Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Holiday Greetings!

We've made it to the end of 2009--what a year it has been!

We finally moved out of our 789-square-foot condo and into a rental house over double that size with a yard, garage, and a second bathroom! Although we were sad to leave our Central Park Ward church family, we have made many new friends in our new Centerville Ward. Being that we moved only 1/4 mile away, we are fortunate to be able to continue to mingle with our old friends and neighbors as well as the new!

Abe, still gainfully employed with Checkpoint in Redwood City, uses statistics to conduct research while he continues to work toward his second master's degree. In the last year, he has transferred from the Statistics Department at Cal State East Bay to an online data-mining program at Central Connecticut State University. He hopes to finish his degree in late 2010. Abe takes full advantage of our local public library and their wide assortment of audiobooks, maximizing his commute time with enriching audio entertainment. Abe now diligently serves as our church ward clerk, attending important meetings while keeping copious notes, tallies, and tracking action items for the ongoings of the Centerville Ward.

Janine completed her Master's of Library and Information Science degree at San Jose State University in May, and is currently moonlighting as a substitute Youth Services Librarian at Menlo Park Library. Additionally, her photography business continues to provide a source of inspiration and creative outlet. Along with homeschooling our three children, Janine volunteers at the Fremont Main branch of the Alameda County Library doing storytimes & bookclubs and at the Bayside 4-H Club as a project leader for Visual Arts & Crafts. She also enjoys her church calling serving as the Bears leader for the Centerville Cub Scout pack. Healthwise, Janine has been experimenting with raw diet recipes, walks to Curves three days per week, does yoga, and hikes with her family to keep fit and flexible.

Natalie, 7 years old, has enjoyed taking classes at Teach-Me-Art, going on fieldtrips, and taking advantage of the flexibility that homeschooling affords to pursue her personal interests. In addition to developing her skills in reading, writing, and math, Natalie has learned so much in 4-H. This year she is in the Primaries, Cooking, Beading & Jewelry, and Visual Arts & Crafts projects. She has decorated jars, blended smoothies, whisked pudding pies, beaded bracelets & necklaces, assembled button wreaths, and recycled crayons. Her favorite project so far has been learning how to make earrings--in fact, in the near future, Natalie may have the nerve to get her ears pierced so she can actually wear some of the earrings she has made! In her spare time, Natalie enjoys reading Harry Potter, Time Warp Trio, Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, and the Boxcar Children books.

Max, 5 years old, loves Legos! We usually have to pry him away from the "Lego Pit" long enough to complete a few math and writing lessons before he's back to building. That being said, as a Kindergartner this year, Max loves to read, and he reads at second grade level--books about Star Wars Clone Wars, Transformers, and Pokemon are his favorites; however, he can be found reading everything from encyclopedias and picture dictionaries to graphic novels, picture books, and chapter books. Max also excels musically--he can't help whistling all day long! He delights in singing and moving to classical music and looks forward to weekly piano lessons with Aunt Krissy. In 4-H, Max is in the Primaries, Visual Arts & Crafts, and Cooking projects. Recently, Max helped measure and mix homemade granola--his favorite breakfast food! When it comes to physical activity, "active" is an understatement. Max loves to climb, do push-ups, jump, flip, and do his signature "hyena" move. Ask him to show you sometime...

Madeline, 3 years old (going on 13), is our feisty one! Mature for her age, Madeline has been ready to move on from the church nursery to Sunbeams for about a year. Tagging along with her older siblings, Madeline finds herself participating and successfully completing many projects that would typically suit older children. Although she can't become a 4-H primary member until she is 5, she is often invited by project leaders to join in on the fun because of her maturity and ability. Madeline has been learning her letter sounds in preparation for reading. She has her own books, workbooks, and computer so that she can also do "school" while Natalie and Max are hard at work. Madeline makes a great little assistant in the kitchen--she loves to measure, mix, and pull ingredients out of the refrigerator for any recipe you have in mind. An artist at heart, Madeline is a natural at drawing, painting, stickering, taping, sculpting, and stamping. She sings, she dances, she "reads," she loves playing with her dogs & cat. She is Madeline. She is amazing!

Despite our hectic lives, we always have time for friends and family...give us a call, find us on Facebook, or send us an e-mail, and let the fun begin!


Abe, Janine, Natalie, Max, & Madeline
Rosie (dog), Sammy (dog), & Friday (cat)

Try our low-resolution movie with music.

1 comment:

Rebekah V. said...

Great to catch up with all your goings on! I can hardly catch my breath just reading about all you guys manage to fit into your life. When will our families get together next? Merry Christmas!