Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

We have been in North Carolina for two years, now, and it’s starting to feel like home. We were blessed and excited to find a lovely home on a cul-de-sac, in a wooded area adjacent to the girls’ school. We finally finished unpacking, hung pictures on the walls, took time to sit on the deck and enjoy the trees, birds, squirrels, and our dear neighbors, raked leaves, gathered for a neighborhood pig-picking (They roasted a whole pig right here in the cul-de-sac!), had guests for Thanksgiving, decorated the house for Christmas, and even did Christmas shopping without using GPS to guide us around town!

Jack is in his third year at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. He took a new position in informatics there this fall doing data-base based clinical research. He still faithfully walks our old dog, Holly, twice a day, follows Boise State football, and enjoys watching the girls compete and perform.

Lisa loves her job as a second-grade assistant at the girls’ school. She finds it very satisfying to invest her efforts in something that has eternal value, and to be a blessing to the teacher and the children she serves. Hugs are the best employee benefits! Watching songbirds at the backyard bird feeder is her newest hobby. A weekly women’s Bible study on Ephesians has been “like springs of living water” to her soul.
(L-Lisa; R-Lisa’s sister Kim)

Traci (almost 18) is a junior this year. Her passion is the theatre and she has had the opportunity to be in several plays (Viola – Twelfth Night; Charlotte – Pride and Prejudice; Nurse Gray – The Secret Garden; Dragon – Dragon Song; Mrs. Arable – Charlotte’s Web; Mrs. Westenra - Dracula; and Stephanie – The Code of the Woosters; Harriet - Emma) at school and in various community theatres. She is her class senator and also has a part-time job in the development office at school. She is looking at colleges, and looking forward to her senior year.

Amy (16 and 6'1") is in 9th grade. She has worked hard at school, but her schedule revolves around basketball. She played with the girls’ varsity team (2nd place) in the state championship game last winter. The team has its hopes set on winning the championship this year, but will have to overcome some hardships. Two girls received concussions in a recent game, and Amy fractured her wrist diving for a loose ball. She’ll be sporting a blue cast until after Christmas. When she’s not playing school basketball she plays for an AAU team which travelled to New Orleans and Atlanta for tournaments last summer.

Photos from the team photographer

Laurie (16) is also in 9th grade, and enjoys social activities. She ran for the cross country team at school this fall, and was one of the top five runners. The girls’ team won the state championship, and Laurie was named to the All-Conference Team! Her hamster, Jarod, keeps her company while she is doing homework, and she blesses our family with baked goods and delicious dinners, as time allows. Over spring break she painted her room with help from Grandpa Dino, Mom, and her best friend, Jackie.


Kari (10) is in 4th grade. She is doing well in school, and especially enjoys reading, Latin, music, and recess. Kari started Taekwondo in March and has earned white, yellow, and green belts. It’s the perfect sport for her – lots of wiggling and screaming! We discovered recently that Kari had an interesting take on the Christmas story. She was reading from a beautiful book that pairs fine art with the verses from the gospels of Matthew and Luke that tell of the birth of Jesus. When she read, “Mary was great with child,” Lisa inquired as to whether or not Kari knew what that meant. She did not. So, Lisa pointed to the picture of the very pregnant Mary sitting on a donkey, and said, “It means she is pregnant and just about to give birth to the baby Jesus.” Kari was incredulous, “Mary didn’t born Jesus! They found him in the stable when there was no room at the inn!”

One of the nicest things about North Carolina is that we have family nearby. We’ve had lots of fun with Jack’s cousin and her family. 2XX 4XY is her husband’s license plate. They took us on a beautiful hike to Linville Falls in the spring, and kept the girls overnight when Jack and Lisa celebrated their 30th anniversary at the Biltmore Estate.

Lisa’s sister, Kim, and her husband, Henri, joined us from Washington, D.C. for the Thanksgiving weekend – the first time we’ve ever shared a holiday with them away from our parents’ home! Kim is came back in early December for a quick holiday visit before she and Henri joined their families in California for Christmas. We're looking forward to many more times together in the coming year.

Raleigh is an easy flight from most anywhere in the country, so we also enjoyed visits from Lisa’s parents for a week in the spring, and dear friends from Idaho in August. Kari and Lisa flew out to California over spring break to spend 3 days at Disneyland with Grandpa Dino and Grandma Betty, visit Grandma Phyllis, and spend a day at the beach. They also enjoyed dinner with Lisa’s family and lunch with Uncle Al and Aunt Debbie. Dino, Betty, Lisa, and Kim rendezvoused in New York in August to attend a reception for Lisa’s cousin’s son and his new bride (from Spain). Lisa hadn’t seen these D’Auria cousins in over 35 years! The reception was lovely, but getting reacquainted with the cousins and their families was the best!

We look forward to hearing of your adventures and family highlights. Thank you for keeping in touch with our family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Van Deventer Family
Jack, Lisa, Traci, Amy, Laurie, and Kari

Monday, June 16, 2008

New House

Our house has finally sold in Idaho and God has blessed us with a perfect house here. Pictures are below:
Our House


Dining Room
Family Room

Large Room
Medium Room

Small Room

Master Bedroom

the house has lovely flowers and trees


Wednesday, March 26, 2008


The three second grade classes combined to recite all of the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, The Story of the Birth of Christ. Kari loves the weekly music class and enjoyed performing these Christmas songs with her classmates.

WINTER IN NORTH CAROLINAWhen we moved to NC many people asked Jack, “What about the humidity?” His jolly reply was always, “I don’t have to shovel humidity!”

Traci (accompanied by Lisa) enjoyed a special treat from Grandpa and Grandma for her 16th birthday – shopping, lunch, a Broadway South production of CATS, dinner at 518 West Italian CafĂ© (, and a night at a lovely B&B ( .
Traci has had a great semester at school! She made the A Honor Roll, received a Faculty Commendation Award, and landed the lead role in the spring drama production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Her American History class took an interesting field trip to the historic Stagville Plantation (, one of the largest plantations in the pre-Civil War south.

Amy worked very hard on her studies and made the A/B Honor Roll for 2nd Quarter.

Her basketball season was cut short when she broke the 4th metatarsal bone in her right foot. She still went to every practice and every game and took advantage of the opportunity to learn from and assist the coaches.

The JV Track team recruited Amy to throw shot put. The week she got her cast off she practiced for three days then was invited to join the Varsity team for its first meet…she placed 1st in the meet with a throw of 25’10”! Needless to say, the coaches are excited about the prospect of 5 more years!


After a great Cross Country running season Laurie is going to run the mile race for the Track team. Laurie, her sisters, and friends had a great time celebrating Spirit Week at school…no uniforms, costumes every day, and crazy competitions.

Team Day

Hero Day

School Spirit DayDisney Character Day
Kari loves her teacher and friends at school. She was invited to a birthday party at the Build-A-Bear Workshop where she chose an adorable Valentine puppy for her pet. Her name? Valentine, of course!
Pirates are a big part of NC history and Pirate Day is a FUN event in second grade. The kids enjoy activities like walking the plank, swabbing the deck, island hopping, and a treasure hunt.
Each fall and spring our church hosts a family ball – a night of festivities and dancing for families. Everyone gets dressed up. The boys are instructed on proper etiquette for dancing (ask the father of the girl you would like to dance with for permission to dance with her), dance instructions are provided, the band begins to play, and the merriment commences with the Grand March.
We are now enjoying the second week of our spring break. Last weekend we went to Hickory, NC to visit Jack’s cousin and her family. She has six children about the same ages as our girls. Both sets of kids LOVED having cousins to play with, while the adults relaxed and caught up on family news and history.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Letter

Christmas Greetings from North Carolina!

A great adventure for our family began a little over a year ago when we decided to include locations outside of our long-time home in Idaho in Jack’s search for new employment. We were hoping to relocate closer to family, otherwise near friends, so we wouldn’t be all alone in a strange land. The Lord blessed us with a new job in the Raleigh, North Carolina area! Several families we knew in Idaho have moved here over the last few years, our church in Idaho has a sister church here, and we have extended family in western NC, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and New York. It’s already starting to feel like home!

Our home in Idaho is still for sale, so we are living in a cozy three bedroom apartment, and enjoying a simple life. Ask Jack if he misses mowing the lawn or shoveling snow! We were thankful to find a brand new apartment complex where we have a second floor apartment with a small deck overlooking a forest of evergreens and autumn colors.

Our arrival in mid-July was greeted with lightning bugs, croaking frogs, cardinals, scampering gray squirrels, and an occasional deer, fox, or possum in the neighborhood. We quickly made new friends the first two weeks visiting the apartment swimming pool daily as temperatures were in the 100’s accompanied by never-before-experienced humidity.

When we weren’t in the swimming pool we were out shopping for school uniforms and school supplies. Yes, after more than 10 years of homeschooling, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll the girls in a wonderful Christian school. Although we miss our peaceful mornings sipping hot chocolate together or snuggling on the couch as we began our lessons, we are all enjoying the academic challenges and the extracurricular activities at school.

Traci enjoys the classroom discussions with teachers and fellow students. Her favorite classes are anatomy and literature. She has worked diligently and was rewarded with a place on the all-A Honor Roll for the first quarter. Her passion is theater and she has the role of Harriet in the fall drama production of Jane Austin’s Emma. When she isn’t studying or rehearsing she writes a blog, reviews teen books, and is on the nominating committee for the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards (Cybils).

Amy accompanied Jack when he drove our van from Idaho to NC. They made the trip in 3.5 days! The day after she arrived she started volleyball camp. She was excited to make the middle school Gold (‘A’) Team, and had a great season as she learned to “bump, set, and hit.” Amy finally measured six feet in October! Needless to say the coaches are thrilled to have her on the middle school basketball team. At first school was simply a way for Amy to pursue her passion, athletics, but she has worked very hard and is even enjoying her classes (and her teachers love her).

Laurie’s friendly smile has won her many new friends, and she is enjoying the school social life. She discovered a new talent this fall – cross-country running, finishing 9th in the all-area middle school meet at the end of the season. Laurie chose drama for her elective class and had the role of a fairy in the middle school production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Romeo, a humorous jaunt through time and literature.

Kari loves 2nd grade! She is working hard on weekly Bible memory verses, spelling words, math facts, cursive writing, reading, and NC geography and government. We are amazed at all the second graders have to (and can) learn!

Lisa is working as a Teaching Assistant in Kari’s class. She is thankful to be with Kari every day, and to have opportunities to see the other girls at school, too. She thinks 2nd graders are hilarious, the teacher she works with is amazing, and the job is rewarding because she knows it is a blessing to the teacher and the children. Lisa’s current hobby is helping children with homework.

Jack loves his commute to his new job. He drives 30 minutes on a rural, tree-lined, scenic highway. His work involves developing ways to retrieve and make useful the millions of pieces of data stored by the company. Jack is still a big Boise State Bronco football fan (Did you see the Fiesta Bowl last January?!?!?!?!), but many of our new friends are trying to persuade him to cheer for UNC, NC State, or Duke! Jack helps Kari study spelling, math facts, and her Bible memory verse every night, faithfully walks our dog (who is sharing our cozy apartment) morning and evening, and is looking forward to teaching a class to the men at church beginning in January.

We trust this greeting finds you well and look forward to hearing about your family over the holiday season. As we prepare for Christmas, we are reminded by the seasonal hymns that He is our song and salvation, by the lights that He is the light of the world, by our feasts that He is the bread of life, and by worship that He has given us reason to rejoice, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
“Down in a lowly manger our humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.”

Go, Tell It on the Mountain

We are THANKFUL for you!
May your celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas
be filled with great joy!

Jack~ Lisa~ Traci~ Amy~ Laurie~ Kari~