Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Merry Christmas Letter

It's time for our annual Christmas letter. For some reason this year I was feeling a bit Grinchy about doing it, but after eating some holiday cookies and toffee and playing carols in the background, my heart grew 3 sizes bigger and I got it done. I still mail it out to close friends and immediate family, but for the rest of you who are interested enough to stop by on the blog, here it is!

(Imagine cute holiday stationary)

'Twas the close of the year and all through the house,
All the creatures were stirring (except not a mouse).
The tree was put up by the window with care
In hopes that from college, KRISTI soon would be there.
The boys wished for more time to nestle in their beds,

While visions of vacation danced in their heads.
And mama in her apron and I in my cap,

Had little time to dream about a long winter’s nap.

When from the home office there arose such a clatter,

I ran in from the kitchen to see what was the matter.
Away to the computer I flew like a flash,

Tripped over the dog, and arrived with a crash.
The light from the window shone in on the screen,

Making a glare so it was hard to be seen!
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a weekly email from our missionary dear.

I gathered the family and sat right down,

To read BRENNAN’s (20) report from his favorite Kentucky town.
He is busy and happy, just all full of smiles,

Although his shoes are worn out from hard work and miles.
A backpack of scriptures he has flung on his back;

They show us the way to stay on the right track.
He passed his year mark so we’re counting down,

Which does nothing except make Elder Shaffer frown.

Now that the oldest kids have started to roam,

Thank heavens we still have two boys at home.
AUSTIN (15) loves sports and has a great GPA.

He is funny and charming in most every way.
JV football had an undefeated season!

And you can bet Number 8 was part of the reason.
Now back to basketball so no time to pout,

And by early next year he’ll be an Eagle Scout.

DALLIN (12) of course has his own tale to tell;

He’s a Tigersharks swimmer and a basketball player as well.
He plays trumpet in the school band and gets all A’s;

These are the things that make up his days.
His big sis’ (18) enjoyed her first semester in college,

Meeting great people and of course gaining knowledge.
She’s independent now, but we know that it’s true –

When she comes home she’ll bring laundry to do!

And mama in her apron just goes with the flow,

Feeding and driving her boys-on-the-go.
Dad with his briefcase carries two cell phones now,

For he is managing two careers, wow!
He still designs roadways and houses and more,

But 9 to 5 finds him behind a different door
In the school district office or out on a site,

Managing their projects – it’s quite a delight.

As we roll out the old year and ring in the new,

We wish nothing but health and happiness for you.
On the eve of a new year we look forward with hope,

Knowing good or bad we’ll be able to cope
Through the gospel of our Savior, his peace and his love –

We know we can ask for help from above.
So we want to exclaim as we wave out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

We spent Thanksgiving in Utah, meeting Kristi there and enjoying a trip to Temple Square!

That's Elder Shaffer and his companion Elder Quick, looking sharp!

And this is from the Christmas card he sent to us, as "2 of the 52,000 Stripling Missionaries". Yikes.

On that note, we wish you a safe holiday season and a very Merry Christmas! May you spend it with those you love!!