Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009 Recap/Christmas Newsletter

Wow! 2009 has been a CRAZY year for the Brem family! Here are some things that we are thankful for from 2009...

*We moved to California! Although it
s been a bit chilly here these last couple of weeks, we are completely enjoying the much warmer weather here!
*We live close to family! We are LOVING being close to both of our families. Noelle and Jude are enjoying getting to spend
time with their Jammie and Poppy (Ed and Jane), Auntie Whitney, Uncle Meats (Matt), Auntie Belle (Lesley), Uncle Chip, and cousins Jonas and Ethan along with many more extended relatives. We are very thankful for such a wonderful family!
*Noelle can read! Noelle is in 1st grade this year and is doing excellent in school. We are in awe everyday at the things she is learning so quickly and are so proud of how well she is doing. She still misses Tacoma and talks about it daily (especially missing her two best friends, Keely and Caleb). We are praying for some best friendships to develop here soon! She is such a fun little girl, full of energy and joy! She spent the summer playing t-ball and the fall on a soccer team. I can't convince her to play basketball, but she did rece
ntly tell us that she wants to try dance. So, we'll see how that goes... Noelle has also recently learned to ride her bike without training wheels! One of my favorite things that Noelle has done this year was when she initiated inviting her entire class to church for the Harvest Party. She even made a list of who wanted to come, gave them our phone number and passed-out fliers. She is amazing!!
*Jude loves school! Jude is in a Pre-K class called "Kinderbloom" this year with an amazing teacher. He is really loving it and doing great. I've been able to spend many hours in his classroom an
d love watching him grow socially and academically. A few weeks ago, the teacher was evaluating the kids on how high they could count. Each student would count with the teacher and when they were finished they got a sticker with "I counted to ____" on it. Most of the kids were counting to 20 or 30, but they had to stop Jude when he reached 100! It was hilarious! Jude loves reading books, singing and has recently fallen in love with riding his bike. He spends most of his day dressed up as Superman, Buzz Lightyear or a Ninja Turtle and does not hesitate to correct you about who he is if you accidentally call him Jude while he is in costume. "I'm not Jude, I'm Superman!"
*We get to hang-out with lots of high school students! We've jumped right into high school ministry at First Presbyterian Church here in Salinas and are loving every minute of it. These students are so much fun to spend time with and we have felt complet
ely welcomed into the youth group and church. The youth pastor and his wife (Joel and Deana Parkins) have gone out of their way to include us and make us feel like we've always been a part of the group, so our transition has been a piece of cake thanks to them!
*We've had lots of visitors! Since we've moved, we have been visited by some of our dearest friends, and have plans for more to come see us soon! We LOVE our friends! So far, we have seen the Fletcher's, the Brokaw's, Adriana Goldstrom, the Narciso's, the McFall's and Erin Azama! The Hess's will be making a trip next month soon after my close friend Kerri Gentile! We are also spending some time at the Brem Family cabin with the Paulson's
in a couple of weeks. We have such amazing friends!!!!!
*Gavin loves his job! Organicgirl has been such a blessing to us! Not only do we LOVE the salads, but Gavin loves the people he works with and loves how much he is learning about the produce industry. We never would have thought that this would be the line of work he would end up doing here, but we are so thankful!
*I was able to run a half-marathon with my sister this fall and Gavin and I are training together for one in February. We are excited to get to do this together!
*We have loved living close enough to spend time at
the Garlinger family ranch and also close enough to hit the beach on a nice day. We've traveled to the Brem cabin in Arnold, CA and also to Truckee for some family time. We are truly blessed!
*Moch and Jon bought a house! They have a beautiful house in Tacoma and also added to the family with a sweet little doggy named E
vah! They are doing great! We are very proud of them.
*Gavin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary this year! I am SO extremely thankful for the man I married. Not only is he handsome, a great provider and a godly stud, but he makes me laugh everyday! He is also an amazing dad to our kids!
*We are almost completely debt free! Wahoo! Its been a long road, but its almost done!
*We are most thankful for how Jesus continues to make himsel
f real to us every day, for how He provides for us, cares for us, protects us and grows us as individuals and as a family. We are thankful that we can celebrate His birth, death and resurrection!

We love to have visitors, so please feel free to drop-by anytime! We pray rich blessings on all of our friends and family for this coming year. Thank you all for loving us!

The Brem Family

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fightin' Crime and Takin' Names

It was a Tuesday. I was on the beat. It'd been slow, quiet...a little too quiet. Just then I got a call. She was down. Some punk had stolen her iPhone right our of her shopping cart (the worst kind of phone theft). These crimes rarely end well. The woman was hopeless, ashamed. This was going to be a long day...

My first instinct came. I drew my Blackberry, dialed the number and prepared to fight with a barrage of threats. He'd never know what hit him. But he was crafty. No answer. Again I dialed. Nothing. Again. Only beeps. I was dealing with a professional but my next move isn't learned in a classroom: the threat-text.

"Target has cameras all throughout the store." My fingers danced across the keyboard. "You are now a criminal." The hard truth flowed effortlessly. "You will be caught." I could almost see the panic in his eyes. But there is grace, even for criminals. "Turn the phone in to customer service to avoid prosecution."

Did he feel the blows of the threat-text? Did he have an enlightened moment? Was his heart softened in the Christmas season? We'll never know. But one thing's for sure: the lady was reunited with her iPhone.

Crime doesn't pay.