Monday, December 22, 2008


Wow, what a year it's been. I was just looking through some of the pictures of the past year, and it's amazing to see all that has happened this year. First of all, I'm very blessed to have such an amazing wife who is my best friend! She is also such a patient, kind, loving, and giving mother. Who could ask for anything more? Certainly not me.

The girls are such a joy to watch and play with everyday. They are developing such wonderful personalities and becoming such friends. This morning when I went into their room, Alicyn was sitting on her bed "reading" to Gracyn and both were happy as clams. They've been playing Candyland together on the floor for the past half hour or so. They're beautiful.

This year, we watched Gracyn grow from baby to toddler with all the fun and unexpected behaviors that go along with that. Her latest accomplishment is running. She thinks she's pretty cool as she's trying to run around - and she's very cute doing it. She trying to communicate so hard, and between the grunts and gestures, she's adding new words to her vocabulary each day. She loves to watch her older sister and always wants to be treated as a "big girl."

Alicyn loves to learn and she's a great helper. She loves to read books, count, and write. She is also mom's big helper around the house, especially the kitchen. She can lick beaters better than anyone :) Alicyn is very helpful with Gracyn as well. This year, she did a great job learning to ride her bicycle. She's already talking about riding her 'new bike' next year. She also loves the water - like her dad, and she enjoys crafts -like her mom. Lately, she's been asking about God and Jesus's house, wondering where it is, how we get there, and if there are cookies there. Very cute.

In addition to keeping this house together, Rae has been watching anywhere from 1-3 additional kiddos everyday. She more than pulls here weight around here, no doubt about it. She is the Wife of Noble Character referred to in Proverbs 31: 10-31... Rae has also found some time to catch up with and make new friends in a book club that meets monthly (even though many of them never read the books:), she also played volleyball in a city women's league this fall. She did great and enjoyed a little time out of the house.

I have been blessed with steady employment through these financially tough times. And not only have I been employed, but my hours can't be beat. I did teach some summer school this year, leading team-building initiatives with middle school students the first two weeks, and being the summer school counselor for the last 3 weeks.

As soon as summer school ended, we embarked on a wonderful trip out west to catch up with friends and family. We spent 3 weeks on the road, staying with family, friends, and camping. The girls love the outdoors just like their parents.

Over Labor Day, Rae and I were able to escape for a long weekend with another couple (sans kids) to do some backpacking in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Other than the HOT car ride (sans air conditioning :)) home, it was a wonderful trip. I also had an opportunity to kayak over a 4 day span in Lake Superior. I went up with 3 friends: we kayaked the Apostle Islands, camped on different islands and had great fellowship.

Our family spent an awesome weekend camping in Door County in July with my siblings and mom. My sister and Ed brought their beautiful girl Ella. They adopted her from Vietnam in June, and we were lucky enough to have 2 weekends in early July with her - one of them being the Door County trip. She's beautiful, active, and smart. She's lucky to have such great parents, and they're blessed to have such a sweet girl. We're looking forward to spending time them this weekend.

My brother is still in Idaho teaching. If you don't know him, he's the guy that gives a 100% to everything he does. I'm sure he's a fabulous teacher, and the students respond to him. He came back for a few weeks in July and did some camping with us. He and I were able to get out for a short kayak outing while he was here. He's heading back in a few days for the holidays, and I'm looking forward to playing some hockey with him while he's here.

It's been a great year. We're excited for what 2009 has to offer, and we rejoice in the joys and blessings God has given us in 2008.

Merry Christmas. May the holiday season and 2009 be full of blessings for you and your family.

In His Love,