Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

We celebrate the birth of our Savior this year with much to thank Him for. God has carried us through good and bad this year, and we are so blessed as a family. It is our prayer that you had a great year as well, and will have a wonderful Christmas season. Our family has had a wonderful year.

Will (21) completed his junior year at UGA. On Spring Break he road-tripped to UVA, Washington, and Philadelphia with friends. This April Will was baptized at his church in Athens, Cleveland Road Baptist. In May he completed his year as an RA in the new Russell dormitory. This summer he enjoyed serving as an intern at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. In August he moved into an old shotgun house in Athens with five other guys. Will went camping, road-tripped to Charleston, Savannah, and Ohio, and flew out to Oklahoma again to visit Mary-Clayton (and see a buffalo!).

Anna turned 18 in August. For her senior year she dual enrolled at Georgia Perimeter College. Anna continued her work at the art studio in Sandy Springs and increased her baby-sitting load, but still spent a great deal of time studying for school. This spring Anna and Matthew were voted “Most Artistic” in the Veritas yearbook. She attended prom and took several road trips to Athens and Clemson, and went on a summer mission trip with Grace Midtown Church. The highlight of Anna’s year was receiving early acceptance into UGA in mid-November, placing her in a very select group of high school seniors. And thanks to Anna’s hard work we have a real Christmas card this year.

Matthew (16) bought an electric guitar with his birthday money. He takes lessons and practices a lot. He went to several concerts and hung out again with the members of Switchfoot. This summer Matthew made the most of his Six Flags season pass and was able to hang out and do more things with friends. He went to his first prom and also took up longboarding, becoming quite proficient. Matthew attended Passion’s Winter Weekend in north Georgia, Summer Camp in Daytona, and the Service Weekend in Atlanta’s inner city. In early July he went on vacation to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Dollywood with a friend. This fall Matthew enrolled at Legacy Community Academy and joined the choir and yearbook staff.

Ceil took art classes, taught art at Out of the Box Studio, helped out in the Veritas office, worked with two year-olds on Sunday morning, and volunteered at the 2014 and 2015 Passion Conferences. She flew to northern Virginia to visit Dawn and road-tripped to Athens and South Carolina to visit family. All this on top of running the household and cooking delicious dinners most every night.

Dave had a busier year at work, but managed to attend more Braves games (downtown and at Gwinnett, Rome, and Myrtle Beach), sell more on eBay, and collect more bobbleheads. He saw a triple play turned in Myrtle Beach under the Super Moon as well as a Labor Day no-hitter at Turner Field. During the January 28 snowstorm Dave had a six hour commute and traversed the last three hilly miles on foot.                      

And Barney (6) had a great year, being continuously spoiled by his five two-legged family members. In May he had three cysts removed from his back but bounced back like a champ.

In mid-July we enjoyed another delightful extended family vacation at North Myrtle Beach. As always, Ceil’s dad cooked breakfast every morning, catering to his grandchildren no matter how late they slept. The next week he checked into the hospital in Charleston for the heart surgery he had intentionally scheduled for after the beach. Ceil spent two of the next three weeks in Charleston, but was home in Atlanta when her father passed away on August 10th. The Miller’s house was packed with family and friends for the next week. Will spoke at the funeral and Matthew gave the blessing at a meal attended by over 40 family members. Since then Ceil has made a few more trips home than usual. In November we hosted Ceil’s family for the Tech/Clemson game and met even more family in Clemson a week later to attend a game there.

Our family hopes you will be able to experience to true meaning of Christmas, and wishes for you a most happy New Year!

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