Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Most of you that have known us for a while already know that we like to do these goofy Christmas letters every year. This year is a little different! We decided to write about the top 5 things that impacted our family life. It's been a year of changes...some good, some not so good. We want to share these things with you because they have changed who we are and how we look at the world. If in some way our changes have a ripple affect on your lives, we'd feel even more blessed to have shared them with you!
1) We started the year with a newly remodeled kitchen! For those of you who haven't been here yet, please call us and invite yourself over! We keep forgetting who has seen it and who hasn't...since we had a wall taken out, it's a pretty significant change. Every now and then, someone comes in and goes, "WHOA....!" This has changed our lives in a good way - we can have people seated around the table and in stools around the counter of the peninsula. It is so open and comfortable! The dark side of this is that there are more counters to clutter and then clean! But overall it's inspired me to cook more =)
2) In spring, Dave's dad was on vacation and wasn't feeling well. After a few trips to various Mayo Clinics, it was discovered that he had an advanced state of pancreatic cancer. Within a few days we learned that it had already spread to his lungs. We had a bittersweet family gathering for Easter. A few weeks after that Dad decided to go to Cherry Meadows, a hospice facility. We felt blessed to see him in a place where we knew he was getting excellent care and attention. We visited numerous times and were able to enjoy music time, prayer time and quiet time together. John went home to heaven on May 13, 2007. (If you are interested in learning more, click on this Caring Bridge website that Dave's Mom kept, which is like an online journal and guestbook.) Sometimes it's hard to deal with all this, especially since it happened so quickly, but we just remember that Dad is restored to health, dancing and singing with Jesus!
3) Moses has been running, tumbling and climbing all over this house!! The newest thing that has been amazing us is his verbal ability. He talks a TON, making up his own songs or singing church ones, and having real conversations with us. Sometimes we have no idea where he gets things....one example:
(Mo) Take these lights, Mom. (He's pointing to the can lights over the peninsula.)
(Mel) What?
(Mo) Take these lights.
(Mel) Um...Where should I take them?
(Mo) Take these lights
to Waupaca, Mom. (He's using his 'duh!' tone of voice!)
I'm thinking, "What?? Where does he get these ideas??"
All this talking has changed our lives in the sense that we really need to pay attention to which conversations he is listening to, as well as how we address him. He's growing up!! Sometimes he sounds like a little teenager. Those are the times we wish the calendar would not move so quickly...anyway - seeing Moses grow and develop has 'fanned the flames' of our desire to have more kids, which brings us to the next point...
4) We are nearing completion of certification to be foster care parents. We have attended 30 hours of classes, cleaned and purged our house (!!!), and prayed. We still need to have a home inspection and interview. We are so excited to share the blessings God has given us, but we have had our eyes opened to many things we almost can't believe. Our hearts hurt for the children in the foster care system, as well as for the birth parents who are working to be reunited with their kids. As parents, we know how hard it is and just pray that we can be a loving and supportive part of the system. We know that you, our friends and family, will pray for us in this new adventure, just as you prayed for us before we became parents to Moses! To everyone who has given us support through information, hugs and ideas - THANK YOU! We can't wait to share many more updates with you all!
5) We've been in Sheboygan now for over 5 years and it really is our home. Just this year a couple of things have happened to make us feel even more 'settled'. Mel started a parents group that meets on Friday mornings. The kids run around and giggle while us parents compare notes and plan adventures! She's still volunteering at church as the nursery coordinator, but now is considered paid part time staff since she is also the drama director. Some friends from college (Jason, Linda and Martha R.) moved here recently. It's been fun hanging out with them on a regular basis. Mo and Martha are pretty big buddies! Overall, we love living here...love the beach, love the people and we're loving the blessings God has provided us with. Maybe if you watch this slideshow, you'll start to see why we call it the good life...(Speaking of the beach, if anyone's interested in doing the Polar Bear plunge on New Year's Day, give Dave a call!)

May God bless you and your families in the New Year!

We hope you enjoyed this green version of our Christmas card! (If you still wish to receive a paper copy, leave a comment.) There are lots of reasons we decided to do things differently this year...here's a few:
1) Save postage. We love you, but we're cheap!
2) Save paper. You just recycle those cards after you read them...you do recycle them, don't you??
3) Save printing costs. See reason #1!
4) Save stress. Nothing to print, sign, stuff, address...
5) Expand our options! Now you can see a practically limitless amount of photos.
6) Our greeting to you is saved in cyber-space for posterity! Yes, we can be that vain sometimes!


preschooldevotions said...

great to see all of your pictures. love the idea of paperless. we have too many relatives that are computerless to do it.
see you soon <><

Zippy said...

Woa-You and Tom must have had the same channel! He is totally about paperless and would love me to do this too, however, we have many friends and relatives who are not online and writing 2 cards would be worse than just doing one-and grandma likes snail mail.
What you did is great-kinda like your own web page! I love it! u did such a great job, you were always good at that kind of thing. What u doin New Years Eve? Would you like some Mills visitors?
Love ya much!

Liz said...

Oh, wow, awesome cards and awesome news - even though I knew a lot of that stuff already. :) However, I still haven't seen your new kitchen, so I'll have to head up to Sheboygan some day to check that out.

I hope you're all doing well, and I'm looking forward to seeing you on Christmas Eve! :D

Abby said...

Aw, adorable photos of Mo, as usual.

Have a great Christmas and new year!

Love, Abby

Anonymous said...

Hey guys -

Thanks for including me on the invite to look at your Christmas letter. (I love that fact that is on-line BTW.)

I pray you continue to do well in this coming year - we NEED to get together. I'm sure Maia and Moses would enjoy playing together.

Take care.