Friday, December 27, 2019

Thirteen-Year-Old Memories

We are one of those families who generously share our year’s happenings with acquaintances in a Christmas letter each year. Here’s one I found recently.

December, 2006

John 10:  10:  I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.

Dear Family and Friends,

What’s new with the McKinseys?  We have three kids in high school this year.  We love saying that, and we are still amazed by it.  We remember when those same three kids were in three baby seats in the back of our little white car.  Now they’re all nearly as tall as we are.

Other than that, we are basically healthy and marginally sane.  We put one foot in front of the other, each day, longing for our promised reward.

Ping-Hwei has been working at the Metal Fabricating company now for over two years, doing general factory work, packing, loading, and the like.  He seems very happy to be there.  He has a good sense of humor, and helps keep our household organized.  Ping-Hwei loves to take himself places.   He goes to the local library 3 or 4 times a week to use the computers, and takes a train to down town Cleveland several times a month to watch a movie and play the arcade games.  Our church has begun a young adult service on Tuesday evenings, and Ping-Hwei enjoys attending.

Caleb is a junior in high school.  He is a serious student of the Bible, is thinking about college in less than two years, and he’s hoping to get a guide dog next summer.  He’s still in marching band, and loves it, in spite of the football team’s record.  Caleb seems to enjoy his classes, especially psychology.  He often has psychological things to talk about, including body parts, processes, and theories.

Rebecca is a sophomore, and she has a whole new look this year—contacts, longer hair (remember that her head was shaved for a fund raiser, less than 3 years ago?), and no more braces.  She and Murray have been having a delightful(?) time this year as Rebecca learns to drive.  Kathy is thrilled because Rebecca will be able to take her places.  She is still playing the violin, and this year even practices often.  She is also thinking a lot about college.  Rebecca is very studious, stays up late, gets up early, always a textbook open.

Sarah is a freshman in high school.  She is more sweet and unpredictable than ever.  She is adapting to High School better than we might have hoped – seamlessly going from studying when she had to in middle school to studying all the time -- with all her teachers saying that she is a great student.  She sings in the choir at school and in the shower at home.  Sarah has a weekly paper route now, so she enjoys having a little money of her own.  When she is lucky, Murray even bags the papers before she gets home from school.  Sarah enjoys going for walks in this city, and has been involved with the high school youth group at church.

Benjamin is in fourth grade, and has almost hit double digits.  He’s a great math student, according to his teacher.  He is getting better about doing school work without prompting.  We can only prompt so much.  He loves reading magazines including SMART COMPUTING and PC WORLD, and has his own subscription to both of those.  For a week after he gets SMART COMPUTING, he tells Murray about the many different programs he thinks should be purchased for the household computer.  He’s still taking piano lessons, spends a lot of time using his own personal computer, and tolerates school.  For reasons unknown, Benjamin enjoys rap.  We are trying, a little, to steer him toward Christian rap. 

Murray keeps busy with helping kids with their math homework, and operating the McKinsey Family Taxi Service, math homework, teaching Sunday school, math homework, delivering food to those hungry people with Meals on Wheels, math homework, helping out with the Ohio gubernatorial and senatorial  elections (he’s never been on the winning side before), math homework.  He is thinking about getting a doctorate. In anything – sociology, theater, special education, history – he would just really love to be addressed as Doctor McKinsey.

Kathy has been working at the Cleveland Sight Center for six years now, and she enjoys the many interesting people she gets to work with.  Because of changes in the supervisory chain, she has assumed a few of the administrative duties in the department.  When she is not too tired, Kathy asks Murray to put in a West Wing CD – they are on the third year.  Kathy is having a good time watching the kids grow, develop, and mature.

Murray and Kathy will reach 20 years of marriage during this next year.  Held together by the bond of the Spirit.

We praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to us.  We pray that you know how much Jesus loves you, 

If you get emails about Nigerian money laundering schemes, stock tips, or foreign lotteries, please forward them to us.  We could always use the money.

Merry Christmas!

Murray, Kathy, Ping-Hwei, Caleb, Rebecca, Sarah, Benjamin


  1. What a lovely post! I have been wanting to see that, and I texted my friend to ask her when we will go. I would love to see older versions of the movie. That was one of my favorite books. My mother got it for me one Christmas. I even referenced it in the last chapter of my newest Work In Progress (still in draft form; every story is a work in itself, and discovery but takes awhile to polish). Lovely you got to see these movies with Sarah and happy birthday to her!

    1. So do you recommend the book? I'm thinking of reading it.:)