Here's a copy of our Christmas letter (really e-mail):
Tomorrow's the last day of this year – crazy. It's been a wonderfully full, fun and maybe even a little crazy year. We've loved it!
January of last year we packed up our townhouse, took a short vacation to OH, and then we moved into a friend's house while they were out of the country (oh, and we were three months pregnant). While we were living there, we were praying that God would give us a house…one that was under 1200sq ft, on acreage, that we could fix up and remodel, around 200k, and near national forest to be exact. That's not too much to ask for, right? Well, when you know the God of the universe, nothing is impossible. He says several times in scripture to "ask". So...we asked. You know what? God gave us the house (if you want to know more about the house and how everything transpired, go to the beginning of our blog and read up)!! I'm still so in awe about where God has us right now.
In May we closed on the house and Tom’s dad came out to get to work. We (when I say we, I really mean Tom, his dad and my dad, the weekend warrior) tore down some walls, remodeled the kitchen, and built an addition. The addition is maybe half done, and then there's more remodeling to do after that; we're living on bare concrete floors, very icky old carpet in the bedrooms, and the walls are bare drywall or old scummy blue and pink. It’s perfect! The addition will get built, the main level remodeled, we will in time get nice flooring, the walls will eventually get painted, and the best part is, we get to live here! We’ve dreamt of doing this for so long, we feel so incredibly blessed to have all this and be right where we are. To God be the glory.
The kids have done so well with all the craziness around here. They love living “out in the country”. They love our neighbors…especially the ones with the little white rooster, the pig we named Purdy, the horses and of course, Charlie the little miniature poodle.
Livvy is now 4 years old and from her dresses to her emotionalism she is every bit a little girl (though she’ll still loves playing in the mud and carrying around big black stink bugs). Her favorite past time is getting dressed up like a princess and pretending that she’s married to Tom – it’s pretty sweet. We’re homeschooling preschool right now and are hoping to start homeschooling Kindergarten in the fall. It should prove to be interesting.
Sammy is an oh so sweet and oh, oh so stubborn little two-year boy. He just got a race track from Rob, Beth and their kids for Christmas and he thinks that that is the greatest thing on earth! First thing in the morning, “Can me play my wace twack?” We’re enjoying watching him grow more and more into a little boy, which he’ll remind you of if you try to help him, “Me big boy” (though he also loves to play baby with Livvy…he’s the baby, with baby talk and all – you can barely understand the kid to begin with and then he goes ahead and pretends he can’t talk, oh brother).
Ben…our little Bubba Ben is five months old. He’s got some really great thunder thighs and a great double chin – chunky babies are so nice. He’s getting better at sitting by himself and is working on rolling from his back to his belly. Now that we know where this whole growing up thing is heading, it’s a little more exciting and a little sadder the more and more that he can do. Right now he can do no wrong (except wake up in the middle of the night), but check back in with us in a couple of months and he’ll be getting into all the little things that he’s not supposed to all the while flashing a knowing cute smile. Oh, Lord help us.
Well, that’s pretty much all that’s been going on here. Tom still works at FMC (though a broken arm has kept him at home working on the house and not on other people for the last 3 months – he goes back next week) and I’m at home trying my best to maintain some semblance of order. So far everybody’s in one piece (well, not Tom, but that’s not my fault).
Our love to all and may God richly bless your lives as He has ours.
Jenn (for Tom and the kids)