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    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas! We wish you and your loved ones great joy this season!

    But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:10–11


    David and Leah Christmas Card





    Christmas Concert

    Last Friday our school hosted their annual Christmas concert.

    There were several performance groups: the junior high band, concert band, brass band, junior choir, secondary choir, and teacher choir. David performed with the teachers. Our school atrium serves many purposes. It makes a fun performance hall.


    Children's choir


    Concert Band




    This student was the narrator. She shared the reason for Christmas:




    Teacher Choir


    Teacher Choir


    Choir singing


    Choir finale


    The seniors have been raising money for their end-of-the-year trip. They sold treats and hot drinks at the event:


    Senior fundraiser


    The performance groups did a fantastic job! It was a fun night.


    Leah and David by Christmas tree



    Our Christmas Break

    We had a wonderful Christmas break!

    We especially had a lot of fun playing with our nephew Ethan. He’s about 15 months old now, babbles away in his own language, and loves running and kicking a ball. He reaches for everything and likes to look through his board books. Such a cutie!


    David feeding Ethan a bagel


    Ethan reaching


    Leah Reading to Ethan


    Christmas Eve was the annual Benedict caroling and fondue party:


    Fondue meat




    Our families live less than a hour apart, and we were able to see them both on Christmas Day. (This was the last year for that, though! My mom is retiring and heading south as soon as she can!)


    Family Christmas photo


    We spent Near Years Eve with our dear friends and their sweet little one. (David was annoyed though – everyone fell asleep before midnight. He had to wake us up to watch the ball drop!)


    New Years Eve


    We also spend some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa. We love them so much!


    Family Christmas photo


    We even got in one of Sam’s basketball games:


    Sam basketball


    It was so great to catch up with family and friends. We were also glad to visit with our church family. And we attended the wedding of one of our friends!

    We made it out of Michigan just before the polar vortex. And even though our travels didn’t go completely as planned, we made it back safely and for the most part on time. There was a short week of school last week and we’re slowly getting back into sleep patterns and a routine. As much as we love our time at home in Michigan, it also feels good to be back home in Turkey!



    An Icy Winter Wonderland

    We had a white and icy Christmas in Michigan this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ice stay on the trees this long. The ice has weighted down the trees. Branches have taken down a lot of power lines in the area. There are some people who have been without power for almost a week. David’s family lost power for 3 days, but fortunately it was restored on Christmas Eve Day.

    The ice is beautiful and terrifying. Especially when the sun comes out, it’s as though the road is lined with crystal chandeliers. You can hear the ice and branches falling, especially out on the farm. It’s a chorus of shattering glass.


    Icy bush


    Icy bush


    Icy bush


    Many trees are so heavy, they’ve bowed over the road:


    Weighed over tree branch


    Iced over branches


    Tree with ice


    Icy branches


    Icy pine


    Icy branch


    This poor tree by one of the barns lost half of its branches. David said they will probably cut the rest down once it’s warmer. We’re fortunate that branches have not fallen on the house or our cars. We haven’t seen the damage inside of the maple woods yet, but we know it’s brought down some of the tap lines.


    Ice damage to a tree


    Icicles on the fence


    On our way to break, David’s aunt called us and told us to check out a bald eagle in someone’s yard. It was so cool to see it sitting on the icy branches:


    Icy tree and bald eagle


    David took the Gator out to the edge of the woods and ran into some deer. A couple of these were trophy bucks. He purchased his hunting license last night, so hopefully he’ll get some venison before the end of break.


    Deer in the snow


    Deer running in the snow



    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas from the Benedicts! May your days be merry and bright! (We were the elves at the Christmas Craft Fair this year. Santa told us we were on the nice list.)


    2013 Christmas Card