Decorating the Christmas tree has always been something that we have done as a family.  It is a time to slow down and enjoy the season and talk about Christmas’ past and memories that we have. However one thing that the kids always look forward to is their “New” Christmas ornament.  We started that tradition when Courtney was a baby and have continued it every year since.  Our tree is not “Pretty” in that it has a theme or all the ornaments match!  It does however represent love and the kids interests over the years.  I just pray that none of them leaves anytime soon – my tree will be bare!

Courtney started at the University of Minnesota this year and has officially declared  her major!  This year her ornament reflects this milestone:

Courtney proudly displays her "Joyous Noel" Ornament!

She is really excited to be back in school and studying French again.  She is very excited to think about Studying Abroad in France in the Spring of 2012!  Seeing her excited about her studies and dreaming about what God might have planned for her while in France has been fun!  She is growing into a very mature young lady!

Garrett is a Senior in high school and entering into his last season of Basketball.  His ornaments the past couple years have revolved around this theme.  This year:


A Basketball Snowman!


Garrett is finishing his High School courses at Normandale Community College and loving it.  He loves being able to choose his classes and his schedule.  He also started working at a local grocery store.  He has become a very accomplished young man.  He is beginning to plan for his future.

Caleb has had a lot of interesting things that he has accomplished this year.  He ran his first marathon, he continues playing the piano and entered his first music festival.  He is doing debate this year.  It was hard to pick out an ornament that seemed to define his year, but ultimately this just seemed right –


A Grand Piano!


When he opened his, he asked if we would buy one for him!  Now that’s dreaming!  He currently plays on the piano that I used as a kid and took 12 years of classical piano on!  He plays very well and it would be great if we could get him a new piano – but for now, he will need to be satisfied with what he has!

Geoffrey is full of varied interests and keeps us laughing!  He is starting his first year playing for the South Metro Huskies – the home school Basketball team that Gary started last year.  It is his first year playing in a “real” league.  So to commemorate this momentous occasion –


A Basketball Photo Frame - we will add the picture later!


Geoffrey also likes to program computers and is constantly asking to do work on my CLUB 4th Website (which is still under construction).  Some day  – maybe –  I’ll let  him have a try!  He is still playing the violin and working hard at school.  He is taking a creative writing class and is becoming an accomplished writer – for his age.

Giovanna is making great strides in many areas this year.  She is always interested in anything Chinese.  So this year –


The Great Wall!


She has begun cello lessons and loves to practice!  Her English is improving and she is working very hard at her school work this year.  Her reading is much improved.  We are excited to see her improvements she has made.

Dakota – well she was not so excited about all the decorating going on and just laid in the middle of the floor!


"Patiently" waiting for us to finish!


The tree is decorated and full of memories from the years that have come and gone.  It was fun to have each one of the kids share which ornament was their favorite and why.

Oh the memories that tree holds.  It will be fun to send each of them off with their box of ornaments when they start a family of their own!