenged us all to train our children to be responsible when anger arises in their hearts.  With that group of women and their families, we hosted a Reformation Party on October 31st (the anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door in 1517).  The kids came dressed up as knights and damsels and played various games like “hunt the deer in the forest” (with rubber tipped arrows), nailing of the theses on a door, making potpourri sachets in the “Artisan’s Shop,” and the favorite, musical chairs to Gregorian Chant.  We think the cutest kid was our own T ( 2 years old) dressed up as a monk!

Michael is serving in BSF again this year.  We’re studying the “Life of Moses” (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) and learning the parallels between the Israelites’ struggles and our “prone to wandering.”  For those interested in this highly recommended Bible study go to to find a class near you.

We pray that the New Year brings great blessings to you all as you draw near to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

In His Love,

Michael and Gena, with their children, B (8), J (6), M (5), R (3), T (2), and L (3 mos.)

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