Here's our Christmas/New Year's letter that we just mailed out:
Dear Friends & Family,
It’s hard to believe that this year has finally come to a close. It has been a year full of blessings and heart ache. As many of you know, 2010 began with us carrying our fourth baby knowing that he was going to die. The months leading up to his birth were hard, but we tried to be as purposeful as possible to enjoy the little time we had with our baby. Noah Tobias (“Take Comfort, God is Good”) was stillborn at 31 weeks on April 15, 2010. We grieved and still grieve his loss. We will carry him in our hearts forever.
Four months after losing Noah, we learned that God had decided to bless us again. Our fourth little boy is expected to arrive sometime around April 1, 2011, hopefully to be delivered at home by a mid-wife.
The rest of the family is doing well. Livvy just turned six and loves being homeschooled in first grade. She enjoys math, reading and especially loves our co-op Discovery Day. Being goofy, getting dirty, and helping out with her brothers are her favorite past-times. She’s going to be a big help when this baby comes! We love her passionate and yet tender heart.
Sammy is four years old and is an all-around fun and spunky kid. I haven’t done much schooling with him so far, but he is learning a lot through the influence of his big sister and co-op. He loves playing with Livvy and Ben, wrestling with Dad, or being my little worker-man.
Ben is now two years old and is very much a rough and tumble little boy. He loves playing monster trucks with Sammy, but has been known to say, “I in charge.” He can easily ham it up and take center stage, or quietly slip away and get into things that he shouldn’t.
In early November Tom started a new job at a local skilled nursing facility in their rehab gym. He’s enjoying the patients and the lack of stress that came with his previous job. On weekends he’s still plugging away at the house. We’re officially living in the addition and enjoying all of the extra room. It is such a blessing! Tom’s next project is to remodel two small adjoining bedrooms downstairs and convert them into a schoolroom/office. We’re hoping to have that space accessible sometime in the next couple of months. It’ll take some time before everything is completely done, but it’ll be so nice when all the major stuff is finished.
As for me, this year has had lots of ups and downs. I feel like losing Noah has made me stronger and weaker at the same time. I’ve also been challenged during this year of homeschooling. I’m constantly reminding myself not to sweat the small stuff and, above all else, enjoy life with my children while shepherding their hearts toward Christ.
Thank you for all your thoughts, love and prayers over the year – they have carried us. May the Lord bless you, your Christmas and the year to come.
“Why do you say… "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary… Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:27-31