Monday, December 10, 2007

My online Christmas letter!!

I've been finishing up Christmas cards, letters, I might as well make a Christmas update e-letter, too, while it's all in my head... I realized that my official letter had very little about our immediate family, b/c so much had happened this year with extended family.

Schooling is about to hit a holiday brick hall. The kids are so thrilled about Christmas coming! The Advent calendar is helping with the hourly "how many days left, Mommy?" We've been spending all of "art class" making Christmas gifts. I felt guilty about less "real" school time until I remember that I started back with table time just days after Oliver was born. We were doing K12 and I couldn't afford to take any time off . So that 6 week break that most people get is what I'm going to take some of now (maybe 2-3 full wks off)! And anyway, I know that learning is still happening all over the place. We bake, measure, scrub, play games, read constantly. Life lessons.

Isabelle: She is growing up so fast! She keeps reminding us that in "just five years," she will be a teenager! She loves to be in charge. She loves recognition. She loves "book work." And she adores her baby brother. In her free time, she studies sign language. She unloads the dishwasher every morning without being asked!! She can be sassy and disrespectful at times, but she is definitely the easiest child. Typical first born! Isabelle also LOVES art and music. She draws all the time, and she enjoys making homemade gifts for people. She's like a mini-version of me, so I have to be very careful about what I do and say. Right now she's still more sugar than spice! :-) She's also an amazing prayer warrior, and reminds me constantly who and what to be praying about.

Ethan is still so passionate. He's our deep feeler. It's hard to be the middle child sometimes. He wants to do all of the things that Isabelle does. But he doesn't want her responsibilities...and he doesn't want to have to work as hard on his school work. He needs me by him, helping him constantly or it's too hard and he's too distracted. He's so smart (but not at all self-motivated!) Ethan loves to hug. And he will hug anyone! Just ask for one, if you need cheering up. :-) Ethan also loves baths, and wants to stay in the warm water for 30 minutes at least. He loves his little brothers, but regularly gets irritated at the way Trevor plays. They always seem to "need" the same things at the same time. Ethan loves all living things, and gets very distraught if he sees Trevor smash a ladybug or inadvertently squeeze a worm to death. I believe someday he will work helping animals or people.

Ah, Trevor...definitely my hyper-active child. It's that turbulent age of 2 that has now carried over into 3... but we’re gonna make it. Trevor loves movies. I've never met a 3-year old that enjoys movies quite so much. Little rascal. If it were up to me, we wouldn't even own a tv. Trev memorizes his favorite books, and likes them read over and over...and over and over. Right now it's Baby Mickey's Nap. Trevor also loves "smooshy things," like yogurt, pudding, Jell-O. And he will eat bananas until he gets sick, if we'd let him! Trevor always runs, always yells, and seems to tumble and roll, and jump over everything in his path. He is just a moving ball of energy...and he's recently stopped taking naps. Of course, now he goes to bed at 7:30, so that's good...but I sure do miss those relaxing two hours when he was asleep after lunch! Oh, and he's potty-trained now! Even gets up at night to potty! Yea!

Oliver is growing faster than I can keep up with. It seems like he was just born, yet he turned 8 months on the 4th of December! He has 2 teeth and is breaking through 2 more. He army-crawls now, and tries to pull up on everything. When Daddy reaches for him, he grins and clings to my shirt. It's a game they play. He is so happy, laughing all the time, kicking his feet, yelling when he wants attention. He eats almost everything that we eat, in squished, small portions. He is drinking from regular sippy cups and is also still nursing about every 3- 3 1/2 hours. I love to nurse.

My honey: still at La-Z-Boy, but holding out hope for a different job. Please keep praying. He is so funny. I thanked him for putting a new trashbag in the can the other day, and then he walked and acted mentally ill for 20 minutes to make a point. He's such a peaceful phlegmatic; so laid-back, relaxed, makes everything into a joke. It drives me crazy sometimes, but keeps everything light. He rarely worries about anything, which is a great example for me. He wants to start evening classes at NWACC next year. That will be a big adjustment for us, but I think it will be great for him! This year he's also gotten involved in some men's ministry things at church, and some homeschool functions with us. Every year gets better. We had our 10-year anniversary in November.

Me? Still homeschooling! Some days are so great and easy...and other days are real character-developers! I'm learning new meanings of the word "Patience." But you reap what you sow, and I hope that I'm sowing a lot of good & love for God in their hearts! They know I love to be home with them, and I love to teach them. I'm also working with my photography now. I can't think of a better way to make some money, have some fun, be around people, and still stay home with the kids. I do have all of the equipment now, except for a few extra lights and umbrellas that I would like to purchase eventually. And I have some jobs tomorrow, which will help with money right before Christmas!

We still have no pets. I tried to take our fish back for awhile, but I HATE cleaning that bowl, and I would regularly forget to feed the darn thing. So it went back to my parents' house. I think I'd like to get a cat animal that isn't totally dependent on me. Although I doubt I could ever let it in the house, because I'm just not like that. It would drive me crazy. And I know I could never handle a litter box. Maybe I should just pet other people's cats.

We're still in the "yellow cottage." I think we'll be here for quite some time, since it's all we can afford. That's okay, though. Its cozy and the cul-de-sac is great for bike riding. I would like to get rid of all of the carpet someday, but that is years away. I may also do black tile in the kitchen someday. Oh, so many ideas, and so little time and money! :-)

So that's us! Give me your update!


Arato Girl said...

Hey, I enjoyed reading the update. All the kids are so distinctive and each wonderful in his or her own ways. I think Ethan may be your novelist in the family, or brooding musician or some such! He reminds me a little of myself.
You guys can come over and pet my cats any time! (It's so funny that poopy diapers mean nothing to you but you can't imagine cleaning a litter box!) I really want to plan another time to have you over soon, maybe with Julie and Adam as well.
I think being a homeschooling Mom is an exciting and noble calling. I gave Vu's nephew's and niece a cooking lesson this weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. His niece is so funny, she told me I could make "a bundle of money" starting an after-school cooking program.
I will be praying that Fred will find a new job he really loves. I started a prayer page for your family in my new prayer binder--which is working out great for me. Taking classes at NWACC would be great for Fred, I think. Did you know that I'm going to NWACC next semester? It will be my first semester not to attend the University in, well, quite a while. I will miss a few things and people, but I won't miss the drive AT ALL.

Arato Girl said...

P.S. Please ignore the shameful state of the grammar in my comment.

silly me said...

oh, i love it! and it makes me feel better about writing constantly and shamelessly about my brood. i always feel like maybe nobody cares about what i write (except for those sweet grandparents!) but i LOVE reading all of your updates. i'm gonna try callin' you in a sec!

Rhinehart Land said...

What a neat idea to do a letter. :) Thanks for updating us so well. I love it!
The kids are so beautiful and handsome and your family has always been such an inspiration for me Wendy!
Have a Great Christmas!

Ann-Marie said...

I love the online letter! Think of all the trees you are saving! Way to go green, Wendy!

One of the best things that happened to me this year was becoming your friend - thank you...and thank Tob!

WendyJanelle said...

NO, I didn't know you are planning to go to NWACC! Maybe you told me and I just forgot?
I agree with Vu's niece. You should start an afterschool program! Heh heh. Start with my kids-- it'll be great practice!

WendyJanelle said...

And shameful state of grammar? Haha! This is what we get for having English major parents, huh? Do you still study and try to use the WM word-for-the-day? For awhile I was trying to use each word in my comments to Ann-Marie... I bet she just thought I was weird. ;-) Hee hee.

WendyJanelle said...

And SillyMe, I never could reach you by phone. I think we were playing phone tag. I'm SO booked this late do you stay up? If it's okay, I'll try calling you at 9pm sometime...that's when everyone here is asleep and I get peace. :-)
Brook, thanks and I hope you have a great Christmas, too!
And, Anne-Marie... don't give me congrats yet on saving the environment. I sent out Christmas cards AND letters this year. I'll send you one, too, if you email me your address...or maybe Tob already did, I'll have to check. (Timber!)

Mandy said...

Loved the updates too! And, by the way, I always like update posts. :) Your Isabelle and my Madison would be peas in a pod... wow they sound so alike! (first born girls I suppose) Don't fret over taking a break from school during the holidays... remember our public schooled kids are out THREE MONTHS STRAIGHT in the summer! lol

October Dawn said...

Great to hear Trev is potty trained!!