Gollner Family Christmas Letter
The Year in Review
· Sarah starts off our year with a terrible case of mono including two trips to Med One and one trip to the ER. Josh also had an accident the same week and did a face plant on his floor in the middle of the night (although he has no memory of what happened).
· Abigail Glory Gollner was born on February 28th at 4:00 pm. Although the labor was long, we were thankful for a safe VBAC.
· Noah participated in his first organized sport on an Upward basketball team.
· Hannah, Sarah, Nathan, and Esther participated in our Homeschool Drama Camp in March. As always, it was a highlight of the year for the kids.
· We ran 4 mile race at Jackson Morrow Park
· We had a purity ceremony for Hannah and Sarah at church and gave them rings to remind them of their commitment to remain pure until marriage
· The family vacationed to Texas. Here are some highlights from vacation:
· Steve was the camp pastor for a week at Twin Lakes Camp - and the whole family got to tag along.
· We had eight children participate in Coyote Kids (the summer running program in the park). It was our 8th year participating.
· The oldest five kids participated in the National Bible Bee which included daily inductive study of I John and memorizing 25 passages of Scripture.
· Hannah, Sarah and Esther played volleyball with the homeschool group.
· Angie completed her first (and last) half marathon, The Highway Half on the new 31 bypass
· Steve and Angie ran the Raptor Run 5K at the Creation Museum (along with friends from church).
· Nathan began his third year of basketball with the homeschool group.
· We celebrated Steve’s 20th anniversary as the pastor at Mt. Gilead.
Angie has had quite a year!! What a blessing from God it was to have a safe delivery of Abigail. That was a great start to the year. She once again had mastitis trouble while nursing which turned into some cysts that she still struggles with daily. She decided to jump on the “once in a lifetime opportunity” and train for the half marathon that was held In Kokomo in October. Things were going well until two weeks before the race when she started feeling very dizzy, weak and faint. She ran the race (much to the dismay of many people), but she still struggles with a dizzy / faint feeling and exhaustion / foggy thinking on most days. Other than that, she keeps pretty busy caring for her three little ones and teaching her six older ones. She also still teaches the upper elementary Sunday School class and the Gopher Buddies preschool program at church and is the leader of the Tayloriffic 4-H club. She and Steve are also on the leadership team of the local homeschool group. One of the things she enjoyed most this year was teaching a crochet class for girls in the homeschool group.
Steve gets the hard worker award this year. He has now worked for the Rescue Mission for a year and Mt. Gilead for 20 years. He also faithfully donates plasma twice a week. He leads the youth group, Wed. night Bible study and preaches at the Mission once a month. He is also the official taxi driver for the kids to most of their practices. He hasn’t had much time for running this year but did complete a few races. All Steve wants for Christmas are a few more hours in his days.
Hannah is turning 16 in March (she just wants everyone to be aware of that fact). Her garden poster made it to the State Fair again this year and she earned a merit award. She also took shooting sports, woodworking and wearable arts. She especially enjoyed her summer of camp fun where she and Sarah attended Twin Lakes Leadership Camp, Camp Hidden Treasure, Momentum Youth Conference and Twin Lakes again. She ran a four mile race in May and placed second in her age division. She also received the Best Teammate award on the JV volleyball team and enjoyed subbing on the varsity team where she made new friends. Hannah moved up to Senior division at the Bible Bee and placed second in her division. She enjoys playing flute, but doesn’t get to do it as often as she would like.
Sarah will turn 15 in April. She continues to sing with the Kokomo Children’s Choir and sang a duet with her friend in the Christmas concert. She likes to read and listen to / play music. Her 4-H projects this year were reading (champion) and shooting sports (blue). She enjoys her new Spanish class (the class – not the work) very much. This year in volleyball she was voted “Lady Eagle” by all of the teams. She played for the Junior High team in the homeschool state tournament and helped the team win third place. She also received first place in the Junior division of the Bible Bee.
Nathan is our professional gardener (and you should see the weeds he grows). For the third year in a row, he received Grand Champion on his garden project at the fair. He also took Legos, foods, shooting sports, and woodworking. He is playing basketball for the third year and is the tallest on his team. Once again this year he beat the rest of the family in a four mile race with a time of 38:56. He completed gold for the fifth year in a row in Olympian clubs and placed third in the Junior division at the Bible Bee (and he will proudly tell you there were three in his division). He continues to play piano and has finally started to enjoy reading, especially the “Mars Diaries” series.
Esther continues to be our child with the most determined personality. She took eight projects in 4-H including: crochet (champion), bike, foods, shooting sports, sewing, cake decorating, entomology, and garden. She received the “Best Serve” award for her volleyball team. She worked very hard to learn her Bible Bee verses this year and came in at an impressive second place in her division. Daddy also had to come up with extra verses for her to learn for Olympian clubs after she learned all of her gold level verses. She still plays the piano, but her clarinet lessons have not gone so well since her teacher (mommy) was a bit distracted. Esther got to fulfill a lifelong dream this year when she played the part of flower girl for the wedding of Audrey Ann and the fireman. She also got to attend the birth of Abigail and help with Abby’s first bath.
Noah received his first Olympian gold medal at church this year and placed third in the primary division at the Bible Bee. He enjoyed playing basketball, although he will tell you that he did not enjoy it because they didn’t win enough games – he has his daddy’s competitive spirit. He is very active and is having a hard time adjusting to the rigorous reading requirements in third grade, but he doesn’t climb up on the desk while reading quite as often as he did last year. He loves, loves, loves his sister Abby but often has to be reminded that Abby doesn’t quite enjoy wrestling as much as he does.
Joshua is in first grade this year. We were a little concerned about how he would do with school (because Josh tends to live in his own little world), but he has taken to reading pretty well and is an amazing mathematician. He is very affectionate and especially loves Abigail and mommy. He tells us the reason he loves mommy so much is because she let Abigail be born. He just started his basketball career by joining an Upward basketball team, but he has already started dividing events in his life by before or after he started playing basketball. Sarah has also been teaching Josh a bit of piano in her free time, and he really seems to love it. He was in mini 4-H this year and completed bike and bugs.
Ruth, our quiet little lady, still loves to suck her thumb, listen to stories, dance and watch princess movies. We started teaching her some letter sounds, and it looks like she will be more than ready for Kindergarten next year. She has an amazing memory, which often gets mommy in trouble when she tries to skip parts of a book during story time, but allowed Ruth to memorize most of the Bible Bee passages with the older kids this summer. She also really enjoyed being a flower girl with Esther this summer.
Mary is a ball of fire, something else, a fart in a skillet, ADHD, busy, busy, busy. She keeps all of us on our toes and provides much excitement for the family. She demonstrated her daredevil instincts by doing the zip line at camp this summer. Her favorite things to do are whatever Ruth is doing and “playing” with Abigail (which scares us all).
Abigail has brought much joy to our family this year. She is growing and learning very quickly and it looks like she will be another verbal child (think Sarah). She is just starting to walk and entertain us with her new words and cute skills. She seems to really like music, but her favorite thing in the world is still mommy.