I’ll be back to regular blogging next week. Since I didn’t get a Christmas letter out this year though, I thought I’d post a Christmas “letter” here instead.
Can you believe it’s 2013 already? It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were welcoming in a new millenium, and now we’re beginning its thirteenth year. The time between Christmases, that seemed to drag by as a child, really does fly now.
We so enjoyed not driving for ten hours to celebrate Christmas this year! (One of the many things we love about having moved “home”.)
Since we have so much family in the area and the days around Christmas are almost overwhelmingly full of fun and parties and presents, we decided to wait to celebrate our own little family Christmas on the Twelfth Day of Christmas this year. (Traditionally known as Epiphany, when we celebrate Christ being given for us, the Gentiles.)
I am loving having more time to savor this season when we celebrate God becoming man “to redeem to the sons of men.” Plus, our house in Alabama was so tiny we had no room for a Christmas tree the last four years. I was as excited as the children to go and pick out a tree this year… and love the excuse to keep it up longer!
Meg’s serious face might camouflage just how much mischief she makes, but we aren’t fooled! (Photo credit– thanks Crystal!)
Looking back on the past twelve months, I’m overwhelmed at the goodness of God.
2012 opened with uncertainty and waiting. With hours of looking and praying and waiting to hear back about a job. As the weeks turned into months, my natural instincts to plan and worry became harder and harder to silence. Joshua turned down job offers in Alabama as we held out hope to be able to move “home.”
As summer approached and his year-long federal clerkship drew to an end, we kept waiting and hoping and praying. I’m afraid I worried “why didn’t we just take a job here?” more than once.
Then, just in time, Joshua was offered a job back “home” (at a firm he has loved.) God is so incredibly faithful. I wish it wasn’t so hard to remember that in the midst of uncertainty.
Life since then has been full. Joshua couldn’t leave work to find a house, so I drove up (with three kids) to go house-hunting without him. Once again, God led so well. From the moment I first walked in the front door, I knew that this house was the one I wanted to call home. After a crazy, exhausting, stretching weekend, we signed a contract on it.
A month later, the children and I “moved” while Joshua finished up his job. Thanks to generous help from our families painting and unpacking, by the time Joshua pulled up to our new home, it had a fresh coat of paint and was mostly settled. (By the way, if you ever have the opportunity to paint your kitchen red, do it! Thanks to each of you who recommended it!)
That didn’t help with getting the last boxes unpacked, but was entirely worth every moment. Joshua has been very busy since then, and I’m so glad we had the time together before he started his new job.
While he’s been busy working and I’ve been “playing homemaker”, the kids keep growing and changing.
Rose is five and a half (a fact she stresses whenever she’s asked her age) and loves getting to play with her cousins and six-year-old “Aunt” Kathryn. I was determined to not be one of those homeschool moms who changes curriculum yearly.. but I’ve already changed her phonics program. And am ever so glad I did. We are both loving it now (instead of nearly coming to tears each day) and she regularly asks to keep doing more school.
We’re reading the “Little House on the Prairie” series and she loves it so much that the only thing she asked for for Christmas was her own set, “So I can read it to my children some day.”
For a few fleeting days, I was really worried about Will (3 1/2) because he’s the only boy amidst seven girls in our families. I was afraid he’d like tea parties, pink, and Strawberry Shortcake a bit too much. I shouldn’t have worried. He still loves to bring me flowers (and won’t turn down the cookies at a tea party) but is irresistibly drawn to mud, sticks and trucks. For Christmas, Grandma gave him a knight costume. He instantly grasped the sword and asked “where are the dragons?”
Last Christmas Meg (now 1 1/2) was barely sitting. Now she’s climbing stairs, saying words, and wants to be part of everything big brother and sister do. If her appetite doesn’t decrease, I’m going to have to start taking the yolk out of her eggs. She’ll gladly eat three or four scrambled eggs in one sitting. She can stare her uncles down in a staring contest, but once she’s warmed up is ever so giggly.
Well, I’m already well over the recommended word limit for a blog post. If you’re still reading, thank you. Hoping you had a very Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year.