Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Damned Christmas Letter!

Our family wishes you a most Merry Christmas, with the hope that you had a wonderful year. We Murphys are doing well. It has certainly been a year of change for us.

Matthew turned 13, giving us three teenagers in the house. He continues to dabble in guitar and cartooning. He has become so involved at Passion City Church that people there consider Anna and Will to be “Matthew’s siblings.” He took up basketball, and returned to the diamond after a three year layoff from baseball. He and Anna worked with the homeless. In addition, Matthew has become somewhat of a fashion plate.

Anna is now 15 years old, and is learning to drive. After watching a musical in January, she decided to audition for “The Wiz” and landed a featured dancer role. Anna took art classes and babysits, and spends lots of time studying. According to my calendar she spent at least 55 nights away from home, on sleepovers, retreats, and vacations. On Mother’s Day Anna was baptized, at North Point Community Church. She participated in the world’s largest flash mob at Panama City Beach, with the NP youth.

Now 18, Will flew the coop for the summer, working as the youngest counselor at Camp Highland in Ellijay. There he became an outdoorsman, traversing the high ropes course, rock walls, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and the like. This spring Will was named MVP of his high school baseball team, setting the single-season record for the highest batting average. In October he struck out 22 batters in nine innings. This year Will took trips to northern Kentucky, Orlando, Birmingham, and Mississippi. Currently Will is a dual-enrolled student, taking freshman classes and applying at colleges for next fall.

Once again Ceil did a great job home-schooling the kids and keeping the household running. She started back painting, while continuing to knit and sew. She worked one day a week at both the Veritas School and Living Science. Ceil was able to spend a week in Fredericksburg with her longtime friend, and is spending time in South Carolina helping both parents recover from simultaneous surgeries.

Dave enjoyed another year of scorekeeping, writing, and chaperoning the kid’s trips. He helped coach Matthew’s baseball team, worked backstage at “The Wiz,” and attended several Braves games. On Independence Day he ran his 24th Peachtree Road Race (Will’s eighth). Dave accelerated his reading hobby, devouring about forty books this year.

After attending North Point for eleven years, we have begun worshipping at Passion City Church. All three kids feel more at home there, as does Ceil. Will and Anna continue to teach at NP, and sometimes Dave tags along to worship.

After seven years of taking classes at Living Science Home Studies, in April we went on our last Spring Expedition to Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island. Will led, I chaperoned, and Anna and Matthew were Explorers. It was Will’s 16th trip, and my eighth. Anna and Matthew continue to be enrolled at Veritas. Of course, there’s always the chance we could return to Living Science.

In addition to the coastal Expedition, we took several other trips this year. The highlight was a June week touring Washington DC, with many thanks to the Virginia Broadwells for their gracious accommodations and hospitality. In July we joined the extended Miller family for our 19th annual Myrtle Beach vacation. We returned and headed to North Georgia, to visit Will at camp. There were additional trips to Macon and Jefferson, which included horseback and ATV riding, and panning for gold.

We look forward to more adventures in the new year, and hope to stay in touch with good friends like you.

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