Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas letters

Things that made us smile in 2009 (from our Christmas letter):

Blaze (8 years old) went away for her first overnight camping experience this summer. She got to go rappelling, canoeing, and rafting but what she talks about most is the hummingbird that got trapped inside her tent and she got to hold it for a moment before the counselors set it free outside.

Dreamer is 5 years old now and started kindergarten this fall. She keeps us smiling with all the funny things she says. Like demonstrating to her sisters as she’s eating cheese and crackers: “this is how a princess eats a cracker.” One time after watching Sleeping Beauty, Dreamer told us her own version of the story, where the prince kisses the princess in the tower, but the princess doesn’t wake up until Jesus kisses her!

It didn’t make us smile when Starlet (just turned three) broke her arm this spring (she lost her balance while climbing on furniture). But we did smile to see how proud she was showing off her bright pink cast, with her sisters’ and cousins’ signatures on it.

Serious had a couple climbing adventures too. I learned to never leave the horses tied up along the fence after Serious climbed up on the fence and then over onto Rebel’s back all by herself. The twins love the horses and always want to get up in the saddle and have me lead them around.

Stars, my stepdaughter, got to spend a little extra time with us this summer because B. drove up to meet her mom half-way and bring her horse Callie to stay with us for the summer too. We got to see her compete (and practically win everything) at a couple horse shows. Stars competes in Western Pleasure, Western Equitation, Trail, Showmanship, and some English events too. The precision required for some of the show patterns is just phenomenal.

This fall B. has branched from the plumbing/excavation business into cattle. Yes, cattle. As in cows and steers. It has gone beyond just a couple calves for roping practice! We now officially own the “Diamond B” brand and he welded the brand himself and had a roundup and branding.

Here are few more little "moments" that didn't get into the letter, but I'd like to keep a record of them:

Grandpa teases Dreamer that he's going to steal her belly button. Dreamer tells him: "I left my belly button at home!"

Thankful that we live a couple hundred feet above town - twice now I've coasted the car (out of gas) down Grand Ave and managed to coast right into the gas pumps at Albertson's.

When we shared testimonies at our Bible study, Rob and Diane had the funniest engagement story - Diane told her parents before she introduced Rob to them that he was missing a finger and was very sensitive about it so to make sure they didn't offer to shake his hand. Well Rob didn't know about the practical joke so first thing he does when he meets the parents is extend his hand - much to their shock!

Other useful things I learned at Bible study from John Hutcheson: a good prank to play on school principals is release a bunch of crickets in their office, a "Biblical plague." Another good prank: release four goats in the school, labeled "1", "2", "3", and "5". Another term for a chamber pot is a "thunder jug"

We ran into one of B.'s friends at a resturant and B. asked him, "how's your wife and my kids?"

Mom started writing down some of the funny things Dreamer would say while over at their house: "Orange juice makes my tongue spicy" "Sometimes I don't know any everything" "I want to play my music." (Mom: "where's your music?") "My music is my voice!" Dreamer folds her hands and says "My fingers are sleeping on each other." "I have girl power."

Blaze showed me how to blow bubbles through your fingers when you wash your hands.

Some good advice for one when someone swears: "Jesus Christ!" - simply reply "loves you!"

Life was hard for our kitty, Cleo, this year, having to share the house with a new puppy. Especially when B. put her and Remington into the same cage so they could “become friends.” Remie (half lab, half Rottweiler) is about 80 pounds now, but he’s still scared of the kitty. Also in regards to the dog cage, for a while Serious and Starlet liked to play a game with a each other, constructing a "cage" with toys and stuffed animals and telling each other "puppy get in your cage!"

Whenever the girls see a yellow car, they shout out "I see a bumblebee car!" (in reference to the movie, Transformers)

Blaze loves to play the Sparkies CD, which is all verses and Bible songs. She learned all the books of the Bible by listening to the Bible book song over and over again. It about drove me crazy, but I wasn't going to complain!


Taking a moment here and there to write down these moments on my calendar - and then reading them over again when it's time to write a Christmas letter to send out with Christmas - cards - this reminds me that even though it's tempting to remember 2009 primarily as "glad it's over, hope 2010 is better!" - the year was actually full of lots of wonderful things. Thank you Lord!

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa B's in South Dakota. The usual 9-1/2 hour drive ended up taking over 11 hours because the roads were icy (three turkeys crossing the road in front of me while I was driving just above gave me a heart-attack). But on the other hand, it was one of the most beautiful drives because everything was frosted and sculpted with ice.

We got there just in time for a blizzard, stuck in the house for 4 days, but it was very relaxing, and the kids loved playing in the giant snow drifts.

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