Puddle Jump Through Life With Us

Puddle Jump Through Life With Us

Flowing River of Blessings

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Scott Family Christmas Letter 2016

Merry Christmas 2016 and a happy new year from the Scotts!


What have we been up to this year? For one, I have gone cyber with my Christmas cards. This is it! I first want to sincerely apologize to those of you who will find it difficult to embrace an online letter. The intention is not to offend in any way, though I do figure it saves you having to figure out where to display, store, or pitch our letters every year and it saves us a ton of money in postage.



This year, we saw a lot of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, both literally and symbolically as we said goodbye to some amazing relatives and friends who passed on to eternity and greeted some pretty amazing days of fresh beginnings as well. 








Along the way, we saw the worst hailstorm in decades come through our area, John "just happened to catch" (that would be a God thing) our water heater just before it burst, and had to have 4 new tires put on John's van.


But, God always provided us with a rainbow!


Our family's highlights this year included spending a week in Holden Beach, NC with Tere's side of the family. What a wonderful week that was. We celebrated her parent's wedding anniversary, Father's Day and a few birthdays while we were there as well.






The year also took us once again on our summer tour with John performing on tour in WI and MI where he played 36 gigs with a few days off to enjoy the towns.

Of course, there are plenty of days spent inside land-locked hotels and days filled with multiple gigs for John, we try to route it for some beach time and some downtime in between.

This year, he and the older kids took a tour of the Kohler factory, and we took the SS Badger across Lake Michigan to get to the final stretch of our tour which also took us to a huge Christmas store in Michigan as well as the Detroit area for the first time ever as we visited the the Ford Museum for a special Beatles display and a couple trips to Ford Village, which is like stepping back in time. What an educational power-packed few days that was. The museum is home to Edison's actual laboratory, a courthouse where Lincoln practiced, the largest locomotive, the bus of Rosa Parks, and the theater chair Lincoln was sitting in the night of his assassination.























As has been our tradition, we finished up our tour in Holland, MI with our traditional trip to the Holland dunes to watch the final sunset of the trip.

After we returned home, John and Tere were able to have a date night enjoying a 1940s style hangar dance put on by the Confederate Air Force.








John is still performing solo gigs mostly at retirement facilities, but also at a few restaurants and wedding receptions here and there. By the end of this year, he will have performed 363 gigs in 2016, including a 36-gig five week tour in Michigan and Wisconsin.

This year, he and a band he was in during the late '70s and early '80s, named Souvenir, has a reunion show on December 16.

John is still also teaching guitar, though he has a lot less students than he has in the past. John also plays on the worship team at St. Charles River Church.





This year, John took a few short trips with just Graham and/or Jale'na. Graham and he went to see Red Green, a comedian, perform in Iowa. Of course, they couldn't show up to a show that jokes about duct tape being a handyman's secret weapon without being creative with duct tape themselves. So, they wore their duct tape fishing hats that Tere made for them.


John and Jale'na saw For King & Country in Kentucky twice. The picture below, they were caught on camera when the audience sang happy birthday to one of the band's members, Luke Smallbone (they are the second row). Before the show, Jale'na got to give Luke a koala plush that she had customized as a birthday gift.





Tere - She is still writing for sites like CBS St. Louis as well as a ton of ghostwriting projects for various websites that range from locksmiths to acupuncturists and a site about therapy dogs. This year, the Examiner site that she has been writing for since 2009 was sold to AXS which looked as if there would be a lot less writing opportunity for her, but some former Examiners stepped up to the plate and were able to keep CBS site alive for the time being.

Tere is also on the Homeschool Review Crew for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and gets to sample and talk about tons of great curriculum. She is still teaching this crew of 3 at home. Two are now in high school but neither have their license yet, so it means a whole lot of driving about.

She also is still attempting to sell the contents of our basement on eBay to declutter and pay some bills.This year, she spent much of the early months learning about Pfaltzgraff wear, ceramic roosters and thimbles as she agreed to sell a lifetime collection for a friend's mother's estate. Tere is hoping to walk the Mackinac Bridge next year (more on this later - keep reading), so she has begun walking 2-3 miles a day on the treadmill in preparation. The bridge is 5 miles across.



As if you couldn't tell by the number of pics in this letter already, she also still rather enjoys photography even though her favorite subjects (the 3 kiddos) are growing through pre-teen and teen years so are not as cooperative to capture on camera. This letter contains many of her favorite pics from the year, and here are a few more:





Graham - 16 and a Junior in high school this year. He continues to breathe, sleep, eat, and thrive on writing computer coding. He is also involved in FIRST Robotics. His latest projects include modding Sonic games, but his language of choice is C# which he used to rewrite his robotics team scouting software for their spring regional competition. It paid off since his team received the Finalists award and took home additional awards at off season competitions later in the year. 

We are hoping that his long, tortuous orthodontic treatment will be over soon as he began suffering from TMJ, brought on by 14 months of lingual braces, shortly after his braces were removed a couple years ago.



 Jale'na - 14 and a Freshman in high school and biting at the bit to get her driving permit in February. She is still loving Lifelight Youth Theatre and took part in her first full spring musical, Mary Poppins, this year in May and June, where she led the line of singers for Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. In December, she sang as a WBFR girl for a 1940s radio drama presentation of A Christmas Carol. Her spring musical in 2017 is going to be Seussical where she is very excited to get the part she had hoped for - singing as one of the Bird Girls. She will also be a circus animal and a puppeteer.

She danced her last ballet recital on stage with elaborate costumes this year and is now taking ballet and jazz through Lifelight as well.

She has developed a complete love of Christian music band, For King and Country and attended four concerts this year, a couple out of town with dad, and the fourth for their Christmas show with mom.





Some other highlights of her year included helping with Crestwood Christian Church's VBS and seeing the premiere of Priceless the Movie in October.






Eliana - 10 and a 4th Grader. Eliana played tennis for the first time ever while we were on tour. When we returned, she began a Lego League robotics team this year and is having a blast making new friends and learning more about robots and programming. She also takes part in Lifelight Youth Theatre where she dances ballet and will also be part of Seussical in the spring of 2017 as a Who. We are looking forward to figuring out how to create colorful and playful Seussical Who hair for the show. This year, she played the part of a penguin in Mary Poppins. 


Her Lego Legue team not only built and programmed a robot to compete, but part of the project involved the team creating a solution to a problem in the animal world. She and another girl from her team designed a t-shirt to go over cat's paws to keep them from chewing out stitches. Eliana also helped design the display board and created the team's logo display pixel by pixel.



She also remains our little artist. The girl has an eye for art even though, if you ask her, she will usually tell you it's no good.








We look forward to 2017 when we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We spent our honeymoon on Mackinac Island, so it is our hope next year to walk the Mackinac Bridge for the bridge's 60th anniversary celebration on Labor Day. The trip is 5 miles across.

So, how are you doing? We'd love to keep in touch throughout the year. Find John and I all across social media and on the web:

Facebook as ourselves or as a fan page (John Scott Musician or Puddle Jumping Blog) - Twitter @Jalenagraham or @Johnscottmusic - Instagram - email - TereJScott@gmail.com or Johnscottmusician@gmail.com or text us at John - 314-302-0073 / Tere - 314-302-0074


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