Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas Friends!

IN 2014 WE ARE THANKFUL FOR...

this photo (and all the others like it) courtesy of Jared Whitney
  • Road Trips.  4,537.8 miles in 15 days was an absolute blast.  We traveled across vast expanses of the United States, visiting family and friends along the way and made memories that will last a lifetime.
    taking the kids to the softball field where we met
    Mt. Rushmore
    road side dance party
  • Baptism.  Grant and Katie both chose to be baptized - an outward expression of their personal decision to follow Jesus. SO COOL! 
    Their middle school youth pastor got to baptize them.

  • Stamina!  Curt started a doctorate program in education at Portland State University this September.  We praise God for the stamina He’s given Curt to continue to work a busy full-time job as Clinical Coordinator at OHSU, practice orthopedics one day per week at Hope Orthopedics, love his family well, and excel as a student.  He just wrapped up his first term and we are so proud of him.  He also was appointed as an Elder at our church and does such a good job serving others. In his “free” time he loves fixing things and watching football.
    Hiking in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area
    Curt's first day of school
  • A new decade.  I (Jodi) officially entered my 40’s and can now register in the Masters Category for my races.  With the exception of a broken finger, I stayed healthy and was able to run over 1,100 miles this year, including two marathons, two half marathons, one 5k, and finish an open water swim without panicking.  We also spent hours hiking all over the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I praise God for health to enjoy this incredible place we call home with my friends and family.
    Curt threw a big surprise party for me - with the help of several of my friends.  He's a keeper.
    1st place in the world's tiniest marathon
  • Jodi Stilp Photography LLC.  My photography business officially launched this spring. It is a huge honor to tell my clients’ stories through images. Our kids often come with me to assist on shoots, a fun perk to this line of work. 
  • Grant (8th grade, 13 years) is thankful for Jesus, skateboarding, drums, water polo, Lego Robotics, and friends. Grant represented his school at the state Geography Bee this spring and his robotics team just won a bid to the state championship. Grant is also thankful for Grant’s Lawn and Car Care Company because it funds his skateboard and drumming hobbies. Grant is officially taller than his mother now, one more thing on his Thankful List.  We are thankful for his crazy enthusiasm and his tender heart. Teacher Grant is well loved by the three-year-olds he serves at church.  

    He's taller.
  • Katie (7th grade, 12 years) is thankful for Jesus, soccer, running, reading, friends, school, and having her own phone.  The photos she takes with her phone are oh-so-creative. Katie tackled the 100 meter hurdles with fierce determination during track this spring and won her division in a 5k trail race this summer.  Katie is a skilled percussionist but wishes she would have chosen Office Aid instead of Band.  We are thankful for Katie’s sweet spirit and her steadfast determination to excel at everything she does.  Katie loves volunteering in the Toddler Room at church and is a great babysitter.  Give her a call! 

    Seriously intense hurdler!
  • Alli (5th grade, 10 years) is thankful for every sport on the planet, friends, turning double digits, Jesus, and babies.  This year Alli played two seasons each of water polo and soccer and is currently playing basketball. She has boundless energy to expend on sports or hanging out with her friends and approaches life with gusto.  Alli won her age division in a 5k this spring and will occasionally join me on a training run.  We are thankful for Alli’s enthusiasm, compassion for others, and her love for Jesus.  She committed to reading her Bible every day this year and it has been so fun to watch her stick to it, even in the “boring” parts.

    ALL IN - this is Alli with every sport.
  • Paige (3rd grade, 8 years) is thankful for READING, school, dance, friends, Legos, Barbies, and Jesus.  She is also thankful that she gets to be the flower girl in her “big brother” Todd’s wedding. We are thankful for Paige’s intelligence and witty sense of humor that spill out into everything she does.  We are also thankful that she freely gives hugs, snuggles, and thinks Greenie (her blanket) is the best thing ever.  Paige got tired of her “baby Bible” and graduated herself to reading a “real” translation every day.  Somehow it all comes back to reading for Paige.

    Little Flower girl
  • YOU!  Our entire family has been deeply blessed by our family and friends.  Our lives are richer, beautiful, and more colorful because you are part of them.  THANK YOU.  May grace, peace, and joy wash over you this holiday season and throughout the new year.
Warmly,
Curt and Jodi, Grant, Katie, Alli and Paige (and Dusty)

can't forget Dusty.  She says "Merry Christmas" too!

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