Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas from the Shirleys!!  

Our annual Christmas post is later than usual this year because we have been busy celebrating Christmas!

Our year has had the usual busyness, but starting this school year, we have had Senior year busyness.  College applications and college visits and Senior thesis!

And of course the regular school work.  We also took a family trip with Grammie and the Storeys to Disney world during the week of Thanksgiving.  Coming home from that has had us rushing into the Christmas season.  So two days before Christmas I am finally sitting down and thinking about our past year.

Disney World...Lincoln wanted to be in our picture :)

Dave continues to teach at the MUSC College of Pharmacy and is involved in the state pharmacy association.  He was able to fly out to CA this year with Camden to visit family he hasn't seen for years.  He also continues to enjoy hunting and fishing.  He enjoys taking the boat out in the rivers around Charleston, both for fishing and water sports!  He has even started writing a book journaling his hunts.  He has also been busy keeping up with house repairs, but was able to find the time to go on a church youth leader retreat with Amy and go on a Christmas getaway with Amy to Pawley's Island.  He and Amy have started their second year teaching the 11th and 12th graders at church.

Amy continues working as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  She also ran three races this year.  A marathon in January, a mud run in March, and a 10k in April.  She was able to go to camp and a mission trip with the youth group this past summer.  Her unusual occurrence this year involved breaking her rib while going down Sliding Rock during Grammie Camp.  (Sliding rock is safe to slide down as long as you don't go down in front of someone who might run into you from behind!)  In recent months, she has been busy baking cookies.  She and Nathan are planning on going to Ecuador in March 2018, and she has been raising money for the trip by selling cookies, cinnamon rolls, and fudge. This has been fun!

Nathan is the Senior in the family!  He also went to camp and the youth mission trip this summer in addition to Grammie Camp.  And he volunteered at Winshape Camp this summer and worked on his Senior Thesis.  His thesis involves studying the effect of play therapy on a child with Cerebral Palsy.  He has received acceptance letters to Liberty University, University of Memphis, North Greenville University, and University of South Carolina.  His first choice is Liberty, but we will see where he gets the most money.  He wants to study Sports Journalism in college.  He played church basketball and high school baseball and football; and only got one broken hand and a concussion!

Camden is now in the 5th grade.  He was able to fly to CA with Dave last June and had a great time with his family...impressing them with his rapping skills!  He was able to go to children's camp, music camp, and Grammie camp this summer.  He played basketball in the winter; track in the spring; and crosscountry in the fall.  No injuries to report for him!  He especially enjoyed a trip with Amy and Grammie to the mountains during the snow.  He likes to hike, but really enjoys throwing snowballs while hiking!

Other family fun included going to Hilton Head with Dave during a pharmacy convention in June; and spending time at a lake house with friends during July.   

It has been a good year with lots of lasts that will be continuing until graduation in June.  Next year will have many updates I am sure, in addition to welcoming Nathan home for Christmas! 2017, however, is a year for trusting God with our future...both for our Ecuador trip and for college for Nathan.  Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans for us; a plan to give us hope and a future.  We have to trust in that.  Until the future is here, we are enjoying our time together as a family and remembering that all we have is because of Christ and His sacrifice for us.  And that all began with Him coming to earth as a baby...a truth we are celebrating this December!

Merry Christmas!!  Love, Dave, Amy, Nathan and Camden

photo credits Senior and family photos go to rheneydear @rheneydearphotography

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas 2016


Merry Christmas from the Shirleys!!  Every year when I write our Christmas post, I enjoy looking back at what we have done throughout the year.  This year, I did notice that we took less pictures....I guess the boys got their way!

Other than the color of the walls in our house, (which we painted grey), the biggest change this year is that Dave became a full time professor at MUSC College of Pharmacy!  This became official in July after a year of being part time.  Along with this job change, he also received Professor of the Year during his part time year.

Dave continues to enjoy hunting and fishing; and he and Amy have also started teaching the 11th and 12th grade Sunday School class at their church.  (Nathan is thrilled!)

Amy continues to work as a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, and although she did not participate in any races in 2016, she is currently training for her third marathon in January 2017.  (As she writes this, her legs are in a massager!)

Nathan is halfway finished with high school, has visited two colleges so far, ordered his class ring, and is making good progress with beginning his Senior Thesis!  Time is flying!  He played baseball for his high school and a travel team, went on his youth mission trip this summer, volunteered at a camp for children with severe disabilities,  and has started taking on more of a leadership role in his youth group.  He decided to join his school football team this year, and was having fun and doing well until he suffered from a broken collar bone.  Short football season, although he plans on playing next year.  He also turned 16 this year and we were able to buy him a car.  Good year for him!

We actually surprised Nathan with a party for his 16th birthday!

Camden started the 4th grade this year and is doing well in school.  Over the past year, he was Michael in his school production of Peter Pan; played soccer; and ran cross country.  He also has been busy in AWANA, playing piano, and performing in two church plays.  He keeps busy!

Nathan agreed to do a duet with his former piano teacher during Camden's Spring piano recital.

Nathan and Camden were both in the children's choir Christmas drama production.  They played the older and younger version of a shepherd named Nathaniel!

Throughout the year, Amy and Nathan were able to go on the youth ski trip in January.

Nathan visited CA to see family during Spring Break and was able to go skiing during that visit.

Amy and Camden took a road trip during Spring Break to St. Louis and Springfield.

Amy was able to take a girls' weekend with her mom and sister to Gatlinburg over Mother's Day Weekend.

The boys had a fun summer with both going to camp at Look up Lodge and having a fun week at Grammie Camp.

We all were able to go to Annapolis in order for Nathan to visit the Naval Academy.  During this quick weekend trip, we were able to go to an Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards and visit Jamestown, VA on the way home.

Charleston experienced Hurricane Matthew this year, and although Dave stayed home, Amy and the boys decided to take an evacu-cation and go to Columbia.  From there, we took two day trips to visit North Greenville University and the mountains.

One highlight of this year was Camden confirming his salvation at camp and then getting baptized again.  He was so excited about this and had a strong peace after this decision.

This Christmas our prayer is that you too will know Christ and have assurance of your salvation.  In an uncertain world, God sent us Jesus to be our Savior and give us peace.  As the angels proclaimed the night of Jesus' birth, Peace on earth and good will to all mankind!

Dave, Amy, Nathan, and Camden Shirley