Well , Jenifer tells me it is time to put together the Christmas letter for 2010. It seems that she has permanently delegated this task to me, and with all the things she does throughout the year and especially at Christmas for our family and any others that she hears are in need, I have decided I shouldn’t really complain. I have started the last couple of letters with a statement about how quickly the year has passed us by…and it seems that gets more accurate each year. Where does the time go? It has been a busy year, but we have been blessed way more than we deserve. Where to start?
Well, I guess we can start with the low points and go on from there. We lost Mother in February after an extended battle with cancer. It was tough to see her decline over the last few months and she will surely be missed. She loved Christmas and always made sure that we (as children) and her grandchildren had a wonderful time. It is comforting to know she is in a better place, and her and Dad have been reunited.
So, onto the blessings! All my wonderful children and my beautiful wife. We always start with the youngest and that would be Ruby Kate, she turned one in August and just gets cuter every day. She is possibly the sweetest baby we have had, and that is saying a lot. She is also a little more adventurous than her sister and may even rival Ethan before long. She has really taken a liking to her daddy of late, and is always waiting at the back door for me, waving her little arms and saying “Up, Up, Up,Up!” I have even had to learn to shave while holding a one year old in one arm. Interesting experience, to say the least. She will really be a hoot at Christmas this year. She has really started talking and is very vocal when someone gets her spot, especially when that spot was her Daddy’s lap. I have spent quite a few evenings “relaxing” in my recliner with the three little ones in my lap. Well, to be accurate, one in my lap, then two, then three, then two, then three, then two, then three…you get the idea. None of our children seem to be able to sit still for very long.
Ethan, ahh, Ethan, what a wonderful sweet child, always with something witty to say. He loves everybody and isn’t afraid to tell them. He has unending energy and a wonderful spirit. He has recently learned to sign “I Love You” and will just call your name (read “Yell”!) at random times just to get you to look at him so he can give you the “I Love You” sign. He is also a big fan of the “thumbs up” and if something is really pleasing the double ”thumbs up”, and he is not afraid to give you the “thumbs down” if he is not happy. We can tell he is going to be a challenge as he gets older. Just the other night when Jenifer & Ellie returned from the AWANA Christmas party with a treat bag full of candy for him, he settles down on the couch and rapidly starts to consume it. His Mother tells him, “You’re not going to sit there and eat all that candy, Ethan.” His response, he stands up and says “OK, I will just stand here.” He’s only three, where does he get this stuff. It took Jenifer & I a minute to realize just what he meant, but he is certainly a young expert at finding the loop holes. If you follow Jenifer on Twitter you have certainly seen several of his witty comments throughout the past year, it’s worth the effort to go back and look through all her Beth Moore tweets just to see those.
Ellie continues to take ballet lessons and was in her first play this year. She is certainly more talented and graceful than her Mother, I mean her parents. She also began kindergarten this year and piano lessons. She is tireless in her pursuit for knowledge and full of questions that make you actually think to give her an answer. She has certainly been a challenge for Jenifer homeschooling this year, she just doesn’t want to stop. I think she would do “school” all day long if Jenifer didn’t have two other little ones and the house to take care of as well. She is still daddy’s little princess and celebrated her sixth birthday this year with a cupcake party, everyone had the chance to decorate their own cupcake and had a wonderful time. She continues to be a great big sister and “Momma’s” little helper. Ellie loves to go to church and Sparks and is just a wonderful blessing to everyone she meets ( I left this in here from last year, only because it’s true).
Can’t forget about the older boys, Will is fourteen and graces us with his presence occasionally, and David is seventeen and in his senior year of high school. Yes, for anybody that is keeping track, we have a senior in high school, a kindergartner, and a one year old all at the same time. Are we crazy, yes, but very blessed as well. David has recently moved in with us and we have been adjusting to having an active teenager in the house. Can I just ask, how many basketball practices and games can you really fit into one week? David had a very successful football season this year, making it to the playoffs for the first time in JCA history. We are working to figure out the whole college thing and get him to decide what he wants to do next year after graduation.
Jenifer, well I thought I said it pretty well last year, but she wouldn’t let me use the same thing this year. She continues to be very busy wife, mother, homemaker, AWANA Commander, Bible study leader, et al. She has the most caring and giving heart of anyone I know, with a special little spot for children that are suffering with illnesses and diseases that shouldn’t even be visited on us as adults. She follows the stories of several children on their mother’s blogs and seems to suffer for them hoping it will take some of the pain from them. I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are to have five healthy children and wish I had the heart to listen when she wants to share about how one of “her” children are going through a rough spot or getting better, She seems tireless in her efforts to help families in need. Truly a very caring and giving person, she continues to amaze me with her spirit for others.
I would like to thank everyone reading this letter for being a part of our lives. It doesn’t take long to look around at all the wonderful people that God has placed in our lives to know that we’re all blessed well beyond what we deserve. I would like to thank my wonderful family for continuing to support me and give me a reason to strive to continue to improve myself as a Christian, father, husband, brother and nephew. I am truly grateful for the many blessing that the Lord has provided for me and my family and am reminded especially this time of year as we celebrate the Birth of our Savior how blessed we are to live in this country where we are still able to celebrate our religion openly and freely.