Dear Family and Friends,
We pray for you all as you come to mind. Christmas letter sending helps me to remember you all in prayer even if it is once a year. It has been an unbelievable year to say the least. I will give you a short synopsis (or as short as I can make it). A little over a year ago, we discovered we were expecting our ninth child. He is sitting next to me right now being cute. Evan Jakob Sebastian came into the world July 16, and he has been a precious and wonderful gift to the family with his smiles and snuggly ways. We are thankful for his safe delivery and that all has been well.
Charley's year has been a whirlwind of emotion. Rumors were flying at work that Bosch would possibly leave South Bend and though we hoped they would hold off on that decision, it has come to pass that they indeed will be leaving by this time next year at the latest. He will be working here in South Bend till the bitter end but we will not be moving as far as we can foresee right now. He is proceeding with confidence and I am grateful his reputation as an excellent engineer precedes him. I've never ceased to brag on his engineering ability.
The kids have all been busy as ever. Anna is a Sophomore at Indiana University and has switched her major to Organ Performance. She played organ in the Halloween concert at IU and was so moved by the experience that she knew all she ever wanted to was play spooky organ music. The church there has elected her to Fellowship Deacon. Her acceptance speech was, “Welcome to the most boring year this church has ever seen.” That's my girl! In other news, Anna has taken up dancing as a hobby. She's going to join a chorus line this summer. As for her love life, she just likes to keep people guessing. One wry look to the winning guesser!
Erik is 18 and I spontaneously graduated him from High School about a week ago. We still expect him to write a valedictorian speech. He spent half the year confusing our friends by answering the phone in a British accent. We have given up all animal raising and Erik had the pleasure of loading up the chicken coop on the trailer and driving into the sunset to our dear (very dear) friends (hopefully still friends) the Wolfe's. His eyes regularly glaze over as he ponders his gorgeous girlfriend in North Carolina. I have to bring him back to South Bend regularly where his responsibilities now include working on finishing up house projects and designing coffins until he is motivated to get a license and an outside job.
Matthew has no love interests that I am aware of. He is rigging up the house so it can fly to Paradise falls. He has been inflating balloons for weeks and hopes it will approved as his Eagle Project. Too bad he didn't think of doing this with the chicken coop so we could have avoided the trouble of getting it on the trailer. He got an airsoft gun, along with his brothers. They will soon be for sale on Amazon for those interested. Matthew's nose is as congested as ever. We would be keeping kleenex companies in business except... Snot. Lots of laundry.
Martin enjoys Scouts and is our conscientious student. He is working on his “Helping the Elderly
badge so sometimes he does what Anna asks him to. He loves to practice the piano too. Drinking songs are especially popular. I am happy for that as it is all less of a struggle. He grew three inches after getting into some Ent Draught. Our little Hobbit is growing up. He doesn't have any love interests either, though surely every little girl wishes he did. Hobbits are powerful charmin'.
Cecilia also loves learning. She is graduating college top of her class because, as a homeschooled girl, she is naturally a prodigy. Currently she is on tour playing piano in every major orchestra. She is sharing a room with Ingrid, who asks for help getting out of the crib every morning, but somehow is not heard. Anna chuckles and thinks of her days sharing a room with toddler Cecilia. Big C. is now in possession of Mathew's bunnies because he is too busy blowing up balloons. Cecilia is too busy to consider a serious romantic relationship, but DID walk down the aisle just yesterday with her husband Joseph in the church pageant.
Benjamin is still Benjamin. He helps with firewood and cleaning the house. He loves vacuuming and sweeping and throwing away trash so much that we have to tie him to his bed at night to get him to take a break and sleep. He is 7 and dating the love of his life, Abigail. They want to run off and join a circus be we haven't let them, plus she lives too far away. We went on a very pleasant vacation in May to visit his girl and her family, so we could get to know them.
Stefan and his Woody and Bullseye dolls are inseparable. They go on rip roaring adventures together. He has discovered that he can produce a noise like a broken kazoo with his nose. He is in love with... his Woody Pjs and wonders “Are there MORE of these at Walmart?”. He stores all of his leftovers promptly and properly in the fridge. He is happily single. His OCD would prevent him from getting too close to any girl.
Ingrid, no longer the youngest has stepped right into he big sister shoes, along with the shoes of every other family member. Lots of missing shoes. Her babies and Barbies are all securely tucked into their napkins and oven mitts, up and down the stairs and everywheres. She fancies being a single mother, adopting all the emaciated and and disproportionate children in the world.
Evan, by far the cutest, as he most closely resembles Anna as a baby, is the center of everything and has an evil glint in his gorgeous eyes as he spits all over everything. Mom uses Eau de Blurp.
At this point in the letter I would like Anna to take over to write about MY year, as she had NOTHING to do with the letter to this point. You know it's true. Mom. Mom was pregnant. Then she had a baby. She isn't pregnant right now. Stop asking. She just needs to throw some more firewood and maybe take over the housework from Benjamin. She and dad have been, believe it or not, so bored with their 9 children, that they took it upon themselves to adopt our 65 year old neighbor, Jim Edward Carson-Horner. He goes with on family vacations while I sit at school and rot. They failed to ask my permission before taking this course of action. Does this mean that I will be his legal guardian in the event of their untimely demise?
Everyone is home for the holidays, at least until Cecilia has her next gig and Matthew flies off with the home. I hope you enjoyed this letter as much as we enjoyed our rip-roaring year. Peace and love to y'all, bros.
Love, The Horners
NOTICE: This account has been loosely based on the lives of the Horners. No animals were harmed in the making of this letter.