December 18, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
The past twelve months have evaporated so quickly that in truth, I’m not exactly sure what happened. Still, I will try to chronicle the events of our lives so you’ll know what we do and how God takes care of us.
Evan is now a first grader at school. He really does absorb knowledge just the way a sponge absorbs water. He likes to draw in his sketchpad at school and build lego creations with his brothers at home. Recently he authored (actually wrote by hand) his first short story “Commander Rocket and the Dynamite!” He also helps prepare the elements for communion at church. During the summer Evan and his mom hosted chess club at our house for a few other children. He had the wonderful experience of learning to ride a two wheeler this summer. He also had the more difficult experience of losing a front tooth due to a bike crash where he forgot how to use his brakes! He fits in nicely in his first grade class. More recently Evan and I have been reading the Henry Huggins books out loud together in the evening. He loves these books!
Aidan turned three in September. He is our only blond-haired child and stands out from his brothers by being gentler, more sensitive, and quite well-mannered. He also tends to get into more mischief-type trouble such as finding a craft kit and getting the paint all over the carpet in our bedroom. Aidan likes to lead us in prayer before dinner and has a heart-warming smile that he hopes will help him get out of trouble at least once in a while.
Tobias is almost 21 months now, and he is a “honey nut”, which is Tara’s nickname for him. He is a unique combination of his two older brothers; for example, his hair is brown like Evan’s but fine and light like Aidan’s. Apparently our gene pool is only so deep. Toby is quite verbal and routinely speaks to the ornaments on the Christmas tree. He gave us a good laugh the other morning when I greeted the boys with “Salve, fili” (Hello, son). Evan said, “Salve, padre” (mixing languages on purpose); Aidan said “Salve, pater” (ever the people pleaser… he knows what I want) and Toby said, “Salve, breakfast!” Somehow Toby makes us laugh just about every day.
As you can see, Tara has her hands full. She stays home full-time and tries to keep up with the needs of all of her boys, which isn’t easy right now, since she’s pregnant with yet another kid! She already looks as though she had swallowed a regulation basketball. Two ultrasounds say that this will be a girl, so we are both excited and skeptical. Right now we are trying to figure out a name and amass some girl clothes before the blessed event at the end of February. Of course, if it’s a boy, we can return to business as usual. Tara continues to serve on the MOPS steering team as craft coordinator, which she enjoys very much. Tara has also joined in the wonderful world of blogging. Her blog can be read at www.minnesotamamma.blogspot.com. It will hopefully keep you up to date on our adventuresome lives. Well, as much as she can keep up with our adventuresome lives anyway!
So that leaves me. I continue to teach English and Latin at school, which is very fulfilling but still a lot of work. This is my twelfth year at the school, which means that I have the amazing privilege of seeing my first students finishing college and launching careers and families already. I am already anticipating the day when the first second-generation student arrives in my classroom. This fall I directed Anne of Avonlea, which had a cast of 37 (including one teacher) and made me wonder if perhaps I had aimed too high. Through no fault of our own, we still ended up with a great show (the lead had to memorize almost 400 lines!). The school continues to do well; check us out at I also continue to operate my outdoor services/handyman business mostly during the summer. This year Phil, my “foreman,” and I hired some of our high school boys to minimize the load on our aging bodies. The boys were a great blessing and contributed to Friendly Jim’s best season ever.
I also continue to serve as an elder at our church. My term expires at the end of ’07, which is just fine. I’m spread too thin (no pun intended) and church leaders carry a lot of burdens that you wouldn’t necessarily realize. Still it brings me a lot of joy (and growth) to be a part of what God is doing.
A final blessing has been my parents’ move to town in September of 2005. Their proximity has allowed us to visit them frequently so that the boys will know and remember them. On a more painful note, my mom’s cancer has continued to spread so that she now has multiple tumors pressing on her brain stem. In October she underwent whole head radiation, which seems to have slowed the progress of the disease. All of us are thankful for each additional day that the Lord has seen fit to grant her.
Many blessings to you in Christ this Christmas!
Jim and Tara Kluth
Evan, Aidan, and Toby (and baby sister!)