Dear Friends and Family Both Near and Far,
I've really been dragging my feet about writing this letter. In fact, I even told a friend of mine that I wasn't sure if I would write it because I didn't feel as though anything happened in my family that was "Christmas Letter Worthy." In light of the horrendous tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut just last week, I realized how grossly wrong I was in making that statement. Life, no matter how mundane, is to be cherished and celebrated. We all saw how quickly life can be snuffed out. Twenty six lives stormed the gates of Heaven all in the matter of 3 minutes. So this year we humbly admit we have taken much for granted and have been blessed with far more than we deserve.
Our 2012 started out a bit rocky with an early Sunday morning phone call informing me that my mother had been rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. After spending four days convinced that my mom had an extremely aggressive form of cancer, we rejoiced to hear she did NOT have cancer....not one mutated cell! She spent 10 days in the hospital and her recovery was slow, but she made it through. Both my older sister, Wendy, and I were able to successfully plan to go to NY to help her at home for one full week each. Chris, my mother in law, and my other sister Jennifer held down the fort while I was away. I am thankful for that week serving my mom and being able to be THERE. I just needed to give her a squeeze. Later in the spring she had her original procedure reversed and all is well! She is healthy and vibrant and you would never know she'd gone through such an ordeal.
Upon my return from NY we were in full swing birthday mode for Joshua and Grace's first birthday! Bye-bye bottles, hello sippy cups and big kids! First birthdays are so much fun and so special! I tackled baking and decorating my first cakes with my older sister's help. Joshua's frog and Grace's butterfly were both totally cute. Unfortunately they both also spent their first birthday with an ear infection, but all things considered we had a fun, quiet family celebration at home. Joshua is our zest for life. He is always mischievous and into something, but his grin and giggle is infectious. He is saying more and more words each day and some of my personal favorites include: "Oh no!" and "Oh...PITY (pretty)!" Gracie is our sweet nurturer. She cries when someone else is hurt or in trouble and is so cute to request hugs. She loves to give running commentary of all that she sees and her vocabulary is bursting forth!
In March we celebrated Jacob's fourth birthday! Wow! How on earth is he big enough for that?! Jacob started PreK in August and LOVES to go to school. He attends on M, W, and F for three hours in the morning. He also tremendously enjoyed going on his first overnight camping trip with Daddy this summer as well as playing T-Ball on our local YMCA team. Jacob is our leader. He is eager to learn and to please and wants to be twenty and work with his dad. He attends Cubbies (AWANA) at church each week and memorizes his Scripture so quickly! We are proud of him and enjoy hearing him ask many questions about Jesus and how to live for him. We see God working in his little life and we are so excited God has included us in His plan for him.
Chris still works at Lockheed Martin as a purchasing supervisor. He seems to really enjoy the work he does and is always eager to be challenged more. He seems to care a lot for his team and wants to do as much as he can. He is an amazing Dad and always so willing to give me a break here and there or help me with everyone around the house. He and I are teaching the two year old Sunday School at church this year and he continues to serve in the sound booth and various other activities in our church.
I currently stay at home with our three children. I spend a lot of time acting as the bus service to get Jacob to and from school each day and spend the rest of my time attempting to maintain peace in a home with a four year old and two 22 month olds in it. I am teaching the Puggles (AWANA) class again this year and as I mentioned above, Chris and I are also teaching the two year old Sunday school class. We are having so much fun with this assignment and I'm so glad God lead us to do this. These kids keep us hopping, but boy are they fun!
We don't know yet what God holds in store for our family in 2013, but from the tiny glimpses He has shared with us, we are excited to see His plan unfold for us throughout the year. We pray God will be active and real in your life throughout the coming year and that you will cling to His promises of hope.
Love in Christ,
Chris, Katrina, Jacob, Joshua, and Grace