In spite of my tongue-in-cheek rant against Christmas letters a few days ago, how could I resist sharing ours? Merry Christmas to all of our online friends and family!
*(Names and locations have been changed so as to be blog-friendly.)
Dear Friends and Family,
Our 2010 holiday letter is quickly becoming The Christmas Letter That Almost Wasn’t. In fact, if you are actually reading this and it isn’t Valentine’s Day, a Christmas miracle must have taken place. We keep thinking that one of these days life is bound to slow down a bit. Why are you laughing? It could happen. Although it certainly won’t be happening for us over the next several months.
As soon as the stockings are tucked in the boxes with care, we will be expecting the arrival of our fourth baby. SHE is due January 17th (coincidentally the exact same day as Dee was due) and we look forward to meeting her. We are hoping she will come with her name tattooed somewhere as we are still clueless about what to call her. Watch for baby announcements in the next month or so.
Once the baby is safely here and I have a week or so to recover we will be packing up our household and moving where Joe has accepted a job offer with the corporate part of Komatsu. You may be thinking “Didn’t they just get a new job and move?” and you would be thinking right. At the beginning of this year Joe was teaching Cummins Power Generation at Universal Technical Institute in Arizona. In May he took a job with Komatsu Equipment Company as a field technician in another state, helping build the HUGE mine haul trucks for the surrounding mines. This job with its abundance of overtime has been a great blessing and we have been enjoying being so much closer to our families. We assumed we would be living in this town for a few more years at least, but you know what happens when you assume, right?
In early December Joe went to a training program for Komatsu. He must have done something to impress somebody because they asked him if he would be interested in taking a trainer position with Komatsu Corporate in another state. We weren’t even searching for a job, but after much deliberation we have decided to take it. We will be moving AGAIN at the end of January. I think I am beginning to understand how Mary felt just a little. Fortunately, I get to ride in a mini-van and NOT on the back of a donkey.
The kids are amazingly resilient in spite their parents’ knack for shaking things up every six months. Dee will turn six years old in January. He started Kindergarten this year and is head over heels for school and his wonderful teacher. He has improved so much this past year that he no longer requires speech therapy and is even testing at the top of his class. He is learning to read and is developing a love for the written word. When I asked him what his favorite things are his response was: “I love to go to Grandma’s house, go to school, and watch lots of TV”. (Did I really just admit that on our holiday letter?) I would also add his love for eating as I never seem to be able to satisfy his voracious appetite. Luckily his favorite foods are green apples and salad. Whew!
Jeigh is four years old which we seem to have a hard time convincing people of as she is so tall and well-versed. She squeaked into the last available spot at the local school’s preschool program this fall and is also testing at the top of her class. She maintains that dramatic flair she was born with sustaining “life-threatening” injuries on a daily basis. She loves spending time with her family, going to ballet class, reading books, and helping Mommy in the kitchen. She is rarely seen without a notepad and pen in hand and impresses us daily with her funny little drawings and knack for writing letters. She is a natural-born mommy and we are planning on allowing her to practice all she wants once baby #4 arrives.
Elle is two years old, but dying to be at least twice that. She has a hard time watching the bigger kids go to school every day. I will remind her of that when she complains about waking up every morning in ten years. She is a busy girl who has a special talent for getting into trouble; usually soapy, wet, lofty, or cosmetic trouble. She loves to read books, take baths, collect and chew on rocks, dance and sing, eat chocolate, and cuddle. We love our one and only little blondie (so far) and her sweet and funny ways.
Joe hasn’t done much this year besides work, work, and let’s see…work. When he isn’t working, he’s sleeping or eating. We have been so grateful for his dedication to providing for our family, but are really looking forward to having him home more often with this new job. This last month he took and passed the MSHA test, a big deal for his current job. He was pretty nervous about passing, but we knew he could do it. Passing this test meant a bonus, a raise, and merits on his resume. Although he hasn’t been able to go with us very often on trips home, he has enjoyed being closer to family. He continues to be a wonderful dad, husband, and provider.
As for me…I have been busy being a stay at home mom, doing less “staying” than the title would imply. With two kids in school it feels much of the day is spent chauffeuring back and forth between home and school. Earlier this year I started doing some freelance writing for a popular pregnancy and parenting website as a featured blogger. Personal blogging continues to be a favorite activity (http://hangingbyasilverlining.blogspot.com). Other than writing, raising kids, packing and unpacking our household, I have been busy growing a baby. A rather successful year I suppose.
We have loved reading all of your letters and cards and hearing what you and yours are up to. We are grateful for such wonderful and true friends and family and hope to continue to stay in touch over the coming year. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Valentine’s Day…Whenever this letter gets to you…we hope you are happy, merry, and well!
Love, Our Family