One of the smartest things Mel and I decided within our first year of marriage was that we would never send out Christmas Cards. This isn’t because we don’t love our friends or family, but we just couldn’t figure out why we would spend that much money on pictures, cards, paper, ink, envelopes and stamps. So, in stead, I give you our annnual family letter here online.
Farrand Family 2008
It’s been quite a year for us! In January, I attended my first “Intensive” for Seminary. I go two weeks in the beginning of January, and two in May at Western Theological Seminary where I continue to pursue my MDiv. I love my WTS family and want to thank them for their incredible support and care this year.
In February, I was able to be a part of a team that brought my friends Neil Cole and Brad Fieldhouse to Grand Rapids for a CMA Greenhouse! I was thrilled to be a part of that finally happening here in Michigan. In March, I was also able to fly out to Long Beach to stay with Brad along with Eric and Carlos (from Tapestry). While there, we toured the Queen Mary, and ate at Jesse James’ cafe..which is totally solar powered and they only serve organic ingredients locally grown (I think Sandra Bullock has something to do with that).
In April, Melody and I went through a training to become facilitators of the “Proud Parent/Proud Father’s” program via Head Start. This year, our local Head Start wanted to launch weekend training events up north through the summer. Mel and I taught 8 different weekends between May and August. Needless to say, we became very familiar with the trip between Ionia and Higgin’s Lake (where they were held)!
In May, Kailey once again entered the spelling bee competition and came away with a second place trophey (for the second year in a row) – and once again had to go through every word in her grade level and through the bonus words in a grade above!
With our busy summer schedule, we tried to pack as much time in with the kids as we could those months. Kailey turned 10 in June (can’t believe it still) and we threw her a party with some friends/family at “Libby Lou’s” in Grandville. Not to be outdone, Molly turned 7 in July and ALSO had a party at Libby Lou’s with family/friends! (Yes, I’m sick of that place and wasn’t too sad to hear they were closing). The girls had a lot of time with their Grandparents over the summer and loved every minute of it. They also began Tae Kwon Do lessons this year down at our local community center. We met another couple there since their son was a part of the class and have become good friends (we love you Betsy and Brandie!)
We enjoyed the summer Olympics together this summer, and the girls and I watched every swimming/diving competition – needless to say that Kailey loves Michael Phelps.
The fall came quickly, and after a busy summer Melody and I enjoyed a mini-vacation up to Mackinaw! We celebrated both our 13th Anniversary and Mel’s birthday (I won’t say how old she is out of respect for the aging). It was the first trip with the just the two of us in over a decade. Whew!
Another rare trip this fall, my best friend Jim and I took a trip in September up the west-coast of Michigan photographing the lighthouses along the way. This was the first trip like this for us since the early 90’s. (It was a good year for trips). We had a ball. You can see my pictures from the trip at www.me.com/chadfarrand
The girls entered a Tae Kwon Do tournament in the fall where Kailey came back with two gold medals and Molly with two silver medals! We’re so proud of them.
It wouldn’t be a complete letter if I also didnt’ mention the Presidential Election this Fall! I know I haven’t been quiet about my long-time support for President-elect Obama – so I’ll just say, “YES!!”
Mel continues her work at Independent Bank’s main office in town along with helping Tapestry out with worship planning. We held a summer gathering that she planned on the beach of Muskegon, then our holiday gathering was held in November at Fifth Reformed in GR – she and her helpers Amy and Dawn did an amzing job!
Thanksgiving came this year and we were able to hang out with my Dad and Ruth who drove up from Tennessee and stayed with my Grandma Farrand in Detroit. We all enjoyed the time we were able to spend together.
I’m back for my second Winter term at Western right now, and am taking Hebrew from Calvin Seminary at the same time. It keeps me pretty busy, but I love it.Tapestry continues to move ahead with some pretty cool local projects launching this year…too many to put in this letter. After our trip away this fall, Melody and I came back with a vision to plant the next Tapestry church along side with or Fifth Reformed family in Grand Rapids. Preparations are still in the work, but we plan to launch this joint project in 2009!
It’s been a great year, and we anxiously await the coming of 2009!