Deatrick Family 2016 In Review


Dear Family and Friends,

The next edition of The Deatrick Family History has arrived.  I’m changing the format this year and eliminating the month by month narrative and combining all the news with the individuals.

Gilead:  Gilead will be 2 in just a couple of weeks (January 19th).  He has learned to walk and he has learned many new words.  He has a mouth full of teeth and eats most everything (including dog food whenever he can sneak a piece or two); he loves Oscar, but they run into conflict every now and then when they want the same snack – fortunately, there has never been any violence come from it.  He spends much time at church with me and Carol, often taking an afternoon nap in the nursery or pushing a Tonka truck around on the wooden floor while I work.  He sucks the same two fingers that I did when I was little; we are slowly moving him from bottle to toddler cup.  My personal goal is to potty-train him early this year.  He is a climber; he keeps all of us busy getting him out of places where his curiosity leads him (a time or two this summer he managed to get out of the house by himself.  We have before us quite a responsibility of channeling his energy.  I do conclude that dealing with a toddler at 40 is far different than at 25

Gardner: Gardner turned 6 on June 15th.  He is developing his reading skills quite nicely, every now and then he will work through some of the verses with us when we read the Bible in the evenings.  He has a quick smile and enjoys verbally teasing others in the house, though he has some quiet spells.  Gardner did not play on a baseball team this year, but he was our ball boy chasing foul balls; he wanted to go to every practice that he could and would always ask for batting practice after everyone else was finished.  He takes a keen interest in the technicalities of all sports; he attended one of Joel’s Legion baseball games with me this summer and took time to explain a few of the rules of the game to a foreign doctor (probably around 50 years old) who stopped by just to try to learn something about American baseball (from a 6 year old boy).  We are going to let him play on a team this year.  Gardner lost his first tooth just a few weeks ago.  He is an early riser and can’t tolerate being only partially prepared for something at school.  He thrives outside (including breaking the bathroom window with a baseball this summer).  He loves being at church.

Kara: Kara will be 9 on January 10th.  She is quite the young lady; Carol and I often describe her as dignified and stately (though she can hold her own outside with the boys and the neighborhood children).  She is progressing well with piano lessons and has a flute that she can hardly wait to start learning to play.  However, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with her vocal skills.  She has a wonderful platform poise, good pitch, a natural vibrato, but especially eyes which communicate as she sings.  She got to spend a week with Grandpa and Grandma Bumgarder for the first time this summer.  She does well at school.  She still hugs as many people as possible, and generally lights up any room which she enters.  She continues to know all the news, she is “miss information” and seldom is it “misinformation.”  However, she is not a gossip, but simply has a keen mind for things she observes, hears, or reads and has an ability to connect the dots of life.  The local newspaper is her afternoon reading on Thursdays.

Josiah:  Josiah turned 10 on October 30th.  He also is an early riser.  He is the neatest and most organized of the boys (all the kids).  Occasionally, he’ll take an hour to organize a bookshelf or clean out the van or a room in the house.  He also is doing well in his piano lessons, but as minor perfectionist, he tries a little too hard sometimes – but it will come.  His appetite is incredible for his size.  He was the smallest of my boys on our baseball team this summer.  However, he is deceptively athletic; he was our centerfielder and I could almost always count on him to catch a fly ball (he was still 9 at the time), and if it dropped before getting to him, he had the ability to throw the ball to any base from about anywhere in the outfield.  I had a very proud dad moment this summer seeing another coach in disbelief as Josiah threw out a runner at home-plate from center field.  He is very analytical in baseball, as well as in most other areas of life.  He still has “little boy” moments when I see him on the couch with Oscar just sitting and petting him; Oscar relishes those moments – and I think Josiah does too.  Josiah loves to read and has worked through a tremendous number of books this year.  Josiah and Kara are both anticipating baptism this new year.

John: John turned 11 on July 7th (he was born the week we moved to Paxton, so his age mirrors our time here).  He moved to the junior high this year.  He seems to love school and always does well with his work, though he is quiet about it at home.  He is playing trombone for the second year in band and has started playing it during the preludes and congregational music at church on Sundays as well.  His emotions are intense, I often need to calm him down during a baseball game because he gets so emotionally worked up.  John is extremely competitive in everything, even vicariously; he was heartbroken when the Cubs won the World Series because they are the arch-rivals of the St. Louis Cardinals – he just couldn’t handle it.  However, when his emotions get the better of him, he is usually quick to get it straightened out.  John loves to be at church, not just for services, but the weekday afternoons.  Often, Carol will text or call after picking the kids up from school and tell me that John wants to come down to practice piano or trombone and then read.  John has also gone through a staggering number of books this year.

Grant: Grant turned 13 on September 10th.  He is in that middle stage of occasionally being a man, usually being a teenager, and every now and then, still a boy.  He loves trumpet, he earned a spot on the mini-band at school, and plays at church during all the services.  He reads as much as possible, unfortunately, he gets so enthralled with a book that he is often oblivious to the repeated calling of his name.  He played his last year of little league this year.  He started a small lawn care business and had several yards that he mowed through the summer.  He bought his own lawn mower at the end of the summer.  He continues to have a bulldog tenacity when he has set his mind to something.  I get a bit perturbed when he continues to wrangle with me over something he wants to do, but I do appreciate his determination – it will suit him well in life.

Laura: Laura will be 16 on May 6th.  She has her driving permit, but hasn’t driven more than just a few hours at this point.  When Joel got his permit, the first night we went driving, I told him he was driving fast enough.  On the other hand, I told Laura that she should drive faster than 20 mph.  Also, Joel is taller than I am, so he never moved the seat or mirror and left the steering wheel tilt alone.  Laura, on the other hand, moves the mirrors, the seat, and the steering wheel – it takes her several minutes before she’s even ready to put the car in gear (and it takes me a while to get it readjusted whenever I drive again).  I’m not complaining, just expressing the difference between my son and daughter.  Laura got braces this summer and had to have a few teeth pulled, she handled it well.  She continues to do well in school, though she has become more of a homebody, eager to be home at the end of each day – for which we are extremely thankful!  She inherited Carol’s iPhone 4 and is expert on Pinterest.  She loves listening to classical music and has a prodigious collection of classical cd’s.  Her piano playing has progressed by leaps and bounds.  She takes lessons from a teacher here in town who has pushed her in classical music, performance, and technique.  I am guiding her through my college “Hymn-playing” book and so she has developed into not only an outstanding classical performer, but a very competent church accompanist.  She is very self-motivated in her music and there is an occasional skirmish at home over the usage of the piano.  Laura is a wonderful big sister to Kara and Gilead.

          Joel: Joel will be 17 on February 9th; he has become an invaluable asset to us in so many ways.  Obtaining his driver’s license has helped us immensely, he can make trips to church, to the store, shuttle the younger kids to activities, and etc.  He is in his junior year of high school; he is also in a duel credit program at the local community college (ECCA – Early College & Career Academy) in which he studies computer networking for the first couple of hours of the school day. He bought an iPhone 7 and can do more on it that most people can do on a computer.  He built and administers our church website (  He played baseball (pitched) for the high school in the spring and played on an American Legion team through the summer.  He is on the high school scholastic bowl team – and is especially good at social studies.  He’s started working at the local hardware store.  He takes organ lessons and is our church organist.  I’m already dreading the day that he leaves home; his absence will create many holes.  His sense of humor is especially touched with satire.  He thinks carefully about situations and circumstances and usually can give you a principle for why he does or does not do something.  He has a tender side which is evidenced with Oscar, Gilead, and sometimes Gardner.  He and Laura remain fast friends.

Carol: Carol has intentionally worked to improve her present and future health in several ways this year; her discipline is remarkable.  She is the one who keeps our home functioning – especially during the school year.  You can imagine the labor required to manage a home with 10 people and a dog.  She always has several books and a journal by our bed and is regularly telling me things that she has read.  She upgraded her iPhone 4 to a 7 and is moving faster on the information highway.  She is quick to research things of which she has interest.  We now have separate Facebook accounts and she enjoys seeing your pictures and what’s happening in your life (though she thinks that personal contact or a written letter is best).  To me, she gets more beautiful with age!  The few strands of gray are clear marks of maturity, but they belie the youthful spirit that she’ll always possess.  I continue to observe in amazement the inner fortitude that one of our college professors assured me was in her.

Levi: I turned 40 this year.  I’ve been pastor here for over 11 years.  My main project this year was to catalogue my library on the internet database, LibraryThing; the next step is to organize the books on the shelves.  I’m also a part of an early reviewer program in which I read and review pre-release books on LibraryThing.  I’ve started a hymn comparison database for various hymnals; I have the indexes of 5 different hymnals already entered and have 3 more in progress.  I coached baseball for the third year and find great satisfaction spending that time with my boys and with the boys and families of our community.  I’ve also started teaching a few piano lessons, several of our children and a few others.  I drove a grain wagon for a farmer friend during harvest and will soon have a class A CDL so that I can also drive the grain semi (farming is in my blood).  I’ve spent part of the year researching family history, especially my Grandpa Deatrick’s life.  We made a trip to very rural Missouri to try to find where my great-great grandpa landed when he came from Germany.  I have an endless to-do list for our home and church, so life is a continual triage of choices or deadlines, but the Lord continues to give grace and wisdom to do what needs to be done.

Oscar:  Oscar is around 11 years old.  His health is stable, he still has occasional bouts with seizures, but we’ve all learned how to cope with them.  He loves to sit on the couch with the kids.  He’s glad for Gilead to have a snack because it is “fair game” since he can reach Gilead’s hand.  He sits patiently under Gilead’s high-chair at each meal, smartly anticipating that it is the best place to be as we eat.

Church: The church is doing very well.  This year we began our first VBS and we all believe it was a success.  We’ve had struggles like other churches, but the Lord has blessed us and I believe that Grace Baptist Church is as strong and solid as it has ever been, by God’s grace.

May God bless your family this coming year!

Love the Deatricks,

Levi, Carol, Joel, Laura, Grant, John, Josiah, Kara, Gardner, Gilead, and Oscar

305 E. Franklin St., Paxton, IL 60957.

Levi: (217)781-4081; Carol: (217)781-4082

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