Feliz Navidad 2016

Our family would like to wish you the very merriest of Christmas. God has blessed us more than we deserved. It has been an interesting year for the Dear family.  We have traveled across the South a couple of times to see family and to have a little vacation time.  We entered our 12th year of homeschooling this school year. The older girls split their time between homeschool classes, classes at the local high school, and college classes for Hannah.  I am thankful that Hannah can drive herself to her classes.

Here are a few highlights from our family this year:

Noel is in his 11th year as senior pastor of FBC Heath. God is blessing our church and looking forward to the new year. He is also half way through having is doctorate degree from Southern Seminary.  I am very proud of how far he has come in his education, and we can’t wait to see him walk across that stage one day.

Hannah is a senior in high school this year.  She was co-captain of Granville High School girls tennis team and also earned her varsity letter playing first doubles. She is still excelling academically having been inducted to Cum Laude Society at GHS as well.  She is busy with her all of her classes and as well as working on all her college applications. She is excited to be accepted into one of her college choices – University of South Carolina. Hannah is still active in her musical pursuits of piano, flute(where she made district honors band), piccolo, marimba ensemble, jazz band, homeschool band, and steel drums.  Another activity Hannah is pursuing is journalism. She is the new editor of the school paper, and has had several articles published on their website as well as in print form.  One big this she has coming up is the Ohio Distinguished Young Woman scholarship competition in February.  She is representing Licking County and is very excited for this opportunity. It is just hard to believe we will be planning her graduation party soon.

Emily is a sophomore.  She just recently got her driving permit and will beginning to drive – watch out! She is keeping us busy with all of her bands.  She still loves playing her trumpet and is becoming quite accomplished with it.  She is currently playing in two bands – Granville High School Symphonic band (3rd chair) and homeschool band(1st chair). As if these two were not enough, she is in the jazz band for both Granville and the homeschool jazz band. Like Hannah she is in the steel drum band as well too.  As a result of her love for music she has been accepted into two honor bands this year – Ohio University and Cedarville University.  Currently she is working diligently on her trumpet solo she is taking to solo & ensemble this January.   In addition to all the music, she is also on the GHS girls tennis team this year as well.  She got a lot of playing time this year in singles and doubles and earned her varsity letter as well.  She would also like it to be noted that she did challenge up to and make 2nd chair in band, but because of a minor technicality she is still at 3rd. She is happy at 3rd though. One other exciting thing Emily was part of this year was spending 6 weeks of her summer with the IMB’s Endeavor program serving in Southern Mexico.  She really loved her time there serving God and ministering to the local people. She is hoping to go back this next year.

Rae is still making great strides in her reading and math.  She still works with a reading specialist and math tutor. She may complain about having to go, but she looks forward to Fridays with her friends there. She has really developed a love for science and looks forward to her little science co-op.  She is also enjoying her art co-op with Ms. Lynd and Ms. Krumm.  She is quite the artist and loves to draw manga characters.  This school year she was able to start beginner band.  Rae is learning the clarinet and is doing really well.  She has had a challenging year medically with the increase of her seizures.  This month she had epilepsy surgery to help reduce or eliminate her seizures. Everything went well, and we are happy to be home recovering.  We are thankful for how well everything went and praise God for it.  It will be at least 6 months before we will begin knowing how effective the surgery was.  That had to be the scariest day with any of our children. She went back around 7:30 am and we saw her at 6:00pm.

I have had quite a busy year between homeschooling, photography, and doing the farmer’s market.  HER Baking Co or also know as “cinnamon roll lady” had another great season at our local farmer’s market with many repeat and new customers.  I was blessed to have several weeks where I sold out.  I am teaching art again to our teens in our homeschool group. It has been a great year with a smaller group where we have been able to focus on making art as well as art and music appreciation.  Like my girls, I am still involved in our homeschool band playing the clarinet as well as our adult steel drum band, Pandamonium.  We are all looking forward to going to Virginia Beach in May to an international competition. I am still accompanying different people and choirs as well as still playing on the praise band at church.

This year we have learned to trust God more, and that He is bigger than anything we can ever imagine.  We praise Him for all things great and small.  He is truly a Good, Good Father.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and that you experience the joy of this season and seek Christ more in the coming new year.  

On a Lighter Note

I have been wanting to do a little upgrading to my little booth at the farmer’s market. The sign I did in the beginning, I whipped up on my computer. It’s ok. It got the job done.

When a friend of ours son got married, I found out his lovely new wife creates beautiful chalkboard signs and other beautiful lettered signs. I follow her on Instagram and she had an opening for new artwork. I jumped at the chance for her to make me a new sign.

She created me a new logo sign and redid my menu sign. I picked them up this week and I am absolutely in love with them. You can come by the market Saturday and see them in person. I will have pumpkin sweet rolls this week.


You can check out Jenn’s work on Facebook and Instagram. It is all absolutely beautiful.

Band Parents

Emily is enjoying being the local high school band as well as the homeschool band. It is stretching her as a trumpet player and musician. With her being in the high school band, we are being asked to help with different things in the music program. While we haven’t joined the band boosters, we helped with the Friday night concession stand during this weeks football game.  I remember my parents helping out during concession stands when I was in school. Being a homeschool family, we do not attend many football games. I think the last high school football game I attended was one of my brother’s which has been many years ago.

Hubby and I both worked the first shift of the game. He fixed the drinks, and I was helping get the food ready and to the front line.  I was just weird and remembering back to when I was in school seeing my parents work the concession stand.

Since most people know hubby as a pastor in Heath and we were working Granville’s concession stand(they were playing each other), and we are a homeschool family – we got some interesting looks from our friends and church members we saw at the game. We did have fun, and enjoyed meeting some new people.  I’m sure you will likely see us working the concession stand again.

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I may have been working tonight for the Granville band – I decided to represent the girls tennis team as well. (I borrowed one of the girls shirts) GO ACES!

Baking Day

Last summer I was looking for ways to make a little extra money for the family or maybe even money to put toward some adoption funds.  Little did I know what it would turn into.  At my first market I started at a local church that was across the street from the regular farmer’s market. They had something called the Maker’s Market for overflow of regular market, and it was smaller.  I loved to make baked goods, so I started with a  variety of cookies, popcorn, brownies, and cinnamon rolls.  It was an OK first day at the market, but I was not ready to give up.  I did realize I had made too many little things, and someone suggested that I pick one thing and be the best at it.  My big seller – cinnamon rolls – who knew. That is where it began.

With my new focus on my little venture, I let my creative juices flow and came up with different varieties of cinnamon & sweet rolls. I also decided to come up with a name for my business – H.E.R Baking Co.(extra points if you can figure out where I got the name or maybe I can get you a cinnamon roll)  I knew I needed more foot traffic than the little market had, and I was finally able to get into the regular farmer’s market.  While I did get into the market, my spot floated every week. I was developing quite the following, and people were looking for me every week.  Since I did not start at the beginning of the market season, my spot was not secure. I did manage to have one every week thankfully till the end of the season.  I had people who had to have one roll every week or even a whole pan.

I became the cinnamon roll lady. I was becoming successful in my new job. I decided to do the Winter Market – people still wanted my rolls. Because of this, every Friday was baking day.  I shopped during the week to prepare for Fridays.  By Friday night, my kitchen was covered in flour and powdered sugar.

Have you ever wondered what 100 lbs of flour looked like – I go thru 25 lb/week

In the beginng I used the rolling pin made by my grandfater, but I needed to upgrade due to the amount I was baking.

In the beginning I used the rolling pin made by my grandfather, but I needed to upgrade due to the amount I was baking.

Hubby and I discussed if we should keep doing the rolls when it was time for the new market season this year.  I had developed a great customer base, and we took the chance and got a permanent spot for the new season.  I am so thankful for all my customers that I have who come to see me every week.  I love spending time at the market with the other vendors and visiting with all the people who come thru.  If you are a people watcher – come to the market.

The Granville Farmer’s Market is one of the best ones in our area.  We have some great vendors who sell some of the best products and produce. So, if you are not busy on Saturday mornings from 8:30-noon come by and see me.



summer favorite - lemon blueberry made with fresh Ohio berries

summer favorite – lemon blueberry made with fresh Ohio berries

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H.E.R. Baking all set up for the market.

a fall favorite - caramel apple

a fall favorite – caramel apple

a pan of fresh cinnamon rolls

a pan of fresh cinnamon rolls