It’s been spaghetti time lately

It?s 9:15 p.m. on Sunday night. The deadline for my column is…soon. And this is only the third sentence.

But before you start feeling bad for me, I will confide something. I planned it that way. I?m not really a procrastinator, but lately I?ve been focused on another job in directing the Ebenfeld Men?nonite Brethren Church children?s Christmas program. It finished about two hours ago.

Since September, I?ve been thinking, planning and writing. Since the end of October, the kids have been singing, practicing and memorizing. The last two weeks have been a flurry of finishing touches and two full rehearsals.

And tonight was the payoff. I?m so proud of the kids and the production. And I?m glad the nervous ball in my stomach is gone.

That?s where my focus has been for awhile. But in one of the incredible results of creation, I?ve been formulating this column in the back of my mind. I once read a book called ?Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti,? where the authors described a woman?s thought process like spaghetti, obviously?everything mixes together.

While I can?t verify this next statement, I believe the book also described a female?s thoughts like a computer, where there are programs running in the background. Thus the connection to my column. I?ve been working on it in the background, planning and brainstorming.

My conclusion? To again write a Just family Christ?mas letter.

While some Christmas traditions could definitely stand to take a backseat, Christmas letters are a nice way to stay connected and enjoy a bit of each others? lives.

These are some of the things we?ve kept busy with in 2014:

Our oldest daughter Gracelyn finished her first year of school last spring. During summer break, she made good use of the Hillsboro Aquatic Center to work on her backstroke, rocket and ice cream scoops with Miss Emily. She also conquered the diving board, and learned to dive from the side. She?s currently in Mrs. Arnold?s first grade class, and adores art class. She has a giving heart, and enjoys spreading good cheer by sharing her works of art with others.

Jemma is 4, and has recently discovered ?Fro?zen.? Farmer Derek and The Peterson Farm Brothers have taken a backseat to Anna, Elsa and Olaf, though she still belts out ?It?s all about the beef, no kale,? and ?Feeding cattle in the U.S.A.? quite frequently. It seems she has a flare for the dramatic, and sat in awe during the Music Theatre of Wichita?s summer performance of ?Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat? and Hillsboro High School?s fall performance of ?You?re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.? In between, her bubbly personality has given her many friends in the high school…you know who you are.

I?m not sure if it?s a sign of more to come, but we made our first emergency room trip with 2-year-old Case this summer. The accident wasn?t solely his fault, but it was a lengthy (and expensive!) ER trip, none-the-less.

Despite eyes full of ornery, Case is a loveable little boy who, while active, still loves to sit on laps, give hugs and read books. He loves spending time on the farm, riding in any sort of machinery he is allowed. He?s also not afraid to give his grandpa orders, ?No not that way,? or ?Don?t back up anymore.? He?s also taken to calling one of the grain trucks ?mommy?s truck,? but more on that in a minute.

Brad and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary in June. After honeymooning in Hawaii all those years ago, we always talked about taking the trip again for our 10-year. That?s since been pushed back…you know how kids and life go…but we did take a trip to Omaha to see the comedian Jim Gaffigan. It was good to laugh that hard.

In addition to his role as director of technology at USD 410, Brad serves on our church council and board of music and worship. He continues to play bass, and agreed to play in the band for our church?s Christmas program. The director was thrilled with his help.

Finally, 2014 saw me trying my hand at a couple new things. After track concluded last spring, Brad started teaching me to drive grain truck in time for summer harvest. I considered it a success every time I drove through the elevator without scraping side mirrors, or worse, running over toes. Blessedly, neither thing happened.

I also accepted an assistant volleyball coaching position at Hillsboro High School, and enjoyed building more relationships with the girls. I?m excited to start up track again this spring.

From our family to yours, (cue music) we wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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