Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Dear Family and Friends,
First and foremost, from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We love to get letters from family and friends during the holiday season and get updated on their lives and truly never think that people are bragging or boasting about themselves.  So, if you feel that way, we are sorry but only want to share the joys, highlights and wonderful things that mean so much to us, with you!
This year was to say the least a busy one.  We became foster parents in 2010; however, we never received a placement until early this year, when we were asked to care for a 10 week old baby girl.  Our lives were changed, our schedule and everything now revolved around this precious baby.  She was such a blessing in our lives. We truly needed to have her, all of us healed in so many ways due to her simple presence.  We had her in our home for 7 months and enjoyed every single minute of it.  We forgot how much time babies take and how much gear they have too, but we wouldn’t have traded that for anything in the world, it was so much fun.  We felt truly grateful for the opportunity to raise her for that time.   
Austin will be just two months from turning 18 when you receive this letter and is a senior in high school.  He is preparing all his college applications and getting ready to graduate and begin the next step in his life.  Leah, on the other hand is not sure she’s ready for all this to happen. Wasn’t it just a short time ago that he was a young boy getting ready for a full day of school in first grade?  Austin decided to forego swimming this year so he could have a little more free time in the winter.  He’s playing rec basketball, will probably do a little snowboarding, and will have more time to get ready for spring baseball.    
Colton hasn’t changed much and as we pulled out the baby books this year, he was a strong personality from the start!  He fortunately has channeled it into sports and loves wrestling at the moment, although I am not sure I do!   He loves about every sport, depending on the season.  He loved having a baby around the home and was always doting over her and if she even cried one second he was there tending to her every need and want.  He was a terrific diaper changer too and he has very protective instincts. 

Kaden has gotten to be a bit sassy and bossy in his advancements in age.  He will say something to us and then say “alright?” while shaking his fists down at the ground. It is so hard not to laugh at him because it is truly hilarious but if you do that it will turn to the opposite extreme and he will then run into his room crying!  He too has enjoyed the wrestling gig and often times he will be at a match and look over at us to see if we are watching and give us a great big grin!  He’s a solid kid and doesn’t have much fear of anything.  He really likes the skate park, doing tricks on his scooter, playing football, etc. 
Steve is still working at Zion’s Bank.  He enjoys raising these boys and watching them become the independent individuals they are.  He loves watching them participate in their activities and teaching and coaching them. He really enjoyed golf this summer.  It’s the most he’s gotten out for some time now, since the boys are getting older.  He even bought Colton a jr set of clubs for his 8th B-day.   
Lastly, Leah kept busy exercising and training for to run a half marathon in February on behalf of children with heart defects. She is training to run another this year, she says it keeps her winter weight off.  She still coupons like crazy and we now have 456 razors on hand!  In case of an emergency, we’re hoping we can barter toiletries, soaps, razors, shampoos, etc for food, since these are what we have most of in our storage. 
It was truly a wonderful year of just enjoying our home, friends and family nearby.  Life sometimes gets so busy you don’t realize all the fun and excitement you need are right in front of you, and it truly was.     We also are so grateful and thankful for our health, family, friends, jobs and our faith!  Sometimes the simplest little things are often the most profound. We wish for you and your family a happy holiday season and prosperous new year.                                             

 Love, Steve, Leah, Austin, Colton, and Kaden

Friday, December 02, 2011

Elfy has arrived!

Elfy made his debut a few nights ago and the kids have been so excited to see the tricks and funny things that he has in store for them this year! Elfy was caught watching TV when the boys woke the other morning!  They left him a note telling them what they wanted and he wrote them one back telling them to keep their room clean!  Of course Elfy doesn't spell very well, so Kaden wrote him a not back telling him ever so bluntly how to spell and at the end of the note he writes in his bossy tone "all right"!  I wanted to tell him that that was spelled incorrectly too! 

 Elfy must have been thirsty last night and didn't know what that white stuff was in the jug, so he magically turned it green, we caught him enjoying his normal beverage almost.  Later that day we found him with his feet up in the air diving into the homemade chocolate chips cookies I made!  

 I was accused of possibly touching Elfy and he looses his magic when touched by humans.  Last night Elfy protected himself from the many hands that might encounter him "accidentally" and hid under a drinking glass!  I am pretty sure he is safe inside there at least for today anyway!   

 My tree went up the day after Thanksgiving and truly this picture doesn't do it justice, it really turned out super nice and is 12 feet tall but this picture makes it look skinny and small....sure wish pictures did that to me!  hehe  I love the holiday season and thankfully the snow has NOT come yet,  I hope it doesn't slam us all at once! Most of my shopping is done too!