2016 Letter

Version 2The first and only Schar Christmas Letter.

So for ten years, I’ve written Christmas letters in my head and they never make it on paper… Until now.

So let me catch you up on our little family.  Ethan and I celebrated our ten year anniversary this past February.  It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. . .The time as flown, yet it seems like it’s been forever.  It kind of dates us and makes us look at each other and wonder if we are old yet. 😉

DSC_1477We celebrated 10 years by going on a cruise.  We loved it!  The best part was probably the food; seeing new places, two days of nice weather, and meeting a couple favorite authors and artists in close second.  We plan to go again on the same cruise this coming February, this time different places and with some couples from church!img_5648


Ethan is self-employed.  He has a air-duct cleaning business.  In addition he spends time sub-contracting to local heating and cooling companies, img_2125working as a HVAC installer.  He loves to BBQ the yummiest meats, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, ribs… Anything that he finds to stick on his Big Green Eggs. 🙂  He has done meat for several weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, Christmas gatherings … You get the picture.  He enjoys feeding people.

Poor guy puts up with a lot… Living with five girls and their hormones, moods, and DRAMA. 😉

The biggest problem he has is me.  I’m a homeschool mom that leaves the house just on Thursday- library days.  I do the bookwork for his business, spend all the money, and do the budget.  Try to keep him fed… which filling up someone that is never full means the job is never done.  I also find myself helping women, by means of two websites.   Girls in God’s Word is devoted to encouraging women of all ages to get into God’s Word.  My more personal blog and bits of writing is at learninglittlelessons.com.   This past year I wrote for the AC Titus2Newsletter. This year there are a couple different writing opportunities that I’m excited about; guest posting for a homeschool website, and writing monthly for Rachael Carman.  I call myself a writer on Monday evenings as Ethan watches the girls,  ‘Mrs. Apple’ during the school hours, and momma the rest of the day.  It’s busy and sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy but I am so blessed.

We lived our first 8 years of life in Ethan’s late grandma’s house in Rittman.  Then 2 years ago we moved to a little town called Marshallville.  We are surrounded on 6 sides with retired folks.    Just behind us lives Ethan’s parents, which has been fun for the girls and us too. 🙂  We remodeled the house when we moved in; tore some walls out and got a brand new kitchen, which is certainly our favorite room in the house.  The girls spent all their life sharing a bedroom with all four of them and this summer our schoolroom and office got de-moted to the basement to give the growing girls a second bedroom.  Though I miss the office on the main floor it is SO nice to have a separate place for the school room.  It has been a game changer for us to all go ‘downstairs’ to school each day… For some reason it’s easier to remember that we are suppose to be doing school work rather than … Well everything else fun. Lol

We love the flexibility of homeschooling!  The crafts are an issue for me.  There is always a thought of ‘I’m not doing a good enough job’ about three thoughts away in my brain.  I may or may not cry tears over that slight problem in my mind.   Just another thing for Ethan to need to ‘solve’ for us emotional girls.  😉

Speaking of which… The girls.  Let me introduce them… Haylin, Ayla, Naylee and Rysa.  They each have their own fun attributes and talents.  They may also have each gotten a negative trait from their momma (too bad their mom still has all of hers too) lol.


Haylin is a good artist.  She very helpful and organized and clean (when she wants to be). She has a talent for motivating or un-motivating her younger sisters.  She loves to cook and bake!  Most days can find her standing on her head in the family room.img_2132

Ayla is a very special girl also.  She loves to sing, and sing and sing.  She is very artistic and is a visual and kinetic learner.  She LOVES crafts and cooking.  She loves listening to stories and drawing. She found out this summer that she likes going sailboating with Daddy. 🙂

Our sweet Nay-Nay.  Naylee Jo.  She is a very talented emotional-alist …let me explain, she can cry one minute with her heart fairly broken in half and be laughing the very next moment.  She loves to do school with her teacher “Mrs. Apple” and loves to color.  She makes friends everywhere, four legged and two legged.

Rysa. What to say?  How to describe this girl?  We are very thankful to report she has begun to play with toys. Hallelujah.  Previous to 6 months ago her primary toys included anything adult… Flour, sugar, salt… Papers, mail, img_2114bills… Her favorite place for the majority of her life has been our kitchen island…  Standing, sitting, or laying on it.  Always ready to help make any mess bigger.  Thankfully this has changed!  And she now spends most her time on the floor and plays with toys.  As the baby of the house she still assumes the role of waking mommy several times every night.  :(.  (A while back I prayed that as I got older I would not forget how it felt to be a desperate mom just wishing for a night of sleep… I wasn’t meaning I needed to feel what lack of sleep feels like… I haven’t forgot yet.)

With our baby being three years, life looks different… For so long this momma felt like she was hardly surviving. Just hardly.  Now a days we actually see what the carpet looks like. The laundry gets washed most weeks –not always folded, but hey we are making progress. Slowly.  Most every night the dishes are done.

Life wasn’t always like that. Thankful for the progress that comes with the ages of our children.  Calm before the storm of teenagers??  I’m not sure.  I am sure that life with 4 girls will not be without its drama.  There is already drama, that won’t change.


Some highlights from the year…

  • The cruise (I mentioned already). 
  • In April we went to Florida for a week… We always love our stays there and are very thankful for the condo available to stay at. 
  • The week we got back from Florida Ethan’s younger brother, Aaron, got married.  The girls love their new aunt!  We are so happy for them! 20160701_164717
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    Beulah Beach Friends

    This summer we spent about 4 weeks at Beulah Beach.  Ethan was doing some work up there and we lived in our camper.  It was an experience… We have good memories yet we’re thankful to be back in our own house.  With a tad bit more wiggle room!!

  • In August we had a neat experience at the American girl store, one we won’t forget soon!  Read it here.


  • In October we made Smithville Church our home church.  The story is long… and has been writing itself for several years.  So far we absolutely love being in a small church! (if your not familiar with it, it’s probably 1/3 the size of Rittman)

Real life at our house isn’t always pretty, calm, and lovely.  Real life is full of every day emotions and everyday messes.  That is just how it is.  We pray that through our everyday messy life our girls can see Jesus, learn about Jesus, grow to love and follow Jesus.  It’s our highest goal.

God be with you my friends and bless you in the new year!

Trudie (and family)