The DeMuth Family Christmas Newsletter

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Dear family and friends,

It’s been an amazing 2010 for our family, full of growth, new things, and music. I pray this letter finds you rejoicing in all the blessings you’ve experienced. And I pray that if you’ve had a difficult year, you’d experience the healing of Jesus. Below is our update to peruse, stalk, and enjoy.

Julia

Julia graduated elementary school and is now in the seventh grade. She’s getting really good grades, making the transition well. She’s tried her hands (and body) at gymnastics. She can now do the splits–something none of the other DeMuths can possibly duplicate. She also sings in the choir. This Christmas, she plays the lead role in a local production as Candy Cane Jane. She’s an amazing actress (and singer!). Someday she hopes to be on Broadway. (Broadway, watch out!)

She participated in her first triathlon and did very well considering her brake was stuck the whole time. Which goes to show, when she sets her mind on something, she will make it happen. We’re thankful for Julia’s sweet, sweet spirit, her empathy for those who hurt, and her quick wit.

She went to camp with her new friend Kylea this summer, and she’s participated in Girls 4 God every Friday where I occasionally speak. Starting January I will be leading her discipleship group. Here’s a clip of her acting in a pretend commercial:

Aidan

The best word to describe Aidan this year is b-a-n-d. He received the Band Member of the Year award as he graduated middle school–a huge honor. He “picked up” a new instrument, the euphonium (baritone), and made first chair in the all-region freshman band. He also made it to the all region (all grades) band, a big deal for a freshman. He marched this year for the first time. You can watch his marching show here:

He’s that tall, skinny one in the back. (Ha ha, good luck finding him!) Aidan also went on a mission trip to Colorado with a group of high schoolers from church, and he’s settling in nicely to high school life. He participates in a discipleship group led by Brandon Boling, an amazing, affirming guy. He participated in two triathlons, the first he won (he was the oldest), and the second, a longer one, he finished.

Sophie

Where did the time go? My sweet girl, born on Christmas Eve 18 years ago continues to delight and surprise us. This summer she participated in a choir camp, honing her skills. In voice lessons, she’s developed a nearly four octave range. She’s worked very hard, and her perseverance has played off. (You listened to her sing a few days ago.) She made the all region choir this year, and also competed in the state contest with a French solo. She continues to be one of the top five students in her class of over 500 students.

In March we did a college visit (my mom came down!) to A & M, Trinity and Rice. This summer, she and I took a road trip where she visited Ouachita Baptist and Wheaton College. She’s decided on Ouachita Baptist University. She’s been offered some scholarships, and we’re praying for more. She’s not yet sure what she’ll major in, but may want to go to seminary after college. She also wants to use her French somehow.

She loves her friends, enjoys hanging out with us (still!), and is savoring her senior year. She’s become quite adept at taking pictures (She took my professional shot below), and has an artistic eye. This year she created a movie as the director, and also goofed off in class a bit. She continues to love kids and babysit when she can. She’s also dating a great guy this year. (See Homecoming pictures here.) And, yes, she made her first garter (a Texas high school tradition. You’ll also see it in the picture link.) I’ve had the privilege of leading her discipleship group. I love those girls–all eight of them!

Patrick

Patrick continues to head a department at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He’s taken the lead in inaugurating a north Texas chapter of vascular technologists and serves on the national board of directors for the Society of Vascular Technology. He’s traveled a bit around the country for that role.

After reading Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he caught the adventure bug. He and his friend Sam climbed one of Colorado’s fourteeners, Challenger Peak. He teaches weekly at our Life Group (Sunday School class at Lakepointe Church).

Besides being the most handsome husband on the planet, he walks alongside me as we do life with our kids, attend a myriad of musical events, and try to sneak in time with each other. On December 29th, we’ll celebrate our twenty year anniversary.

Mary

It’s been a good, yet busy year for me. I released two books, Life in Defiance, and Thin Places. I taught at several writers conferences, took a novelist retreat to the North Carolina coast, and had the privilege of being a delegate for the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town this October. Truly a life-altering event meeting Christ-followers from around the world. One of my highlights was meeting a friend from Iraq who, even now, suffers persecution.

I’m currently writing my 12th book, and I’m loving working with my agent, Esther. My 11th book, The Muir House, is set in my town (Rockwall) and has a strong romantic element–a bit of a departure, but really fun to write. Look for it next summer. Another thing I’ve enjoyed this year is working on my photography. If you look at The Muir House cover, you’ll see one of my photos (of the house). I’ve taken senior pictures, dance pictures and author photos in my spare time.

I’m busy leading two discipleship groups, mentoring writers, blogging here, doing interviews, and enjoying my kids. I am blessed beyond measure.

Here’s the book trailer for Life in Defiance:

We’re grateful for a full, robust year, and we look forward to all the surprises 2011 holds for us. Next year at this time, we’ll have a college student! May the grace, joy, and strength of Jesus Christ be yours forever and ever. And may you know His extravagant love for you. Amen.

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