Another year has flown by and it's already time for our yearly Christmas update, but first a story about our Christmas card!
This year for Thanksgiving, we did something a bit unconventional...we left town and went to stay the night at a hotel near the Calavaras Big Trees. I thought there might be snow on the ground so I packed the kids snow gear "just in case". When we arrived at the big trees there was over 12"!!! This picture was taken on the "dancing stump" (called that because it's as big as a stage) done on the timer amidst two melt downs by the younger two kids. I'm amazed everyone is looking at the camera and not crying! What a fun memory, and it made for a perfect Christmas card picture... and now for the "update"!
Aaron has been very busy this year handling the responsibilities of youth ministry, small groups ministry, taking graduate classes, and preaching a 12 week sermon series this fall. (You can listen to them on the Church Web Site!) The last part of October he traveled to Ethiopia again to help serve at the Preacher's Conference in Awasa. He took two teens with him, and led a young adults track of the program there.
I have had a very eventful year as I finally had my hip replacement surgery in September! It was a longtime in coming, but I decided that this was the time to have it done. I am so glad that I did. I am almost fully recovered from the surgery itself and I'm amazed at how much more I can do for and with my family now that I am pain free. What a blessing medical technology has been for our family this year!
Grace is a big first grader and doing GREAT in school. She is being taught at home (by Mommy!) and loves that each day part of her school work is done curled up on the couch snuggled up with books. One of her projects this year has been to create a blog and chronicle the journey of Paddle to The Sea. Based on her school book, of the same name, she and her Grandpa made a miniature canoe together that we will be putting in the American River this spring. We hope it will make it all the way to the Pacific Ocean!
Noraa is an active four year old with an imagination that blows us away. She has a Twitter account dedicated to her quotes that always make me smile. If you are on Twitter, you can follow her @ noraaquotes. She's doing school with us each day as well and surprises me with her joy of learning things beyond her "level". Her daily selections of what to wear also keeps me in stitches. There's never a dull moment with Noraa around!
Samuel, the "baby" of the family is hardly a baby anymore. My big two year old likes to do things by himself, copy his older sisters every move, and work puzzles during school time. He is always making me smile with his constant chatter about Woody Buzz (from Toy Story), his fascination with sucking his thumb and playing with his bellybutton, and his desire to "nuddle" (snuggle) any chance he gets. He is a precious boy and a joy to our family!
We pray all is going well with you and yours this Christmas. May the joy of Jesus Advent seep deep into your hearts and your homes! Much love from our family to yours!