"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried"

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Family Christmas Newsletter

Please ignore the fact that indeed this was the only post this year…I was shocked to find that the post before it was the Christmas Newsletter from last year!  But at least this one is getting published in December and not January eh?  And I have my work cut out for me when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions Smile

Luke learned how to use a number line and do long addition, write his own books and reads like a regular third grader! He recently discovered Lego City Police and so our home is filled with the sounds of sirens and bad guys getting taken “back where you belong!” In Emily’s best interests he will not be getting handcuffs this Christmas! He completed an intense session of Intergative Listening and has enjoyed finally being out of doctor’s offices! He loves to build things out of boxes, tape, paper, and couch cushions. I have learned that he has a very sweet spot in his heart for his little baby sister…

Emily learned to write her name, sleep through the night in a big girl bunk bed, ride a balance bike, and talk, and talk. She has an immense vocabulary and makes sure everyone knows what she is thinking, why, and what they should be thinking too. She has really enjoyed going to preschool this year, and adores having Amber around.  She loves to dress up, be a ballerina, and make up aliases for herself. Right now she is “Butterfly Girl…with super powers!! Unfortunately as of this morning she can no longer touch the sky…I reassured her that it is probably temporary. I have learned that I may never be prepared for the emotion, charisma, and humor of this little girl.

Amber has learned what it’s like having a body, a family, and all the time in the world to eat, sleep, and speak gibberish. With her full head of rich black hair and large blue eyes, she stops people everywhere I go to ooh and aaah over her sweetness. Her siblings are quite smitten with her too, and she finds daddy’s programming talk hilarious (couldn’t stop her laughing!!) I cannot count the miracles that accompanied her arrival. She is such a precious blessing. For now, she is the easiest and best part of my job, but I’m sure she’ll have many lessons to teach me too!

Andrew learned to juggle his time between bouncing on the trampoline with two kids, a pregnant wife on bed rest, several side projects, oh and a busy full time job. Two of Andrew’s hobby projects are being shipped as part of Microsoft products J. He also created his own secure messaging app which is now available in the Window’s 8 Store under the name “Cryptochat.” In his spare time (Ha!) he has taken up reading and is on #5 of the Harry Potter series. He is an amazing dad who gets up at night with the two older kids so I can get more sleep (See Proverbs 25:24). I have learned that there is no end to his willingness to help me, and his talents (he made a Thanksgiving pie from scratch!!)

I learned that being Young Women President (girl’s youth pastor) is hard and busy, that I have room in my heart for another sweet baby, and that homeschooling can be really fun. It was fun to plan our first family vacation down to Southern California and to find time to read (since I started my pregnancy in bed and finished it that way too). There’ve also been seasons of painting and sewing which have been nice. I’ve learned that I can text one of my teen girls, remind Emily to wipe her bum, and be planning dinner, all while reading a book with Luke, and nursing Amber…and remembering to breathe… It’s apparent that even I have super powers ;)

We hope that you can look back on this year with happiness and that you can rejoice in this Season of Peace and Joy, as we celebrate the birth of that Wondrous Child. Thank you for your friendship and love to us, we look forward to visiting with some of you in the coming year.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Christmas Newsletter 2011

I’m writing this because the pressure of time passing cannot be ignored.  I actually wrote this in mid December, but given that life gets a little nuts and before you know it you’ve accomplished the task of getting through your Christmas list and the decorations are finally being boxed.  The snow came thick and fast in January and I had to come to terms with the fact that Winter was here and so was the beginning of a new year.

I feel like we have been pretty busy, like most of you.  The biggest thing for us is how much our children have changed, and it reminds us to slow down a little and enjoy the simply pleasures of childhood before we turn around and they’re all grown up.

Emily started talking in full sentences right after Christmas 2010 and hasn’t stopped.  She talks all the time, and blows us away with her comprehension of language.  In her world, everything has a personality, from the fridge magnets to her fingers, and she treats everyone and everything as her friend.  Her world revolves around keeping everybody fed, especially herself, and enjoys throwing impromptu picnics with drink coaster sandwiches to all her little friends.  She also potty trained, went to the dentist for the first time (he had to sing to get her to open wide) and learned to ride a tricycle.  She sings made up songs almost constantly and is always in “need” of chocolate.  She loves shoes and shopping and wears her heart on her sleeve.

Luke is talking a lot more lately, telling us and anyone who will listen, very long stories.  In March he joined a preschool class for kids with learning disabilities for the last few months of the school year, but progressed so quickly that we started him in a private preschool in September.  He started Primary (children’s Sunday School) this year and has already had two speaking opportunities.  This once socially shy kid comes alive in front of the microphone.  He also started to read and learned to ride a bike!  He loves to play instruments especially the guitar and piano (thank goodness for volume control) and when we can’t find him, he is in his room with a book.

Andrew is working on several very complicated things at work that will revolutionize the industry and change the world as we know it.  He recently presented a concept to upper management which he hopes they will let him do at his day job.  He got promoted mid year making him a Senior Software Development Engineer.  In his spare time he mows the lawn, tickles and reads stories to his kids, and watches Star Trek and 80’s TV shows with Cheryl.  His little girl has him wrapped around her finger. 

I relished in the chance to finally have a garden and with the help of my mom planted spring bulbs and tons of perennials.  I just loved looking out of my kitchen windows at the hanging baskets, lavender bushes, and blue jays at the bird feeder…paradise.  Luke and I planted sunflowers and Emily and I made freezer jam.  I painted the master bedroom and Luke’s, and spent way too much time on Halloween costumes for the kids.  Even though I feel like perhaps I have gotten less done this year, I have enjoyed the doing a little more.  I’m trying desperately to simplify and resist the urge to be crazy busy, although that is easier said than done.

This year we went on several adventures.  11 hours in the car took us to Idaho for Andrew’s brother’s wedding in May, 4th of July was spent with the Webbs in Portland, the Mackrory Family Reunion was in July in Colorado, and we watched the Webb kids in Portland in October while Dan and Rebecca vacationed in Hawaii.  Cheryl got a little time away in November, attending a best friend’s wedding in Utah.  We have also gotten to know more of our own state and discovered how much we love the Northwest.  From the windblown ferries to the blueberry fields, we have fallen for Washington.  Although we miss our family as they are scattered across the states and the world, we are thankful for email and blogs that help us keep in touch.

We are especially thankful at this time of year for the miraculous birth and life of our Savior, and His love for each of us.  And hope that each of you feel of His Spirit and the joy it brings.  Merry Christmas. 

P.S  We got our Christmas wish early with the news that we will welcome a new child to our home in August!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things That Go!

We set off on Saturday for a little outing to see the Kitsap Live Steamers in Port Orchard.  That meant that we either had to GO around the bottom of the Sound to the other side or take a ferry ride.  We opted for the latter since in our family, we just love “things that GO” and we like spending as little time as possible in the car with Sweet Emily (who doesn’t like being confined Smile).  We took in some great sights as we stood on the bow of the ferry.  Seals on a buoy, jelly fish, gigantic cruise ships at the Port of Seattle, countless sailing ships, and as we arrived in Bremerton, a Navy Ship Yard with several large aircraft carriers!  Wow.  It was beautiful.  I was so busy taking it all in I didn’t get any photographs…

After an hour ferry ride and a couple U turns later we found ourselves at the “depot” where these 1/8th scale steam and diesel engines give free rides to the public.  They are just like the real thing, very heavy, pulling cars loaded with about 20 people, and still getting about 7 mph.  We got a tour backstage with one of the club members and a ride at the beginning and end of our stay.  Luke was in heaven since he spends most of day playing with his train set, pretending his tricycle is a train and watching these guys on YouTube.  His favorite part was watching the “dingers” as the trains crossed the road into the parking lot.  Emily had fun at the playground and got a ride on something that GOES Ribbit Ribbit instead.

We topped our day off with a long car ride home in the hopes that our two very sleep deprived children would GO off to dream land.  Sometimes, despite the soft classical music and exhausting day, they’ll just take turns screaming, and you know… that’s just how it GOES.

Oh, and Emily can ride a tricycle now!  So she is GOing like never before!  My little baby’s not such a baby anymore…

 

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