Here's the newsletter we emailed out this year:
Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas! I love getting all your Christmas cards in the mail and displaying them in my home, so I apologize for a digital copy this year, I'll try not to let it happen again next year :). This year has been a whirlwind with lots of changes. We moved back to our home in Utah, which we were renting out, from Colorado for the past two years. Moves are a lot of work for the entire family, but we know Colorado was where we were supposed to be for those two years, and that now we're supposed to be here. We loved the people of Colorado and had some wonderful, growing and stretching opportunities that come from being in a new area. We miss our Colorado friends dearly. That being said, we're so happy to be back in our home, surrounded by people we already knew and loved.
My father, Luis Garnica, passed away this past September at the age of 88, from injuries sustained during a recent car accident. I was grateful I was able to fly back to the Seattle area to be with him before he passed. We love and miss 'Grandpa Garnica' but knowing that he's still near and that we'll see him again one day, once we pass from this life, brings us comfort and hope.
Before the trip out to Seattle in September, we were able to spend a week there over the summer, which is a yearly tradition. We were also able to spend a week in North Carolina this year with Scott's family, over the Thanksgiving holiday. We loved the time we were able to spend with both families in both states, on opposite coasts, and are grateful for the happy memories we create together.
All the kids, except Nora(3), are in school now, but I stay surprisingly busy. Nora and I cook, clean, read and play together during the day and once the kids are home we're busy with homework, piano and taking kids here and there to various activities. Elisabeth (11), Charles (9) and Annabelle (7) all continue to play the piano year round, and they take turns doing other extracurricular activities throughout the year including tumbling, cub scouts, baseball, choir, orchestra, basketball, soccer and more. Jane (5) loves being in school now with her older siblings; she loves kindergarten and especially her angel teacher. My calling(service/job) at church recently changed from Youth Sunday School Teacher to Primary Chorister. I am staying busy coming up with ways to teach even the littlest of children songs about the Savior. I loved working with the youth, and I love working with the primary children, especially since all of my kids are in Primary. Any free time I get I spend blogging (I have two, a family and a whole foods blog), exercising, organizing, cooking and just doing anything with family. Scott is the assistant cub scout leader for Charles' cub scout group, and it's fun for them to spend some extra time together each week at their activities. Scott is also back working with HNTB, the same civil engineering firm he worked with before our move to Colorado. Scott enjoys playing the guitar, exercising, doing home improvement projects, and being with the family. He spent most of his free time, over the past 6 months, doing improvements on the house like framing, drywall, texture, electrical and more. I'm amazed at all he does!
Throughout the year, and even more during this season, our thoughts are continuously turned to our loving Savior. We are grateful for his birth, for his example of love and service and for his atoning sacrifice that makes it possible for us to return to him and be reunited with our families forever.
The Smith Family
Scott, Elisa, Elisabeth, Charles, Annabelle, Jane and Nora
*You can follow us at: gratefulfortheride.blogspot.com