Merry Christmas from the Hedricks!

Merry Christmas! Looking back on 2011, we know that we are blessed. God has been so good to us, and we cannot speak enough of his love, his faithfulness, his mercy, and his kindness. At this time of year, we pause to reflect on the greatest expression of his love and kindness that the world has ever seen. Our Heavenly Father sent His Only Son Jesus Christ into the world - to come as a man, to take on flesh, to live a sinless life, and to lay down that life to pay the penalty for our sins. In the Book of John, we read of Jesus when it says, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” For the Hedrick family, 2011 has been a year of seen more and more of the glory of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the highlights from this past year:

2011 was a wonderful year for Matt. He is going into his tenth year as Bethany Church's Senior Pastor. The congregation at Bethany Church has seen a tremendous amount of growth and maturity this year, and Matt is so honored to work with the men and women that he does on the church staff. In addition to his leadership role at the church, he continues to serve on the Board of Directors for a couple of ministries in the Twin Cities area (Transform Minnesota and World Relief Minnesota.) A planned ministry trip to Kenya in the fall of 2011 was delayed to early 2012 because of some of the unrest that has been occurring in that region of the world. In addition to his ministry life, Matt kept busy working on and finishing the basement at our home and also enjoyed his annual trip to the Boundary Waters with some friends from church. Noemi is learning more about herself and what it means to be a mom and wife all the time. She continues volunteering at Adriah's school, serves on the church worship team, and leads a Mom’s small group. This year she’s started to attend a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) group and has loved studying the Book of Acts. It’s been 8 years of developing her photography business, and she loves continuing to learn and has started teaching two different types of Photography Workshops. After a busy season she’s ready to slow the pace heading into winter, allowing more time for family and friends. All of her roles fill her heart to full... Adriah Liberty is now 6 ½ and almost 4 ½ feet tall! She’s thriving as a first grader at Aspen Academy. She is excelling at reading, math and music! She loves reading chapter books, playing IPAD games, memorizing her Bible verses for Awana, and performing for us on the piano (she’s been taking lessons for almost a year!) She just lost her first tooth and the second one is not far behind. And we are pleased to share that Adriah made a HUGE step in her faith this year! She was publicly baptized in front of her church family. We are so proud of our firstborn! She is our little-love! Leyton O’Neal is 3 ½ and loves everything with wheels! Trucks and Lego are a big part of his daily play routine. He and Clara are becoming so close and are learning to share their days together while Adriah is in school all day. He continues to amaze us with his happy-go-lucky ways. He loves to laugh and make others laugh...his jokes are actually funny now. He’s been working on potty-training - and hopefully, it will be “mastered” soon. He loves going to BSF with Mom and calls it “his school!” He’s learning hymns, scripture and bible stories. He's still daddy's boy and wrestling has become a normal activity in our home! He will start preschool in the fall...but we’re not in any hurry to see him go to school. He is our joy! Clara Isabel is almost 2! She is talking up a storm. She didn't walk until she was 18 months... so perhaps she was thinking of all of those words while she sat! She goes back and forth from being “spicy” and being “snuggly.” She really takes the cake on both extremes! We love her “rock-star” hair, her belly laugh, and her willingness to jump right in with the rest of the family. After talking with Adriah about the fact that she was our "Love" and Leyton was our "Joy," she made the comment that Clara should be our "Peace." Although we are still getting to know her and learning who she is, we believe that might be a great description of who this precious gift is. We delight in her.

Our children truly are our gift from God! We see Him in them, and we see Him moving in us as we parent them! We enter 2012 knowing that the Lord is faithful to provide for all of our needs...we are rich in Christ Jesus. This year is about pursuing him individually and as a family! We’re thankful for Bethany Church, Awana, and BSF to help give structure to our hearts intent.

Please pray that we will hear the Lord's voice and will move in whatever direction He leads us. We love you and are blessed to have you in our lives. Blessings from our home to yours - Matt, Noemi, Adriah, Leyton and Clara!

Noemi Hedrick

Noemi Hedrick is a passionate wedding and portrait photographer based in Minneapolis. Noemi loves capturing the beauty inside every person. Her vibrant energy for life, love and family are grounded in her own values and loved ones. Noemi has been proudly serving as a wedding photographer for over 15 years and also offers a wide range of photography workshops for professional and amateur photographers.