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Darlene's World
Bell Family 2008 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


             We hope this card finds you all happy, healthy and blessed by the season and all that God’s wonder reveals to you!  We have had a very busy year with every one of us Bells dealing with change!

Kathryn, our little one is now 6.  She moved on from half day Kindergarten to a full day in first grade.   She reads very well, loves her homework time and her teacher.   Kathryn is also in her third year of dance and is taking ballet again and has added tap as well.  She loves it and can’t wait for her recital at the end of Spring.  She is also singing in our church choir and is learning to play bells (chimes) as well.  For six, she is a very happy and busy girl.

Grant, our only son, has just turned 19.  He graduated with very high honors from Broad Run HS.  He is now attending James Madison University here in Virginia.  As a freshman, he is studying and applied to the School of Media Arts and Design at JMU.  His goal is to work with cinema studies and screen writing.  After 7+ years of hockey as goalie parents, weekends seem a little of a void not attending games or tournaments in town, out of town or out of state anymore!  He still plays his drums on the very few weekends he gets to visit at home, but he has given his trumpet a rest after seven years as well.  We are proud of all his accomplishments and look forward to seeing his very creative side take shape at JMU!

Amanda, our oldest, just turned 21!  We have a 21 year old!  Whew!  Time does really fly!  Amanda is a junior also attending James Madison University.  She is studying Music Education.  Amanda is getting experience this year with practicums and classroom observations as well as conducting.  Her principle instrument is still the B flat clarinet, but she has learned many other woodwind, string and brass instruments as well.  In fact, after two years in the JMU Marching Royal Dukes as a clarinet she switched to playing baritone.  She had also been playing the baritone at basketball games in the pep band last spring.  The instrument is huge and heavy!  She has built up quite the muscles this fall working on the field with the MRD’s.  The organizer and goal oriented person that she is, she is treasurer for her service sorority, Tau Beta Sigma and personnel manager for the entire JMU MRD’s.  She will make such a great music teacher some day soon!

Darlene decided to dust off her teaching skills as a preschool teacher again!  With the economy and two in college she feels very blessed to be working at a wonderful Christ centered church, Arcola United Methodist.  She has 4 yr olds three days a week and 3 yr olds two days a week.  What fun!!  Best of all it does not affect Kathryn as she is able to be home before school and after school.  Yay!

Wil is enjoying being a JMU Dad!  He loves the football games!  This year JMU is headed for playoffs with a possible national title in sight!  This is of course in addition to the entire Bell family’s Pittsburgh passion (Steelers and Penguins!).  With the housing market a little slower than in past years Wil has had a little more time with his Gold Wing motorcycle, able to again be part of Rolling Thunder and many other rides throughout the state and country.  He has also acquired this year a ‘67 Mustang convertible which he is restoring.  It has a black interior and blue exterior with a double white stripe-very pretty!

As you can see we have all been so busy this year!  Our church directory picture is even out of date already!  Taken in July this year, Kathryn has already grown several  inches, Grant has cut his hair even shorter than it is and mine is now very short and even a different color!  Oh, well.  Life just can’t keep up with us.  We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very blessed New Year!


If you get this before Thanksgiving, look for Amanda and the JMU band in the Macy’s Parade!


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