This is the annual update for those of you who received our Christmas card which did not include the ever so popular update letter that many of you are so good at writing. I can handle the writing part, its the copying and folding and including in the card which I am lucky to get out before the new year part that is hard for me. So here is our annual update in blog form.
Let's start with the youngest and go up from there. My sweet, precious baby Campbell who is, by the day, outgrowing the baby stage of life, is 16 months old, and the joy of my life. He likes to crawl up in my lap and read books for a few minutes at a time which I treasure, is a fabulous sleeper, says "pease" and "tank you", and loves to get the middle of his brothers with a light sabor or noodle to join the fight. He loves to wear hats and shoes. He is beginning to show his independence. You have no doubt when he does not want something, which these days is any food except cookies, crackers and bread. Even the foods he used to love won't enter his lips. My other two never went through that, so I had to pull out a book which I thought I surely wouldn't need to read again, and read that it is normal, and one day he will eat again. He goes to MDO two days a week and loves his teachers. Over all, he is just as happy as can be and we are so thankful for him.
My "passionate" Cade is 5 years old, and an artistic, dramatic child. His emotional flares have subsided in the last few months, which we are thankful for. He is loving kindergarten and is reading up a storm. His teacher, who also had Cooper, is amazed at how different they are personality wise. I worry sometimes that he isn't cultivating his own "things", he is almost always following in Cooper's footsteps as far as likes and dislikes. They basically got the exact same things for Christmas. If Cooper isn't home, Cade will watch Blues Clues, but other wise they watch Star Wars or Bakugan. I guess I should be thankful that Cade won't argue too much. He is amazing to watch playing any sport. When he had Upward basketball try-outs, the coaches kept looking at me in amazement at how good he was. I just shrugged my shoulders. Just naturally athletic and watching his big brother I guess. Coach pitch baseball should be amazing too. Almost daily he melts my heart by making me a card. And I am so thankful when people at school or church tell me what a kind leader he is. I know he will go far in life.
My brilliant Cooper just turned 8, and has already spent his Christmas and birthday money on bakugan and star wars things. Cade will save his money for months, but Cooper can't stand it! He is doing wonderfully in 2nd grade. He is really excited that after the break they will begin learning cursive. He loves playing football with his daddy, and we are all counting down the days until baseball season starts. He made the all-star team last spring, and we are trying not to assume he will make it again, but he is just so good when he's focused. He has begun to watch ESPN even when his daddy isn't home (great) and stopped listening to music when he goes to sleep, and instead finds some sporting event on his clock radio. He gets up in the morning and gets dressed, and usually fixes his own breakfast even before I am out of bed. He is just so even tempered all the time. I am so thankful for that.
I am working one day a week at our weekday preschool as a sub and the spiritual curriculum coordinator. I plan mission projects for the kids to do with their parents. I also work childcare sometimes. I get 5 hours a week without my kids. Sometimes I sit the whole five hours in front of the tv, but usually I am running errands or volunteering at the boys' school in the literacy library the whole time. I am teaching toddlers on Sunday mornings. Campbell is supposed to be in my class, but most Sundays, it doesn't work too well, so he goes back across the hall, which is fine with him. The rest of my life is washing dishes, clothes, and watching the dust pile up on the furniture, wondering how I got so far behind. But I am thankful for my life.
Jason is in his 4th year as Associate Pastor of Family Ministries at University Baptist Church. Today is our pastor's last Sunday, so I'm sure changes are coming. Dr. Robert Sloan will be our interim and J is excited to get to know him. We are praying the transition will be smooth for all of us and praying for our church to grow until we are able to find God's new man for us. It is a good church. He is trying to decide where to go on a mission trip this summer. This past year he went to Honduras and London again. Next fall we should get to go to the last launch of the space shuttle. Really excited about that. We are praying about what our "story" might look like in the future. (see Nov. 23 blog). Donald Miller's new book really changed our view of things. We are going to really try in the new year to help make our story more exciting, and make memories for our boys, both spiritually and just fun. The two of us went on vacation last week to Disney, which was a blast, but it was great to talk about things like that, just to take a minute to take stock of where we are in life.
Other family news: my mom is almost finished with her doctorate in natural medicine, has opened her own clinic treating patients. My brother is moving to Athens, TX to be an assistant manager of a Verizon store. Jason's sister and brother-in-law in Virgina are expecting their first son any day now. He's actually a week late already, so really any minute now.
I think that's about it. We are thankful for our journey God has brought us on. We are trying to look for where he is working to join Him there, but it is hard sometimes in our stage of life with little kids. It's a constant struggle for me, wondering where the balance is between being a mother and working for the Lord, and remembering that being a mother is working for the Lord. But God is good all of the times. Thank you friends for being supportive and encouraging. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!