Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Letter, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends!

My mom is having me, Lydia, write the Christmas letter this year. I have sort of been procrastinating writing it, but I finally sat down to do it! So, here is a brief update on everyone:


Becca is 11 years old and is in the 6th grade. She started going to the home-school co-op held in our church building called C.H.A.T. this year. Becca is enjoying it after watching her older siblings do that for so many years. Spanish, choir, and math are the classes she is taking there. She has been excelling in her math class especially, and had a solo in the Christmas choir concert. It has been a big change to be the only one at home with Mommy, but it also has it's rewards, such as being able to go to Starbucks more often! :) As well as piano, Becca continues to play soccer in the Eden Prairie Soccer Club. Making it to State in the summer was really fun, and I'm sure having a good coach (Daddy) helped too! :) This fall, Becca was pulled up to play in an overnight tournament with a higher level, which was very exciting! Being home-schooled gives her a lot of babysitting jobs, which makes it hard to do school at times, but she manages it!


Lydia is 14 years old and is in the 9th grade. She now goes to school everyday with Nathan and Daddy, having open-enrolled to St. Louis Park High School. It has been a big adjustment, but it has been going well. Waking up every morning at 6 has been tough, but she has developed a routine that makes it easier! She also tested into the honors block, and is in the same Spanish as Nathan. Lydia tried out for the high school soccer team this fall, and made it onto Daddy's junior varsity team! That was fun for her to be with him, and playing soccer helped her to make some friends before school started. When the high school season ended, she started playing soccer with her E.P. team again. She continues to take piano lessons from Aunt Diane, and is in the school choir and on the youth leadership team at church. One major difference she has noticed about going to school is that she does not have the same cash flow that she used to have, being able to do jobs in the middle of the day, but God has been providing for least enough for her to pay her phone bill every month! :)


Nathan is 15 years old and is in the 10th grade, a sophomore at the high school. He has continued taking advanced classes in school and was elected for student council last year. Nathan has very good leadership skills, and student council and the youth leadership team for youth group at church are good outlets for that skill. His schedule can be a little crazy at times because of homework and sports. He played soccer for the high school this fall, and is going to make the switch for travel soccer from playing for Eden Prairie to St. Louis Park, as he will be able to play at a higher level at SLP. Nathan still takes piano from Aunt Diane and plays the keyboard, as well as sometimes singing, for the church worship team with Mom. It has been cool to see him use his piano skills to glorify the Lord! Nathan got his learner's permit last February and will get his driver's license in two months. SCARY! He is taking pottery at school, and it is fun to see his progress when he brings his projects home!


Brad (Daddy) is still at St. Louis Park High School, Teaching 9th grade Honors Civics and 11th grade World History. He now has two family members in class, Lydia(Me :) !) and cousin Megan. I think it has been fun for all three parties to be in class together. He also coaches JV Girls Soccer and Head coaches Track and Field. Last spring, he had a miler win state! That was very exciting! In the summer he coached Becca's soccer team, with Bri Johnson, family friend. He was not able to continue coaching her this year, though, because of hectic schedules. This fall, Lydia was on his soccer team, which was convenient because there was one less different schedule to try to coordinate. Brad is still part of his men's GOLF (Group of Loyal Friends) group, however Nathan calls it his GOLFTNTTEO (Group of Loyal Friends That Never Talk to Each Other) because they meet maybe once a month. He is apart of the E.O.T. group(missionary support) with Momma still, and runs speed clinics for E.P. soccer players as well.


Teresa (Momma, Mommy, Mom) had to go through the adjustment again of loosing one of her students to SLP, and has had more time to spend on herself and on Becca during the day. She taught the P.S.E.O. Western Civ. class again this fall, and will hopefully have enough students sign up for the second semester so she can teach it again! She teaches four different gym classes every other Wednesday to the same Co-Op as the year before. Teaching some of the younger classes can feel like herding cats at times, she says. Cooking and finding new recipes has become one of her favorite hobbies; the rest of the family enjoys her having that hobby because of all the good food she has been making! Many of her Christmas presents were new cooking gadgets that she needs to do more advanced recipes. :) She is still on the worship team at church on periodic Sundays. The whole family, minus Daddy, was in the worship team for the Christmas Eve service. Teresa helped organize a special number, "The Little Drummer Boy", that the family did with the Schulzs, family friends, and Ethan, cousin.

May God fill you with His peace and joy this Christmas season, and as we thank Him for the greatest gift ever, Jesus!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

God bless you!


Brad, Teresa, Nathan, Lydia, and Becca

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brubaker Adventures, summer 2008

This summer, we went on vacation to Wyoming, spent 2 days/nights in Yellowstone National Park, met Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynn, in Jackson Hole, and visited my Uncle Tucker and Aunt Jean, and my Uncle Dexter and Aunt Carole in Pinedale. It was not only a vacation, but a fact-finding/pilot trip for a vision we have of starting a family-based wilderness outreach to help families bond, communicate, and encourage each other, while experiencing the wilderness. We had an awesome time hiking, backpacking/horsepacking, seeing the sights, kayaking/canoeing, seeing friend, Emi, and dodging forest fires. Our good friend, Amy, went with us on the trip; we traveled in a rented mini-van to fit us all, which was great! We all got along very well, even on the long car days. Being able to travel and do incredible things, see God's glorious creation and share it with family and loved ones was such a blessing. Spending great time with my uncles, whom I dearly love, was precious, especially for my kids getting to see them and connect a little with what my dad was like. More pictures will be posted soon. --Teresa

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas, 2007

Christmas Card 2007 (click on picture to view larger version)

Goofing off by Lake Superior!

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! Using available technology, we thought we would try a new format for our Christmas card this year, as well as introduce our new blog spot. The hope and plan is to be better at communicating with those we love by posting our "doings" on the blog and whoever wishes can check it out.

A brief update on each of us:

Nathan: Nathan, age 14, is in 9th grade this year, having open-enrolled to the high school where Brad teaches, St. Louis Park. The change from homeschooling has gone well for him, as he tested into the Honors Block at school and is getting very good grades so far. But the schedule is vastly different--he now leaves the house with Brad at 6-something a.m. doesn't get home until sometimes 6-something p.m. only to do homework sometimes until bedtime! He continues to play soccer and was chosen captain for his Eden Prairie Soccer Club team, going to the state tournament this summer; he also plays on the high school team. Nathan is on the church worship team with Teresa, where he plays the keyboard; he also leads one of the youth group worship teams, singing and playing keys. Both he and Lydia saw the Lord's faithfulness as He provided the funds through loved ones for them to go on the youth mission trip this past summer to the Dominican Republic.

Nathan and cousin, Ethan, in the D.R.

Lydia: At age 13, Lydia is in 8th grade. Still homeschooling and taking classes at C.H.A.T., the homeschooling co-op that hires teachers to teach classes that are harder to do at home,
Lydia is excelling in all areas. She won the Eden Prairie Library and Optimist Junior High Essay writing contest this summer, taking home the $75.00 first place prize. Lydia was also chosen as her team's captain for her Eden Prairie Soccer Club team, going to state as well, ending up in the championship game and taking second place in her age division. She enjoys singing in the C.H.A.T. choir and on the youth group worship team, as well as taking piano from her Aunt Diane. She loved the mission trip to the Dominican Republic, serving the orphans and Dominican was the first time on a mission trip for both Nathan and Lydia without Mom and Dad!

Nathan and Lydia in the "Prince of Darkness" skit
in the D.R.


We can't believe our baby is in the double digits: 10 years old! Time flies too quickly! Becca is an enterprising young lady, in both her play and her real life. She loves to play office, where she runs multiple businesses, including a Caribou Coffee Shop that is set up in our play/bonus room. In her real life, she does the babysitting and dogsitting with Lydia, so the two of them definitely have the most expendable cash in the house. Becca is in 5th grade, so that makes her old enough to join the City Lights group for 5th and 6th graders...finally! (she has waited years to be in it, having watched Nathan and Lydia get to do all the fun stuff and outreach with the group.) She is on the puppet team for City Lights and was recently in the church children's Christmas play. Becca decided to try-out for the Eden Prairie Soccer Club, also, this year. She enjoys it a lot, especially since Daddy is one of her coaches! She has gotten very good at piano and is excited to be able to play songs she knows and can sight read new songs. It's been a different fall for Becca, with Lydia at C.H.A.T. parts of two days per week and Nathan at school all day.

Brad: Brad and the kids ready to go on our Superior Hiking Trail Backpack trip.

Brad is in his 21st year of teaching Social Studies in the St. Louis Park High School District. (who can believe it's been that long!?!) He continues to enjoy not only teaching the students, but coaching, as the head Girls' Track and Field coach, as well as the J.V. Girls' soccer coach. Brad's expertise is sought out also in the kids' Eden Prairie Soccer Club, where he coaches various teams of our children and runs Strength and Conditioning clinics for the club at large. With Teresa, he is active on the church's Missions' Oversight Team, E.O.T., and in a bi-weekly homegroup. Brad also has a monthly men's small group that he enjoys, as well as his regular Friday breakfasts with 3 other guys who have been teaching as long or longer than he has. His biggest change this year is having Nathan going to his school, being able to spend valuable time together in the car, in the classroom, and having lots of shared inside jokes, knowledge of students or teachers, and daily happenings.


Teresa and Lydia on the backpack trip in August.

Teresa continues to homeschool Lydia (8th grade) and Becca (5th grade) and is adjusting to not having Nathan at home during the day. (There were lots of tears from all 3 "girls" at the beginning of the school year!) She has added a couple more teaching duties to her schedule, in tutoring a Northwestern College P.S.E.O. class, Western Civilizations, on Tuesdays at C.H.A.T. and teaching two physical education classes on Wednesdays for another local homeschool Co-Op. She is on the church worship team with Nathan, playing on periodic Sundays. Lots of chauffeuring the kids to their events, E.O.T., homegroup, expanding her cooking horizons, and running the household take up the bulk of the rest of her time. She was able to squeeze in an excellent class taught by Chuck Porta this past year on the life of Paul the apostle. Teresa was also able to go to Oregon--by train, plane, and automobile-- in January to help celebrate her mom's 70th birthday, which was a blessing. Going on the backpack trip this summer was a great start of a dream to help other families work together on such outings and see the fruit of strengthening relationships through shared experiences and teamwork. Another highlight was singing special music at Brad's dad and wife's church over Thanksgiving with all the kids: Teresa on guitar/vocals, Nathan on keys/vocals, Lydia and Becca also on vocals...such a blessing!

We praise the Lord for His great faithfulness in our family and His tender mercies to us, which are new every morning! At this time of celebration and holidays, we pray that you will take the time to consider the true reason for this season, Jesus. May He fill your life with His love and glory so that your new year will be overflowing with true peace and joy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

With much love,

Brad, Teresa, Nathan, Lydia and Becca