Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Christmas letter

This year we are trying to conserve our resources, save trees, become more "green"........ahem, who am I kidding.......we're simply trying to save money by not spending it on pictures and stamps so I'm posting our Christmas letter here.

I, for one, am happy to see 2009 go. I know that's not a typical thing to see in a Christmas letter. Usually it's all about being thankful, being blessed, etc etc. While I know we are blessed, I'd rather not go through 2009 again. It was a tough year. Plain and simple. Jeff and I went through some serious relationship struggles (if you want to read more about that click here), an extended job loss (Jeff's still looking), serious depression, and possible foreclosure. It has been easy to feel sorry for myself and ask God "why us?". But that isn't the kind of person I want to be and it isn't what I want to teach the kids either.

This Christmas I have taken time to stop and really think about that very first Christmas.

I have been through labor and delivery 4 times....3 of those times were fast, painful, and drug-free. But I was in the hospital with constant supervision from nurses, very competent doctors, a nursing student, whoever else might have walked in, and most importantly my husband. I was also 26 years old when I gave birth to my first child.

But what about Mary??? Here is a young teenage unmarried girl, pregnant, traveling on an animal for miles, uncomfortable, possibly with swollen ankles and contractions, going into labor and only being able to find shelter in a barn -- with the animals making all their noises, pooping, regurgitating....ok, so I don't know for sure if that was going on but it was a barn with animals in it -- going through the pain and agony of an unmedicated birth with only her teenage fiance to help her! And there she gave birth to the most influential baby of all time....Jesus! The thought of that brings tears to my eyes. When Mary kissed her little baby, she was kissing the face of God! Wow!

Then my thoughts turn to Joseph. What must he have been thinking?!?! His young fiance just gave birth to a baby that wasn't his! I'm sure the birth was a scary thing for him to experience as well. And what about the unbelieveable pressure to be the earthly father to the Son of God!

Those are just a couple of the things I've been pondering over the past month. I can honestly say that regardless of the difficulties we've had we are an extremely blessed family. We have been blessed financially when we felt like there was no hope. We have been blessed by friendships when we desperately needed friends. We have been blessed by prayer support from people we know and people we've never met before. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to those blessings.

Onto the updates!
Noah is 9 years old and in 3rd grade. For the most part he enjoys school. He is doing work that is beyond me....already! I knew the day would come when I would not be able to help him with his homework but I didn't think it would come in 3rd grade! Thank goodness one of Jeff's favorite subjects is math so he can help Noah with his algebra! Yes, you read that right. Algebra in 3rd grade. I'm just thankful our school has the resources to continue challenging students like Noah.

Abby is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. She is definitely our "social butterfly" and loves to be at school to see all her friends. Hmm...doesn't sound like anyone I know! (hehehehe) She has the same teacher Noah had last year which is really fun. She does enjoy science, math, and art. She wasn't able to participate in dance this year since we couldn't afford it. But she's looking forward to getting back into it someday. She has been helping lead singing at church on the Kids Worship Team before Sunday School and loving every minute of it.

Joey is 6 years old and in 1st grade. He adjusted very well to his first year of "all day" school and really likes his teacher. Joey has the same teacher Abby had last year. It's been so much fun to see him progress with his reading and his math skills. He just started helping lead singing on the Kids Worship Team before Sunday School at church. He is the first boy to help out and he's loving it!

Eli is 2 years old -- turning 3 in January! He is a bundle of energy and misses his brothers and sister so much while they're at school. His favorite thing to do is greet them at the front door when they get off the bus every afternoon. He squeals with delight when he sees them. It warms a mommy's heart. He still doesn't talk much but definitely finds ways to get his point across. He's also had his share of accidents over the last couple months. The beginning of Nov he burned the palm of his hand on a hot burner on our stove which sent us to the ER. It was a very bad 2nd degree burn which we kept wrapped for over a month. Praise God it has healed completely with no lasting scars.
Jeff and I are looking forward to 2010 with hopeful anticipation. Like I said earlier, Jeff has been without a job since May and suffered through a deep depression this summer. The end of August he went back to school for some art classes which he dearly loved! He is now looking for full-time work but still planning to take a couple classes this next semester (1 online and 1 on Saturday mornings).
I am still at home with Eli and trying to maintain the house...and everything that goes with that. It's definitely busy but I love every minute of it.
I pray that all of you have a very Merry Christmas and take time to think about the reason we matter what the situation you find yourself in.



I admire you guys a lot! You are showing strength, faith and character in the hardest of times! I really pray that things improve in 2010 and that you continue to cling to eachother and to God. Much love to you all!

Mel Fraase

It was wonderful to meet you at MckMama's earlier. Just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas, and I'll be praying for the 2010 you need!!

Queen Jolene

Oh, man, were we meant to meet or what! Been there done that and here to say, you will make it through too!!!! My prayers are with you!