Merry Christmas 2010 from the Holwicks

Dear friends,

The great event of 2010 for the Holwicks has to be the marriage of Daniel to Kara Hadley. We all feel he made a great choice. Kara has this huge smile and an even bigger heart. I am glad she is also very photogenic because it was pretty slim pickings to get photos of the rest of the family this year. The wedding was on September 18 in our church. Josiah was the cameraman (he may end up making his living at this) and he produced an awesome video for them. Dan and Kara had their reception in Hackettstown at an old inn and the Hadleys made sure it was very classy - until Dan and Kara smooshed cake into each otherís faces. Soon after the wedding they flew down to the Dominican Republic where they will serve as missionaries for the next nine months. Kara is organizing Bible studies for young girls in the area and Daniel is volunteering at a clinic. He will be well-prepared because he received his Paramedic license just before the wedding. Maybe now he will learn some Spanish. Family and friends were very generous to them. Celeste and I will visit them in February.

There have also been other events this year. In March we had a visit from the Hartwigs, German friends of Kristy and Roger. David took them on a whirlwind tour of Manhattan. In April we had our traditional vacation with Dad and MaryAnn in Florida. Dadís knees arenít that great but he still goes dancing every week. In November he had a stent put in his heart but didnít seem too concerned about it.

In May we made a fateful decision. Josiahís ramps were sent to the dump. That day a young man actually drove up and said he looked at them every day when he drove by because it reminded him of his teenage years. It also reminded us that it made our backyard look junky so now it is toast. It is very quiet without Josiah but whenever he visits his friends descend like locusts and eat us out of house and home. They all made personalized Christmas ornaments for us this year.

For our summer vacation we did things a little differently and flew out to Colorado to see the kids and borrowed Sarahís car (before it was rear-ended and totaled) to go up on some hikes in Yellowstone National Park. We hiked more than 50 miles altogether with the highlight being the Shoshone Geyser Basin. We pitched our tent on the beach by a beautiful lake and wandered around the geysers. Daniel and Celeste were always 500 yards ahead of David; he blames his plantar fasciitis. The big gut doesnít help, either. Even so, he doesnít know how Celeste does it since she has been rather anemic lately.

In June Celesteís sister Alison had a ruptured appendix that sent her into a coma. Her life seemed to hang in the balance so Celeste took a leave from work and went up to spend time with her, as did many others in her family. The Lord was good to us and Alison recovered; we can tell she is feeling better because her biting sarcasm is back full-strength.

We had a beautiful autumn this year. Celeste and I had an impromptu picnic in a nearby park with her new (and expensive) picnic pack. She loves stuff like that. In October, David took the youth group to a corn maze and later we had a huge turnout for our annual hayride. Thanksgiving broke our usual tradition by being held here in New Jersey. Josiah was here for the week, the Triehys drove down and Celesteís sister Sara flew up from Texas. We had a full table with all the trimmings. And a lot to be thankful for, too! Sarah has moved to a new school district and is glad she did; she is also back with Kurt but stresses it is non-official, whatever that means. She wants you to know she did a "Polar Plunge" fundraiser in freezing water. Rebecca is joyful to have her swimming academy business solidly in the black. She must be the one bright spot in our nationís economy and has been hiring furiously. Maybe there will be something left after she pays her taxes.

We were efficient this year - our Christmas tree was up right after Thanksgiving. Last week we invited the church over and drank mulled cider and sang carols to celebrate our Saviorís birth. We hope His blessings fill you this year as well!

David & Celeste and kids