Christmas 2000 Letter

Dear Friends,

We interrupt your Holiday festivities to bring you this recap of life for the Shiers in 2000.

It all started with preparations for that long-forgotten "bug:" Y2K. Our pantry is still well stocked with provisions of beans, rice and potato soup. If the "Big One" hits, we are ready!

Going into this year, our 5 kids showed they were enjoying and excelling in Pre-School at Culver City Christian School. They formally completed the year with a full "Cap & Gown" graduation ceremony in July. Now they are "Big Kids" in Kindergarten. In another month, on January 23, they celebrate all 5 turning 5 years old. It's all happening so fast!

It is fascinating to see their unique personalities continue to blossom. It is hard to believe they all came from the same womb.

Sarah continues to be the "pleaser" of the group. She was first to earn the "Student of the Week" award at school. She wants to be a princess when she grows up (but seems content "mothering" her 4 siblings for now). All of our kids scream "cheese" at the sight of a camera, but Sarah is the only one aspiring to be a "Picture Taking Girl" (i.e., model). For Christmas she wants a cosmetic kit. And her greatest concern is knowing when she can next wear a dress and have her finger nails polished.

Rachel outdoes her sister when it comes to dressing up. Her favorite attire (for any occasion, including breakfast and bedtime) is a pink straw hat, pink sunglasses, pink beads, pink skirt and high heels (yes, they're pink, too). She wears all this while pushing her dolly in a baby stroller. She likes to repeat the orders of her mother to her siblings, to which she hears this frequent reply: "You're not the Mother!" Rachel wants to be a police woman when she grows up, and likes to play army tank with her brothers (did you know anything can be used as a gun, including the tail of a dinosaur?!). Maybe there will be a spot for her in 20 years with Charlie's Angels.

Hannah wins the award for "Miss Congeniality." In a room of strangers, she will quickly introduce herself to each person at each table and become close friends (she will even invite herself over for dinner!). After demonstrating this talent at a recent family reunion (the first one for the Shier/Doupe' clan in over 30 years), she was later found with fists full of money. When asked where she got the money, she replied, "I just asked them (her new "friends") if they had any money for me" (while holding out her hands). We initially discouraged this behavior, but then realized she could have a lucrative career in political fundraising.

Our boys continue to demonstrate that they are built differently than girls. They wrestle, throw stuff and view every object as a sword, gun or target. Joshua's career goal is to be a "Hot Wheels Motorcycle Cop." He is the most articulate of the gang, and enjoys memorizing scriptures. He has been a straight-A student and our first child to be awarded "Student of the Month."

Jonathan is "blessed" with an overabundance of energy. He doesn't really mean to hit others, it just sort of happens while he is "spun up" (we are working on his self-control). Interestingly, he is also the most affectionate of our children. He is quick to seek forgiveness and loves to hug and kiss. His ambition is to be a "Fireman Rescue Hero." He can be seen regularly running around the house, blanket donned as a cape, jumping on his siblings while claiming to be their super hero. Both boys' favorite hero is "Bible Man," a scripture-quoting, light-saber wielding, man in purple tights.

I am thankful to have a profession that allows me to work out of my home-office. Although my wife says I still work too many hours, I am able to replace commute time with family time and enjoy the unbridled excitement of 5 loving children (and my loving wife). In addition to doing financial planning for clients, I have also started writing articles on family finances (check them out at my web site: The latest article is on creative ways to finance college (it seemed like a natural topic for me).

Please check out our family's web site at Shier Quints. If you have children, we hope it will encourage you that if we can do it (and still smile), so can you!

We had a lot to smile about this year: No major injuries or illnesses... many loving and supportive friends... a flight to New York in April to be on the Ricki Lake Show... a flight to Long Beach, WA in May to visit Grandma and Grandpa Shier and Grandma "Great" Lolita (97 years young!) and ride a horse-drawn carriage in their Loyalty Day Parade... a flight to Tahoe in August for my firm's Annual Family Conference... camping in the mountains... a flight to Moses Lake, WA in September for the Shier/Doupe' Family Reunion... retreat in Palm Springs in September with our church leaders... camping... driving to San Jose (in a new 12-passenger van, thanks to "Papa & Mimi" Payton) to visit Patty's folks for Thanksgiving... and ALL these trips were with ALL 5 of our children who ALL behaved wonderfully (Praise God!)... Thank you to my mom and friend, Robin, who stayed with our kids in early December, allowing Patty and I to get away for a few days ALONE!

We are especially thankful that our children profess a knowledge of Jesus Christ and their salvation through His death on the cross and resurrection. When asked what we are celebrating at Christmas, they all shout "The Birth of Baby Jesus!"

We wish you an exciting and prosperous New Year!

Scot and Patty Sarah, Joshua, Rachel, Hannah and Jonathan