Thursday, December 23, 2010

♥ Merry Christmas 2010!!! ♥

Valiant Family Christmas Letter December 2010

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone (and that it’s only the beginning of December and I’m already writing this year’s Christmas letter!!!). I’m super excited for this year in review, even though it hasn’t been a super exciting year per se…so here goes:

Griffin-our lil’ man is now 19 months old. He’s a fun, cheerful addition to the Valiant brood…always making us laugh with his dancing and babbling. Griffin loves to give kisses and hugs and sings along with songs on the radio. He loves to play with his brothers and he lets us know when he’s been wronged by raising his voice a bit! Griffin has an incredibly content nature (so far) and is definitely easy-going with our crazy, busy family.

Owen-our other lil’ man is now FOUR years old!!! Can you believe it? Our little miracle boy never ceases to amaze us with his crazy antics, quick wit, and huge vocabulary! He has continued to love to sing and dance, though we don’t have him in any formal musical programs. He loves attending his Sunday school classes and WNKoF (Wednesday night kids of Faith) and learning about God and Jesus. If you stop by our house, he’ll likely invite you to play in his room (which he shares with Griffin) and you’ll probably be roped in to a make-believe world of playing house, doctor, school, etc. Owen is learning his letters and how to write his name and our really big news is that he was officially potty trained this summer just in time for him to attend Vacation Bible School for the first time! He loved it (and Mommy & Daddy love one less in diapers!).

Jake & TJ-best buds and now classmates too! Jake had his 7th birthday in September and TJ had his 11th in November. This past spring, TJ was introduced to a less ‘popular’ sport and we decided to enroll both TJ and Jake in the Boiler Diving program at Purdue. Both boys have LOVED the exercise, fun, and opportunity it has provided. We have enjoyed learning more about the sport and watching the Purdue athletes compete as well. The boys aren’t at competition level quite yet, but they both are working hard and having fun! In May, Jake graduated from Kindergarten at Faith Christian School and TJ ended a five year season of his life attending school at FCS. TJ enjoyed playing baseball this summer (something he hasn’t done for a few seasons) and both boys continued diving as well. Jake took swimming lessons (since he really wanted to be able to do more than the dryland portion of the diving classes like TJ) and learned to swim really well, really fast! He went from having a fear of even jumping off the side of the pool in June to doing flips off the 3 meter platform just 3 months later! This summer the boys went on an unprecedented 2 week trip by themselves to Wisconsin to spend time with “Grandma Becca” and family…and to FISH! TJ is especially into fishing! The kid dreams in fish. They had a great time and we capped off the 2 weeks by attending my brother Andrew ‘s wedding reception. Welcome to the ‘crazy’ family Amanda!

This back to school season was quite different for our family…we went from getting up and driving the boys to FCS every day, to ‘simply’ walking to the kitchen table! Yes, we are homeschooling now. It’s been a challenging but rewarding 4 months and the boys have done excellent! Both TJ and Jake flew through an entire grade level of math already and they have both just jumped a level in spelling as well. We don’t have every subject mastered (curriculum choice-wise) but are enjoying the ride. The field trips are definitely the best part! Oh, and both boys have read several books too…ok, several is an understatement-we tell them often how blessed they are that they have a love and gift for reading.

Tim-is still working at Walgreens. He’s in his 13th year with the company actually. He has been at his current store since it opened 2 1/2 years ago. When not at work, Tim keeps busy playing with the boys, and taking care of household budget stuff and helping out around the house. He also serves in our church by teaching finance and time management classes to College students along with providing personal budget/financial counseling. We are also still enjoying serving in the college aged ministry…-ask him about his assassination attempts from this summer if you see him around.

Renay-I worked this past year for the Indiana Immunization Coalition part-time from home. However, as homeschooling has become my primary focus, I recently turned in my notice and will be ‘officially’ unemployed in 2011 for the first time since TJ was a newborn (YAY!!!). I’m loving this new, but very different season of life and am happy to almost have one semester of homeschooling behind us. Oh, and I still love ‘couponing’ and deal seeking. I’ve even added Goodwill shopping to my repertoire. I’m excited to possibly have more time (though less cash) to deal seek in the near future.

As 2010 draws to a close, the warm thoughts of the abundant blessings in our lives are at the forefront of my mind. John 10:10b confirms this for us, when Jesus states “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. While 2010 was not a year filled with big news, nor spectacular life changes, it was a good year. It was a blessed year. And it certainly was an abundant year! We pray you also have had an abundant year and are blessed with an abundant year to come!

Love, The Valiant’s
~Tim, Renay, TJ, Jake, Owen, & Griffin