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Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!  This is our 11th annual Christmas letter, and this year we’ve included some of our favourite pictures from the past year.

2012 was another memorable year for our family and it was certainly filled with many blessings.  As Sean (grade 6) and Jacob (grade 4) make their way through St. Paul School, our little princess Kayla started kindergarten.  That means four out of our five family members are at the school.  Gail started her 13th year teaching grade 2 while Clay celebrated his 10th anniversary as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

We did a bit of travelling in the year with our most memorable (and extended) trips being to Los Angeles in March and Las Vegas in August.  Quality family time includes eating (out and in), shopping, praying and spending time at St. Paul’s, and watching movies.

Similar to last year, each family member has prepared his or her own paragraph.  Here are some highlights of the year in our own words:

Kayla:  This year I started kindergarten at St. Paul School.  My teachers are Mrs. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sawada.  My favourite things to do in school are playing on the playground, doing centres, and I love my friends.  I really like to play with Joshua.  At home I like to watch YouTube, paint and draw, and do handstands.  Next year I want to do skating and gymnastics…but not at the same time (my Dad made me say that).  My favourite food is beef sashimi.  And I love to dress up like a princess.  My favourite princess is Sleeping Beauty.

Jacob:  This year was a great year for me because I got to do a lot of neat things.  For my birthday in September we went to Castle Fun Park.  We played mini-golf and arcade games.  At Disneyland I had so much fun.  I rode Space Mountain six times.  YEEEAAAAHHHH!  For my “get to know you” school project, I did a video and I showed off my collection of Angry Birds t-shirts.  I have 14 of them.  My favourite subject at school is math and this year I got to learn how to multiply and divide.  For fun I like to experiment with things and make up new games out of things I can find in the house.

Sean:  Well, I just read what I wrote last year and all I can say is that I was a pretty awesome 10 year-old…haha.  I love to travel and this year we were able to go to Disneyland in March and Las Vegas in August (we flew out on my birthday).  I enjoyed swimming at the pool and the beautiful scenery…if you know what I mean.  I started grade 6 this year and I helped lead my volleyball team to a silver medal in the entire Archdiocese of Vancouver.  I also played golf, floor hockey, and basketball.  I love to score…if you know what I mean.  I also hope to get into skiing this winter.  For our school Christmas play I played the role of a shepherd.  It was an amazing feeling to be a part of such a wonderful production.  I’ve also started to play the guitar.

Gail:  My life is quite simple:  I get up with kids, I go to work with kids, I come home with kids, I take care of FOUR kids, and then I go to bed.  Repeat.  Notice the common denominator in all these scenarios?  However, I wouldn’t change it for anything!  I love my role as a wife, mother and teacher.  This year, I’m happy to have all three children in the same school.  It makes life so much easier having them come to school with me and go home with me at the end of the day.  They don’t like it as much since they’re among the first children at school and the last ones to go home.  Besides school, I look forward to our trips and mini-shopping trips to the States.  This year, we had so much fun going to Disneyland and Las Vegas.   I also got to go back home to Manila after 9 years in June.  Unfortunately, it was to put my grandfather to rest.  I brought Kayla with me and it was her first time in Manila.  She got to meet her great-grandmother and many other relatives for the first time.  It was a sad occasion, but it was nice to see many of my relatives I haven’t seen in a long time!

Clay:  I am so blessed…truly I am.  I have a loving (and forgiving…haha) wife who supports me and all of my endeavours.  Our three kids make us very proud as they continue to grow and mature.   I’ve continued to challenge myself at work and it’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed by already.  I’m also loving my role as the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) Director at St. Paul’s.  I am doing more writing and speaking and this year I was fortunate to keynote youth conferences in Winnipeg and Kelowna.  As a big hockey fan (literally and figuratively), this NHL lockout is admittedly frustrating me.  But it has allowed me to focus more on my family, my faith, and my writing.  That’s not a bad thing!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this Christmas letter. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2013. We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! We hope that 2013 brings you joy, happiness and good health!  Our family will be praying for you!

Love and God Bless,
Clay, Gail, Sean, Jacob and Kayla