Christmas 2008 Newsletter

Merry Christmas!

I decided to “go green” this year and do our newsletter online.   And then I thought I should take advantage of all my blog fodder to highlight memorable events from the past year.  So, without further ado, I present to you the ..

Top Ten Moments of 2008

  1. Adam Arrived!
    On January 17th, our family of four became five.  I was a little apprehensive about being the mother of three, but Adam has been a dream baby and has made the transition far easier than I could imagined.  He slept, self-soothed, and was happy and easygoing from the start.  It wasn’t until he hit about six months and started crawling that I realized I was in trouble.  He is still happy and sweet, but no longer mellow.  He is into everything!  He’s not walking yet, but it can’t be long – he crawls, pulls up, navigates stairs and even balances himself while free-standing (briefly).  He has a voracious appetite for food and life and general.  He brings joy and chaos to our lives and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve tried to do a monthly updates on Adam, so you can read all the Adam-related posts if you need a baby fix.
  2. Dunham Funham!
    Mike’s sister Karen and husband Brad and the five cousins came east for a visit in late April.  This was a huge highlight for the kids (and us!) — the last time we saw the cousins was when we flew to San Diego to see them — Wendy was two and Sam was only nine months!  This time, they came to us.  We spent  a week together in Northern Va and did some classic DC sightseeing, then we all traveled down to the Grandma & Grandpa R’s “country house” near Smith Mountain Lake for some good ole time “down on the farm”.  Wendy & Sam adore their cousins and had a blast playing with them.
  3. We turned Ten!
    In May, Mike and I celebrated a major milestone in our marriage – ten years!   It’s hard to believe it’s already been ten years — having kids has made it fly by.  I had always envisioned a big fancy getaway to celebrate this milestone.  But we got to go to  Hawaii last summer, and I counted that as an early anniversary celebration.  So, for our actual date, we kept things low-key and enjoyed a  quiet evening in, followed by dinner at a yummy crab shack a day later.
  4. Sam Turned Three!
    This was a big year of transition for Sam.  He went from being the baby to being the big brother/middle child.  It seemed that as he turned three, he transitioned from toddler to preschooler.  It wasn’t easy for him to lose his status as resident baby, but overall, he did great and is a very loving big brother to his new sib.  To celebrate his birthday, we had a frogolicous fun birthday party.  Other milestones for Sam this year included successfully potty training and starting preschool in the fall.  While he continues to wear the title of “strong-willed child” in our house, when he’s not engaged in power struggles or meltdowns, he is incredibly sweet and snuggley and loving.
  5. Five Mornings in Maine
    I took the kids on a roadtrip up to Maine for a short week in July.  This is our second year visiting and I think it will be an annual tradition.  Our friends, the Myles, are always such wonderful hosts – next year I hope to bring Mike along to make it an official family vacation destination  (I usually go when he has work travel lined up).  We had a great time hitting the beaches, checking out the sites, and of course eating some “lobsta”.
  6. Farm Fresh Fun
    In an effort to eat better, eat local, and just have good ole fashioned fun, we joined the Great Country Farms CSA this year.  This allowed us to enjoy weekly deliveries of fresh produce throughout the summer, plus opportunity to pick our own goodies at the farm, as well as enjoy all the fun activities they have there.  We had a great time picking strawberries, pumpkins and potatoes and the kids loved all the fun things to do (rope swing, corn bin, jumping pillow, etc.).  It was a great way to have good ole fashioned fun.
  7. Amusing Diversions
    The kids may be five and under, but Wendy & Sam are already certifiable amusement park junkies.  It started in July when we went to “Funtown Splashtown” on our  Maine trip.  This was a small little amusement park that was perfectly suited to the younger crowd.   They loved the Frog  Hopper, Log Flume, and pretty much every other thing they rode.  Then, in August, Grandad’s company hosted their annual Kings Dominion trip which we managed to mooch our way into.   It was fun day of rides – mostly for the kiddies, although  Mike & I snuck a few in too.  Again, they had a blast and even outlasted their grandparents!  Finally, in November, we took a mini-vacay and spent 3 days at Great Wolfe Lodge in Williamsburg.  This park is indoor and all water.  There was a ton to do and they loved it all.  We learned they have a need for speed!
  8. Life is Ducky in the Outer Banks
    In September, we made our annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks and spent a week in Duck, NC.  We try to get down there at least once a year, especially while we can still get away in the off season.   This year we were joined by family (B, M & O + the grands) and friends (J &K + D & M).  The kids had a blast, as did we.  Although the weather wasn’t perfect, a little rain never hurts and we still found plenty of things to do.  While we were there, Wendy mastered riding her bike and Sam became a pro on the glider.  It was a great week to get away and relax!
  9. Wendy Turned Five!
    In November, big sister Wendy hit the big 05.  We celebrated her milestone with a “Queen Westher” party.   She is in her last year of preschool and looking forward to kindergarten already.  Wendy continues to be full of spunk and fun –- she is a social butterfly who loves playing with her friends and having fun.  The worst times of day for her are when she has to come home from preschool or go to bed at night.  She can’t stand for life to slow down.  In addition to school, she’s enjoyed activities like gymnastics, Cubbies, and learning to read with Daddy.
  10. A Grand Time Had By All
    Grandma & Grandpa R moved out to the country, so we’ve made it out to their place several different times this year.  The kids always have a great time riding the golf cart, working in the garden, and just running free. This year, we came down for Thanksgiving and enjoyed a delicious dinner and their southern hospitality!  We were especially pleased to see Grandpa moving around so well after his recent hip replacement surgery.

Shew, I could go on and on about all the things and people we’ve enjoyed this year, but it looks like I’ve gone on long enough.  Suffice to say, although 2008 has not been without challenges, the Lord has been richly kind to us and we are thankful for His goodness.  Not just in the minutiae of our lives, but for giving us the greatest gift — the gift of eternal life through His son.

May you experience His rich blessings during this joyeous season and into 2009!

In Him,

(for Mike, Wendy, Sam & Adam

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