Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our Christmas Letter - play along at home!

As always, we hope this letter finds you joyful and healthy this Christmas season. In order to keep things fresh, we have decided to make this year’s letter interactive! For those that want to play along, the “numerical answers” to each paragraph are listed on the bottom and you can match them to the corresponding letter!

a) The # of teachers David has had since our last letter. Last February, David’s class received a new kindergarten teacher as his first teacher moved out of state to welcome her first child. This fall, David started 1st grade. He has 2 part-time teachers. So far it is working out well and David loves school. It has been an adjustment for us all to have him away from home all day. He is a great reader and loves to write books.

b) The # of holes Steven played during his first outing on a “real” golf course. Chris was able to take Steven out on a short par-3 course and he LOVED it. He continues to enjoy all thing sports-related. Steven also learned to read this summer and is improving every week. He started his second year of pre-school this fall and he attends 3 afternoons per week.

c) The # of words Rebecca can say. It’s astounding how much Rebecca has changed in the past year. She is a healthy, hungry, active toddler on the go! Her day consists mainly of trying to keep up with her brothers, sleeping and eating. Although she has some tomboy characteristics, she still loves to play with her dolls and stuffed animals.

d) The # of miles Chris drives each day to work. Overall the job is going well and the company is continuing to grow. He joined the local rec. center and has shed a few pounds and is feeling healthier. He is also part of the leadership team & is the treasurer at our church.

e) The # of questions Laura answers in the average day. After a year, Laura realized that the adjustment to 3 children was really about adjusting her expectations of herself. She has scaled back a bit this year with less involvement in activities outside the home. The days are full and sometimes exhausting, but she wouldn’t trade her job for anything.

f) The # of days of summer vacation. It was a bit daunting to have all 3 kids home all day, but it was a good summer. Of course, there was a lot of swimming in our pool. All 3 of the children amaze us with their abilities and comfort level in the water. We took a 2-day trip to Ohio and visited Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate our first Family Day (Rebecca’s homecoming). The boys did a week of VBS and a week of ½ day science camp. They also took some group tennis lessons.

g) The # of hours Chris and Laura were away (without children) for their 10-year anniversary trip. In late July, Chris surprised Laura with a fantastic 5-day & 4-night trip to the Canadian Rockies. They visited both Lake Louise and Banff and experienced some of the most amazing scenery on the planet.

h) The # of months that separate Rebecca and her newest cousin. Claire Elizabeth Baker arrived on June 28th, weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. She is just precious and we are all enjoying having another girl in the family.

i) The # of grandparents that bless our family. We are continually grateful for the special part that each one plays in our lives and in the lives of the children. For those close, we are thankful for the time we are able to spend together celebrating the big and little milestones. And for those that are far, we are thankful for phone conversations and airplanes (or long car rides) that allow us time together for special memories.

j) The % of rural Guatemalan children that finish 6th grade. As a family, we desire to stay connected to Rebecca’s birth country. We are striving as a family to find more practical ways to serve the underprivileged both overseas and in our own backyard. The boys have written letters to a young girl that we sponsor in Guatemala. They also participate in making sandwiches for the homeless at Kids Church, and have helped provide Christmas presents, food and warm clothing for those in need. This is just a start and we hope in the coming year to find more and more ways to live out Christ’s love on this earth.

k) The # of posts on our blog this year. Laura has been trying to post weekly with pictures and updates about our family.
In the next post you can find out the answers to our "Christmas Quiz" and see how you faired on our grading scale!

Here are the possible # answers - 4, 9, 14, 18, 20, 30, 45, 70, 80, 103, 300

We hope you had fun while catching up with our family news. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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