Anyway, while reading through some of my favorite blogs this morning, I have noticed a trend toward posts reflecting back on 2007...I have no time for such a post, but I did write an inordinately long Christmas letter that went out with my Christmas Cards this year, and it pretty much sums up 2007 at our house, so I thought I'd just reprint it here for you all to enjoy...or not. I'll even include our Christmas Picture for your viewing pleasure. (Didn't realize until after the pictures were sent off that the girl was making a face...that little screen on the back of the digital camera isn't quite big enough to show those little details...even with bi-focals!)
For those of you reading this, who are also on my Christmas card list...well, don't you feel doubly special? For the rest of you...you will probably be glad you aren't on the list... tomorrow, when you finally finish reading my "Christmas Update Letter"!
Last year, after I sent out the annual letter, I received a note from one of my friends from high school. In her note, she referred to my Christmas letter and said “It sounds like you got everything you ever wanted.” My first thought was a very elegant “PFFFT!!” My second thoughts were of the extra 25 pounds I was toting around with me; kidney disease that not only forces me to choke down 5 horse pills every day, but also prevents me from eating anything that actually, you know, tastes good; the house that is way too small to comfortably contain 4 kids, a school, and a part-time bakery, (emphasis on way too small); 3 kids that fight with each other, give me grief about doing schoolwork, and almost never clean their rooms; and 1 little blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy that is so smart and curious that if they wanted to make a new “Dennis the Menace” movie, they wouldn’t even need to write a script. All they would have to do is get a camera team to follow my boy around for one day! Ah yes, everything I ever wanted….
But, you know something? She was right! It may not look exactly like I pictured it as a kid, but all I ever wanted was to marry Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, have 4 kids, be able to stay home with said kids and homeschool them, and to have some sort of creative hobby to maintain my sanity. The creative hobby has morphed over the years from Tole Painting, to scrapbooking/card making, to my current cake/cookie decorating, but nevertheless, I do, in fact, have everything I ever wanted. But it sure looks different from this side! (It’s a tad more cramped and chaotic than I pictured.)
Now, while the above is most certainly the truth about life here at our house, the following is also true…
This year, Benji had a great baseball season playing 2nd base and occasional shortstop, and while his team had a poor regular season record, they won every tournament they entered…apparently, they were only interested in winning when there was a prize to be had! Then, when football season came around, Benji was named as one of the team captains and the leader of the team. He played 1st team wide receiver and 2nd team cornerback.
Jonathan played soccer again this past spring, but decided to give football another try in the fall. So this was his first year of full tackle. His coaches at first put him in at linebacker because he was a monster during tackle drills. However, speed has never been Jonathan’s strong suit, and he wasn’t getting much chance to tackle anyone as they ran past him! So, although he was one of the smallest guys on the team, I convinced his coach that offensive/defensive line was the best place for him…they were skeptical. However, they wanted Jon to enjoy playing, so they moved him to lineman at the next game…he knocked bigger boys on their backsides, and those he couldn’t knock down, he pushed back several yards. The head coach came to me at the next practice and said, “Jon is officially on the line…I had to rewind the video tape 5 times to convince myself that it was really him knocking that kid on his behind!” Can you tell that I love football, and that I’m a wee bit proud of the little fella? So, so proud…
Madeleine, of course is still doing her ballet/tap, and she was a cheerleader for Jon’s football team this fall. The highlight of her year, for me though, was when she was asked to dance in the Christmas program at church. I cried at their very first rehearsal because it was just so beautiful! I kept thinking to myself, “Now this is what dance was made for!” It was so absolutely beautiful and worshipful, and she did it so elegantly, that I just couldn’t hold back the tears. I told Ben after that first rehearsal, “Just wait until the program, you are going to bawl!” The program was yesterday and, yes, he cried.
David is 2 years old. That’s probably about all I really need to say for you to get a pretty good picture of life around here, but I’ll elaborate…for your entertainment. David wakes up in the middle of the night. David wakes up and comes to my room and yells, “MOM! MILK!” After I put him back into the bed, he realizes that waking up Mom wasn’t the best idea, so he decides just to get on up himself and let me sleep. This way, you see, he can turn on all the lights, get out whatever paper he can find (like my mail for instance) and color to his heart’s content. And if he can’t find paper, well, there are all those wonderful blank walls in the house! (Just for the record, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will remove marker from painted surfaces!) He has also discovered that the middle of the night is also a really good time to climb the shelves in the pantry and help himself to Mom’s baking chocolate, but be sure to drop it and run if you hear her coming! And while I could fill many, many more pages with the exploits of little Dave, I will just mention that I came home from my 5:30am run one morning to find him curled up on the front porch in his little jammies, waiting for me. Yes, he can unlock and open the front door all by himself! He apparently heard me leave and came out to look for me, and then couldn’t get back in when he discovered that I wasn’t out there…sigh. Well, that was the end of my early morning running! (Not sure if that’s really a bad thing or not, LOL!)
That said, David is a very sweet, very snuggly, and extremely smart little boy. I’m so grateful that God chose to give me this one last little boy to complete our family. He still loves “Signing Time” and knows well over 100 signs and can count to ten and knows the alphabet! He’s most definitely worth all the grief…and extra wall-scrubbing!
As far as Ben, he’s pretty much the same…he still works with his brother David building gorgeous homes, and occasionally he gets to go hunting. He helped coach Benji’s baseball team in the spring and will most likely do so again this year. He is currently spending his free time re-tiling the kids’ bathroom shower due to a
I had a big year. I started a blog called “Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and Laundry…in that order” (‘cause I really have way too much time on my hands and needed something with which to fill my days!) and I joined The Biggest Loser Online Club and lost 18 of those 25 pounds I mentioned earlier. I ran in one 5 mile race and two 5K’s this year, and I’m training to run in the Capital 10,000 next spring. (And by “run” I hope you know that I mean “jog”…”slow-jog”.) My cake and cookie business increased again this year and I did two weddings! Next year, however, I will be cutting back on the number of cakes that I do. Teaching Benji 6th grade, Jonathan 4th grade, and Madeleine 1st grade, all while trying to keep David in the house and out of the chocolate, really monopolizes my time. I did have another kidney surgery this year to remove another blockage, and am hoping that this one will last me awhile, and I won’t have to have another one any time soon! Oh yeah, and I got glasses…bi-focals actually. You will notice that they are not in the picture….because I am vain. Other than that, it’s been pretty quiet around here!
So, while I normally just give the “good report” in my Christmas letter, I don’t want anyone to think that life is perfect all the time over here. Life happens here just like it does at your house, and while I do have all I ever dreamed of, sometimes it resembles more of a nightmare than a dream!
And although this is an extremely long and rambling Christmas update letter, I hope you feel all caught up now! If not, you are welcome to come and join me on the blog anytime and keep more up to date on the day to day life here where the inmates are most definitely running the asylum! You can find it here: http://kidscakesdisheslaundry.blogspot.com And yes, you can leave a comment on the blog without signing up for a google account! Just type your comment and hit “anonymous”.
So that’s it, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year and I hope to see you all on the blog!
(And no, I’m not signing everyone’s name to this letter, because you all know good and well that I am the one who wrote it!)
P.S. And for the record, Benji is 12, Jon will turn 10 and Maddie will turn 7 in January, and David will be 3 in May (thank you, Jesus!) Ben turned 40 this year, and I turned 40 too…just not this year, or last, but you really don’t need to know exactly when that was, now do you?!?