I will share our family Christmas letter (leaving out any Christmas well-wishings) with you as it reflects what 2009 was like for us. At the end I have added some December happenings that didn't make the Christmas letter.
I will also share that we signed some papers today, visited and apartment building, and unless something goes awry in the next 20 days, WE HAVE SOLD OUR HOUSE! If you'd like to be praying, we need to FIND a house in the next 3 months, and if you want to take a BIG leap of faith, you can pray that the "perfect house" we did find but is under contract might still come available. Our realtor says that is still a possibility based on some information she has.
Dear Friends and Family,
Another busy year for us, but God has blessed us in many ways. I will attempt to take you through 2009, although much has happened.
In January we had a lot of snow, and quite a few snow days. We of course observe snow days because the teachers I babysit for have the day off, and therefore so do we. Snug loved playing outside in the snow, Little Monkey Man did not, and #1 loved all the snow blowing and shoveling he participated in. He enjoys getting up and spending his day working out, so I’m sure he saw these snowfalls as prime opportunities! January also brought an updated bathroom for us! My mom and dad came and helped us install new flooring, lighting and a bathtub! Previous to this, our children had been in a small plastic tub on the floor or in the shower with daddy. They both enjoy swimming in the tub almost daily.
February was very busy and not a great month for health in our home. #1 had been experiencing quite a bit of weight loss and fatigue which we later found out was due to Grave’s Disease, and Little Monkey had not gained weight/developed any motor skills since at least the end of October. We spent a good deal of time at doctor’s appointments, which is always fun in the dead of winter.
In March we had all the health problems “fixed”. #1 underwent a procedure that has him back to normal. He enjoys working out daily, playing with the boys, and his job as a patrol officer here in _____. Little Monkey was hospitalized for seven very long days, and we believe God healed him from Celiac Disease. He underwent a surgical procedure that the doctors believed confirmed that diagnosis, only to discover within twenty-four hours that he did not have it. Praise God! He went home with special dietary regulations and has been growing like a weed ever since. He also began regular speech and physical therapies which he is currently still participating in but catching up more and more every day!
In April we celebrated Easter and enjoyed beautiful weather. The kids spent quite a bit of time outside in the sunshine getting the winter wiggles out. Snug participated in an egg hunt at #1's mom’s work, and won first prize for the second year in a row. Our dogs were happy to see activity in the backyard which had been void of small people since the fall. Most of our winter play had been in the front yard where there was less chance of extra goodies hiding in the snow on winter boots. #1, Snug, and I also planted our first garden, which yielded great results. #1 was very excited in April to be accepted on the county SWAT team. He has only been called out once, but his trainings are very informative and exciting.
May was another busy month. We enjoyed our third annual trip to Virginia Beach for #1’s softball tournament. He has a great team and we enjoy traveling with them. Although the weather was rainy at times, it was fun to be out as a family and spend time together away. It was too cold to swim at the beach down in Virginia, but warm enough to pull out the baby pool and splash almost daily in Ohio!
June marked the end of Draycare for the school year and the beginning of parks! We visited several new and several old favorites. Snug also attended Vacation Bible School for the first time, which he loved. Little Monkey’s first birthday was in June, and he celebrated with lots of friends and family in our backyard. It was so exciting to see how God had blessed him in his first year, which was an unbelievably hard year.
July was family camp for us, and we enjoyed a week away from home and got to see Nathan and Danielle (my brother and sister-in-law) and parents. We don’t see Nathan and Danielle very often as they live in Florida and it was an unexpected surprise to get a week with them. A month earlier we didn’t know they would be joining us! Little Monkey didn’t really care one way or another if he was at camp, but Snug loved every moment of the trip and still talks about it. #1 had to return home to work, but the boys and I stayed in Michigan for two more weeks as I did counselor training with five girls who graduated and nine new girls. On the very last day in July #1 and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.
In August Snug turned three and I also had a birthday. Being three meant that he got to go to the dentist for the first time, which again, he just loved. I can’t say I was excited about my cleaning, but we were glad he was enthused! Snug is enthused about nearly everything. We were able to watch an Extreme Makeover home be built in our area and although we were not able to participate in/volunteer with the build, it was still very exciting. We went camping with #1’s family in central Ohio, where Snug enjoyed fishing with Grandpa. Topping the excitement list was that Little Monkey took his first step in August! He started officially walking in mid September.
Draycare started up in the end of August, but in September I started doing preschool with three of the kids, including Snug. Although I had done some supplemental activities with one of the kids who is now in kindergarten this year, this was my first time doing official three day a week set time sessions. We have a math and reading workbook that I use along with activities, stories, and projects of my choice. I have very much enjoyed getting back to teaching on a regular basis.
In September the kids and I participated in the second annual Zoo Walk for Huron Forest Camp Cherith (which will now be known as Huron Forest Camp CedarRidge). Both boys love animals, and it was a great day.
October is when autumn comes to Ohio. I’m aware that it technically starts in September, but the changing weather and colors wait until October for us. We took a trip to our local pumpkin farm for some fun in the straw, bounce house, and petting farm. I don’t remember where we got our pumpkins when I was little, but I am fairly sure we didn’t have all those amenities along with “the patch”. The boys enjoyed more nice weather and Little Monkey loved the piles of crunchy leaves. We knew Little Monkey Man had been having trouble hearing since the spring, along with multiple ear infections. He finally got tubes in his ears mid October and it was fun to see him discover noises he had never heard before. He also started using some sign language and saying a couple of words within a few weeks of the surgery!
Our house went on the market in November. Although we love our location and I love our house, with another baby on the way, we don’t think that two bedrooms and one bathroom is going to be practical in a few months. It is already a bit challenging with 2-5 extra children here besides our own a few hours each day, but once we have another one, we will have three who are here to stay all the time! We plan on staying in the area, so the move shouldn’t be too significant…just a bit stressful. Keeping the house clean and “perfect” all the time is proving to be no easy thing.
We spent Thanksgiving with Matt’s family complete with a parade (Blaze) of lights to start off the Christmas season.
And to the end of this letter, we can add that the house is now (in the process of being) sold! How exciting.
Also, as many of you know, but most of you do not, early December, just after this letter was mailed out, #1 was in a shooting at work while undercover. I had mentioned that something had happened at work, but until all investigations were finished, I really couldn't say anything. No one was hurt, and he is back to work as normal. Thank you for all of your prayers. I'm sorry that I can't provide more details, but this is the intranet and I must be careful.
See 2009 was QUITE the year :o) Happy New Year to all of you!!!!!