From a family history perspective, I wanted to include our Christmas letter in the blog, but if you got it in the mail, feel free to skip this entry.
Writing this Christmas letter has allowed me to look back through the year and reflect on how blessed we have been. We are very blessed to live near my parents and their farm. We are grateful we were able to visit them several times for good food and fun. We spent our Spring Break up there this year. Our family grew by 1 dog – Patches (the most spoiled dog on the planet), 2 cats, and 3 fish. Our friend Linda came to visit us three times from Utah. We love it she comes and visits us. Grandma and Grandpa Turpin moved to Iowa at the beginning of the year. We miss having them so close to us! I continued to home school the girls. Besides, our normal schooling, we were able to enjoy the Houston Symphony and to have fun exploring the nine different ecoregions in SE Texas. Music continues to be a big factor in the girl’s lives. Becca plays the saxophone. Sammi, Jessi and Lizzy participated in a Home School Choir. They perform in malls, nursing homes, and hospitals. Sammi and Jessi are taking piano lessons.
A huge legal change for our Joy happened in April. We went to court and Joy officially became a Turpin! Welcome to the family Miss Abigail Lili Joy Turpin! After that legality was taken care of, Joy was able to be blessed at church by her father. What a great day for us!
Our summer was busy. Becca and I went to Girl’s Camp – she as a first year, me as a ward leader. Wow – I must say that I am getting old. I like to sleep at nighttime, not something that most young women think is necessary. Becca was able to fly to Iowa to visit her Grandparents. She loved her time there. For our summer vacation, we went to visit the Turpins in Iowa and then on to Nauvoo, Illinois for the Ball Family Reunion. We had a wonderful time! Everyone wants to go back. We had so much fun! One of the best events of the reunion was when we went into the Nauvoo Temple and sealed our sweet little Joy to our family forever. We love you Joy! Sammi and Becca were able to squeeze another trip into the summer. They went up to Utah to visit Linda. They had a blast exploring the mountains and the Salt Lake.
Becca had more huge events in August. After working very hard, she earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award. We are very proud of her. And then an enormous change for our 12 year old, Bec started 7th Grade at Doerre Intermediate School! We felt that it was time for her to go to public school. She has done well and made friends with some really good girls. The rest of the girls and I continued home schooling. Besides the normal subjects, we are focusing on a cultural study called “Children Around The World.” We have had a wonderful time. We have been studying, mapping, and cooking! We are so fortunate to live in Houston where there are so many cultural festivals. We have loved these!
Then along came hurricane season and with it a huge hurricane named Ike. Ike decided that Galveston and Houston looked like fun. We were blessed to have sustained so little damage. We learned all kinds of lessons including generators are our friends!
Jason’s Grandma Grace Page Turpin Maynard passed away in October. Jason was able to go and be a pall bearer. We decided that Sammi should go with him to Utah for the funeral. That may sound morbid, but they had a wonderful time. They were able to visit Linda in Salt Lake City. She gave them the royal tour. Then they joined up with family for the funeral. Sammi told her Daddy that it was more of a family reunion than a funeral. Grandma Grace will be missed, but Jason and Sammi were so grateful to be able to visit with family they so rarely see.
We have enjoyed our traditional two day Thanksgiving (one day with the Turpin Clan and one day with the Ball clan.) Another exciting event just happened to our Jessi. She was baptized! She has been looking so forward to being baptized! We were blessed to be able to have some of our family come into town to share that special day with us. And now Christmas is right on our heels. We want to express our love for each of you and tell you how blessed we feel this time of year. May the Lord’s richest blessings be with you at this time of year and always!!
Love, Shelly, Jason, Becca, Sammi, Jessi, Lizzy, and Joy Turpin