On this eve of Christmas eve, I am starting to feel a little bit sad about not sending out our annual family Christmas letter. Well, not about not sending it out but about not writing one. Since, I am no good at scrapbooking and a failure at keeping up on this blog - it is nice to have our memories of the year written down somewhere.
I am giving myself thirty minutes or less to write this letter and there will be no one proof reading it. You have been warned.
As usual, I planned to slow down and enjoy the month leading up to Christmas. And as usual, life got in the way. Between the kids' Christmas performances, my annual gift wrapping party, our family trip to Disneyland, in addition to daily life - there was not enough time to slow down! But life is good and we found quite a bit to enjoy.
Last year at this time, I was praying, praying and praying some more that Matt's company would be awarded the job to rebuild highway 41 into Yosemite. Matt bid the job and he was hoping to run it. When we found out that he would be the project manager on the job, we were so excited. Little did we know, that it would turn our lives upside down. Well, that might be an exaggeration. Not quite upside down but our lives were pretty crazy there, for a while.
In May, Matt and four of his co-workers moved into a house in Fish Camp (just south of Yosemite) to live and work for the next 6 months. Matt came home on weekends and usually one other night during the week. The job was quite stressful, to say the least, and the kids and I really missed having Matt at home. (Well, to be honest, I did like holding the remote control for the tv.)
For the last month, Matt has been working full time out of Granite's Fresno office and bidding new work. He helped coach Zachary's soccer team and will soon be coaching his basketball team. Matt has started playing basketball one night a week again and has resumed control of the tv remote.
Zachary is 7 and in the second grade. He is seriously a genius when it comes to math (hey, I said this letter was for myself so I'm allowed to brag a little). He is also slower than a turtle when it comes to getting ready in the morning....the most time being spent on tying his shoes. Zachary had a great time playing soccer this fall. His team was undefeated (which I'm sure added to his enjoyment of the game). Oh, and I should mention that he played in one t-ball game last spring before falling off of his bike and breaking his arm. Zachary's favorite things to do are: play games on my ipod touch, play outside with the neighborhood kids, listen to music and lately he has been wanting to help out in the kitchen.
Emilie just turned 6 and is in Kindergarten. I tell all of the parents that if they would like a running report on how their child's day went, to just ask Emilie. She is always happy to share all of the details. Since there is another child named "Emily" in her class, at the beginning of the year Emilie decided to be called, "Emme." She also decided on that spelling. I had been spelling it differently for the last 5 years but on the first day of school, Emilie had another idea. Emilie loves school and she continues to "play school" long after the official school day has ended. Her favorite things to do (besides boss everyone around) are: listening to books on cd, looking at and reading books, drawing, drawing and more drawing. I cannot believe how much paper that girl goes through!
Luke is 4 and is attending preschool three mornings a week. The activity he enjoys most at school is swinging on the swings. He LOVES to swing. Sometimes at home, he'll walk into the backyard all alone to swing. Luke also likes to play with his friends and watch "Special Agent Oso" on tv. I am sitting here trying to think of another way to say this but I just don't have time so here it is: Luke is naughty. Yes, he is. I have to tell his teachers, other parents, and strangers on the side walk, "Our first two kids didn't do stuff like this...." I love, love, love that kid. I mean, I can't get enough of his guttural laugh, his sweet affection, and his crazy antics. But I strive for honesty and that kid is honestly a stinker!
I am pretty much doing the same stuff I was doing last year and the year before that. (Uh oh, my 30 minutes just ended.)
My life is pretty full with raising these 3 kiddos and loving my husband. I wish I didn't yell so much and I wish I had dinner ready when Matt walked in the door at night....I would love to have a clean house but no matter how much I clean....it just will not stay that way. I should be going to the gym but I don't. I should correct my kids every time they make a rude remark or are unkind in some way but some days I just want to ignore these things because I am tired!
In spite of all my failures and unfulfilled expectations, life is good. Really, really good. I am thankful for so many things. I have some great friends. Really, really great. I am still in love with the boy who winked at me across the classroom in high school. Our church is awesome. Our God is amazing. I seriously cannot fathom God's goodness and blessings. Most of all, I am thankful that God is with us.
The following words from Matthew 1:21-23 are floating around in the background of my life these days:
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him 'Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.' "
Merry Christmas, friends!