Merry Christmas!!

I don’t send Christmas letters and pictures anymore.  Someone in this house, who shall remain nameless, hated having to print them, stuff envelopes, lick them shut, and pay for stamps when we have technology that keeps us over-informed of what each of us is up to on a minute-to-minute basis.  And also, I am sorta busy chasing teenagers and napping.

Yep, it has been another crazy awesome year of Piep-ing and my Christmas letter would have read like this:

Happy Holidays from the Pieper Clan!  We look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior, and really look forward to sleeping in for a week because:

10649959_10152645307336112_7273458675697740798_nJP is 18!  18, I say!!  How in tarnation did that happen?  He is quite involved at school still, running XC, swimming, and adding trap shooting to the list this coming spring.  He is prepped and ready to graduate and leave me bawling in the driveway this fall when he heads to NDSU to start studies in the agriculture field.  Yep, another Bison generation!  I catch moments of my little boy but mostly of a man now.  A very weird thing has happened – my raising him part is nearing an end – and I am left wondering if I squeezed every moment in with him that I could have.  (Probably not because I love napping.)

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Princess lights up the stage every time she is given a chance – in fact, we have been scheduling life around her this year.  Not just our life, but our whole family schedule – As in we sold our camper when she decided to spend her summer (and thus our summer) theater-ing it up at Trollwood this year.  Will she do it again next summer??  She hasn’t decided, but I have already started looking at Little Mermaid merchandise.  She is looking forward to her first “bigger” role in Fiddler on the Roof this winter.  Her main role, even after all the stage personalities, is that of #1 fan – she loves to cheer on her siblings in all areas of life – a mom in training she is.  A tender heart she has.

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Curly Fry is a ball of crazy fun sarcasm.  She puts my abilities of snark and ridicule to shame with her dead-on take on life.  She also ran XC (rehabbing her tiny little hip injury), is playing clarinet in the pit for the musical this winter, and is hoping to run track this spring if that previously mentioned hip thing doesn’t continue to mess with her.  She really got all wild and made her own group of friends this year, which is strange and awesome at the same time.  Having our homebody go out with friends left us home alone once in a while staring at each other wondering what this will feel like in 2.5 years when they all leave us for good.

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Crazy still is found in the dictionary next to the word “fearless” and also gets an entry next to “insatiable”.  His ability to eat earned him the last word, as did his never ending quest to build something, catch something, do something, wire something, plan something, climb something, buy something, and now drive something. Although we have four children, this guy is a rare sighting in our home – his social schedule keeps him hopping.  Therefore, Bill is graying and I am balding at quicker rates than previous years.  Squirrel.

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Lucy has entered the “golden years” of doghood.  (Read, every morning we check to be sure she is still breathing.)  Knowing she was aging, we decided to add a little action to the house and added to our family Walter, our 7-month goldendoodle, who we love immensely.  We absorbed him into our family like snot in a Kleenex (Quote from JP).

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As for the grown ups in this house, we are XC parents, band parents, theater parents, drumline parents, swim parents, post-prom chairpersons, Mustang boosters, Scout parents, track parents, trap shooting parents, curling parents, and quite frankly, tired parents.  We love this life and enjoy every moment of watching and encouraging the kids to develop their given talents and passions.  What a precious thing it is to have the ability to watch them jump through the teenage years of life.  We catch all the family time we can, grabbing small moments of laughter and sometimes tears as the years fly by leaving us spinning.  Most often, I catch lumps in my throat and tears burning in the back of my eyes and I see in the near future a whole different life so for now, we chase them everywhere they go.

So here we are, Christmas shopping, decorating, wrapping, and baking almost complete, eagerly waiting next Tuesday night, when we shut off our alarms for a few days and spend some quality time with family.  Oh wait, we have swim practice, scratch that.

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