Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

2013 has been an eventful year, and we are thankful for this rich season of life.

Jace started kindergarten this year, finished up a Tae Kwon Do program, and played on a soccer and basketball team. He rides a bike without training wheels, and can now keep his body above the water long enough to be classified as a “swimmer.” We are proud of our little man’s accomplishments and continue to thank God as he develops as a boy with a heart for God, despite the bumps and bruises he sustains along the way.

Gwyneth has a strong personality, yet her nurturing spirit has her playing mommy to everyone (much to independent Quinn’s dismay!).  She is learning to write letters and numbers and has taken some dance, swim, and tumbling classes.  She brings constant laughter and joy while keeping us on our toes!

Quinn is determined to keep up with her siblings and grows in her ability to motor around and form words. We can tell she is a persistent, purposeful, constant mover. She seems to have an infectious joy and openness to all. She is a bubbly and a little shy personality that we love to see sprout and come to life.

We visited family in KY and in IA on separate occasions and we hosted Sarah’s mother at our home a few times.  We enjoyed a camping experience in KY, while visiting John’s family, and a visit to the IA State Fair while in IA. We look forward to many more memories for our kids with their grandmas and uncles and aunts in the years to come.

Even though it had been difficult for John’s parents to visit because of health issues, his mother was able to make the trip for Thanksgiving this year. John’s dad passed away earlier in November after a long fight with cancer, so the family has been adjusting to life without him. The funeral and the days surrounding his death were incredibly meaningful and resulted in lots of thanksgiving instead of regret.  You can read John’s tribute to him in the blog entry before this one.
Dad enjoying a camping cookout, a few months before his death.

As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of time for relaxation for us. John continues to keep up with the kids and housework while Sarah supports the family as a veterinarian. We continue to enjoy church, hosting a small group from time to time, and providing care in the nursery as needed. John continues with a writing project and calling pastors and praying for them in a volunteer roll. Sarah strengthens her veterinarian skills by studying herbal medicine to  add to her acupuncture certification. Our steps are in God’s hands, so we continue to rely on HIM to guide us into all that He has for us as a family.

May you experience Peace and Joy this Christmas! Have a BLESSED time with your family and friends.

For Him,

John, Sarah, Jace, Gwyneth, and Quinn

Isaiah 9: 6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. “

Jace having some fun in the sand while in IA this past summer.
Quinn has a real attraction to animals, and she enjoyed this visit to Sarah's Uncle Jim, in IA.
Gwyneth is all smiles after reading with daddy.

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