2022 Christmas Letter

December 25, 2022

Dear Friends and Family,

This past year often felt like making up for lost time. The prior years were marred by so much uncertainty, caution and postponements of plans due to the pandemic. Now we find ourselves saying “yes” more often to fun things we had given up. What a blessing that is, and what a new perspective we’ve gained as a result. When we gather in a friend’s home or attend a concert or take a roadtrip, there’s an added sweetness to it! It reminds me of the centuries of time that elapsed before Jesus was born. Why did God wait so long to send His Son? Maybe because waiting and hoping are good things that enhance the joy of receiving. Just like putting presents under the tree weeks before they are to be opened builds anticipation. We have received so much joy this year in so many ways. Here are some highlights.

Zachary turned 11 this summer and is in 6th grade. He is extremely bright and is a voracious reader. We often hear pages turning late into the night because he’s so engaged in the story. He enjoys building Lego and playing video games and continuing his piano lessons. Zachary enjoyed making memories on a Cousin Camp Road Trip to Pennsylvania in June with Becky, Elliott, their cousin Knox, and the Rutka grandparents. They stayed at Great Wolf Lodge in the Pokono Mountains and saw the sites on the way there and back. He also loved getting back to Inspiration Point for family camp in August with the Carlson family. Zachary joined our church’s youth group this year and always anticipates their crazy Sunday night escapades and teaching times.

Elliott is a teenager, turning 13 in November! He spent his birthday in Fargo with the extended Carlson family after celebrating Thanksgiving together. He’s grown into a caring young man and a great student. Elliott liked playing soccer so much that we signed him up for a club team this winter that will stretch into games and tournaments in the spring and summer. He also played baseball this year, and his piano skills are awesome. He has started volunteering at church as Becky’s helper with 3-5 grade Sunday School once a month. Elliott was thrilled with our family road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota in July. We stayed in Rapid City and took day trips to the various sites. While it was nearly 100 degrees some days, we all enjoyed cave tours (where it was nice and cool!), hiking in the hills and searching for animals. Elliott enjoys getting together with friends and playing games or sports as often as he can.

We’re in our 3rd school year of homeschool now and Becky is a stellar teacher. I’m so thankful for her willingness and patience! She also continues to serve as the office manager at our church and her organizational skills are second to none. In May, Becky made a beautiful bridesmaid at her brother Ben’s wedding to Michelle (which is why we’re all dressed up on our Christmas card!). Becky volunteered to coach the boys’ soccer team this fall and they improved each week in a tough parks league. I will have fond memories of hiking through Custer State Park and realizing that Becky is far ahead and up a steep slope already urging us on! Becky and I also co-led our small group Bible study again this year and loved growing closer with that amazing group of people. She’s a servant-hearted worker and a caring friend to so many!

I was particularly happy that we got to attend concerts again this year! Our slate included old favorites like Jimmy Eat World and Sigur Ros and new ones like Oh Wonder. I’m into year 2 in my position as Director of Quality Control Labs at Estee Lauder and find myself with unique challenges almost every day. It definitely keeps me engaged and busy! My team has grown this year and I’m excited for what’s to come. I was granted a year of sabbatical from our church’s elder team this year, which was a welcome break that made things like our South Dakota trip a lot easier to manage. I did still lead worship most weeks and absolutely love getting to play with my friends in that band.

We are so thankful for you and the friendship you bring to our lives. We hope that you find joy this Christmas season in the gift of Jesus Christ!

With Love,

Peter, Becky, Elliott and Zachary