Merry Christmas from Jon, Lyn, Collette, Micah, and Adalyn Carlson

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we pause to reflect on God's faithfulness throughout the past year. 2016 felt very turbulent in many ways, from terrorist attacks to the Brexit vote to the contentious presidential election. Yet our family's journey seemed, in most ways, tranquil—same home, same jobs, same schools. We're thankful for the many wonderful people who have enriched our lives this year, and hope you enjoy this small glimpse into our 2016.

Cutting our tree at Abe's Christmas Tree Farm
Easter | March 27, 2016

Adalyn

Although you can't tell in this photo, Ady's a fountain of seemingly endless energy. (The secret to kids' energy levels is that they siphon it out of their parents like gas thieves, and then funnel it into destroying the house.) Ady spends about three days each week during the school year with an Amish family, so she's picking up some PA Dutch in addition to her developing English skills.

At the Beach
2nd Birthday Party (complete with Curious George theme)
Touring Philadelphia
The beach might just be Ady's favorite place in the world.
Back to School | August 23, 2016

Micah

After finishing a great year of PreK, Micah started Kindergarten (Spanish Immersion) at Locust Grove Mennonite School. Micah is reading in English and Spanish, and making great friends at school! Micah loves numbers, shapes, and learning his multiplication tables. In the Fall, Micah played soccer with Mennonite Sports and sang in Prelude Music with Mennonite Children's Choir of Lancaster.

For his 5th birthday, Micah went to LEGOfest in Harrisburg and saw this awesome LEGO Lightning McQueen!
First Day of Kindergarten
At the beach in OCNJ

Collette

Collette had a fantastic year of Spanish Immersion Kindergarten and is off to a wonderful start in 1st grade! She loves reading (in both Spanish and English) and playing dollies with her friends.

First day of 1st grade!
Apple Picking

Collette played soccer in the spring and field hockey in the fall, as well as completing a year of ballet. She continues to sing in Prelude Music with Mennonite Children's Choir

Lyn

In May, Lyn graduated from Eastern University with her Masters of Multicultural Education. She also continues to direct the Academic Support (Special Education) program at Lancaster Mennonite High School. Lyn serves as chair of the Atlantic Coast Conference Youth Committee, helping to plan spiritual formation experiences for high school youth throughout the conference. Our church continues to sponsor a family from Syria who are resettling in Lancaster, and four of the children are attending Lancaster Mennonite School. We also said a tearful farewell in the summer to Yenny, an MCC volunteer we hosted for 2015-16 school year. Ady still includes Yenny in her bedtime prayers.

Lyn maintained a 4.0 throughout her Masters Program
The whole family went to St. Davids to celebrate Lyn's accomplishment!

In her free time... ha! What free time? Lyn's a working mom of three kids. (Although she did manage to find time to help coach Collette's soccer and field hockey teams.)

Surfing in OCNJ with one of our good friends, Emilie

Jon

Jon continues to serve at Forest Hills Mennonite Church, preaching regularly and leading a talented staff team (including two new members whose gifts are much appreciated.) Jon still enjoys running, logging just over 900 miles this year (although he only ran one organized race, a charity 5K for Lancaster Mennonite Schools.) In October, Jon became Assistant Moderator for Atlantic Coast Conference of Mennonite Church USA, and he also served on the Superintendent Search Committee for LMS.

Most days, the kids are approximately 3.7 times more crazy than they look in this picture.

Merry Christmas

May you experience the peace of Christ this season and find God's mercies new every morning in 2017.

With love - Jon, Lyn, Collette, Micah, and Ady.

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