Friday, December 21, 2007

To family and friends - a Christmas letter

It is a great pleasure to have such quality people in our lives. We have much to be thankful for this past year because of you - I hope we will strive to keep in touch and, please, update us often. I will start. :)

Amanda is 4-1/2 years old and leading as full a life as a child this age should without being overworked. ;) She does gymnastics twice a week and has piano lessons every other week. She's already playing Christmas songs for us! Amanda takes a lot of pride in taking care of her younger sister, and spends much time hugging, kissing, and squeezing her! She is still extremely shy when it comes to performing and has just started coming out of her shell when participating in the children's program church events (see the layout I did of one of the performances here, at the bottom.) She is a crafting fiend!!! Definitely a girl after my own heart. In fact, she made me a bouquet of paper flowers, so we made a decoupaged vase for it. I'm thrilled to share with her a love of handmade things. I'm not sure how much Daddy likes our snippets of paper and other crafty paraphernalia about the home.... Her current favorites are Angelina Ballerina, My Little Pony, Hello Kitty, Cyberchase, Super Why!, to name some. She can be found at any given time dripping with Princessy items, head to toe. Her Daddy records her shows on Windows Media Center, and she fast forwards the commercials. Geeky AND crafty. I love this girl. She always has a zest for life that invigorates us.

Abigail is 10 months old, yet she thinks she's older. She likes to help sister with her art projects by tearing them apart, and she insists on eating the food we're eating. She especially enjoys stir-fry and rice. Whadda little Ron. Abigail adds a lot of joyful baby squeals to the Lee cacophony/symphony. She's now starting to stand on her own a little at a time, but can be found tearing through the house on all fours. If you're not vigilant, she'll be eating a white cap off of a door stopper - and fishing them out of her mouth is a hazardous activity, because she can potentially sever your finger off with her ten teeth. She loves to read her books - especially Baby Beluga and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. While she's only been with us for ten months, it is hard to imagine life without her.

Ron is on his fourth year at Mercy Medical Center in the IS Department, as a doctor of computers, if you will. He had the opportunity to represent Mercy on a billboard! Seeing your husband on a billboard is amusing....

Ron has gotten back into tennis, and is playing in a league, Boise Team Tennis. When Ron gets into something, boy is he dedicated. Not only does he play, he reads tennis message boards and reviews on rackets, fine tunes the weight of his racket, and strings his own rackets. He and Amanda frequently go on Daddy-daughter dates, usually swimming or to the park.

I (Heather) am up to my ears in all things kid, and I do it happily and willingly. We spend a lot of time at the Rec Center. We practically live there, in fact. Sometimes we go twice a day. It's really helped me get back into shape after having Abigail, and gives me a little alone time while the girls go to the Play Center when I work out. I absolutely love my instructors and the ladies I work out with. My newest hobby/obsession is playing with Photoshop to make digital scrapbook layouts. This is my contribution to the collective family geekiness. On my free time, I do contract work for Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children as a mentor and lead assessor for six counties in Idaho. I also have conducted trainings. At church, I teach a delightful group of preschoolers (including my Amanda) and lead the music for the Sunday School. I love to bake all kinds of goodies with my girls; our kitchen always seems to be abuzz with some concoction. :) In September, the girls and I participated in the St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration 5k along with 12,500 other women. Amanda wasn't too thrilled with the distance at one point, but once we crossed the finish line and sampled the breakfast they provided, she said she wanted to do it again next year. This is going to be a family tradition. (Abby lost her socks early on in the race, so I had to hold them to keep them toasty!)

2007 was definitely a year of hellos and one significant farewell. Abigail's birth was the greatest highlight, punctuated by my brother Josh's marriage to his lovely wife Betty in May, the birth of our nephew Elias Gabriel in August, and a great visit with Josh and Betty in November. We said good bye to my Aunt Kim in August - we miss her dearly. I am so glad that she and my Uncle Kim were able to visit in April, as we got to spend some time with them and even have photos of them with my children.

I am deeply grateful to God for His provisions and blessings. May you be close to your loved ones this Christmas and throughout the new year.


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