Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

All professional photos courtesy of Photography by Elise
It's hard to summarize a year to fit on one page, but this is what I came up with for our annual Christmas letter.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!  Love- Jodi

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December 2011

Merry Christmas! 2011 has been a busy and fun year.  We hope this letter gives you a glimpse into what we’ve been up to.  Feel free to track our family more specifically at www.jodistilp.blogspot.com, and send us your updates too!

Sarah - 22 years
Sarah - We thought we were done having children, but we’re pleased to introduce our new addition – Sarah Lynn Wilmot.  Sarah (22 years) teaches 5th grade math and is pursuing her Masters in Education.  She moved in with us in May and immediately became part of the family.  We are blessed to have her for as long as she decides to stay.








Grant - 10 1/2 years old
Grant (10 years, 5th grade) is in his final year at Mabel Rush Elementary.  According to Alli, “Grant is hilarious and will eat anything.”  He wants to be a professional skateboarder, rock star, wildlife biologist or rocket scientist when he grow up.  He samples each career through his favorite activities – skateboarding, leading 2nd/3rd grade worship with his guitar, backpacking, and building Legos.  Grant’s football team went undefeated this year, winning the championship game on my birthday.  Go Tigers!  Grant saved $100 of his own money to help pay his way to his first week of overnight camp.  While there, he reaffirmed his decision to follow Jesus and said it was “definitely worth every penny.”



Kaitlin - 9 years
Katie (9 years, 4th grade) is gaining confidence as a student and leader.  Creativity flows through her veins and she has composed many short stories, won a coloring contest, and drawn some awesome pictures. I keep asking her, “Did you trace that?”  In line with her creativity, her current career aspirations are “a game board inventor or a shampoo model.”  A quiet but fierce competitor, Katie embraced softball with gusto, earning the nickname Wheels for her speed running bases.  She started dancing again this fall and was so graceful and elegant in her winter performance.  Kaitlin diligently read the entire New Testament this year and will often share with us what God is teaching her.

Alli - 7 1/2 years
Alli wants you to know “I’ve grown up.  I’m seven.  I’m pretty sure you can’t believe it. My behavior has changed a lot. I’m so happy I’ve had a great year in second grade.”  (We’re so happy too!)  Alli’s writing has taken off and she has produced some hilarious and touching work.  Softball didn’t move fast enough for Alli.  She picked a lot of outfield grass and made a lot of infield mud pies, but she loved talking to the other team while she ran the bases.  This fall Alli tried and loved choir, especially the performances where she really hammed it up.  Alli’s heart-felt prayers are pure, raw and intimate.  Her greatest Christmas wish is “a Haitian baby doll so I can tell people I adopted her.”



Paige - 5 3/4 years old
Paige (5 years) started Kindergarten this year.  She has a quiet confidence in herself and loves everything about school.   She is already reading fluently, something I still can’t wrap my brain around.  Paige kept us laughing with her quick wit and her five-year-old phrasing.  In the past year, she’s declared herself “an owl expert,” worn “the only pair of jeans available,” and declared, “Mom – I’m going healthy” after studying the food pyramid.  She has definite opinions about random things like clothes (we see her favorites over and over) and her hair (“dunna never tut it”).  Paige loves dancing and abandoned all inhibitions during her first showcase.  Way to shake it Paigey! 



Curt on his first trip to Haiti
HAITI – In April, Curt led a team to Haiti building several homes for displaced Haitian families.  He plans to return in January, this time leading a medical team.  In October, I joined a team of women from our church in leading a conference for Haitian pastor’s wives.  Our kids are learning Creole and begging for their turn to visit Haiti.  We know God will continue to intertwine our family’s hearts with the Haitians’.

Me with one of the kids in Grace Village


Curt and Jodi - about to celebrate 14 years of marriage
Carl Lake - where we backpacked
Curt has worked harder this year than ever before.  He has handled the pressures of two jobs, house church leader, mentoring, fatherhood, husband duties, and multiple mission trips with finesse and grace.  He even made time to train for yet another Olympic-distance triathlon.  It makes me tired just writing all he’s done.  I (Jodi) spent a lot of time writing, including weekly fitness posts for our church.  It was my first time writing for a specific audience on a deadline and it married several of my passions – encouraging women, running, and Jesus.  I ran three half marathons and was also able to run Hood to Coast for the first time.  Dubbed the Mother of All Relays, this 200 mile, 12-person relay race starts at Mt. Hood and finishes on the Pacific Ocean.  It was epic! 

This summer Curt and I took a four-day backpacking trip in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness.  We fell in love all over again with each other and with our Mighty Creator.  Our trip was NOTHING that we planned and EVERYTHING that we needed.  A verse God has been teaching Curt and I this year (and particularly on this trip) is Proverbs 16:9.  It says, “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” It’s our prayer that your upcoming year will be everything you need, even if it’s nothing like you planned.  




With All Our Love,


Curt, Jodi, Grant, Katie, Alli, Paige and now Sarah

2 comments:

  1. Great letter and pics! Merry Christmas and give a hug to all the kids from us. Love you! - Faith

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  2. I love your virtual Christmas card :) Your cards are amazing and such beautiful reflections up their parents. Love you! Anna

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