Merry Christmas 2010 and Happy New Year 2011
It is a wonderful season. Our hearts are fullest right now to have our family surrounding us. How grateful we are for life. A month and a half ago, our youngest child, Noah was stung by a scorpion and had a severe reaction. It was a very close call for him. Our hearts are full of gratitude to our Heavenly Father for answering our prayers and sparing his life that day. We’re also grateful for medical professionals who have prepared and sacrificed and given so much of their time to provide medical help in our time of need. It is in moments such as these when seconds feel like hours and life hangs by a delicate thread that we quickly assess what is most important to us in our lives. We both have found it much easier to set things aside to focus on our family. We have found ourselves hugging our children a little tighter, snuggling them a little longer, reading just one more story and singing just one more song... laughing more and loving deeper.
Most especially this time of year, our hearts and thoughts are turned toward our Savior, Jesus Christ. We think not only of his humble birth, but his miraculous life and glorious resurrection. We learn from the example of His selfless life and find hope in His atoning sacrifice and resurrection which makes possible for us the greatest of all of our Father in Heaven's gifts: Eternal life with Him, with our Savior Jesus Christ and with our families. How it warms our hearts when we realize the love we share in our families and the joy we feel with them surrounding us can last forever. What a gift! How comforting it is to know that we will one day be reunited with loved ones who have passed on. Larry and I find our greatest joy in having a family… welcoming each of our children into this world, growing, learning, loving and laughing together in this journey called life.
Catherine is our angel. She has the most tender, loving heart. We call her our baby doll because when she was born she was about the size of a baby doll. She turned 5 a month ago and is growing into a tall and very beautiful young lady. She is quite the little sponge and has started teaching herself to read over the past few months. She is a natural with numbers and math and is quite the little artist. Our house is covered with her detailed depictions of animals, people and everyday life. Her patience and persistence surpasses that of my own. I will watch her spend an hour and a half to 2 hours completely focused while working on just one picture. She is imaginative, inventive and an endless fountain of ideas and questions. Catherine loves animals… ALL animals: real, toy, stuffed… Rather than "princesses" and "dress up" she will dazzle you with playtime ideas such as: “Mom, let’s play kitties (or birds). I’m the kitty at the pet shop and you come buy me and take care of me...”
The whole “animal pretend play” is right up Ethan’s alley but you’ll find him deciding to be the dragon or the tiger that’s going to chase and hunt down all the poor innocent animals, tormenting them until they’re screaming for me to come to their rescue! Ethan, almost 3½, is the pure definition of a 3 year-old BOY. Ethan is Mr. Independent, who loves to climb everything, scream, laugh, run and play from BEFORE sunup ‘til WAY after sundown. Ethan loves sports. We have discovered he has a natural talent in all sports: football, basketball, track and field, baseball, soccer, swimming, skateboarding, bike riding... you name it; he can do it -- effortlessly. From day one we have seen that he definitely takes after his Uncle Taylor in his personality and athleticism. Though tough as nails when it comes to sports and wrestling with other boys, Ethan is also one of the most compassionate, tenderhearted people I know. He definitely takes after his Uncle Ben Donner in that sense. He is always aware of people, their needs and feelings. If he notices you are feeling down or discouraged, you’ll find him quickly returning with one of his toys, ample hugs and silly faces to cheer you up. He is a natural friend and always goes out of his way to include everyone in his fun. Ethan is a ham and finds great delight in making anyone laugh.
Noah is still our “little” baby who is more of a tank than a baby and already starting to wear his older brother’s clothes. He’s growing up so fast and finds delight in everything we do. He is the happiest, most pleasant 1½ year-old we have known. We think of Noah as being JOLLY and often joke that he’s “Santa’s child.” Noah is wild and loving, snuggly and independent all rolled into one! He’s a curious little fellow and keeps us on our toes!
Larry and I are truly enjoying these three precious gifts from Heaven! We have had a full and busy year with a lot of sacrifice but far more blessings than we could hope for!
We hope this is a wonderful season for you and your family and that you find an abundance of health, love and laughter this Christmas and throughout the New Year!