Saturday, January 2, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016

The Milton Team is closing out another eventful year – here are a few highlights:

Our family road tripped to Nauvoo, IL this summer, a 30-hour drive in the mini-van over a week that was more fun than we expected. Besides stopping in Louisville, KY to visit Fidesco and Luder’s brother Jonathan’s family, we loved seeing the beauty of America and learning of the faith of the early pioneers who lived in and left Nauvoo for Utah. In addition to actual trips we also visited the world of homeschooling and eventually left the well-travelled roads of public education for the pasture of a small private Christian school, Heritage Christian Academy (HCA). All three love the new school and have adjusted nicely.

Luder is still enjoying his work at Capital One and the challenges that come from a constantly evolving legal/regulatory environment for banks (job security!).  He began serving in the bishopric of our ward earlier this year – which means more meetings and administrative duties. Luder’s learning a lot and loving the chance to serve. Aside from church and work, he’s kept busy coaching soccer, avoiding his honey-do list and chasing his boys.

Ginny has once again impressed with her ability to be everywhere and do everything at once. This year she has: potty-trained Silas, homeschooled Cason, continued to lead a church program for 15 girls aged 8-11, administered a weekly addiction recovery program for adult women, transitioned 3 boys to HCA, taught a personal management class for 7th graders at HCA and been on call for half of her family and friends in emergencies. And that’s just what we know about. One of her best moments was the Taylor Swift concert in DC with her Aunt Leslie this summer. Least fun experience was trying out her very own kidney stone. She didn’t like it.

Cason – (12) packed as much college football into this year – watching, reading, dreaming, etc. – as humanly possible. He also played soccer, basketball and flag football. He tried goalie for the first time and did pretty well – despite poor coaching by his dad. Cason still loves reading and has found that he’s pretty good at math and acting too. He’s still best buds with Abram but has built a special friendship with Silas this year that has been fun to watch. Cason was ordained a deacon this year and has begun passing the sacrament on Sundays. We are proud of his decision to accept the priesthood and the responsibilities that go with it.

Abram – (10) also tried goalie for the first time this year and loves it. He’s tearing through the Harry Potter and several other series. He loves reading, MineCraft, Legos and army men. He is still dancing wherever he goes – “can’t stop won’t stop” definitely applies here – the boy can “Bop” and “Whip, Nae Nae” and just about everything else. Abram is a party waiting to happen. The new school has challenged him academically and he’s responded impressively. In addition to the fun, we’ve seen some maturation this year which has been neat to see. He is growing up.

Declan – (6) is on fire and always on the move. If he’s not playing soccer (5 goals in a game!), drawing, doing math problems, reading or writing – he’s almost certainly doing something with Silas. Those two are thick as thieves and practically inseparable. Kindergarten this year has been great – he’s leader of the pack and his teachers love him. Only challenge has been finding a curriculum to keep up with him. He has also discovered Legos and thru them found a new connection with Abram.

 Silas – (3) is a potty-training, soccer/basketball/football playing machine. He loves being on the go and cracking us up with his comments (“Yes way, seriously”). At the same time, the boy loves being at home because that’s where mom is and says the sweetest prayers. Shy, but warms up quickly “the Mighty Wis” is a power in this family. With Silas we finally have a lefty and one of the happiest, smartest little men in the world.

Fidesco – (14) is far away in Louisville but often in our thoughts. He spent a week with us at Christmas last year – another great experience with a quickly maturing young man. Since we weren’t able to have him come to Virginia to visit this summer, we went to Louisville and saw him. It was too short, but was wonderful to see him and his mother and remind them that they have friends in Richmond that love them. Fidesco is scouting and heavily involved with his youth group. He is coming for Christmas. He continues to do well in school and is growing fast.  We miss that kid!
Another fast-moving year has sped by but we want to take moment to testify to you, our family and friends, of the reality of the gospel and the promise that Christmas represents. We hope that you will join us as we try to not just believe in Jesus Christ – but believe Him when He says “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And to trust Him in all things, especially in this time of year.

In short – we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Much Love,
 Luder, Ginny, Cason, Abram, Declan and Silas