Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Shealy Family

On our wedding day in 1988, Brian and I were given a Christmas memory book that has space for recording 25 years of holiday memories. I am completely amazed to find that Brian and I will be celebrating our 23rd Christmas this year and our book is almost full! Our family Christmas photo has eight more people in it than when we started, our life is full and busy, and God has proven His faithful love to us year after year! 2010 was no exception. Here’s an update on our family…

Caleb (5) is determined to grow up in spite of the fact that he will always be our baby. Recently, he has discovered jokes, like this: “Why do chickens sit on eggs? Because they don’t have chairs.” Some of his favorite things are his cereal bowl with a built in straw, his black ankle socks, marshmallows, and Dad’s funny series of bedtime stories called The Bee Bop Bear Cops.

Luke (9) joined swim team a few months ago, and has grown about 3 inches this year. He is a big fan of Ereth, a funny, grumpy porcupine character from the Poppy book series, and is really happy when Seth is around to play video games with him. Luke and Caleb enjoy battling each other throughout the day with all their Nerf swords, axes, and guns, complete with lots of homemade sound effects.

Briana (11) has collected an armful of silly bandz this year, and loves to chat with her friends on the phone. One of her favorite memories of 2010 was going ice skating with a couple of her friends on her birthday. She loves to read books from The Charlie Bone series, and is hoping to be baptized this next year.

Lindsay (13) loves to swim and work out, and enjoys planning and organizing things. Making cards and giving gifts makes Lindsay happy, and most often she likes to give away friendship bracelets that she makes from patterns she finds on the internet or creates herself. She took voice lessons this year and sang in the girls’ youth choir at our church.

Ali (15) Ali has been exploring all forms of art this year like styling her family’s hair, singing with her friends, learning guitar and piano, drawing everything from sketches to portraits, and has just recently discovered photography. (I think it runs in the Shealy veins.) She is always available to be Savannah’s model when she needs someone for a photography class project.

Adam (17) is a senior in high school, and is thinking about career choices and possible majors. He loves to plays sports such as basketball, and volleyball with our church’s summer league. Relaxing for Adam means enjoying the X-box 360 and computer games, but he still has a soft spot for good books, (which is a good thing since he just got a new box full of books in the mail today that must be read before graduation!).

Seth (18) is recovering from having all 4 wisdom teeth removed this week, and from taking Chemistry his first semester in college. He is working toward a degree in criminal justice, and has recently applied to a cadet program with the police department. Seth got to travel to South Carolina with Brian for Thanksgiving this year, and has become quite a good swing dancer.

Savannah (21) spent the year building her wedding and portrait photography business, and was excited to travel to New York to shoot the wedding of a friend. You can see her work at: She is now pursuing a degree in photography, and in her spare time enjoys swing dancing and doing aerials with her brother, stalking the blogs of her favorite photographers, exploring San Francisco with her friends, and finding new Spurgeon and C. S. Lewis quotes.

Myra – I’m beginning to feel as if the kids are growing up in time-lapse photography speed! Within the next year the youngest child will start kindergarten and three will have graduated from high school. These are busy days, but I must say they are some of the happiest days of my life! Aside from watching God at work in our family, I’ve been so encouraged this year by the latest music of Steven Curtis Chapman, his CD called Beauty Will Rise. It is a strong testimony to God’s love and faithfulness to His children in their most painful trials. I’m looking forward to a “day off” next week that Brian is giving me, and I hope to dust off my camera, write on my blog, and maybe explore my favorite thrift store.

Brian has seen some major physical changes since last year. He lost 30 pounds, shaved off his beard, and took our family through an intense 90 day exercise program! No, this isn’t a midlife crisis, just an effort to help us all strive for better health. The results have been exciting, and it has been a fun thing to do as a family. Brian has completed two years of his PhD program, and is as busy as ever overseeing The Cornerstone Seminary, serving on the elder board at our church, and shepherding our home fellowship group.

In the remaining days of the Christmas season, our family will enjoy the special things that go along with the holiday: the food, opening gifts, seeing all the beautiful lights, and receiving cards and photos from many of you. But when it is all over for another year, the tree comes down, and the gifts have all been put away, the Savior that came to Earth so long ago will still remain the living gift that we desperately need. “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” He is still the only hope that never disappoints. Our prayer is that in the year to come you will treasure Him above any earthly gift you have or desire.

Merry Christmas with love,
Myra for Brian, Savannah, Seth, Adam, Ali, Lindsay, Briana, Luke, and Caleb