Merry Christmas from the Kerns Family!

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Dear Family and Friends,

As this year comes to a close, I began to reflect on one of the most special experiences our entire family got to share.  It was one of those things that, although quite costly, turned out to be well worth the cost in how it has brought our family together and even more how it shone a light into some of the ways we are growing individually and as a family.  

Imagine having a chunk of change that you have put away for savings and you could dream up the experience you wanted to spend it on for your family.  What would you choose?  With the number I have in mind we had several options; season tickets for our entire family for the 49ers (they suck now, but eventually when they turn around in 5-10 years, who will be laughing then?), a used truck (this is more for me since I am tired of my  Prius that smells like dirty feet), or my favorite, a two week vacation for our family to Italy!!!  That would be perfect.  This is the exact time in our kids lives to make the big splurge and spend money to build memories that will last a lifetime.

Now, all of these are great options for the kind of money I am talking about.  While we have been working on putting this kind of money away for some special splurges for our family, the end of 2017 has also brought our family slush fund down to zero.  So, what sort of costly adventure deflated our savings account this year?  One word and everything will be clear.  BODIE!

Last Christmas we got a puppy.  We had a great Christmas photo with the cutest dog in the world.  And for the first 10 weeks we soaked up the sweetness of our puppy and fell in love with this new member of our family.  And good thing for Bodie, because at just the moment we all loved her with all our heart, she put that love to the test as she cleaned us out!  Here are some of the delights we have had the blessing to pay for this year:

With a new (to us) - old (in years) house, a puppy’s destructive force combined with trying to ingest any and everything, allowed us the opportunity to start on some home improvement projects a little early.  This last year, Bodie was the cause or motivation that compelled us to to buy new carpet, new pillows, and a new fence.  

With growing kids who haven’t quite learned how to put things away, Bodie was able to teach our kids the value of responsibility as she murdered several of MacKenzie’s stuffed animals and tore through her bedding. The nice thing is that MacKenzie, who is now 10 has slowly been transitioning away from the cute little princess to a creative, sophisticated, thoughtful and kind young tween.  

Noah, too, has had his share of ruined things at the hands of Bodie.  Noah, who is 13, is embracing puberty and has a unique aroma (let’s say) that Bodie just loves.  She has gnawed through dozens of pairs of socks, baseball hats and basketball shirts.  Thankfully Noah is growing so quickly that those things would be passed down in a matter of time anyway.  Thankfully his quick wit and observational humor has allowed us to keep all this in perspective.  

One of the highlights for our entire family has been taking Bodie on walks in the hills behind our house.  While most of the time these have been beautiful walks where we enjoy Bodie and her boundless energy as we laugh and joke with each other, some of those walks have crushed the wallet.  Bounding through a barbed wire fencing and inhaling a fox tail were almost the end for her. However,  because of our savings account, we were able to save her life and have become actual friends with our local vet!

All kidding aside, 2017 has been quite a year.  It has been one of big transitions and even some difficult dips.  But through all of it, all of us could not feel more grateful for the people (and dog) that God has brought into our lives.  Katie and I, along with our kids wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  We pray that you will experience the hope, love, joy, and peace that God offers to all of us this Christmas.  

Blessings!  The Kerns Family  

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