Tag Archives: Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

It’s been a while since I opened the blog to write. This morning I picked it back up again to honor Matt and I’s “Christmas letter” tradition. We sent out a small bundle of traditional paper cards, but I felt the pull to write to our “online family” as well. So, here it goes!

Burkholder Annual Christmas Letter…

Christmas blessings from the farm! After 25 years, Matt still laughs that he’s crazy about me. I’m hoping that doesn’t mean that I’m driving him crazy 😉 Although our lives continue to change with each year that passes, the farm still keeps us busy. Matt works diligently to continue his “agronomy” education with the ultimate goal to always offer the best care for the land with which God has entrusted us. I never tire of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets and we feel so truly blessed that we get to call the Nebraska prairie home. Outside of farming, Matt serves on many local boards working to keep our community moving forward in the midst of a challenging world. He still water skies like he is twenty, dances with comical exuberance, and melts my heart as we hold hands together on the journey!

Ashley Grace is a senior at the University of Notre Dame where she is double majoring in Theology and Political Science, and minoring in Public Service. She adopted a cat this year and continues to love her Fighting Irish experience 🙂 She serves as a writing tutor at the university which allows her to work with athletes and international students on campus during the school year. She spent last summer teaching 3rd and 4th graders in the Milwaukee area, and after graduation she plans to move to Chicago and find a classroom of elementary students to love and mentor. I am so very proud of her heart and her courage to follow God’s urgings in her life. 

Megan is a sophomore at Davidson College where she is majoring in Physics and pole vaulting on the track team. She is also involved in both FCA and Young Life at Davidson, and has found a wonderful church family in the area. She set a new school vaulting record last year before setting out for Wyoming to work at the K Bar Z guest ranch for the summer. She loves both the Nebraska prairie and the mountains of Wyoming so we are expecting that she will head back out this direction after finishing school. She and I still share a love for horses, cattle, and working on the farm so it is always fun when she comes home to visit!

Karyn is a junior in high school and we took our third “Burkholder college visit trip” over the summer. We headed south to Oklahoma and Texas to visit a number of schools. The University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M currently top her list. She is thinking of doing ROTC at Oklahoma or the Cadet program at A&M during her college years. She had wonderful track and cross country seasons this year and made trips to the Nebraska State Championships for both sports. She enjoys One Act, math, science, our church family and friends, and hanging out with Matt and I on the farm. 

I continue to coach, substitute teach at our local middle school, and help Matt on the farm. We run cattle on grass each spring and summer which reminds me of my love for bovines! This summer I began coordinating the student ministries program at our church when our Youth Pastor left unexpectedly. I love working with kids and God continues to bless me on the adventures that He leads me to! We are very excited to have all three girls (and a grand-cat) home for the holidays! In addition, my mom and Matt’s sister will spend Christmas on the farm 🙂 We pray that God’s blessings will wrap you up this Christmas, and the love of Christ will fill your hearts! 

Merry Christmas from our family!

Love,

Matt, Anne, Ashley Grace, Megan and Karyn

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The Burkholder Annual Christmas Letter: 23rd edition

The Burkholder Annual Christmas Letter: 23rd edition

In honor of our children beginning to reach the age of “adulting”, we asked them to contribute to the 2019 Christmas letter by composing their own Limerick poems.

Photo Credit: Katie Arndt Photography


Ashley Grace: Age 20, Sophomore Political Science major at Notre Dame – Servant heart, fluent in Spanish, and inspired to take on the world’s challenges in order to make a difference 🙂

Our girl has done well in South Bend

To many she’s been a good friend

She loves a tail-gate

Her grades have been great

Next year she’ll continue this trend


Megan Anne: Age 17, Senior at Cozad High School – Joyful heart, full of Holy Sass, 2019 Pole Vault Nebraska State Champ and enrolling at Davidson College in the fall of 2020 🙂

Turns out I’m a champion napper

I played a bartender that’s dapper

A science fanatic

And very sarcastic

Now that’s a very great capper


Karyn Allison: Age 15, Freshman at Cozad High School – Hamilton Musical and history lover, expert baker, math whiz, courageous athlete and kindhearted girl 🙂

I had to Rise Up to high school

Take My Shot and play it cool

Never back down

Learn to go a few rounds

And not be afraid to look like a fool


As for Matt and I, we continue to enjoy life on the Nebraska prairie. God blesses us daily, and we both look forward to another year loving and working alongside each other on the farm. We hope that the joy that Jesus Christ brings permeates your heart this Christmas and brings you hope for the New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

The annual Burkholder Christmas letter — 21 years in the running 🙂

2017 brought the year of the teenagers to the Burkholder residence. Ashley Grace achieved the big 18 this month, Megan quickly approaches 16, and Karyn celebrated the fall with 13. Despite the fact that he is surrounded by women, Matt continues to thrive on the Nebraska prairie 🙂 The girls are truly our greatest blessings and the farm is alive with the love and joy that comes with family.

While Ashley Grace rocks her senior year in high school, Matt and I are left pondering how in the world we have a child old enough to leave for college! Last week brought the news that she will join the Notre Dame family in August of 2018. Her excitement rivals the pride that we feel toward the beautiful, compassionate young woman she has become. 2017 brought competition in the National Forensics League Extemporaneous Speaking finals as well as the completion of a successful four year state qualifying cross country career.

Megan expanded her repertoire this year to include set building for the Haymaker State Runner Up One Act play, and state appearances in pole vaulting (along with a school record) and cross country. She is in the midst of a great sophomore basketball season and still makes time to help out with cattle on the farm. Her smile is contagious and she packs her faith with a dedication that makes this Mama proud.

Karyn began her Junior High career this fall bringing home hardware on the cross country course and a successful basketball season. She relishes the fact that although she is the youngest of the Burkholder girls, she is the tallest. Karyn’s greatest dream came true this summer when we welcomed a yellow Labrador named Theodore into the family. Theodore brings a whole new level of antics and laughter to our home; and I have to admit that she is not the only one who adores him 🙂

Matt and I celebrated 21 years of marriage last June although he swears that I turn 29 with every birthday that passes…I am thankful each day to be able to share my life with him. He continues to manage the farm with a dedication to sustainability and integrity, although I think that he would tell you that being a good daddy dominates the top of his priority list.

Ashley Grace challenged me to run in my first half marathon this fall. I found a unique element of good health and strength amidst the 550 miles of training. I finished the race with a smile on my face, peace in my heart, and a time of 1:42.49. I continue to coach the local swim team as well as acting as an assistant coach for the Haymaker Junior High and High School Cross Country team. I truly believe that it takes a community to raise a child, and hope that I positively influence the athletes that I coach.

We wish you and your family the very best this holiday season. As always, if your path ever brings you across Nebraska please stop by and say hello!

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