The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel

– Matthew 1:23

Our original thought was to mail this out before December 21st, just in case the Mayan calendar fans had some basis in reality. That date has past and life as we know it has continued; besides I have since learned that the Mayan’s had several calendars; most of which did not predict the end of the world.

On the whole 2012 has been a fairly normal year. I regret to say we have had no grand adventures and fortunately no life changing events. There was a quick trip to the Dallas area in April for the wedding of our niece, Elizabeth. That gave us a chance to visit with many members of Mike’s family while we were there. Mike and Mary continue to work at their respective careers, with the dream of retiring at some point in the future. We are hoping to plan a trip to some place new in the coming year. Perhaps we will go looking for some more lighthouses.

Speaking of lighthouses, Mike did get to see a couple of them for the first time when he went to Thunder Bay in Canada with the senior high youth from the church. We spent almost as much time on the road as we did in Canada but we did meet some wonderful people along the way and in Canada. In addition to the Thunder Bay lighthouse, see my Facebook page; we also saw Kakabeka Falls and some wildlife, including a moose. More importantly we did some wonderful service work and the kids got a look at things in life we don’t often stop to look at when at home.

While Mike was in Canada Mary and Sarah went to Nashville for the wedding of the son of Ed and Kathy Ward, friends of Mike and Mary from our student days at Georgia Tech. After the wedding Sarah took a trip to Florida with Rebecca. This included stops in St, Augustine, a visit with friends in Orlando and a baseball game in Tampa Bay. This last stop was to root against the Yankees, because everyone knows that “Jesus Hates the Yankees.WinkingSmiley

Rebecca continues to work at Cioffi’s, a local pizza place. She also works part time for an inventory control company. This involves counting things at odd hours of the day and night. Just to be sure she has plenty to do Rebecca has also started as a Mary Kay consultant. While she is just getting started we have hopes that she can get her own pink car someday.

Sarah continues to teach at Hawfields Middle School in Mebane, North Carolina. After teaching Math, she has changed to Social Studies this year. In the spring she moved into her own apartment in Greensboro. It was a family adventure to get her belongings moved from Lilburn to the new place in North Carolina. It left an empty room at home for a week or so then we filled it with stuff from the rest of the house. Although she comes home every 4 to 6 weeks, she seems to have settled in. School is going well and we are always amazed by the historical facts that her students share on a daily basis!

We continue to be active in the support of Clifton Sanctuary Ministries and their work with men overcoming homelessness ( Through the first 9 months of the year they have seen a 70% successful outcome rate. If you want to make a gift that will impact a life we highly recommend you give them a look.

We hope this finds all of you well and that you are able to spend at least some of the Christmas season with friends and family. We also hope that you spend a few moments to reflect on the true gift of the season.

Michael, Mary, Sarah & Rebecca

Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

– Mark 1:14-15