Dear Family and Friends,
It feels a bit strange to write our Christmas letter this year because so many of you read about our daily lives on Facebook. Now that you already know what we eat for dinner, how often (or not) we get to the gym, which of our children are tired, cranky or disobedient…it seems like I am taking a step backward. So, even though I feel like Facebook and our family blog have used up all my words – I will try to muster up a few more for the sake of tradition!
We have been living in Fresno for 8 years. Did you know that we were just “passing through” so Matt could get his degree in Construction Management from Fresno State? After buying a house, having three kids, finding a great church and being surrounded by so many wonderful friends – I think we are going to be here for a while! Matt is in his seventh year of working for Granite Construction. For the last two years he has been driving about 30 minutes into the foothills north of Fresno to complete the sight work for a new high school in Coarsegold. In his down time, Matt enjoys playing basketball on Sunday evenings with friends. He just finished coaching Zachary’s soccer team and will enjoy about a month off before coaching Zachary’s basketball team.
Zachary is really enjoying first grade. He wasn’t too sure about the long 7 hour days in the beginning but his sweet teacher and fun friends help to pass the time. He is a great reader but loves math. His favorite thing to do at recess is play tetherball and at home it is all about Pokemon. Zachary is kind, sensitive and quick to help…..and a teeny bit tempermental (if you want the whole truth!).
Emilie is in her final year of preschool and if allowed, she would run the place! She loves school so much - the singing, drawing, role playing, completing her daily ‘job’ – all of it! At home, Emilie spends time ‘teaching’ her stuffed animals and mothering her baby dolls. Her absolute favorite activity is to play her cds at a very high volume and sing and dance in her room. Emilie is caring, giving and helpful……and a little bit bossy.
Luke is in his first year of preschool and attends three days a week with Emilie. I think he loves his teacher as much as or more than me! He comes home singing the songs he has learned and talking about all of his friends. He loves playing with all of the toys there and eagerly checks to see if he is the Line Leader each day. At home, he is quite speedy on his scooter and is obsessed with all things Diego, Dora, Lightning McQueen and Spiderman. He is getting much better at wearing his glasses and we will find out in the next few weeks if he will have another surgery to correct his strabismus. Luke is funny, silly and affectionate….and can be more than a tiny bit obnoxious.
I am becoming more of a “in-the-car-mom” than a “stay-at-home-mom” just because of the kids’ school schedules. I do have 3 hours, 3 mornings a week that all three kids are in school and I have found plenty to fill up the time! I treasure the time I spend with the Moms In Touch group from Zachary’s school and I am glad to be available to help out in the classroom. But what I really love is cleaning the house in silence! I am the coordinator for the MOPS group at our church for the third year in a row. Spending time with other moms brings so much joy into my life! Dinners out once a month with a group of close friends is something I always look forward to. Matt and I still manage to get out for date nights and it is always a treat to spend time with my man!
As I look around my house, this is not how I envisioned celebrating Advent. It is messy everywhere! The counters are full of groceries needing to be unpacked, the floor is littered with messes to be cleaned up. The Christmas tree is shedding, the candy canes are being eaten off by the day and the ornaments are constantly being rearranged. There is no fire in the fireplace or candles flickering. Four out of the five of us are recovering from the stomach flu. We are running and busy yet we do take time to stop and remember what it is that we are waiting for. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior! So we pause in the middle of the craziness and savor these words:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." I John 4:9-10
May you also enjoy the waiting in the middle of the mess! Merry Christmas sweet friends!
The Hall Family
Come see us at www.thehall-way.blogspot.com
3 hours ago