2012 was another great year for the Redden family. Lots has happened since our family update last spring and the updates about Ethan and Stephen’s trip to Guatemala. It’s not until you sit down with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or write an update like this that you realize how much happens in everyday life! Here are some of the highlights from our lives over the last few months.
Ethan continues to grow and mature in so many ways. After an adventure to Guatemala he finished off the summer with a five-day cattle drive in WY at Kate’s family’s ranch. We assumed he’d probably be ready to come home after a day or two, but he stuck it out the whole time and did great. We’re finding out that he may be more of an adventurer and have more grit than we ever imagined! Ethan turned eight in September and celebrated with a party with some friends at our local Lucky Strike bowling alley. He also started second grade in the fall at our neighborhood school, Steele Elementary. Steele does combined classrooms for first and second grade so Ethan has the same teacher from last year and many of the same friends. He continues to progress well in most subjects, though the challenges of working independently and paying attention to details are still tough. He had another great soccer season with his team “The Coyotes” of the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer League and is ready for another ski season this winter…if we ever get any snow!
Andrew has grown up so much this year. He started kindergarten at Steele this fall and has done wonderfully. He has always been our introverted homebody, and we wondered how he’d do with the transition to full days and full weeks of school. At our first parent-teacher conference, his teacher (the same teacher Ethan had for kindergarten – nice to have a familiar face!) was surprised to hear we considered him introverted. She said he was one of the most outspoken and engaging kids in the class! It has been fun to see this new side of Andrew emerge. Andrew also played soccer this fall, though with less enthusiasm than his brother. He still seems unfocused and easily distracted on the field, much to the dismay of his coach…Stephen! Kate thought that perhaps he’s not as sports-motivated as Ethan so when he said he was interested in learning to play the violin we thought we’d give that a try. So far he’s doing really well and slowly coming to terms with the fact that whether it’s music or sports, you still have to practice!
Kate continues her work with Ronald Blue & Company and is enjoying the rhythm of having the kids in school all day while she works from home and being here each afternoon when they arrive home from school. She also had several trips this fall that kept her very busy. She planned a fabulous ten-year wedding anniversary trip to San Francisco and Napa in September. It was the longest trip we have been on alone together since the kids came along, and it was wonderful. Work took her on trips to Atlanta and to Seattle, and she was able to travel to Memphis to attend her 20-year class reunion at Rhodes College. All good things but it was a tiring stretch, and she’s looking forward to some quiet time at home during the holidays!
Stephen continues to stay busy on a number of fronts as well. He continues to work four days a week for New Denver Church, still his greatest passion behind his family. New Denver is on the cusp of taking some big steps in 2013 (read more about that here), and the preparation for some of those things has added a great deal to Stephen’s plate this fall. There is much to do, but the rewards of seeing our community grow and people take steps of growth in faith are well worth the effort. Stephen spends the rest of his work time among some coaching and consulting work and working on other projects here in Denver. For nearly a year Stephen worked on bringing the first Q Cities event here to Denver. Working together with leaders in Denver and Gabe Lyons, the founder of Q Ideas, they pulled off a wonderful even in September which will likely lead to other such events taking place around the US. Stephen also traveled to Atlanta for a small groups conference at North Point Community Church to meet with current and potential coaching clients. It was a great time to meet with leaders from around the country, but it was also an incredible blessing to get time with members of our North Point family.
As our year winds to a close we realize we have so much to be thankful for, including all our wonderful friends and family. If you’ve read through all this email, thanks! We appreciate you taking the time to keep up with us. Please keep in touch (email us at kate [at] thereddens[dot]com or stephen [at] thereddens [dot] com), and we hope to see you soon.