Hello Friends and Family - - last year I didn't get the chance to send out cards and barely managed to this year - and even so only a few were printed because yikes! that is expensive! i usually DIY them but decided to check one item off my list without a big production involved. I am saving my energies mainly this advent on our Jesse Tree lessons. Every day in advent we read a story in the Bible and by the end of Advent we will have gone through the story of the Bible up to Jesus' resurrection. We try to do every day, but in reality it is more like every other day - so I like to make it special and have an activity that corresponds, or a coloring page. This year some highlights have been...a rainbow pillow the boys made by cutting felt rainbow pieces and pinning them on a background (Bryson helped sew his!)...the boys re-enacted the story of Joseph getting sold by his brothers (complete with sword fight) and then Joseph forgiving them later...we made gingerbread Jerichos after learning about Joshua and Jericho (they used their halloween candy to decorate, ha!). I really enjoy doing this for them because I am hoping it counter-acts all the shiny stuff and remains the consistent background to their Christmas. So that is where a lot of my energies go during the holidays and I am very satisfied with that...however, some of the other little things get left behind. I love sending out cards and newsletters - it is great for me to re-cap our year - and I love the chance to reach out to people that maybe I don't get the chance to as often as I would like. So - here is a little recap of our year by the people in our family:
Bryan - Bryan has been keeping busy as the main coach in the family - he helps out with all the sports activity in this house (which is a BIG job) - he has helped with all the team sports for Bodie and Bryson - basketball, baseball, soccer and golf. He spent a lot of his time working with Bryson and getting him ready for Pinehurst. Being a caddy to Bryson is not an easy job...and Bryan handles it so well - I admire his patience and his love for his son. His main goal is to make sure the boys LOVE golf - I am sure it is partially selfish because he wants to be able to play with them when they are older - ha! Bryan also booked a GM/Credit card commercial (you can see it here if you haven't yet) - it has been a while since he booked one that actually aired - so we are of course thrilled about it!
Carlee - For me, I decided to stop doing Zoodies this year. I have been trying to sew other things and also to not do anything unless the creative bug hits me and that has been nice. I also decided to home school Bryson so for the past 4 months that is where a lot of my effort has been going. I had to shift my work schedule and it has been challenging - i went from 3 days in the office to 2...so needing to make up those extra hours kind of has me constantly behind. Things are a little easier now that the winter has hit finally here...but I am consistently playing catch up. I felt the shift this year in raising kids go from baby/toddler to carpool stage. We traded in our stroller for a wagon...which you can find filled with either beach stuff or sports equipment. I find myself in that paradigm shift and trying to find my new normal. Trying to be okay with not having babies anymore and trying to find the joy in the team sports practices and games. I did not grow up doing sports so this is a new experience for me and I am learning how to love it. I recently had a conversation with a mom who expressed her sadness of her 17 year old possibly moving out and one thing she was going to miss the most was the conversation in the car...so I have been trying to be intentional about turning off my radio in the car and start talking. I also took some golf lessons with Bryson to try to get better because I know this is a way to hang out with my boys when they get older.
Bryson - Bryson had quite an amazing year in golf. He scored high enough to be accepted to the Pinehurst Jr. World Championship and came in at T63. He has worked tirelessly this year to prepare for the tournament...on top of everything else too. He is a very competitive person and also has the drive and focus to do what it takes to get there...not to mention the raw talent that doesn't hurt either. I never had that passion or drive...so that is exciting to see it in him. Right now he is taking a break from golf - he says that he wants to do it in the spring, but we will see. He is also enjoying homeschool. I think he likes that it doesn't take as long and that we do a lot of stuff outdoors. This kid needs to be moving ALL the TIME.
Bodie - Bodie did T-ball for the first time this year and just finished soccer. He has his first basketball game next week. He also has been golfing with Dad at Heartwell and made 2 birdies!! He is such an athlete and he loves every sport. Whatever one his is in is his favorite. He started Kindergarten and has the same teacher Bryson did and we love her. He has been struggling a little...but every time there is something that needs to improve- he works extra hard. I am so proud of him.
Bobby - Bobby is wanting so bad to join his brothers on their teams. He will be on Bodie's T-ball team next year and we are excited that he is able to do that! His thing right now is skateboarding and Grandpa and Grandma got him a skateboard for Christmas and he learned how to do an ollie yesterday and he is just giving me heart attacks right and left. He is such a silly sweet boy and still just exudes joy to everyone around him.
We also experienced tremendous loss this year. My Grandpa Wally went to be with the Lord - as did Bryan's Grandma Pearl and his Auntie Tang. They are in our hearts every day.
I have been trying to update on the boys in this blog - you can see the rest of the year in more detail if you scroll down. I hope you are well and you can find joy and peace in this Advent season. Here is to the year to come!