Is it really December 2010 already? Nowadays time seems to fly by, which we suppose is the true sign of reaching our middle-age. This year our household has been transformed from 4 people living together to a family. As Julia becomes more like a miniature adult and Abigail matures and adds her personality to the mix, we have grown closer as a family and enjoy doing activities together like singing, taking walks, reading, swimming and taking trips. It’s been fun watching the sisters learn to interact and seeing how Julia has embraced her role as big sister.
Julia, now almost half way through 2nd grade, has taken on many new challenges this year. Her musical talent is blossoming, both vocally and instrumentally. For the past two years, Julia was the only child who sang a solo in our church’s Christmas musical. She performed with both confidence and poise. One local choir director who saw the show last Christmas commented that many adults don’t have pitch as accurate as Julia’s. Last weekend she sang (as well as both mom and dad) in our church's very well-received musical “A Shepherd’s Love”. Her piano playing has improved by leaps and bounds this year, despite a 2 month hiatus after breaking her wrist falling off the monkey bars at school. She has begun to learn to play and sing simultaneously and has performed once at church. During the summer she was challenged in both reading and math at “Daddy University”. Chris enjoyed helping Julia strengthen and broaden her knowledge, enabling her to earn Academic Achievement Awards every trimester this year. In the fall she took on a new challenge, playing goalie for her soccer team, The Cupcakes. The team struggled on offense which meant Julia had to pick up the slack, saving over 10 goals per game. Although her team didn’t have a winning record, Julia was one of the heroes saving over 100 total goals for the season. She looks forward to playing again in the Spring.
Abigail is a sweetheart, a jokester, a helper, and a trouble maker all rolled into a little 2 year old ball of energy. She can sing a mean version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and can trash the family room in 2 minutes flat! She’s still a very good eater, but unfortunately has discovered snack foods and chocolate which has made mom more vigilant about her eating balanced meals. She enjoys playing with her sister which usually involves Julia building a cool tent and Abby knocking it down. She loves going to church and feels very at home there, although she can’t understand why they have cookies set out to eat ONLY on Sundays. Currently her favorite characters include Diego, Dora, Barney and The Little Einsteins.
Bree keeps busy delivering Julia to allof her activities, helping with homework, and taking care of Abigail. She has managed to continue performing on a limited basis, doing 2 short tours in 2010 and some local events. In 2011 she is looking forward to touring at least 3 times, twice with a group of female performers called The Christian D.I.V.A.s (Devoted, Inspired, Victorious, Artists). She leads worship at church every week, sings solos monthly and serves on the worship committee. Bree and Chris are both singing with a small a cappella group from church which has been both challenging and rewarding. The internet radio station she started 3 years ago, Women of Substance Radio – www.WOSRadio.com, continues to thrive and grow. Bree spends countless hours reviewing music, organizing playlists, promoting the station, creating special shows and dealing with administrative details for the station. In May the station went “Professional” putting Bree in charge of advertising content and garnering WOSRadio a listing on iTunes Radio. In June the station held an Artist Showcase in Hollywood emceed by Bree and broadcast live on the web. In the fall the station received a 3 page spread in Live365 Magazine and a feature on www.Athena365.com.
In March, Chris was invited to present a paper at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference, held at the University of Texas, Austin. He enjoyed the chance to meet up with some old acquaintances, was charmed by the atmosphere of the university town, and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the State Capitol Building. (But he says he’d be reluctant to spend a summer in Austin.) At APU, Chris was elected to serve as the chair of the General Studies Council, which oversees a broad range of curriculum. Much of his time in Fall 2010 was spent working on an initiative to expand online education. Chris is deeply concerned that this initiative might lower the quality of Christian education, and he’s doing his best to make sure that doesn’t happen. The rest of his time on General Studies Council was spent reworking the GS curriculum into a revised program called “Enduring Questions” which is now being presented to the Faculty and Administration for consideration. In September, Chris was honored to receive a small fellowship from APU’s Center for Research on Ethics and Values to develop an essay on aesthetics and literary pedagogy. He worked with a group of five other APU faculty members who read and critiqued each other’s work throughout the semester. With all the extra research and committee work, it has been harder than usual to focus on teaching, but Chris continues to encourage and challenge students in Literary Theory, British Survey, Senior Seminar, Freshman Writing, and his newest and extremely well-received class focusing on Milton’s Paradise Lost.
And now, without further ado, the much requested Julia (and now Abigail) quotes for the year:
· “A Wii without Super Mario Brothers is like a person without an arm.” (After Abigail broke her favorite game.)
· “You know, Dad, blood is mostly just water with red food coloring in it.”
· “Mom, no matter what you say, I’m gonna keep on wearing a dress to church until God tells me not to.”
· “I wish every commercial was Faith Hill” (Julia is a HUGE fan of the Sunday Night Football song)
· “The whole game I kept praying that God would help the 49ers win. I kept hearing him say they would win. But then when the game was over, God told me He liked the Eagles better”.
Abby saying “Sesame Street”:
“Mess me meat”
Abby runs outside after dark:
“I need to check on my moon!”
Every time she sees Christmas lights:
“That’s my Christmas!
Lastly, we are very thankful for all of your, our family and friends. Know that you are all a blessing in our lives and we enjoy keeping in touch and hopefully even hanging out with all of you. We pray you have a very blessed Christmas and a fruitful (both physically and spiritually) year to come.
Love in Christ,
Chris, Bree, Julia & Abigail Noble