Greetings and Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you all, but I am ready to take on 2019! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and holiday back to the grind! We have had so much going on, and sometimes it’s hard to get back to it. The end of 2018 has been challenging for my family. If we are Facebook friends, you have probably seen my posts about my friend’s 13 year old son and my kids’ good friend. He got very sick at the end of November/beginning of December and still remains in the hospital. He acquired a bad infection that spread throughout his body, was nearly septic, and on a ventilator for 14 days. He was recently moved to a regular floor after being in PICU for 22 days. It has been a whirlwind of emotions for all of us and your prayers were heard, so thank you so much for that! He is on the way to recovery, but has a long road ahead. We have also been anticipating the end for my husband’s uncle that has Stage 4 lung cancer. We have friends fighting illnesses and suffering with the loss of loved ones. It has not been the most joyful month for us, but nothing like watching your friend nearly lose her son multiple times or sick family or friends that are going through so much, to make you STOP and remember what’s really important. Not gifts or things, but the people that you love and the ones that love you. With the New Year come new opportunities, new challenges, new blessings, and maybe even some new struggles. I hope you find new strength to get through all that the coming year has to throw at you. One thing I have learned recently is to give myself GRACE. It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of to teach, running kids to practice, errands to run, catching up on things that you put aside for a bit, and all the other stuff in between. I have learned that it’s ok if I don’t get it all done. After all, I am not Super Woman and frankly, it’s exhausting to try and make it all happen. I have decided to work on myself for a while. My family needs the happy me, the strong me, the confident me... and I am going into 2019 with A BETTER ME! Giving it all to The Good Lord has been really hard for me, but it has also given me a new sense of Peace. I am learning to slow down and not let precious moments pass me by. I hope you will allow yourself to slow down and savor those moments. I also hope this New Year will bring you and your family many blessings, a renewed spirit, and determination to finish off this next half of the school year with a Bang! Happy New Year!

Dana Engdahl 


Box Tops deadline: Friday, February 1

Mid-Year Fellowship: Monday, February 4
First Baptist Church of Lexington

Standardized Testing: April 4–5 
Field Trip Opportunity: Columbiana Centre Mall 
10 a.m., Tuesday, January 8

Are you or your kids curious about how the mall actually runs? Anyone up for a behind the scenes mall tour? Join us at Columbiana Centre Mall for a closer look at leading, housekeeping, security, and so much more! The tour will be approximately 1.5–2 hours and is designed for middle and high school students. Younger students are welcome too, of course, but it may be a little long for them. To register, please send $2 per student to via PayPal. Please include the students’ names and leave a note that you are paying for the mall tour. Email Holly Winters with any questions. Hope to see you there!
Field Trip to the South Carolina State Museum 
9:15–11:30 a.m., Friday, January 18 (must be registered by January 14)

Cost: $3 per ALL participants (teachers, students, anyone 3 and older!)

Join us for 
a hands-on classroom experience with physics followed by a planetarium show. Feel free to stay and explore the museum afterwards.

This field trip is geared for elementary aged students. Please e-mail Nicole Walters before sending payment as we do have a maximum for this field trip. Include your name, students' names and ages, and any additional children (ages) or adults coming along, and Nicole will email payment information to you if there is still room.

NOTE: you must have your homeschool association card to show for entrance to the museum (it is always free for homeschooled students and one teacher with card). Additional adults cost $5 entrance; you will pay that upon arrival that day.
THRILL’s Mid-Year Planning Meeting 
2–3 p.m., Friday, January 18 at Lexington Library

Possible guest speaker from Project Linus: more details to come soon. New students are always welcome! Parents and students: Please come to the meeting with your service project idea and be prepared to share it with the group to get dates on the calendar.   

Questions about THRILL? Contact Tracy Taylor, Karen Collins, or Leslie Ballard.
Please do not reply to this email. Contact coordinators directly with questions. 
Email Melissa Bryan, SHIELD Communications Leader, with content for next month’s newsletter.

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