Friday, December 13, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

(Once again, we are not sending Christmas cards out in the traditional way - see the end of this post for more on that...We hope you enjoy this online version! If you regularly read my blog, some of these stories will sound familiar...)

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!  It has been an interesting year and we have a few stories we’d like to share.  After reviewing some of the events, it became clear that the theme was taking a few leaps of faith and trying some new things! 
         The first event (maybe even the biggest!) was when we said “good-bye” to Colleen’s McKey button !  (It was for tube feeding purposes.)  She had graduated from feeding therapy and we were no longer putting anything in the tube, so…freedom!  We are now living life solely doing oral feeds.  It was nerve-wracking at first, but I think it’s going quite well.  Then mere days later, we headed for Myrtle Beach, joining my parents for spring break together.  It was our first time sharing an adventure with them and some great family memories were made.  The weather was odd – it was about 40*, windy and misty, but that just meant we spent more time playing games and laughing together!  In April we resurrected and renewed our adoption application with hopes of adopting again – maybe more than one child this time!  Also, for the first time in a while, I returned to the stage…people from multiple churches came together to put on a play written by a local man.  It was pretty awesome to see various churches help serve desserts, encourage and pray for us and our message.  Then I spent the Saturday before Mother’s Day learning to shoot a gun!  (Bet you didn’t expect that one, did you?)  We hosted a ‘button party’ for Colleen’s feeding success, as promised, and ate cake with a big button on it! 
     In June, the foster placements we had officially went home. (There is much that could be said about saying goodbye to people you love, but we’ve already said a few words about it here and would rather not dwell on it in this post.  Forgive us for the abrupt transition…)  Later that month, we went to a butterfly festival and participated in our first large group release!  HA!  They were everywhere!!  We had a bubble party for Colleen’s birthday (HUGE bubbles were made!) and Moses ‘broke’ his ankle.  It was actually a tendon that disconnected from the bone…but it was still hard for this momma to go into X-ray, especially after Dave’s big break a few years back.  In July, Moses enjoyed Drama Camp – he played a great blind guy!  Then, it was the last 4th of July party for my extended family at my aunt’s house on the lake, which was bittersweet.  

     In August our family took a trip to Washington, DC.  We didn’t take any strollers, tube feeding equipment, pak n play, diapers, or big car seats!!  It was a first!  Again, bittersweet because we miss having small ones - but of course we really enjoyed traveling light =)  For his birthday, Moses had a buddy over and they stayed up late having boy adventures and eating s’mores to celebrate.
     September brought a new to us vehicle to our family and Moses competed in his first gymnastics meet as part of the team!  October included a second showing of the play with the group of Christian actors I now call friends.  We are working together in hopes of performing more often!  Moses’ 2nd gymnastics meet was a little bigger than the first and we learned even more.  Recently, we added 3 new members to our family – not humans, though, but chickens!  Lily, Jessie and Brownie now share what I have dubbed the chicken condo with Pippa and Lois. 
     There have been some ongoing new things too!  This year Dave was able to take some of his students out in the boat, thanks to a new incentive program at his school.  He’s enjoyed getting to know his students better this year.  He’s back on the worship team at church and has started giving piano lessons to Moses.  As I said earlier, Moses is on the gymnastics team at the Y, he’s joined the kids’ choir at church and he can’t wait to be on the stage again for the Christmas musical!  He is a big WI sports fan and loves to coordinate his outfits to support the Packers, the Bucks, the Badgers and even the Brew Crew.  Colleen is enjoying 1st grade – and living button free!  She recently discovered she likes sandwiches w/creamy PB, jelly and BUTTER! Her confidence grows every day – she can frequently be found playing school and reading some of her easy reader books.  As for me, I have been attending meetings about a crisis pregnancy center that is starting here.  I have ‘slid into’ leadership roles in both women’s ministry at church and the theater group to which I belong.  These things are all leaps of faith for me – I have always felt afraid to speak out about my beliefs, afraid to build relationships, and afraid to go beyond my level of comfort.  I have done a lot of all those things this year!  

Dear family and friends – this is the time of year where we recount our adventures and love reading about yours…but truly, our favorite story to tell is about the greatest gain of all.  The story of how the whole entire world gained a baby, a savior and king whose life began in a manger.  We could go on the greatest vacation, achieve every one of our goals, have the cutest kids ever and be super involved in some really great causes, but nothing – NOTHING! – compares to the free gift of salvation we have gained through the life and death of Jesus Christ.  We pray that this is a story you have already heard, one you personally know and experience in your life…but if it isn’t, please ask us to share this story with you!  It is our hope that your year has been filled with enjoyable adventures…and here’s to many more! 

God bless you and yours! 
Merry Christmas and Happy 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 (again!)'s a few:
1) Save postage. We love you, but we're cheap!
2) Save paper. You just recycle those cards after you read do recycle them eventually, 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!
7) It went so well the past years...we heard a lot of positive responses, and even some people who said they'd try it themselves. Welcome to the dark (green) side! (Sorry that was a goofy Star Wars joke...)