I sit here on Christmas Eve and try to sum up our year in one post. This post is taking the place of the Christmas letter that I have dutifully sent out (sometimes late) every Christmas for the last fifteen? years. I LOVE getting Christmas letters, but I have had to let some things go, and Christmas cards and letters are one of them.
Instead, I’m doing a digital Christmas card!
We began 2014 celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary. The actual day is December 12th, but there is never any time to celebrate our anniversary during the Christmas crazy, so we decided to do it big in January. David and I went on a three night Disney cruise (on the Magic) ALL BY OURSELVES. We missed the girl for like five minutes, but had an amazing time just hanging out with each other and eating really good food.
The end of January brought crazy snow to the ATL (twice!). I’m sure you heard about it on the news even if you’re not in town. We were thankful that David got home safely on the day the city shut down. His fifteen minute drive became three hours, but that was nothing compared to what friends experienced. We had a nice, warm house and plenty of food. There were even opportunities for fun sledding and snowman building.
February brought Maggie’s big Off Broadway Kids show where she played the god of water, Agwe, in “Once on This Island, Jr.” It was her hardest role to this point, and we were so proud of how hard she worked. It was her first solo, and her first opportunity to take curtain call all by herself. These are big steps in the musical theater world. The troupe took a twenty minute portion of the show to the National Performing Arts Competition at Disney and WON!!!! (You can watch the twenty minute performance HERE and HERE.) Not only did the troupe win, but Maggie, along with her fellow gods, won individual awards for their performances. Because the troupe won the competition, they were able to perform on the stage at Downtown Disney. (You can see her solo HERE.) Such an honor!
Spring found us facing our biggest change of the year. David’s job transitioned to one that doesn’t have a role on Sundays meaning he now works Monday through Friday and is free to go to church with us on Sunday. Mother’s Day was the first day we went to church together as a family in over a year! It was a happy day indeed.
You can now find David’s work online presence on Facebook and Twitter. And, be looking for some exciting new web developments in the future. In addition, he continues to play an important role in the campus bookstores and during conferences held at North Point Ministries.
Kathy continues to work for Orange, and helped host over 5,000 ministry leaders at the annual Orange Conference this year. There are now over 3,000 churches using the First Look curriculum she helps produce. It’s amazing to see what God is doing around the world through the work Orange does.
Maggie did several jobs for Orange this year. She is on the new preschool Dance Moves DVD. (That was a CRAZY shoot.) And, she continues to be one of the Bible Story DVD Clubhouse Kids. (You can get an app that has these Bible Story videos for each week of the year.) She has a blast teaching preschoolers how much God loves them.
Maggie is not only in chorus classes at school, but in the Chamber Choir as well. She auditioned in the fall of her sixth grade year and was one of a handful of six-graders invited to participate. This spring, they competed and blew away the competition with a score of 99, which is CRAZY good. They had a great time on the trip and brought home a huge trophy.
Maggie is truly blessed with a fabulous chorus director who pushes them to do new and harder things each quarter. Their spring concert blew us away. Mags even had a solo that you can listen to HERE.
And, just like that, the sixth grade year was over. Here’s the obligatory last day of school pic.
The summer months brought lots of fun.
There was Woodlands Camp. This was her fourth year attending with her friend Olivia D. This year, Olivia M. came too. These are truly life long friends as all the mommies were pregnant together!
Maggie and Kathy went up to Camp Kidjam in North Carolina this year. This camp is organized by Orange, and is truly AMAZING. Mags loves hanging out with the interns and Ms. Colette usually lets her get on stage at some point. She also loves hanging out with Mr. O’Brien, who is even crazier than her daddy.
There was a trip to Edisto Island to visit Grandpa and Grandma Dot and hang out with the cousins from the Hill side.
Then, later in the summer, we celebrated all three of their birthdays together with Nana.
Maggie did a summer camp where she played a MOSTLY HYSTERICAL Captain Hook in “Peter Pan, Jr.” You seriously need to go watch one of her songs HERE. I mean, her comedic timing, awesome. So much fun.
She also did a drama camp at CUE52, where she was one of three girls to play Elle. This was a really fun production that they pulled off in just a week. You can see her monologues HERE and HERE.
The biggest fun this summer was had at the Nestleroth (Kathy’s mom’s side) family reunion over the Fourth of July. It was great to have all the Wileberger cousins in town as well as family from all over the country. Maggie really helped with the food preparation this year and has now learned family recipes including deviled eggs and brownies.
The reunion was the first opportunity I had to use my NEW CAMERA too. LOVE IT!!
Speaking of cameras, Maggie had her first set of head shots done this summer. We’ve not signed up with an agent yet, but we’re thinking about it. And, we’re ready!
We finished off the summer with a trip to Lake Lanier Islands with the Wileberger cousins. Such a great day!
Finally, it was time to go back to school. Mags started SEVENTH GRADE! How is that even possible?
She celebrated her 12th birthday with theater friends at home and then her cousins at their pool. Hard to believe, but next year’s Christmas pictures will have a teenager in them!
Off Broadway Kids started up again in August, and Maggie was cast as Jojo in “Seussical, Jr.” They’ve been working VERY HARD on the production and will perform at the Off Broadway Theater the last weekend in January and the first weekend in February. If you’re local, you’re going to want to get tickets. They’ll then take this production to competition at the end of February.
This amazing group of kids not only accomplish much on the stage, but they banded together twice to serve others this fall. A large group of them walked in the Walk to Defeat ALS. Then, in November, they packed 25 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
In fact, the HOH packed EIGHTY-EIGHT shoeboxes this year for Operation Christmas Child for Kathy’s Birthday. It’s one of our favorite traditions of the year.
In October, the HOH headed to their favorite place on earth to celebrate Halloween. This was our first time going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Maggie dressed as Smee and they had a special moment during the parade.
Maggie was very creative this year and made one-of-a-kind Mickey ears to wear with her outfits.
We had an awesome time like we always do and, of course, can’t wait to go back. In fact, we’re heading out on the Disney Dream cruise ship very, very soon.
Maggie and Kathy continue to serve in the preschool area at Browns Bridge Church. Kathy is a “coach” over two rooms, and Maggie leads preschool worship. There is nothing like leading 100 preschoolers in singing songs about Jesus. So much fun.
Finally, the most exciting thing that happened this December is that Maggie was asked to help with the Christmas Opener at North Point Community Church. Now, NPCC Christmas Openers are a thing of legend in the church world so this was a HUGE HONOR. We spent this past weekend hanging out in the greenroom (which isn’t green by the way) at North Point while she performed in six services that were seen at the main campus and online. She brought tears to our eyes multiple times with her performances, and we truly couldn’t be prouder of how she is using the gifts God gave her to glorify Him. You can watch her performance (and the rest of the awesome opener) HERE.
That brings us to this day—the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We couldn’t be more thankful for the blessings we’ve had this year and the friends and family we get to celebrate with in this season. We pray that you and your have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
It is wonderful to see how God has led you all through your lives. We are so proud of all of you!
Grandpa and Grandma Dot