Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, our 2010 Christmas letter:

2010 Family News

Winter Highlights

  • Hazel started crawling after her brother and sister. Russell had a light bulb moment with his speech and shocked all of us (including his teachers) by completing his goals and catching up to “normal” 4 year old.  We cannot say enough good things about the Head Start Program, AEA, and Parents As Teachers, the organizations who played a key role in helping us get Russell all the assistance we could. Out of all of us, Lucy was especially excited to welcome her first two cousins in February.  Brooklyn was born to Becca and Andrew and Abby was born to Kevin and Melissa.
  • Winter was spent catching up from the nasty harvest conditions from the fall.  We did manage to take some time tour a few different cattle farms to take a look at their barns, as a fire last fall burned down a barn on the home farm and opened up an opportunity for us to do some new construction.  We needed to do some research before deciding what to do.

Spring News

  • Justin turned 30 in March and we had a great time celebrating by having friends and family over for prime rib.  We also managed to escape for a (kid-free) night to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  The girls began attending daycare  for two days a week so that Liz could help on the farm and get a little time for appointments and errands without sippie cups and diapers.  Russell continued to blossom in school, and Justin found entertainment in teaching him the names of our different farms and their locations.
  • After a couple of years of challenges, the weather finally decided to give us a break this spring.  We began planting on April 17th and were all finished by May 20th.  We made the decision to build a hoop style cattle barn, along with a new bunker silo and grain bin, on the home farm.

Summer Happenings

  • Little Miss Hazel turned 1.  It was really nice to have a summer birthday party for a change.  Russell attended Vacation Bible School.  He also went to church camp for the first time, Liz went along and they both had a really great time.  Lucy had fun on a couple different play dates with friends.
  • We took a vacation/business trip to western Tennessee and Kentucky to visit the people who buy and start our feeder cattle for us.  It was an awesome vacation, mostly because of the great people we met and got to spend time with.

Fall Harvest

  • The fall weather was as great as the spring weather.  So great, in fact, that Liz was secretly hoping for a rain just to give everyone a break.  Harvest went incredibly smoothly, thanks to the addition of a new chopper and combine.  We completed the construction at the home farm and held an open house to showcase it in October.
  • Lucy mastered potty training and started attending Sunday School.  Russell started his second year at Head Start, and still loves it. It won’t be long before he is smarter than his parents!  Hazel decided that maybe she secretly likes her cousins, as long as Mom isn’t looking or holding one of them. Grandma Bernadine Nieman went on to her heavenly home in October; we will all miss her dearly and cherish the memories that we had with her.

Liz had a busy year, as she was bumped in to the office of County Farm Bureau President a little sooner than expected.  She also started a blog, at where she writes weekly about the happenings with the family and the farm as well as a few recipes once in awhile.  Justin is glad to be free of his school board duties and is simply focusing on keeping the farm running and guiding and supporting his family through life’s ups and downs.

It seems as though this year flew by even faster than previous ones.  We have been blessed so much that it’s hard to imagine what the future will bring.  Our family is growing, healthy, and strong.  Our farm is prospering. Finally, we have a strong faith that gets us through the challenging times.

May your coming years be blessed, and may you find peace in the real meaning of the Christmas season!

Justin, Liz, Russell, Lucy, and Hazel


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