Holiday Letter 2009

Welcome All to the 2009 Reveal Family Holiday Letter

This is a summary of the events in our life this year. Enjoy the photos and the stories. After you're done here, please browse around through the photo albums and family trees, there's lots more to see!

Helena's News

Helena is an imaginative, thoughtful, happy 3rd grader. She still loves reading (current favorite book is Dragonwings by Lawence Yep. This year her class had to read four Newberry Honor winners and do reports on them in front of the class. This has really opened Helena's eyes to quality reading, although it is sad to see Harry Potter surpassed as her favorite book.

We were very proud when Helena recently won 3rd place for 3rd grade in the city at the Encore Invention Convention! Her invention is a Coffee Muffler, which you slip over your coffee grinder to silence the morning jack hammer noise. Helena had fun thinking of her idea, drafting a model, researching sound absorbing material, and making her model. It was a great experience!

Helena still loves being a Brownie Girl Scout. This year Kristin and our troop Camping Mom, Melissa, took the troop to Girl Scout Troop Camp. This was the girls' first week away from their parents (except for lucky Helena and Lily), and there were a few moments of homesickness, but the community, adventure, and fun far outweighted any heart aches and a fabulous time was had by all. (pictured: getting ready for Rock Wall Climbing)

Helena loves hanging out with her friends (pictured above with Zoe at Cheekwood's Dio De Los Muertos festival). 

She still loves ballet and is in her fifth year at Bellevue Dance Center.  She loves computers and has become quiet adapt at using them for homework and fun (like any Reveal child should be). She still narrates fantastic and complex imaginary stories with intricate plots...maybe we have a future author...

Helena is thoughtful, creative, and respectful. What a pure joy in our lives!

P.S. Helena was very sad when her 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Blair, died this year from complications due to diabetes. We think of her often.

Xander's News

Xander is an active, joyful, quick thinking 1st grader. He is becoming a strong reader and really enjoys thinking about numbers.

This year Xander and his close friends all joined the same Boy Scout Den. It has been a fabulous experience.  Boy Scouts is quite different from Girl Scouts. In Girl Scouts everything is about creating confident, independent, creative girls with high self worth. Boy Scouts seems to be about the boy - grownup partnership and fostering good parenting with your son. Xander really enjoys wearing his uniform, earning patches, and earning belt loops. (Pictured: Xander is earning his Archery belt loop.)

We were very pround of Xander when he won the Longest Distance Runner trophy for running the most laps in the alloted time for first grade during the Hound Dog Run. Xander loves to run, PE, and any activity that involves movement.

Xander also entered the Encore Invention Convention and we were quite proud of his project. It is a convertible lunch box. If you press a button on the lunch box, it springs open to a tray format that you can eat on. It is for all you kids who bring your lunches to school, but still need a tray to each on. Nathanael and Xander had quite a good time spray painting it!

Xander has developed a core group of friends this year (pictured at his birthday party with Stephen, John R, and John E.). He still loves dragons and fantasy stories. (He might be a future Dragonologist.) He also loves legos, tinker toys, and building. And we just couldn't leave out the computer/Wii games. Xander and Nathanael have a continous Spore comptuer game going...they play whenever the girls are at Brownies.

Xander is a great helper to Nathanael in the kitchen.  Whenever Nathanael is in his "gourmet" cooking mode, Xander seems to sense it and is close at hand!

For all of Xander's activity, he has a quiet, thoughtful, and spiritual soul. What a blessing in our lives!

Special Events

SOUL Singers

(pictured: Corinne and the kids, SOUL performance)

Last March, our congregation hosted the Singers of United Lands (S.O.U.L.) singers for the third time. 

Corinne, from Kenya, stayed with us. We loved getting to know her and learning a bit about Kenya. Corrine and the kids instantly bonded and really enjoyed their time togehter. One night we even had all four singers over to see a movie. We had such a fabulous time we have decided to try to host a SOUL singer every year!

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Nathanael and Kristin celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary (Nov 2008) by taking off to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in June.  We stayed two nights and saw Othello and Comedy of Errors. We ate Thai food and chocolate covered strawberries. It was marvolous!

Abba and Omma Visit


Abba (Michael) and Omma (Lynn) came this past summer for an extended visit. The kids really appreciated getting to spend time to know their grandparents. They were able to enjoy the nice Nashville July weather! Lynn took the kids to the Nature Center at the park for a splendid visit to the creek. And Nathanael and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner made for us by Abba, Omma, Helena, and Xander.

Xander was actually a bit upset when Micheal had to go as Xander was under the impression he might live with us forever. Needless to say, he was quite happy to hear his Abba is going to return this summer!

Volk Reunion 

Nathanael enjoyed reuniting with his family at a reunion celebrating Grandma Marveen's 90th birthday in Vermont. All three Reveal kids where Nathanael and Jonathan were able to visit with Malina and Rich before they left for Hawaii too. It was great fun to catch up with all of the growing families and extended relatives!

Denver Trip

(pictured: Kids next to Bristlecone pine up Mt. Evans, Ice Cream in Golden CO, exploring Golden)

BIOQUANT had a conference in Denver this year and we decided to pull the kids out of school and stay with Grandpa Marc. We had a super time! Grandpa Marc took us up Mt. Evans...and we learned a bit about hiking.  Grandpa March watched the kids while we were at the conference...they went to the Natural History Museum, the Zoo, and to visit bunnies at the House Rabbit Society. We had fun exploring Golden, CO, a scenic town with little shops, walking paths along the river, and a great view of the mountains. The kids can't wait to go back!

Thanksgiving Reunion

This Thanksgiving we had a spontaneous Kresge Reunion!. It was really great to see all the aunts/uncles and cousins again. One really special moment is when all the great grandchildren planted a tree in Granddad's yard.  The food was amazing and the company was priceless.

We all on the Kresge side spent some time gathering family photos for Granddad's latest book, Pot-Pourri.  Kristin made this "Family Tree" collage to share:

Nashville Family & Favorite Photos...
We are very lucky to live in the same town as a huge extended family on both sides. We've come to depend on our Nashville family for everything from large multi-person birthday parties to short visits.  Mom (Ann) still watches Helena, Xander, and Anders after school and is often found taking care of Isabel and Laura too! Grandma Pam and Grandpa Tommy are always available for much needed kid overnights (much needed by the kid's parents that is...). Aunt Donna hosts a fabulous Christmas Ornament exchange every year. And it is great to have brothers, Jon and Jonathan and their families in town.  The kids LOVE seeing their cousins so much and really miss the out-of-towners! Here is a sampling of favorite photos from Nashville events throughout the year:

Jon and Julie have moved into our neighborhood! Here is a photo of Julie in their dinning room during a Thanksgiving open house for out-of-town family. I love this photo because it represents the great spreads of food we have during family get togethers.  There is always a buffet style table with plenty to eat!

A super one of Aunt Donna and Mom (Ann).

David and Kimberly at the annual Labor Day Birthday Bash at Ann & Lindsay's house. I choose this one because it is so good of my "little" brother and sister.

Lindsay and Ann with Granddad and their grandkids...speaks for itself.

Granddad's 90th Birthday Party with mini Kresge reunion to celebrate! It was really great to see Granddad so happy and surrounded by people who love him so much.
Aunt Donna's Bday...Xander's face is priceless.

A good one of Nathanael and Kristin.

The brothers.

Grandpa Tommy and Xander celebrating Xander's birthday at a Sound's Game!

Both sides of the family celebrate together...with cake! With so many people in Nashville, each month it is at least two people's birthday, if not more...
A great one of Becca, Jonathan, and Laura...

Reminds us of those intimate family moments with just us.

We can't leave out the simply wonderful relationship Helena and Xander have with their cousins. Some we are lucky enough to see more than others...but whenever we get together we know we are family and have that special spark of recognition.

Xander, Helena, Laura. Oranges: Helena, Laura, Xander.

Left: Xander and Miles. Middle: Sophie and Helena. Right: Grayson, Julia, and Helena.

Helena, Anders, Xander. Helena and Isabel.

Closing Wishes

Wishing for Peace

We are mindful of the places in the world where people are in danger. We hold in our thoughts and prayers the hope of peace.

We wish all the best to you and your's in the coming year.

With love, Kristin, Nathanael, Helena, and Xander

"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." Buddha

P.S. Love from the Kitties too!

Oliver and Nee-Nee

Subpages (1): Holiday Letter 2008