The following is this years Christmas letter, just in case you won't be getting a Christmas card from us this year. I finally got my cards sent out on Monday. Nothing like waiting til the last minute!
Greetings of Christmas and New Years!
I often laugh at myself when I sit down to write our Christmas letter. I am always running behind during the holiday season. Here it is the 19th of December and we just yesterday began our Christmas shopping and I am just now writing this letter to all of you, our most loved friends and family. Which, of course, is why I included a New Years greeting above. It's all due to either over working or tardiness. Narrowing it all down to which the blame is deserved, is entirely too much guess work...
What a wonderful year here at our house! Many ups and some downs. A rollercoaster year for sure. Our son Joshua turned two years old in October. He is not one to bore his audiences. He is always talking and getting into "man" things. Josh can typically be found with one of several things in his hand: a flashlight, a screwdriver, a truck or a pen. This summer he so lovingly drew a mural across my lower kitchen cabinets, which caused a flurry of Internet research to find a way to remove permanent marker from wood. Thankful I am for toothpaste... It just so happens to be a "cure all". A little scrubbing and a bit of elbow grease removed most, if not all, remnants of his artistry. Joshua's speech continues to astound not only Adam and I, but other members of our family as well. He has an almost complete range of vocabulary and can carry on a nice conversation with us. So, if and when you come and visit, please season your speech with salt and keep in mind that our small child can and will repeat every word he hears you speak. Another thing people find fascinating about Josh is his size and weight. Yes, he weighs a ton. And yes, he is in the 95th percentile on the growth chart. He also will tell me at times, "I have big hands." Which he does. Our most current struggle with Josh is food. After eating anything and everything for the past two years, Josh has decided that he doesn't like supper. We are currently using several different means of manipulation to get him to eat without complaining or saying, "Me no like it." Don't you worry. I have already stated that Josh is plenty healthy and will not starve due to our manipulation tactics. We are also working on potty-training. If I could get complete family support, I think he could be diaper-free (daytime) by New Years.
Adam continues to work for LMC out of Avon, NY. Heating and Air Conditioning is his cup-o-tea. To me it is just pipes, vents and a lot of hot air. That's why I leave it all to him. He drives a company van here and there and tries to get home in time for dinner. This year, during his spare time, Adam refinished a room in our basement. He drywalled, painted, put down laminate flooring, and redid the stairs, with a bit of help from my Dad and a pinch of help from me. I was more than happy to do the tiling around the wood stove but I have yet to finish painting the stairs. Maybe by Christmas.... (ha-ha)
This past April, Adam and I were hit by a drunk driver while driving to Nashville. We ended up rolling our SUV and totaling our vehicle, leaving us stranded just outside of Louisville, KY. I believe God uses times like that to draw you, not only closer to Him, but closer together as a couple. God was so good to us and protected us through the whole incident. We walked away with four staples in Adam's head and 33 stitches in my forearm and, after renting another vehicle, we continued on our way to Nashville. Many thanks to our family and close friends for your prayers over the course of that weekend.
Another highlight of the year was the ten day missions trip I was privileged to take part in this summer. A group of nine from our church flew to El Salvador to minister to a group of boys and various area churches. It was amazing. We passed out gospel tracts to nearly every person we saw on the street and taught Bible stories to the kids who attended the after-school program at the orphanage where we stayed. I was so blessed and God is still using the experience to work in my heart.
This year also brought to pass the most difficult thing I have ever had to endure, which is saying good-bye to someone I love dearly, though it be only temporary. On September 28, my dear Grandpa went to be with Jesus, after being diagnosed with lung cancer only four weeks prior. Those last four weeks were, and will be forever, so precious to us. We soaked up every moment we could with Grandpa and he continued to shower us with stories and wisdom and his favorite scriptures. The night before he died, I whispered in his ear that if I didn't see him again here, I would see him there (meaning heaven) and he answered in a resounding, "Yes!" The first thing he had been able to say for several hours. What a comfort that is to me. I'm looking forward to our reunion someday.
So there you have a brief synopsis of our year. May the next year have more ups and more glorious meetings with my Saviour. I love my Jesus dearly and I pray that this year you will grow to know Him like you never had before. He is the true reason why we celebrate this Christmas. Because of Jesus, I can confidently assure you that I will see my Grandpa again, though not on this earth. Because of Jesus, I am free. My debt is paid, because of a little Child born so long ago. May God bless you all in the up coming year! Good wishes from us to you!
With all our love,
Adam, Bethany and Josh
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Josh loves Christmas. He doesn't know what it is about or even Who it celebrates. He is unaware that he has Christmas presents waiting for him in the closet. He doesn't know that we will go to our Grandparents house and spend precious time with family. But Joshua does know that the Christmas lights decorating our neighbors' houses are beautiful, that the Christmas tree is stunning when the lights are on (and that they should be on during every waking hour), and that Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer make good dancing songs. This December is going by very quickly and although I haven't had much time to do extra special things, the special Christmas things we have done have been fun. Cutting down our Christmas tree together as a family and then decorating it, driving through town admiring the Christmas lights, and listening to the festive songs on the road. Josh has taken it all in with amazement and enjoyment. With the joy and wonder of a small child.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Last night, we had our friend Mr. "H" over for supper. His family is in NJ, in the process of moving back to NY, after being gone for 6 years. Mr. "H" was my youth group leader growing up and father to one of my bff's . We figured he could use some company for supper, especially since eating out by one's self, would get old quick. Josh thought he was pretty good for playing with. This is how Josh thinks: After supper, Josh took Mr. "H" downstairs where he showed him his cars. Josh says, "You wanna play toys Mista Hista?" "Okay, I'll play cars," replies Mr. "H", standing over Josh admiring his cars from a distance. Josh says, "You wanna sit down Mista Hista?" He was pretty sure Mista Hista made a cool guy to play cars with.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Potty-training... I didn't know those words could make me smile so broadly. Josh has been wonderful this week. I really am thinking he may be diaper free by Christmas. He has stayed dry almost all week! I am amazed... For a while there, it would seem like he would go a day or two really well, but as soon (literally within a half-hour) as I put a pull up on him, he would pee in it! It was rather frustrating. Well, the same thing happened this past Monday, and I had had enough. I decided he was going in underpants so he would really know the difference of being dry and being wet. He did okay for about an hour or maybe even two, but then he let loose all over the floor. And not just a little bit. And boy, did I make a big deal out of that pee. (Really, I expected it to happen, but he needed to know that it was not okay anymore!) Since that day, I could count on one hand the amount of times he has had a wet diaper/pull up/underpants. He has even stayed dry at least two nights this week. Now I have to figure out how to get it into his head, that he needs to poop on the potty too. This is a harder task, I think. Any suggestions? Josh has been so pleased with himself that he has been a big boy this week. He loves how it makes everyone happy. Daddy is happy, Momma is happy, Uncle Joe is happy, Cat is happy, Gramma is happy, Lange is happy... (Yes, this is his list of happy people.) I will be so, so happy when my little, uh, I mean big boy poops on the potty too. To think that it has been almost a year since he first peed on the potty... Last Christmas day. (I know, that makes it really easy to remember.) What a big boy he is getting to be. *smile*
A couple Saturday's back, we were able to meet with some good friends of ours from Binghamton. I've been friends with Stephanie since we went to summer camp as kids, but we don't see each other often since we live three hours away. But they were in town over Thanksgiving, so we met up that weekend, with our little families to spend some time together. After some lunch at Applebee's, we went to the mall to go window shopping. We had to stop in front of the giant Christmas tree for a photo op. I wish we lived closer so our boys could be best buddies growing up, even if they are a year and a half apart!!
It seems I am always a week behind, but I wanted to write all about my Thanksgiving weekend adventures. This is the very first year that I have ever gone "Black Friday" shopping. My friend Emily convinced me to go out with her early, early in the morning. I got out of bed at 2:40am in order to meet her at her house by 3:45. (She lives 20 minutes-ish away.) That gave me enough time to shower and feel like a real person before leaving home. The plan was to get to the outlet mall at 4 am, between the midnight rush and the morning rush. It worked like a charm. There were people, but not the mobs of people you typically hear about on "Black Friday". There were good sales and I would definitely do it again next year. We hit Old Navy first, before I made the rounds to the little kid clothing stores. I was able to get Josh several things he needed and even a few things for myself (and Adam too). The excitement of going out early, in the dark, to go Christmas shopping was the most fun. Made me feel young and rambunctious again. :) Too bad I didn't get a photo with me in it. Then again, maybe it's better that way...