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    Ariel Winter Thanks "Spectacular Family" and Her "Amazing" Sister After Year of Custody Drama

    Ariel Winter Instagram

    It sounds like Ariel Winter is looking forward to an amazing 2014 with her sister and family!

    The 15-year-old Modern Family actress, who spent over a year involved in a nasty custody case against her estranged mother Chrisoula Workman, is thanking her new guardians, older sister Shanelle Gray and her husband David Gray, in a touching Instagram message.

    "Merry Christmas The Grays!" Winter shared on Christmas Eve day with a photo collage of her fam. "I would just like to say... I am so lucky to be a part of this amazing family. It's been about a year and a half and at the same time, been the best year and a half of my life. I love them more than I could ever describe and they've shown me more love than I ever thought was possible."

    PICS: Famous families

    Winter continued, "They've each given me something incredible to carry with me for the rest of my life. They've taught me how to love unconditionally, how to give, how to forgive, how to find strength, how to comfort others, how to love myself, and how to be a young woman. My sister is my best friend and one day I can only pray to have a family like the one she has created. I hope to be even half of the incredible person she is. She's done so many amazing things with her life and I will always look up to my big sister. I can't thank them enough and hopefully one day I can do something to show them how grateful I am. My nieces are the lights of my life, my sister is my better half, and my brother in law has been the best father figure you could ever ask for. He's the best dad and I couldn't be happier we all have him."

    Ariel Winter, Mom, Chris Workman Mr Photoman / Splash News

    She concluded her heartfelt message with, "Thank you for all you've done for me guys, and for always being there. I'll be here for anything, anytime, forever (we also live together...so just knock on my door anytime). I love you with all my heart. So here's to the rest of my life with my spectacular family! Merry Christmas everyone. Please be thankful for the amazing people and things you have in your life this year. I know I am. @shanelle_gray @davidbarrygray."

    Winter also shared an adorable photo of herself giving her older sister a kiss on the check, writing, "Merry Christmas from myself and my better half, my mister @shanelle_gray #shesacutie #kissesforher #waterbugs #mermaidhair #bestfriend."

    Gray was appointed Ariel's temporary guardian on Oct. 3 after alleging that Workman had been physically and verbally abusing her little sis—allegations that Workman has thoroughly denied.

    Winter was originally removed from her mom's care back in November 2012.

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