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December 12, 2007
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A Wild and Wonderful Week!

Richard at the George Bush Library in Houston

The gorgeous art of sculpture in Mexico!

Last breakfast for the parents at Wellesley College after having three daughters graduate from there.

Three Eyrealm couples visiting our two NYC couples at Lincoln Center.

It was a whirlwind week as we spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the Amazing American School in Monterrey Mexico. We first spoke to 500 high schools students, then their teachers and coaches and finally their parents. The school is truly a remarkable private school in this thriving city in Mexico. We were impressed with the kids, their parents and their loyal teachers and coaches. With 1400 students in two campuses we were truly inspired by what they are doing for these children who will become the future leadership of Mexico!

From there we dashed off to the George Bush Library outside of Houston Texas to hear Mitt Romney give a fabulous speech about Religion in America. It was a defining speech for his campaign and truly one that lifted us all to a higher realm in politics. Too bad we have to go back to the “smallness” of that world after hearing about it’s “greatness”. We so admire the Romneys for throwing their hat in the pit bull world of politics!

Next it was on to Boston and New York where we gathered several of our children and their spouses and girlfriends in each place. It was pretty hilarious to try to fit nine of us, including three children, in one 450 square foot apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan. Noah, who works there and his wife Kristi who is pregnant and sick, insisted that it would be fun. I hope they still feel that way!

How we loved spending our last days at Wellesley College, truly a magical campus and home of three of our daughters for their college educations. Charity is about to graduate next week and return home for Christmas and to prepare for her mission to the south of London.

We feel so blessed at this glorious time of year and hope that you will take time to feel the peace amidst the chaos!

December 2, 2007
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And on to Christmas!

With about fifteen Eyrealmers along with her own family of five children celebrating Thanksgiving weekend in her house, not to mention family members from her husband’s family the week before, our daughter Shawni posted these poignant thoughts on her blog this week. I think she speaks for many of us:

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and no matter how I tried to pull myself in to this computer and express my complete gratitude for so many hoards of blessings I just couldn’t peel myself away from the craziness to do it. So I’ll just sum up a couple things I’m thankful for now that it’s all over:

1) Extended family…the ones Dave and I grew up in. We couldn’t have had better examples and love growing up and it just keeps going. How grateful I am for those relationships, and the chance we had to nurture and build some of them this past couple weeks.
2) Our family. I must admit, as much as I absolutely adored having so much family around the last couple weeks, I am SOOO thankful for my own little family and the peace we had last night as we added the finishing touches of our Christmas decorations together and read our first real Christmas story under the tree in just the lights gleaming from it’s branches. Despite Elle not being able to sit still for more than a minute and Lucy trying to pull off Christmas decorations and Gracie being distracted about a hundred times, we read “A Christmas Carol” and the real spirit of Christmas started descending gracefully around us as we nestled there together in the twinkling lights of the tree. Just for a minute, because interruptions are enough to jostle that spirit away pretty quickly, but I felt it inching it’s way in. Now if we can just “be still” for long enough in all the hustle-bustle of the season I’m craving that spirit to spread over us like a warm blanket and help us remember the true meaning of this season.

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