Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas 2006

Here is our 2006 Christmas letter. I've gotten Jim to write them for the last few years-- which I think works well for makes me less busy at Christmastime, and it's fun to see what stuck out for him. He does a great job. SO- here is Jim's first installment in the blog...along with our Christmas picture, which looks very similar to one I posted a few weeks ago...

Merry Christmas everyone! We're going back east at the end of the week!

Merry Christmas!! December 10, 2006

Every year seems to bring about changes—though for the first time in five years we are sending you our Christmas letter from the same address as the year before! We really enjoy living in Rapid City. God has blessed us with a tremendous group of friends, and a great church to call home. It has been hard to be so far away from our families, but we make sure that the girls get to call Grandpa and Grandma often. (Even if it is just for Mom and Dad to get a little break from all the “why” questions). I hope they’ll forgive us for our slightly selfish motives.

Grace is three now and growing like a weed. They think she’s going to be almost 6’ tall. Her favorite things include going to Bear Country, anything with Disney Princesses, and dressing up. Grace informed me the other night that I was going to be “the buddy”, to which I thought, “that doesn’t sound too bad”—only to have her say “And I’m going to be the beast!” That’s right, Buddy (Beauty) and the Beast. Grace also decided that she needed to rename our dogs, and so now we no longer have Bebo and Bacon, but Princess and Jill.

Patie is two now and is in the midst of her struggle for independence. Conveniently, she has a an older sister that is willing to tell her exactly what she needs do at any given moment, so she gets great practice at rebelling against the authority. It’s gotten to the point now that Patie is telling Grace what to do—especially when we’re disciplining Grace. There is always this faint echo behind us reminding Grace of what we want her to do. Patie decided this past week that she was going to potty train herself, and she has really done a great job. She’s only had a few accidents, and when she does she’s harder on herself than anyone else. She loves a good challenge and is always ready to try something new—which makes life interesting.

We’ve also added another child to our family, Lily Hope. She was born May 1st. She is 7 months old now and is fascinated with our dog Bacon. She could play with him for hours, and he’s a very willing participant most of the time. Cheerios are also a big part of her entertainment—whenever they get a little too far away on her tray she just give us this sad look that says, “I’m stuck”. She is very content—as long as she’s a part of the action. Her newest skill is growling, and we’re hoping she got that from her friend Roman (he loves to growl) and not from Bacon. She’s always ready to greet you with a smile—it’s really hard to pass her by without picking her up.

Bebo and Bacon (our after dinner clean-up crew) are doing well, though I am a little concerned about their masculinity. They’re submitting to princess dress up time now—even though they look like they hate it. I guess if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them. The boys also get the opportunity to chase squirrels at the local dog park, in addition to the occasional neighborhood cat. We have one cat in particular that comes to visit and drives our boys nuts, rolling around just outside the patio door. Sometimes the boys “happen” to get out to give that cat some retribution for the mental hoops he puts them through.

Megan is doing well and I think has really hit her rhythm with the girls. She’s volunteering a lot of time with InterVarsity and our church. I don’t know how she accomplishes it all with 3 kids in tow most of the time. Some of her favorite time with the family is going out for bagels and coffee on Saturdays. I have to say that it is one of my favorites as well. Megan loves to decorate and really makes our home beautiful. She blogs regularly—it’s a very good outlet for her thoughts and gives us a kind of published journal for our family life. I think she’s going to have to write a book sometime.

It seems as though I continue to run from one thing to another – with hardly time to breathe in between. I’m enjoying this phase of life a lot, though a few minutes of rest is never a bad thing. I still work for Timber Roots Truss, which has been pretty rewarding and very busy. We’ve set records this past year and are securing some large accounts for 2007. Outside of my 50-60 hours a week at the office, the girls announce that they are going to play with me the second I get home—and Megan takes advantage of a little time to herself. I love the time Megan and I set apart for date night. We always appreciate those moments alone. They give us opportunities to enjoy one another, have fun, and evaluate where we’ve been and cast a little vision for the future.

We would like to thank you all for your friendship and pray that God would show you afresh the birth of Christ in this season as we celebrate the most important gift of all.

Merry Christmas!

Jim, Megan, Grace, Patience, Lily, Bebo, and Bacon

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