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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