Merry Christmas 2012

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Hello Friends and Family!

Merry Christmas!  We hope and pray that this 2012 Christmas letter finds you all healthy, wealthy and wise (or at least healthy and wise…if you can’t be wealthy).

I decided to use an old, old, old blog of mine to host this letter as that seems the easiest way to share text, photos and videos online without clogging up everyone’s email.  And, I am way, way too cheap and lazy, green and Eco-friendly to send out actual postal mail.  But, never fear..this letter, blog post contains much more pictures (and even a video) than could be sent through the mail.

Furthermore, it has the added bonus that if  you find yourself sincerely bored this holiday season and looking for a few laughs, you can look back over my old, old, old rambling posts from 2008 and 2009.  I must say that the 35-year old me is totally chuckling at what the 30-year old me wrote.  Ah the arrogance of youth!

So, without further ado…here is our year in review!

In January 2012 the 2nd line turned pink!!  We discovered that Bentrup 4.0 was due September 24, 2012.

In February 2012, our oldest child entered double digits.  Heidi turned 10 on Feb. 13th and we celebrated by taking her and her best friend orange picking.  Heidi continues to take piano lessons and is homeschooled in the 5th grade.  She likes playing the piano, drawing, reading and playing with her friends.   She does not like math.  Heidi is a very sweet, loving, caring and helpful girl.  We are so blessed to have her.

heidi-orange

On February 26th, John turned 4 and celebrated by having a train birthday party.. complete with a train (wreck of a) cake.  John is homeschooled for pre-K and is beginning to learn letter sounds and beginning spelling.  He likes trains, trucks and digging in the dirt.  He does not like eating new foods.  John is a very smart, creative, and caring boy!  He makes our life so much more fun.

train-cake

In May,  we found out that unborn baby was another GIRL!!  Yay for more X chromosomes!!ultrasound

We’re not quite sure what that bloopy thing she is kissing is…but since she came out healthy and pink…we figured it wasn’t anything worth worrying about.

Also, in May…Ben completed his second year of law school and for the first time, made the Dean’s honor roll!!   Yay for Ben!!!

Also in May…yes…May was a big month…Ben left for Chicago to work during the summer at the Thomas Moore Society, a public interest, pro-life, non-profit law firm in downtown Chicago.   He worked on many different, interesting cases which are top secret and confidential, and if we told you about them, we’d have to kill you.

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On June 9th, Greta made her first Confession and on June 10th (the feast of Corpus Christi), her First Holy Communion.  It was a beautiful, holy Mass.

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Ain’t she purty?

Also in June..since Ben was in Chicago..Amelia and kids made like the rich and summered in  ritzy Newport,, middle-class  Middletown, Rhode Island.

In August, we all convened back in Florida.

And….on September 11th, at 8:58 PM,  Miss Elsa Rose Bentrup decided to make a rather hasty exist from the warm, soft comfortable womb into the cold, cruel world.  She was born at home…in our office.  I was so blessed to have such a quick and easy birth.  The day went something like this…get up, work-out, do school, take girls to piano, go grocery shopping while they are at piano, play outside and talk to neighbor, make and eat dinner, decide that I’m actually in labor, call midwife, have baby…all before bedtime.  Just a typical day…no?

Here she is, about 14 hours after birth.

Elsa

A day later, Grandma hopped on the nearest plane and came down to help out.

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Look how tired Heidi and Greta look…you’d think THEY were the ones up all night with a newborn.

On September 28th, Elsa was Baptized here on campus!!!

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Elsa has been such a joy and blessing to our family and her older sisters and brother all adore her.  As soon as she was born, John got over his disappointment at not getting a little brother and he adores his little sister and says she is “cuter than the cutest baby in the world.” Don’t you all agree?? Here she is at her 3 month birthday.  Notice the cute little smile which makes you think she is just thinking of all the mischief she will get into when she is older.   Elsa likes nursing, smiling, and “talking.”  She does not like napping or sleeping alone.

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And, here is the obligatory “dress baby up in funny hat and take pictures photo.”  We have to have some sort of embarrassing photo to show her future boyfriends, right?

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And, check out those baby blues!

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On October 19th, Greta turned 8 years old and celebrated with her friends at a birthday party at the beach!  Unfortunately the RED TIDE (which wasn’t actually red) was in that day and the ocean was littered with dead fish floating on top of water.  Eeeek!  Luckily however, none of her little friends got sick and sued us…so all’s well that ends well. Here is Greta wearing her brand new princess dress, made by Aunt Alison!  Thank Aunt Al! Greta also takes piano lessons and is homeschooled in the 2nd grade.  She likes playing the piano, drawing, writing stories, reading (especially Little House on the Prairie books) and playing with her friends.  She does not like math and being bored.  Greta is super creative and imaginative and social and fun.  She makes our lives so much happier.

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Notice how both Heidi and Greta listed “playing with their friends” as amongst their favorite activities.  They are a total pair of social butterflies.

On October 31st,  the kids all had tons of fun at the annual All Saint’s Day Party.  They are St. Dymphna, St. Appolonia and St. John of the Cross (and holy baby!).

All Saints' Day 137

This coming December 30th, Ben and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary!  I can’t believe it’s been 12 wonderful years already!  I’m wondering if the next 12 years will bring as much adventure as the past 12 years have!!

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Here’s all 4 of the Bentrup babes!

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Here is a link to their annual Christmas video where you can hear them singing Christmas carols…a capella even!  Sorry, but for some reason I can’t get it to imbed.

Children singing Christmas Songs

Last but not least…here is our attempt at a family portrait.  I’m sure you all really wanted a picture of John’s eyelids and Elsa’s roly, poly neck, no?  Elsa was actually enamored with a squirrel when we took this picture.

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With lots of love and warm wishes for a Blessed and Holy Christmas and Healthy, Happy 2013!

Love,

Amelia, Ben, Heidi, Greta, John and Elsa

P.S.  Ben is on track to graduate from law school this spring.  So, if you ever find yourself hauled off in handcuffs…keep his phone number handy!

Please pray for him this year, as he job searches and studies for the bar. Next year’s Christmas letter will probably be hailing from a new state.  God only knows what other adventures are in store!