Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 Letter

Christmas 2010

Dear Friends,

Another year has come and gone and we are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate Christmas together, as a family, in Indianapolis. No season is more enjoyable than Christmas because it gives us time to reflect upon the most important things in life – Jesus, friends and family. Technology has made it possible to communicate more frequently and efficiently, but nothing can convey the love we have for each of you for being a part of our family whether for a year or for the past 16 ½ years (and for some of you, many, many more years!)

Quick Overview of our Year (For those with little or no time, here is a synopsis of 2010)

Cold weather, Happy New year! homeschooling, Boy Scout caving trip, family trip to Tennessee for niece Abigail’s wedding, hot weather, two Boy Scout camps, Biltmore Estate, family meals, Awana, Boy Scout camping, visits from family, new musical instruments, new video games, temporary home for a sister, Thanksgiving with family, Merry Christmas and cold weather again!

That pretty much sums up our year! Read on if you want the details….

Joshua escapes to Narnia!

Already 11 and in 6th grade, Joshua has become an avid reader of C.S. Lewis . He rose to the challenge to read the Narnia series with the reward of attending the midnight premiere showing of “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in 3D on December 10th. He loves video games, chatting with friends, and playing dodge ball. He attended two summer Boy Scout camps -- Camp Belzer in June and a hot and sweltering week in July at Camp Ransburg. Among others, he earned his Rifle Shooting merit badge, confirming that playing Call of Duty video games will help you to become an expert on war history as well as sharp-shooting! In his last year of Awana’s Truth and Training club, he’s on track to earn his Timothy Award this coming May, having memorized hundreds of Bible verses since third grade. Joshua continues to create recipes and amazes us with his computer knowledge. Hugging him is a full time job for mom!

Brace Yourselves….Star Scout Nathaniel Filled With Music and Wit

With braces securely fastened on his teeth, Nathaniel started on his journey through Teen Ville this year. Along the way, he attended two Boy Scout camps and became a Star Scout in August. He is on track to become a Life Scout in February, earning 10 merit badges this year. Perseverance is knocking on his door, as he finds himself attracted to and distracted by his many interests. His witty Facebook status updates keep us laughing and thinking! Nathaniel plays in the Jr. High Youth band at church. Seeing the need for a bass guitarist in the band, he purchased one with money he earned from lawn mowing. He then promptly taught himself to play it. Inspired by Bach, he begged for a cello for Christmas, so he received an early gift this month and had his first cello lesson in December. He is on track to earn his Meritorious Award this coming May in Awana as he completes his 6th Awana book since third grade.

Camille Chums Around

Camille continues to homeschool both boys and tries to keep her blog updated with recipes, menus and original thought. In July, while the boys were at summer camp, Camille traveled to Tennessee to assist her sister, Dru, with packing up her apartment. As a reward, the two of them chummed around the lovely Biltmore Estate for two days. After a one year sabbatical, she once again joined the Awana team by becoming the Chums Director at our church. Reluctantly expanding her horizon beyond “boy-world,” she oversees almost 70 third and fourth grade girls and a dozen volunteer leaders. Life sped up this year, so she only accomplished half of what she set out to do!

David’s Declaration of Independence

In his third year of self-employment, Dave loves the freedom of owning his own business. Working many hours from his home office has drastically cut down his requirements for business attire! Always helpful and full of grace, David lends a helping hand whenever he can. He volunteers in Awana as a table leader for the 5th and 6th grade boys and helps out whenever possible with Boy Scout Troop 18. Periodically called upon to use his musical gifts, he plays piano and violin whenever possible. Despite the challenges of home ownership, he never gets discouraged with the occasional plugged sink or toilet, worn-out water heater, leaky roof, rotting soffit or broken garage door opener! A capitalist at heart, David encourages all who aspire to live the “American Dream.” In November, his generous heart welcomed Camille’s sister, Dru to live with us so that she could get her art and photography business up and running!

We enjoyed visits from Camille’s sisters Dru and Pam, nieces and nephews Abigail, Lily, Amanda, Caleb, Bella, Isaiah, and Josiah, and Cousin Chris Warlick this year. Dru has already “earned her keep” helping with meals, cleaning, grocery shopping, dishes, mending and laundry. She will be off to Okinawa in January to welcome her fourth grandchild into the world with hugs and kisses from us to Lily, Abigail and Jacob, whose wedding we attended in Tennessee in April!

The Bible teaches us “that we [should] be imitators of God…walk in love, as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Our reason for living is to be like Christ, willing to sacrifice when called upon, willing to give a drink of cold water to those who hate the cause of Christ, and willing to love the unlovely. We struggle daily to break free from our selfishness and sin, but we can think of no higher calling or worthier goal than to say, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

May you know Jesus this Christmas and the richness of His treasures which are ours when we run safely into His arms.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Cantwell Family
David, Camille, Nathaniel and Joshua

P.S. Look for us on Facebook! It is a great way for friends and family to stay in touch all year!

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