Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! What a blessed year this was for our family and we hope for yours too. We were most blessed this year by the arrival of Caleb Isaac on January 22, 2010. He was 7lbs. 14oz. and 19.5 inches long. Although he had to spend the first few days of his life in the NICU due to hyperbilirubinemia, he has been healthy since. He is now 10 months old and very active. He's been crawling for over two months and is now pulling himself to standing and walking along furniture. He is a happy guy who loves eating things off the floor, trying to sneak into the bathrooms, and laying on his tummy in the bath. He has auburn hair which we hope stayes that way. While Caleb could never replace Felicity, his presence inour family has helped us with the healing process. We thank God for bringing him into the world and into our family.
Elijah is 4 and growing by leaps and bounds. While he is not officially in school yet, he joins us for part of our homeschooling day. He is learning to write his letters and identify their sounds. Just recently he has become self-motivated to do addition and subtraction problems. He loves to talk when he should be eating and eat when it's not mealtime (snacks!). He is currently wearing most of the clothes Ethan wore a year ago and if things continue this way, he may soon surpass Ethan in weight. He enjoys crafty things as well as being active. He is doing a gym class and a cooking class through our home school co-op.
Ethan is 8 and in third grade. He is learning multiplication and cursive this year. While he doesn't always enjoy writing, he is really good at it and started a blog as a way to learn computer skills and improve his writing. Check it out here. He loves to go biking, play the wii and attend AWANA. His sense of humor is blossoming and he's always making plays on words in the attempt to be funny. He is a big helper with Caleb, though Caleb is getting quite heavy for him to carry.
Paul continues on at Honeywell and has done a bit of traveling this year although nothing out of the country. We attended the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators conference in Rochester in the spring, which was a nice getaway with just the baby. In July, we spent a few days vacationing in Duluth as a family. In August, after helping with a church nursery remodel, I was spurned on to begin painting our house. I had been wanting some color in the house and the walls were in a sorry state since we never painted before moving in. We painted most of the upstairs level as well as the downstairs bathroom. It was quite the project with all our vaulted ceilings and with a baby in the house. I plan on painting our bedroom in the spring and possibly using the leftover red paint on the chicken coop with the help of a certain hard-working eight year old. I continue to lead La Leche League meetings, volunteer as nursery coordinator at church, and blog. We had a very bountiful garden harvest this year, especially with tomatoes, so I was able to freeze many quarts of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. Paul was recently voted in as a trustees at church, so he looks forward to using his time and talents in that capacity.
We have many goals for the coming year, especially in the areas of becoming more self-sufficient. We're looking at getting more chickens (ours disappeared this year, probably the victims of a local coyote gang), starting some bee hives, possibly getting a milk cow, and who knows what else! We're very blessed to have the space and land to accomplish many of these goals if we put forth the time and effort. If you're ever in the area, we'd love to have you stop by! May God bless and keep you and your family in the coming year!
Love from Paul, Rachel, Ethan, Elijah, and Caleb