December 29, 2011

2011: A Collage

There it is......again.
Sneaking up on me.  Growing larger with each passing day, moment.  (Insert the Jaws theme here...baaaa dum.....)

2012.    2012.   2012
Its shadow peaks just around the corner.  It brings with it suitcases and moving boxes and my first chicklet flying the coop.
Honestly, do you think acceptance of a new year has become more difficult since we don't really write checks anymore? We don't have many chances to drill reality into our heads by writing the year out over and over.... I have no clue where this year went.  Or maybe our family has such big changes in store for 2012, that I may just be in denial altogether.
So, since, once again, I haven't managed to publish a Christmas letter and shoot it to you, I am using the digital tools at my handy dandy computer to love you from across the airwaves.

So here we go......

We began 2011 with a ton of snow.  TON!!  Literally.  I needed to add these for my Texas peeps who rarely see such.

As I went through our year in pictures, I am amazed at the travel opportunites we were afforded, just this year!!!!  So here are just a few memories, including:  Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terra, Amsterdam, Munich, Dachau, Rothenburg,  Bruges, and Nurnberg.  We also played tour guide to my brother's family and visited Koblenz, Cologne, Bastogne, Foy and Trier.  Whew!


(Kinder - with a short 'i' - the German word for kiddos)
Lenae is a senior this year.  Did I just say that?  I'm just not ready for this to happen.  Her love of all things living continues to thrive, as well as her joy of mucking out her days in a smelly barn.  Most importantly, her heart shines with the One who created her.  We travelled to Texas A&M in November where she was finally able to envision for herself a school filled with students sharing the same passion.  It was like coming home for her.  On top of our family travels, she and David spent a life-changing week ministering to the Romanian people this summer. 

David is a sophomore this year and yep, he's done it.......outgrown the dad.  His 6'2" frame continues to grow, as does his character.  He played basketball in the spring with the Bitburg boys team and both he and Lenae spent the summer working at Büchel AB serving our airmen with the force support flight.  Then, in the fall, he returned to our Deutsch vintner family to help with the grape harvest for a couple of weeks.

Janie joined the teenage ranks in September with that momentous 13th birthday.  She may have actually grown the most this year as she's nose to nose with me, and taller than Lenae.  She competed in her first Deutsch horse show in May and we were sooooo proud.  It's one thing to know enough to compete and only worry about you and your horse.  Now throw in a foreign language.  Yea.  She remains our 'self disciplining' child and we're so lucky to get to watch her blossom this year.

Claire played basketball in early spring, and then began riding lessons for herself.  She will celebrate her 10th birthday the end of January and the mama is a little misty about having no more offspring in single digits.  Claire surprises with her powers of observation, noticing details unseen by others.  Her tender heart still strives to rid the world of injustice.

A strange turn of events (mainly my children's prayers) led us to be gifted with yet another year here in Germany. Although Rick will be finished with command in February, we will be headed to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport in May.  Living in Germany and experiencing European culture can only be called a dream come true.  Yet we are anxious to be near family and have our kiddos get to know their grandparents again.

So from Allen Haus to you, we wish you  'Guten Rutsch'!!!!  This is an old Yiddish term used here in Deutschland meaning a 'good slide' into 2012!!!  May His never ending blessings be showered on your family in this New Year!!!

Rick and Della
Lenae, David, Janie and Claire

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