The Christmas Letter. I have friends who blog and they won't be sending a letter because they figure whoever reads their blog already knows what is going on in their lives. I probably could have done that this year. However, because this is a public blog again, there are certain issues and life stuff I don't go into on it - though I would love to spill my guts sometimes! Our letters are a little more personal usually. Not so much this year. I like to write. Not so much this year. I wrote and rewrote this letter 4 different times, 4 different ways, 4 different styles. I wanted to really let everyone know what we are going through, but who wants to read about flagellation at Christmas time? So I kept it to a list of events that we enjoyed and are thankful for.
We always include a photo of the kids with the letter - either photocopied on it or seperately. I have the originals for the past 15 years! Pretty soon the kids will be gone and ya'll will have to settle for a photo of us old codgers instead.
I'll post this years letter below, though you may want to wait for it's arrival in your mailbox. :o)
Paul Family 2008 To-do Lists
* Ski Brigder with Tofer until April.
* Witness MacGyver (aka Mark Foster) fix a snowmobile with branches after I run it into a tree.
* MC @ VBS @ YAA in the snow even though it’ll be June. “Ah Ha!”
* Take staff to U23D, get them to wear sunglasses and do “rock star” photos so I can create a poster.
* Hack, I mean, play in Young Life golf tournament with Dan Barnes, Don Murray, Scott Morales & Scott’s behemoth driver. “Everybody pretend to putt! Here comes the owner of the house I just hit.”
* Be interrogated for accreditation for 3 hours. Wax eloquent. Eat, drink & be merry for tomorrow we can drink no more wine.
* Welcome incoming MSU freshmen @ Catapalooza. Give them all a water bottle with the label you design as a “shout out” to Alliance Fellowship!
* Preach- twice, & lead worship, & transport everything to and from MSU, & don’t sleep the night previous.
* Continue meeting weekly with younger guys who seem to think I can help them. Always meet where you can get coffee.
* Meet often with older men because I need help. Always meet where you can get coffee.
* Drive to Moses Lake for Dad’s 68th birthday. 11 of us will be together for the first time in years – and Conner will drool for us non-stop.
* Culminate 2 year plan to have ‘Worship Without Borders’ conference with Tim & Maryl Smith. Make sure it’s after several days of long meetings & have little to no sleep so that you are in a dweeb state of mind - & still see God give fresh vision & life to the team.
* Present vision for home groups. Recruit vision team. Wisdom in the council of many.
* Be 'Techew Cashwa' to the 3-5 year olds. …"So then David-" “Hey Techew, look at my new shoes!” “Yes. They’re very cool, but let’s learn about David, Ok?” Bring “delicious surprises”, just so I can hear Christopher Burcham’s passionate “Mmmmmm!”
* File FAFSA & apply to colleges. Because, I so enjoy filling my days with paperwork & answering the same question 50 times.
* Road trip with Mom to Crown College in Minnesota. *Note to self* Never say, “I’m at a ¼ tank, I’ll fill up at the next gas station,” when crossing North Dakota.”
* Be awarded $14000 in scholarships. & after realizing you still need $14000 more for a year at Crown, proceed to next item on list.
* Apply for jobs. At least a dozen. Have everyone who talks to you want to hire you, then make the decision to work at The Garage.
* Never turn down an opportunity to love people. Take co-workers to coffee, call friends to arrange connection time, walk down the stairs nightly to tuck in Minda & Tofer…
* Attend College/Career Retreat. Be refreshed. Fall in love with the Owens & the Hunters.
* Sing. Ok – good posture, right into the microphone, hands at sides, eyes open…
* Paint room. “So, I’ve narrowed it down to these 50 colors, what do you think?”
* Snowboard until April. Lose season pass so you have to go to the lodge each time & be issued one for the day.
* Snow blast Camp. Let Uber-Arm McLarge Huge win at arm wrestling & come home with one of the worst colds of your life - pass on to Mom.
* Become a drummer. “Hey, Tofer, can you play a bomp-bomp here?”
* Lead worship @ 30 hr. Famine. AKA sing-n-starve. Talk Minda into playing bass with me. “Krispy kremes, krispy kremes are what I long for. Krispy kremes are what I need…”
* Take the TSA…er..the ATS..er…whatever – that test for college.
* Teach myself Russian. Enjoy the looks on people’s faces when I tell them – in Russian – that I understand what they are saying.
* Get my permit. Just in time for the snow season. Ask, “Can I drive?” every time I get in the van. Be cute if it doesn’t work.
* Help little, old ladies have firewood for the winter.
* Counsel @ YAA for a week. With an additional 3 weeks of recovery.
* Play basketball. Every Thursday. All winter & spring.
* Begin insanely stupid cartoon blog. www.donkeypiratediaries.blogspot.com Don’t say I din’t warn you
* Become a music guru. Write, sing, play guitar, drum, play keys, dance, record, mix, drive my family insane replaying a loop repeatedly.
* Have Grama Judy teach me to knit. And someday to pearl.
* Babysit. “ Let’s pretend you respect me and do whatever I say! Ok?”
* Attend Archaeology Symposium. Be mistaken for an Egyptologist while explaining the value of scarabs to Papa.
* Play *gulp* bass *double gulp* in front of people.
* Raise $ for World Vision. Meet a bunch of cute, elderly people who sponsor me for the 30 hr. famine for $500.
* Sew doll clothes. Become extremely talented at rethreading the entire surger, and breaking needles.
* Work @ YAA. Wash 3000 dishes, yet somehow enjoy every minute!
* Get Karyn here and keep her as long as possible!!
* Take SAT. “Would you like a headache to go with those questions?”
* Shakespeare in the Park. “If you can look into the seeds of time & say which grain will grow, & which will not – Speak.” & tell me what play I saw.
* Begin wearing makeup. Hmmm…Wow…yah…wipe some of that blush off.
* Enter into final year of homeschooling. No more teacher, no more books. Especially no more calculus!
* Take Photos. Use all the newborn babies as your guinea pigs. All that sweetness captured on my hard drive!
* Mentor. You must be getting old if others are asking you life questions.
* Be available to your family. “You want to invite how many kids over for a sledding party?... o. k. … Let me make sure I have enough cocoa...”
2008 was a year of ‘good-byes’ for our family. Once again we dealt with the death of a dear friend who was our biggest emotional supporter and prayer warrior. A few months later our church made cutbacks. There is a hole in life when something is cut away & we have tremendously missed those we worked alongside. Hopes and dreams we held in a state of high hope have been deffered. Difficult as it has been, we are thankful that suffering is not the end. “I might weep, but still my faith rests in You.” “Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes with the morning!” A toast to 2009, “May it be The Morning!” Merry Christmas, & God bless us, every one!