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Merry Christmas from the Rayhons!  I love this time of year: the music, TV specials and movies, the decorations, but most of all, I love hearing from all our family and friends and catching up on what everyone has been doing the last year.  So, I sit down to compose this update letter, hoping that you find it informative, interesting, and not too long-winded!  That will be the tricky part since we have had a very busy, crazy, and exciting year.

January – Travis' uncle Jeff helped finish up the walls, plumbing and electrical in our basement remodel so we could start painting and finishing – the end was in sight!!!

February – cold, but we kept busy inside.  Many evenings were spent working on a music CD for my parents to celebrate 40 years of marriage.

March – the calm before the storm; not much happened that month.  New carpet in the basement, an egress window, some painting.

April – Travis received a verbal job offer from Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and so traveled there to interview and check out the college.  He was then formally offered a position in their IT department similar to what he'd been doing at Dordt.

May – Travis and I went to Ft. Dodge together to look at housing, churches and schools, to help us in our decision whether or not to move our family.  School ended, and I started preparing the kids for the idea of a new school in the fall, even though we were very uncertain as to what to do yet.  We stopped sleeping very much at night!  :)

June – a close friend informed Travis of an interesting job opportunity in Sioux Falls, SD.   I was privileged at this time to accompany our church youth group on a mission trip to New York City.  What an amazing trip!  We were able to participate in a variety of ministries throughout the city, in fact some of us made it to all 5 boroughs, and most of us got to 4.  We provided water and clothing to the homeless, handed out tracts, visited the sick and entertained them, worked with kids of various ages in after school programs for homeless or needy families, even sang on the subway!   While I was gone, Trav's mom had our kids, so he had some much needed quiet time to contemplate our family's future.

July – Travis applied for, interviewed for, received an offer for, and accepted a job at SDN Communications in Sioux Falls, SD!!!  Once he applied it was very fast, a matter of weeks until he was actually working in Sioux Falls.  It was so fast he had to start working about 3 weeks before we could actually move – so thanks to the generosity of our family and friends who provided a home away from home!  In the mean time, we spent a week in the Black Hills with the Koerner family to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary. 

August – we moved to Sioux Falls on August 20, spent about a week painting our new house and getting it ready, and then moved in on August 25.  The girls started school at Sioux Falls Christian that week and have loved it there!  We especially prayed that Carolyn would have a smooth adjustment to Junior High and she has done really well and found a group of girls that she is already very good friends with.  August also marked the official date of both Travis’ and my parents' 40th wedding anniversaries – what a blessing to have two sets of parents setting such a fantastic example of how to make a marriage work and how to stay committed!

September – most of what I remember about both August and September is boxes – filling them and emptying them!  But the task was finally finished.  While we don't have much on the walls yet, and need to save up for some new furniture, we've started to feel at home and settled.  We began membership classes at the church my parents attend in anticipation of joining.  We have found a wonderful church home here and are enjoying getting to know the congregation.

October – spent a weekend in Garner celebrating Trav's parents' 40th anniversary. We continued to learn our way around town, and adjusted to having to drive much further to most places, in heavier traffic, and to not having buses for school.  We carpool in the morning but I have to pick up the girls every day after school.

November – that brings us up to date!  We have officially joined Trinity Reformed Church here in Sioux Falls, the kids are flourishing in church and school activities, Travis is enjoying his new job, and I'm enjoying the MUCH larger kitchen in our new house, as well as our master bathroom!  I have even started a few private lessons and hope to find more soon.   

December - We are looking forward to the holiday season and spending time with friends and family – if any of you find yourself in Sioux Falls, or even driving past on Interstate 90, be sure to give us a call or even just drop in!  We'd love to see you and show you around our new home!

May God's richest blessings be abundant in your lives throughout the holidays and in the coming new year!  With much love,

The Rayhons
Travis, Alecia, Carolyn, Nicole, & Nathan

New Contact Info:
219 N Marquette Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57110
Home Phone: (605) 271-2601