Merry Christmas from the Mintz Family,
This has been a very full year for us! I hardly know where to start! We have had lots of time at home, time with extended family, a few local and out of state car trips, field trips, trips to the pool, birthdays, picnics, concerts, plays, a few trips into Washington DC. and lots of other fun activities! In March Brian and I took a weekend away from the kiddos and went to a marriage retreat which was a special time together to focus on us. It was close by and the kids were with Mom and Dad, but it was the first time we had been away from all the kids since Xanthie was born 2 years ago! We also had a car trip to Nashville to visit Breanne and her family which was probably the highlight of our summer. It was such a special time with her and she was a fantastic host and had all kinds of things to do. We were on the go… and in the kitchen all week!
We had our week at Massanutten again this year, but it is probably our last as we are trying to sell our timeshare. This will open up new vacation opportunities for us next year. Sad to see it go, but happy for new places and sights! We had our ‘homeschool music appreciation class’ through the summer. Fairfax county offers LOTS of free concerts all summer long and we went to about 8 or 9! We took a picnic dinners and often had friends join us. It was a great way to spend warm summer evenings with good food, good music (usually!) and good friends!
So a bit from each of us:
Brian: We had great travels and vacations, our normal hectic lives and the devastating loss of two of our children this year. God has been so faithful in meeting and sustaining us this past year. I truly hope that you all can say the same. I was introduced to my favorite whiskey while visiting Breanne and Kris in Nashville this summer. Swing by the house and I will give you a taste! I also started leading a Cub Scout troop this past fall. It is great to have deliberate time with Tonchi and Koa and see other men taking the time to interact and teach their sons. Bethanie and I have been leading our small group this past year and this has been a blessing for us. We get to meet a couple times a month with friends and share our lives together. What joy to see us through another year! As always, you can usually find me up a tree
Bethanie: It’s been a hard year for me, but there has still been joy even in sorrow. I treasure each day more, now, than I have before. Simple things are special and enjoyed. God has been faithful to strengthen and sustain me. I really have enjoyed watching the kids learn and grow in their homeschool studies and see their strengths and preferences come out. I haven’t blogged much, but hope to more in the new year. I still enjoy using and selling essential oils and crafting, along with all things green, holistic and thrifty! I also have a new job (along with Kaiser) working as an RN birth assistant at the local birth center. It’s such a joy to be there to welcome new life and to be a part of such an important part of these families lives. It’s truly an honor.
Tonchi(8): So, My Mom and my Dad went on a retreat while we stayed at Lita and Grandpa’s house. And we made wooden rubber band guns that actually can shoot. Also we went to Nashville. We started cub scouts this year and I got a new shirt. I really liked camping with friends this summer. When we went to the National Zoo we saw a lot of animals, my favorite was seals and the octopuses.
Koa(6): Aunt Rachel came one day and took us to the playground for about an hour. We had Thanksgiving at our cousin’s house and we got to shoot some clay pigeons, ride dirtbikes and we had a bonfire. And we got to stay there the whole entire night and started to build up the fire again in the morning.Uncle Byron even took me on the road with the dirtbike. I liked playing at the Builder’s Museum. And we saw two big lego creations there. At Massanutten we went to the water park and I really liked the lazy river. Papa would alway make sure I got wet. And outside there was a big pool with waves and a mushroom with water coming off the top.
Aisling(4): We sang “Goodbye Aisling” a couple days ago. (A song we sing at one of our homeschool co-ops). I like to play house with my best friend Xanthie and Koa sometimes plays house with me. I like playing games with my brothers and my baby sister Xanthie. Papa gave us treats a couple days ago. I’m learning to do(write) my name. I want to go to the beach this year. I like hippopotamuses a lot and I had a hippo cake for my birthday
Xanthie(2): I like to eat and I like to suck my thumb. My babies come with me everywhere
and Aisling is my big helper. She helps me get dressed in the morning and sometimes I don’t like it. One of my favorite things to do is peel the paper off crayons, peel onions and peel
garlic. I really like to dance to all music. I also really like to make Tonchi, Koa and Aisling laugh.
Avi and Jussi: We arrived and left this year. We didn’t stay long, but we know we are loved and are now in the arms of Jesus waiting for our family and friends to join us in the Celestial City with The King! It truly is marvelous and you will love it. Jesus is more amazing than you could ever know.
Thank you Kris Hammons for a GREAT photo!