Ok, I admit it. I have severely disappointed myself with this blog, by not posting as much as I thought I could since Adam was born. I still like to write and post pictures, but things have been pretty slow-moving around here. I like to think that the old locomotive train is still in it's first moments of sputtering and starting and jolting before it can pick up speed and roll smoothly. Anyway, I meant to write a Thanksgiving post about 2 weeks ago, and here it is December 17th. So what I decided to do is write a Thanksgiving /Christmas letter hybrid. It turned out kind of long. I'd apologize, but it's my website. You might want to settle in with some hot chocolate and a cookie or two. Here it goes~ the mother of all blog posts for 2009.
This year 2009 was a great year for us Giedds.
In January, we had our loft converted into a fourth bedroom for our burgeoning family. A good friend at church did a fabulous job at a very good price. We are so thankful for the new and better used space. In mid-January we had our ultrasound and discovered that God was giving us another son, due in late spring. We were shocked and thrilled that God would entrust us with another little Giedd man.
Dabney turned 5 years old in February. We cannot believe our first baby is so big. She is a sweetheart and a huge help to her Mama. She loves her brothers dearly and plays kindly with them. She loves to read by herself and also to read to the boys. She helps me cook and clean and she is an expert sock matcher and folder. And even as she is approaching 6 (!), we see her growing in godliness every week. She has a servant's heart and she is an enormous blessing to our family.
I must confess, we hibernated awhile in spring. We homeschooled and read together and rested and prepared and organized in anticipation for our little guy. Also in April, Tim and I celebrated 6 years of marriage together.
On June 10th, 2009 (at 1:24pm) we welcomed our Sweet Timothy Adam into our family. He has been nothing but a joy to all of us. He smiles constantly. From his early morning grin to his sleepy smile in the late hours, our Adam is the most cheerful baby we've seen. He's growing like a weed and thoroughly enjoys watching and playing with his brothers and sister. Now, at 6 months, he moves incessantly. He bounces whenever he's awake. He kicks his legs when he nurses, and loves to move in his exersaucer. Recently, we put up the doorway jumper and he had a blast!
Also in June, we had a great visit with the Lloyds who came to meet the newest Giedd. We had so much fun, but visits like that never last long enough. We were so thankful that they were able to come and visit.
July brought our Joshua's 2nd birthday. Even though he's still pretty young, Josh been acting more and more grown up lately. He's speaking right on par with his brother and sister and it is such a treat to hear what's on our little guy's heart. He is rarely seen without a book in his hand these days and you will be his best friend if you sit down to read him a story. He's also taken up his brother's pattern blocks and worksheets (as you noticed in the last post, no doubt) and he does really well with them. He also excels with puzzles, appreciates organization, and on occasion raids my wallet (with permission) for small coins for his bank.
In August, we set up bunk beds for the boys. These beds are pretty close to my heart, because they are the very beds my brother and I slept on when we were in elementary school. David of course is the king of the top bunk and we're still trying to convince Joshua that the bottom bunk is more fun than his crib. More on that later.
In October, we switched the kids' rooms around and painted and played musical bedroom furniture for a while before we found a configuration that works for us.
Last month, Tim and I had a long expected date night, and we had a great Thanksgiving with delicious food and fabulous friends. Tim was also able to go back to Bismarck for a few days to visit his folks before Thanksgiving. He had a wonderful and very blessed time with them.
As I write this, our David James will turn 4 years old in exactly 1 week. Four years old. Unbelievable. My Christmas Eve baby. We've seen such growth from him in this past year. Tim and I joke that he's a 3 year old, but could pass for 8 any day of the week. This kid meets his goals undeterred. This is good news, we think. We know he will do well in sports eventually. Of course, if he sets his heart to superglue his brother's hand to the counter, he could do that too. (David doesn't sleep as much as I would like, but lately I've been thinking if we enroll him in some extreme martial arts class it might give him an extra hour or so in the morning. But that also might give him the ability to inflict terrible harm and destruction... Nevermind.) He still has a joyous heart and sings loudly and often and he wears that heart on his sleeve, praise God. David is a whirling dervish of smiling excitement.
As you can see from lack of excitement in this years update, we have slowed down our pace of life. We have 4 kids, ages 5 and under. We've decided to take it easy and focus on the kids. To not have them in life's periphery, but front and center. Our kids are small now, but one day they will not be small. One day we might wish for these days back. I look at our this year's family picture and rejoice in the fact that Tim and I can physically hold them all, at the same time. In 10 short years, we will have 2 teenagers and 2 preteens in the house. By that time, most of their "cement" will have set. These are the days to focus on character building and foundation laying. So, this year we've been enjoying the slow, less exciting times when we can do simple things together. Like going to the park, all 6 of us, as a family. Like making Christmas cookies and reading books together and coloring pictures and having popcorn and movie night.
We are so thankful for the myriad blessings showered upon us. We cannot even name them all; they permeate our lives.
We are especially thankful for a job this year. After that almost-crash with the stock market last year, we are mindful of the blessing of employment. It was a tough year for us financially, (did I mention that the stock market directly affects Tim's job every day?) but we are still employed and God has met every need and so many of our desires. Like the 4th bedroom. Warm socks for all of the 40 small toes, and 20 bigger toes in our house. Like a nice steam iron that makes my life much easier. Like a treadmill so I can exercise and still watch the kids.We are so thankful for our health and our children's. Even when we have colds and coughs, we are still incredibly healthy. We try to remind the kids of this~ I never want them to take that for granted. We have still never missed a mortgage payment when there are so many thousands of foreclosures around us. We have money for good food, and good food to share. We have fudge on the counter and lights on the front of our warm home. I even splurged last week and bought a remote control for the outside lights so I don't have to open the door when it's 4 degrees outside to turn them off. We had no broken bones or stitches this year, and only 1 concussion. We have 3 boys! Those statistics are wonderful! We are thankful for phones and the internet and this blog because my family lives across the ocean. We are thankful for the freedom to homeschool and kids who love to learn. I'm thankful for online shopping so I don't have to drag my children all over creation to find what we need. I'm thankful for treats like Starbucks lattes.
I heart my space heater.
I'm thankful I live near a Costco. I'm thankful for my freezers that allow me to cook big one day and keep the rest ready at a moment's notice. I'm thankful for my kids' help around the house. Every Monday they help sort and deliver the laundry to the washer. Then they help bring the laundry back upstairs and fold it with me. I never have to put the silverware away anymore~ the kids love that job. I'm thankful for my parents and siblings. They support and encourage me every day. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. He's always been faithful to me and the children and he spends his extra time finding ways to provide well. I'm thankful for such a great dad for my kids. He's so thoughtful and he takes his responsibilities very seriously. I love him more today than I did in April '03. I'm thankful that God saved me out of the mire of sin and redeemed a dirty, worthless girl. I don't deserve adoption.
So, with all of these things in mind, I say "Merry Christmas from the Giedds". May God be kind to you in the new year and may you remember with gratefulness the multitude of blessings he has spread over your family and all of His creation~ far as the curse is found.