Happy New Year!

Greetings! It has been a wonderful year for our family and we are thankful to the LORD for being so good to us. Allow us to share a bit about ourselves:

~Luke has become very involved with a scouting organization called Trail Life. This not only gives him an excuse to enjoy the outdoors and every kind of survival gear, but a great opportunity to spend time with our boys doing some really neat things. Currently, Sam (11), Noah (10), and Caleb (7) are old enough to be part of the troop, with Adon (3) anxiously awaiting his turn at “Twail Wife”. Luke also switched jobs this past summer and is now full time with Highland Local Schools in Morrow County. He teaches digital art and assists teachers with technology integration.

~Valerie is a work-at-home mom to our 11 children, a job which includes homeschooling the seven who are school-aged. Each day presents new challenges, but also new blessings. She does an amazing job of balancing the pressure of schooling the kids and running a household.

~Aliyah (14) is the best teenager we have ever known- quite the driven firstborn, and very mature and responsible. We love her dedication to the LORD and her desire to know His word; learning these disciplines when she is young will serve her well throughout her life. She plays the piano beautifully and is currently writing a novel. Yes, you read that right.

~Sarah (12) is our go-to girl when we want something done right! She cooks, she cleans, she organizes like a dream, and we don’t plan on letting her go until she is 30. Valerie feels blessed to have such helpful girls as examples to their younger siblings. Oh…and she never complains, either. What a beautiful young girl both inside and out!

~Sam (11) is growing so fast. We just got him a new pair of sneakers and hope they last a few months at least. He also is such a great big brother to his littler siblings, helping them buckle into the van and playing with them. He loves to read and is always on the library website reserving the next book to devour.

~Noah (10) is our LEGO diplomat. All of the kids love LEGOs, but he was the one to say on his Christmas list, “You don’t have to get me anything else if I can just have the LEGOs back” (after a forced hiatus). He likes to play games like chess, Settlers of Catan, and Axis and Allies. He is also our resident movie line expert. He will blurt out the funniest line from a movie he has only seen one time at the most hilarious times. He is fun to have around, that’s for sure.

~Abbie (8) has been dancing in the living room for years, and is excitedly awaiting her chance to take a dance class this spring! One of her Christmas gifts was a leotard and she has not taken it off for four days. 

~Caleb (7) is a bundle of energy, and does not have a volume knob. His loud, booming voice can be heard at all times of the day, even naptime. He is learning the art of checkers (how to best his siblings) and improving daily at reading.

~Anna (6) loves pink. Given her choice of markers a few days ago, she picked all the shades of pink that were available. She also is looking forward to the spring dance class, and has not removed her (pink) leotard.

~Micah (4), our twin, is such a character. She already knows all of her letter sounds, and just may start reading before Valerie is ready to work her into the school schedule. She, too, cannot wait to join the girls for dance class.

~Adon (3) has become such a big boy this year. He tries so hard to tell us all things that he is thinking about, with varied success at our understanding. He loves to help out with carrying heavy things like groceries, or setting the table. Saying the prayer at meals is one of his favorite things to do, so we are careful to only ask for volunteers for this if we have the time. 

~Kenan (2) is a joy- always busy doing and playing and getting into things that are not his. He has learned that our room is a treasure trove of off-limits items, and watches for the door left ajar. His bedroom is a favorite place, too- he is the one of our children who has most loved to sleep. Easy naptimes!

~Elijah (6 months) was our Independence Day fireworks show this year. He is sitting up, looking less like an infant and more like a little boy. His siblings all love to play with him and make him laugh. It is remarkable how many different people he can find familiar, as they are all under one roof. Never a lonely, or a quiet, moment.

We wish you all the best in the coming year.

Luke & Valerie Burton