Sunday, December 24, 2023

Weston Family 2023: Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Dear Friends & Family,

We have made the switch to digital cards! Please keep us updated with your current email address so we can continue to reach you over the years.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” -- Matthew 5:9

This has been a year of making space in our hearts and lives for dedicated efforts toward peacemaking in our communities--listening, inviting, serving and sharing! 

Madeline (17) is performing in Disney’s The Little Mermaid musical with StarStruck Theatre this January, as Arista, one of the mersisters and princesses. Madeline continues to raise our sixth and seventh puppies with Janine for GDB and they are currently working with Rhonda (1 year) and Timber (6 months), both yellow Labrador Retrievers. For fun and fitness, Madeline takes dressage lessons weekly and has enjoyed riding, caring for and learning from Brandee, Norman and Graham this year. Favorite foods are pomegranates from the garden and vegan charcuterie boards. One of her memorable reads has been The Sign for Home. Madeline graduated from high school and works on her pre-nursing studies for a local RN program. Her favorite class this past semester was “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” where she discovered many new songs to add to her playlists. While doing chores around the house, Madeline delights in listening to podcasts.

Max (19) has even longer hair this year! In addition to growing his hair, he is an essential worker in our home, helping with tending to and walking the pups on a daily basis. Max continues full-time at Ohlone College, planning to transfer to a four-year university to study Computer Science. He enjoys the challenge of his Discrete Structures and Assembly Language programming courses. Max’s favorite read this year has been Shantaram: A Novel. Max will also be participating in the upcoming winter StarStruck show, The Little Mermaid, as a sailor, chef and ensemble member. Max and Madeline have been doing collaborative baking to explore various versions of vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, Nantucket cranberry pie, and cranberry orange scones. Most importantly, his dentist says, due to his detailed dental routine, Max has great teeth!

Natalie (21) is away on her 18-month Spanish-speaking mission in Morristown, New Jersey area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She has been busy inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Her favorite activities include knocking, street contacting, teaching, and helping people learn English in New Jersey and New York. Books she has been reading are The Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel and engages in the daily practice of praying and studying the scriptures. Blessed to serve people from many cultures, her new favorite foods are tostones, pupusas and ceviche. Her companions have been lovely and we look forward to her email updates and speaking with her on a weekly basis. Upon her return, she will work over the summer and then head back to Cal Poly to finish her bachelor's of science degree in Food Science. 

Janine has become enchanted with her filly, Marseille, as she and Madeline work with an instructor to practice hands-on techniques for applying positive reinforcement training and creating a solid foundation for confidence and trust over time. Janine continues taking weekly dressage lessons on Wynona to continue her education and skills. Janine and Madeline continue doing therapy team evaluations at Washington Hospital for Pet Partners to help bring more joy and friendly visits to help heal the world! A new role for Janine includes serving as a co-leader for the GDB puppy-raising club in Fremont. A favorite recent read is Eat Like the Animals: What Nature Teaches Us About the Science of Healthy Eating. Janine continues her 14th year as a teacher with Connecting Waters Charter Schools, also loves teaching high school health and hopes to launch a new CTE Animal Science pathway at CWCS! At church, Janine supports the Relief Society presidency as their secretary.

Abe is still employed with Google and goes into the office a couple of days each week. Again, he was fortunate to travel to Singapore to collaborate with colleagues. In his free time, he watches movies, studies French and Spanish on Duo Lingo, plays guitar and piano, juggles, does yoga, hikes, hits tennis balls, cycles, kayaks, plays online chess, writes, listens to audio books, does beekeeping, gardens, plays VR boxing, and meditates daily. His favorite recent read has been Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon. New this year, Abe joined a local Rotary club and plans to do some travel for service-based projects. 

As a family (minus Natalie), we traveled to Maui, Thousand Oaks (with cousin Shawn), and Lake Tahoe (with Janine’s mom and sister’s family). 

As 2023 wraps up, we are grateful for all of our many blessings and trials as we reflect and recharge our batteries with family and friends.

Happy Holidays!


The Westons

Abe, Janine, Natalie (21), Max (19), Madeline (17), Sammy (15), Lucy (6), Lettie (3), Rhonda (1 year), Timber (6 months) & Catniss (11)

No comments: