2021 Christmas Letter

December 25, 2021

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. John 1:14, 16

Dear Friends and Family,

How do you summarize a year like 2021? For our family, it was a bit of a blur, a combination of busy schedules and yet very few big events. It was a year of balancing a strong desire to put the pandemic behind us and one of caution as we see people around us struggle through bouts of Covid. Despite the frustrations the year brought, the ups and downs, the fits and starts, we’re so very thankful for our Savior and the promise of hope and eternal life. Consider these lyrics from the Christmas carol “O Holy Night”: ‘A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’!’. The world is so very weary, isn’t it? Yet the Christmas season is built upon the joy and thrill of hope that comes from God himself visiting us in person. A visit that begins in a manger and culminates at the cross, where death and sorrow are canceled forever! Peace can now reign because of Jesus and his shed blood for us. Praise the Lord!

Zachary turned 10 this year and is in 5th grade! He celebrated with an outdoor birthday party with friends at a local Minneapolis park. He was happy to get back into youth soccer this year and enjoys defense the most. He was less happy with his first season of baseball, however, as he took a hard pitch straight to the face in his first ever at bat. Thankfully he was left with only a very fat lip and lots of blood and no broken bones! Zachary enjoyed family camp at Inspiration Point so much this year that he and Elliott both went back for a weekend youth retreat there in October, loving every minute of it. He continues to play piano and is looking forward to playing on the brand new piano that will be delivered to our house in February!

Elliott is 12 and a middle schooler, if you can believe it! One of his birthday gifts was a guitar and he’s already playing “Yellow Submarine”! He took a Red Cross babysitting class this year with his friend Emmett and they were the only boys in a class of 13 kids. He’s great with kids, so we expect plenty of business in the coming years. Elliott also played soccer and baseball this summer and couldn’t get enough of the sports. He joined Hiawatha Church’s youth group this year and loves his Sunday nights spent playing crazy games and studying the Bible. We spent a few days at the Carlson family cabin on West Silent lake in July, where Elliott especially loved fishing. In late November, we welcomed a leopard gecko into our family and the boys collaborated on the name Treeka.

After homeschooling for a year, we felt led to continue for another year into 2022! Becky is a stellar teacher and makes learning fun for the boys (like using Oreos to learn the phases of the moon). They are thriving under her direction. Becky also collaborates with another homeschooling family, splitting two days a week so each mom can have focused time for their jobs. As bookkeeper and office manager at Hiawatha Church, Becky is highly valued and excels at her work. She enjoyed spending a couple weeks with her parents in July at their annual Cousin Camp and again in August as the boys attended a mountain biking camp at Giant’s Ridge Resort.

My big change this year was accepting a new position at Aveda / Estee Lauder in August, moving from Plant Data Integrity Manager to Director of Quality Control Laboratories. In this role, I oversee two laboratories doing analytical/physical chemistry and microbiology testing. I have a great team of scientists and I’m very excited to grow into this challenging position! I’m also the part-time Worship Pastor at church, which continues to bring lots of joy from playing music with really talented people. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking, taking photos, reading and spending time with Becky and the boys (they’re great!). And yes, I turned 40 in July.

We are so thankful for you all, our friends and family! May God show you His grace and peace in the coming year!

With Love,

Peter, Becky, Elliott and Zachary