Below is an electronic version of the Team Leland "Christmas Letter."
Greetings from Colorado! As this year comes to a close I realize that we never sent out any greeting last year (insert look of shame here). We hope and pray that your 2010 has been joyous, whatever the circumstances, and that 2011 will be filled with hope and blessings!
Team Leland continues to live lives that are very “full.” A quick update:
Matthew (age 9) is a 4th grader at The Classical Academy. Loves reading, math, sports (especially basketball and baseball), plays piano and his highlight this year was going to Florida’s Disney World in October (six days, four parks, and some tired feet!) where he loved the “magic” of the rides, shows, food, and made great memories. Favorite memory: conquering the roller coasters – especially Rock and Roll Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studies.
Christopher (age 12) is a 6th grader at TCA. He loves reading, sports, math, sports, playing piano, sports … was a Little League All-Star and made it to the State Championships, was voted as “lineman of the year” for his football team (for some reason he LOVES to play center – and has gotten pretty good!), and his highlight of the year was also going to Disney World. Other than the triple chocolate and caramel apple he savored, his favorite memory was conquering the Hollywood Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studies.
Nicolas (age 15) is a sophomore at TCA. If he isn’t studying (anatomy, Latin, or AP European History) or playing baseball (both high school and club teams) he is found playing guitar or watching reruns of Prison Break. His baseball interests took him to many different states, and played well over 100 games – which is tough on a catcher/pitcher. Getting his picture taken with his favorite “princess” – Sleeping Beauty, topped off his family trip to Disney. The pictures are priceless!
Stephen (age 17) is a senior at TCA who getting ready to head off to college this next year. Though we don’t have final decisions made yet, there is a strong possibility he’ll end up at one of his five top choices studying International Relations, possibly playing baseball, and participating in ROTC. He spends his time playing baseball (again high school and club) but most of his time studying (what senior takes four AP classes?) and working at his new job at Glazier Football Clinics. Stephen has a memorable moment from Disney (not necessarily a favorite though); that would be the ride “Dinosaur” at Animal Kingdom – when confronted with a T-Rex coming out of the wall at us, promptly ducked and covered his head. It was just as the ride camera takes your group photo. Only one we bought since the two oldest boys are legitimately terrified, as the younger two look remarkably calm!
Becca continues to balance life for all of us as she plays taxi driver, baseball mom, teaches classes for Webster University, works part time at Glazier Football Clinics, volunteers with the boy’s school, leads a small group of college women for the Focus Institute, and keeps us on track. When she can relax she loves to read, catch up on Lost, and enjoy time with family friends. The entire trip to Disney was a great memory for her, but a highlight had to be the fireworks over the castle at Magic Kingdom on the final night of our trip. It topped off a wonderful week that we will never forget.
Chris (and no I didn’t “forget” the ages on the last two…) J continues to head up the Focus Leadership Institute at Focus on the Family. The college students who come through this program are the blessing, yet the situation with the economy as well as some other issues have made 2010 a challenging year for FLI. We know that God is not done with the ministry of the Institute, yet it may look very different in the next couple years. His time is also spent heading up the local Little League (even got to coach Christopher this year in All-Stars), working with the boy’s school, traveling and speaking around the country to colleges, churches, and companies. His highlight at Disney was getting his picture taken with one of his favorite childhood heroes – Winnie the Pooh!
We have been blessed to have family and friends visiting the Rockies from time to time and love to share in the memories! Most of all we have been blessed by the gift of an infinite God becoming finite and coming to us as a baby. The miracle of the incarnation can never be lost on us! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
P.S. For your records our home phone (719) 282-3727 will no longer exist after January 1. Please feel free to contact us at (719) 310-4967 (Chris); (719) 440-1547 (Becca). Also we’d love to “friend” you on Facebook – Doc Leland, Becca Bailey Leland, Stephen Leland, and Nicolas Leland. Our family email is email@example.com. It IS indeed the digital age!