Monday, December 20, 2010

Jonker Family Christmas Letter 2010

Column I
Dearest esteemed relations and associates,

Greetings in this season of our liberator’s nativity! We pray that things are as well with you as they are with us. We are so blissful that our laughter commonly awakens us from our deep slumber to greet the sunrise.

Our much-loved father best exemplifies this sentiment. He revels in the opportunities to serve as an elder at our church. In May he and our darling mother traversed the European continent with Rachel after she finished her semester in Spain. The jovial trio gleefully meandered through seven countries on a diet of crusty bread and spring water.

Mom wholeheartedly enjoyed the vacation to Europe, since she had been dreaming of the sojourn since she was a young lass. Another energizing highlight of her year was beginning a part-time job at Central Wisconsin Christian School after Luke, Laura and Elizabeth started there full time.

Rachel graced 13 countries with her presence this year, visiting Egypt, Europe, South Korea and the United States. She anticipates her graduation from Taylor in May with tender sorrow at the prospect of leaving home and excitement to be able to grace another (as-yet-known-only-to-God) country with her presence as she teaches English.

Anna, a sophomore at Gordon, basks each day in the glory of her glorious life. She decided that majoring in biology wasn’t difficult enough for her, so she is custom-designing one in nutrition. She spent her summer in the beautiful state of Wisconsin lovingly caring for aged individuals with her nursing assistant license.

Laura has arrived to her final year in high school. This year she is amassing wealth via summer and winter office jobs. She absolutely blew us out of the water with her astoundingly wonderful performance as the lead in the high school play—for the third year in a row. She has been too busy being wonderful to select one of the colleges in the Midwest which have earned a spot on her top-three list.

Luke, a freshman, is taking sophomore classes in high school. His voracious reading pace slowed slightly as he engaged in more adventurous pursuits such as an apprenticeship this summer at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and shooting his first deer in the first five minutes of his first hunt. His duties every Saturday morning as a dentist’s aide include wolfing-down Belgian waffles and other similarly strenuous activities. Since he completed the classroom portion of driver’s education the only thing standing between him and his temporary license is four months.

Fifth-grade Elizabeth will celebrate her joyous 11th birthday on holy Christmas Eve. Her fantastic performance in 4-H horseless-horse was recognized with the sportsmanship award. She also entered a darling little table runner and some fused glass jewelry. She welcomes the oh-so-busy Christmas season with youthful grace in spite of commitments to three programs in five days, a birthday on the horizon and the return of older sisters.

As you can tell we are very delighted and cheery with our lives. We pray that you are also…. happy.

Blessings and Best Wishes for a Blessed Wish-filled Holiday!

Column II
We have completed another year and will assume you have also unless you notify us otherwise.

That Icelandic
volcano with an unpronounceable name which cancelled Rachel’s trip to Morocco almost prevented Dad and Mom’s visit to her. They think they’re glad it didn’t. Rachel’s travel service was dubbed by Dad the “cheapest way to see as many things in the shortest amount of time possible with the added benefit of losing weight.” Book now for Summer 2011. While in Europe Rachel thinks she learned how to navigate public transportation, Dad learned how to say “gracias” and Mom rediscovered that she doesn’t walk as fast as Dad, who doesn’t walk as fast as Rachel.

We intended to go on a blissful familial camping outing in June to a secluded kayak-access-only camping site on Lake Michigan. The “blissful” part was lost somewhere between bucking three-foot waves in a tent-laden canoe, dragging a tent-toting sled through the pitch-black forest after midnight causing friction to abrade away its bottom, using hotdogs to grease the pancake skillets and a serving spoon to “flip” the “pancakes”, and pushing puddles of the torrential rain off the tarp above our picnic table. It was still camping though.

Rachel scares us sometimes. Besides weight loss disguised as tourism, she enjoys arguing (aka Ethics Bowl), traveling through third-world countries by herself and double majoring in Philosophy and Spanish (not to mention three minors). One weekend, while in Spain, she thought about making brownies, but decided to go to Portugal instead.

Anna decided that dealing with persnickety old people’s bodily excretions is less than an ideal summer job. Returning to books, papers, no sleep and friends at Gordon this fall was then very appealing. She usually thinks her new “design-your-own-major” idea is great, until she is asked over her potentially less than nutritious dinner about it.

Laura prefers acting to office jobs. (This may or may not have something to do with excessive paper cuts, paper clips and country music.) Unfortunately the office pays better. At least, so far. Plus acting can be an almost equally traumatic experience when casted as someone with electrocuted hair who has been raped and murdered her stepfather. The college search has been narrowed to Northwestern (a Dutch grain bin), Northwestern (a frozen pond), and Taylor (a windy cornfield)—which is last resort given the ill-repute of a related predecessor.

Luke decided to heed Dad’s advice and shoot the deer he saw. Dad just didn’t expect him to actually get it. (Especially since his father has yet to get one.) At EAA Luke was required to deliver promotional fliers and make over 100 candy salvation airplanes- the real reason he got in free. Safety Steve’s substitute in Driver’s Ed taught Luke how to hit a deer, but admits questionable teaching Luke still managed to get 100% on the final.

The last-minute switcheroo of her horseless-horse for another animal traumatized Elizabeth, but, as you know, one with her skills can manage these things. She braves the stressful Christmas season by making cookies, playing with American Girl dolls, and doing interpretative dances with pretzel cigars in the living room.

Merry Christmas!

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