Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

Dear Friends,

Again the Christmas season is upon us and I’m taking the time to sit down and remember the year that we’ve had. It’s been a busy year and God has blessed us richly as we have been “on the move” in 2016.

In January, Kiandra moved to Rennes, France to be a nanny for a missionary family transitioning from a family of 4 to a family of 6 when they welcomed a set of twin boys to their family. Kiandra spent three months with them and helped with the children and other household chores. It was a great learning experience for her. After her time with the family was over, Kiandra spent a week in London, England by herself and then her friend Kara joined her and they went on a European tour for 9 days. It was so good to finally have her home in May. Kiandra returned to her job at Smitty’s and in July she moved from her host position to become a server. Also, in July, Kiandra completed her NLS and just over a week later was asked to be a lifeguard at a camp. She was able to move around a few shifts from work and in total she served for 3 sessions of camp during the summer. In fall, Kiandra completed her WSI (Water Safety Instructor) course and is now a certified swim instructor. Kiandra also had the opportunity to virtually travel the world as she was cast to do a voice over for a character on a new cartoon show called “Hogie the Globetrotter”. She was signed for a 1 year contract through the recording studio and has been able to do a radio commercial as well. It will be interesting to see what kinds of opportunities Kiandra will move through in the coming year but she will be able to get there in style as she just bought herself a new car in November.

Kezia has been on the move this year too. Her indoor soccer team moved in the right direction and managed to win city finals in March. It was a fitting end to the many years that Kezia has spent on the pitch with many of the same teammates over the years. Kezia moved through the outdoor season and then hung up her cleats and decided not to play for this final indoor season. She is focusing on her last year of high school and is still volunteering at our church’s kids club on Wednesday night and for crew for Glenlawn’s musical a couple hours each week. This summer, 17 of our church youth went on a mission trip to Hermosillo, Mexico. Kezia loved her time there and made some great memories. In September, Kezia was able to go to Ottawa through a program called “Encounters with Canada” and she spent a week learning about First Responders and even earned her first aid certificate. Kezia has been working at Smitty’s with Kiandra and recently has moved into a server position. She still has to get others to bring out any drinks since she won’t be 18 until next month but they wanted to promote her to server early. Kezia is looking forward to graduating in June and moving on to the next phase after high school.

Kaden has moved to Grade 10 this year and is still enjoying his decision to attend the high school close to where I teach instead of his catchment school. He was the captain of the Junior Varsity volleyball team and after winning Bronze in their league they secured a wild card playoff spot in Provincials. They were able to win their first few games of the round robin but didn’t advance beyond the second round of playoffs. Kaden was also one of the team members for the Mexico missions trip this summer and he takes great pride in being able to say he was the first person in our family to be in Mexico because he was seated in the front of the vehicle while Kezia was in the vehicle behind him. Kaden is still playing community hockey on the A1 team. His team, in spring, went to 5 games in the city finals and came in second place. This year his team is doing extremely well and have not lost a game so far this season. Kaden has also been moving on the floor hockey scene and has been able to join Conrad for his Thursday night games. Kaden is also on the move on the road since receiving his learner’s license in November. He is already eagerly counting down the days until he can go for his full license in August.

Conrad and I have continued to move along in our jobs. Conrad has been at his job now for 18 years and I can't believe that I started my 8th year of teaching this fall. The oldest class at our school now was my first set of Grade 1 friends. It's hard to believe they will be moving on from our school after this school year. Conrad and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in June with a night away and a special photo shoot where we dressed up and I wore my wedding dress. It was a great time to reflect on our years together. In July, while Kezia and Kaden were in Mexico, we flew to Las Vegas to celebrate this milestone. Conrad let me plan a side trip to Disneyland to celebrate my *cough* *cough* 40th birthday this year. When we got back from our trip and the Kezia and Kaden returned from Mexico, we added a cuddly little kitten to our family. Juilliard is an excellent companion for Princeton the cat and they have been moving and shaking the house since she arrived.

Over the last while, Conrad and I have moved into this crazy stage of parenting older children and we are realizing that everything we tried to teach our children is exactly what they have learned. The realization that we have been, and are, raising independent, resilient, and strong individuals is such a blessing but does make me a little sad to know that “the way things always were” is changing. In its place are many new stages that we have experienced this year: we welcomed a significant other into our home, we watched our girls set off on a girls road trip to visit a friend at Bible College, and we have seen our children grow and move to make good decisions. Kiandra even managed to convince me to move it a totally new direction when she suggested we take an aerial silk class together this fall. I never dreamed I would be hanging upside-down and enjoying this kind of experience with my daughter. What a privilege it has been to move into this new stage with our children.

On the subject of moving….we have been busy renovating our house this Fall. We’ve painted, put in new flooring, and completed some long overdue fixes. We’re exploring the possibility of moving in the next while. We plan to have our house ready to go and then we will keep looking for the perfect house that will prompt us to make a move to new and exciting things.

We wish you and your family all the best as you move through 2017.

The Doerksen Family
Conrad & Pamela
Kiandra, Kezia, Kaden

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