December 2011 - If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then there’s really no need to write a Christmas letter this year is there? Our pictures pretty much sum up our lives: chaos. Pure chaos. But you know me.. I never turn down an opportunity to talk, or in this case write, so I’m writing a letter anyway But this year, I had help. I asked each of the kids to tell me three things they think people should know about them, and about Brad and me. Here’s what they came up with:
Morgan (age 2)
• “Nookies.” Morgan loves her nookie (pacifier, binkie, she loves it, no matter what you call it). We are trying to wean her from it, but she truly loves it. I guess there are worse things…. right?
• “Bob.” Morgan doesn’t say many words (why should she? She has three older siblings to do the talking for her!) but she does say “Bob”. He obeys her, because she feeds him all the food off her plate! A few weeks ago, she fed him an entire loaf of fresh baked homemade bread!
• “Ball.” Ok, Morgan doesn’t really love this, but it’s a huge part of her life. She’s been sitting in the bleachers since she was ten days old, and in 2011 she spent even more time in the bleachers, as both Lexi and Jake played school basketball and traveling basketball. She also sat through dozens of volleyball matches and football games, which means I have scrubbed crayon off of many bleachers and walls, cleaned up spilled popcorn, and apologized to hundreds of people who made the mistake of sitting beside us.
Lizzy (age 4):
• “I’m funny.” She is. Lizzy is probably the funniest kid I know. In fact, Lizzy is so funny, that her blog, www.lizzy-isms.blogspot.com needs to be updated several times a day. She is currently on a “Lizzy-ism” strike – everytime she says or does something that makes us laugh, she quickly tells us “do not put that on Lizzy-isms. Actually, delete the whole thing.” Not a chance.
• “I don’t hate speech.” Lizzy continues to go to speech therapy once a week. She’s gone from hating it, to loving it, to tolerating it. She is looking forward to being done with speech and starting kindergarten next year.
• “I love, love, love Barbies.” Lizzy has just recently fallen in love with Barbies. She spends hours playing with them, all by herself.
Jake (age 10, 5th grade, Dorothy Moses Elementary):
• “Are you ready for some football?” Jake loves everything football - watching it on tv, watching it in person, playing it, managing his fantasy football teams. Even though his Vikings are having a terrible year, he is loyal. I think the highlight of 2011 for Jake was going to the Vikings/Broncos game with Brad and my dad. Jake also played his first year of tackle football this year and survived without any broken bones! While football is his true love, he’s playing basketball now and doing great.. he’s got a killer left-handed layup
• “I’ll drive.” Jake spent a few weeks at the Shea farm this summer. His biggest accomplishment: learning to drive. That’s about all I know about that, and to be honest, I don’t think I want to know anymore!
• “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” This became Jake’s catch phrase this summer, when he became the man of the house while Brad worked long hours. He took care of Bob, took the garbage out, and during our week-long camping trip in the Black Hills without Brad, he even fixed the van
Lexi (age 12, 7th grade, Wachter Middle School):
• “I started middle school.” Lexi has made new friends and loves having a locker and changing classes. She even made the honor roll! She played volleyball this fall and is now in the middle of her school basketball season. Traveling basketball will start after Christmas. Then it will be softball or track – she hasn’t decided which she will pursue yet. She played fast pitch softball for the first time this summer, and while she said she was awful, I think she kind of enjoyed it, and may even dream of hitting a homerun!
• “r u here?” This is the text I get every day when she needs a ride home. What did we do before cell phones?
• “Peace, love and duct tape.” Did you know duct tape comes in dozens of colors and patterns? Lexi has boxes of tape and spends her free time making duct tape wallets, pencil bags, flowers, bracelets and more. She’s established quite a little business for herself – selling her creations to friends, classmates, family, and people she doesn’t even know. This month, she’s donating all the money she makes to charity. So proud.
Brad, Jody, Lexi, Jake, Lizzy, Morgan and Bob
Brad and Jody (ages – OLD!):
• “I got a new job.” After nearly 14 years with KFYR-TV, I started a new job this spring. I’m now working 20 hours a week as a public information officer for four public health units. My focus is on emergency preparedness, but I’ve been lucky to “dabble” in many parts of public health, and even worked for the city of Bismarck during the flood (13 days in a row of 16+ hour workdays!). I’ve also started freelancing for the television program “This Week in Agribusiness” and the website “The Krazy Koupon Lady”. It’s fun way to earn a little extra money! While I changed jobs, Brad continues to work for the Department of Transportation. It was a long summer of road construction – Brad worked 17 hour days most of the summer. The kids and I missed him, but we liked the overtime checks…. while he worked, we bummed at area lakes and spent a week camping in the Black Hills.
• “I survived the Hawaiian tsunami of 2011.” Just before starting my new job Brad and I were lucky enough to go on a KFYR-TV sponsored vacation to Hawaii. We spent ten days visiting three islands. We visited Pearl Harbor, got sunburned on Poipu Beach, rode a Harley around Maui, and survived a tsunami! We would do it all again in a heartbeat… except for the tsunami part!
• “We wish there were more hours in a day!” Our lives are busy! We spend most of our time running our kids around, watching their activities, and working. We both have hobbies we’d love to find time to do: Brad would love to spend more time hunting and working in his garage; I’d love to catch up on some scrapbooking and go to the gym. But for now, our children are our life. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
We hope that your 2011 was as exciting and memorable as ours. We’d love to hear from you – look us up if you’re ever in the Bismarck area. And even if you’re not in our neighborhood, find us on Facebook!
May you have a blessed Christmas and an awesome 2012!
Brad, Jody, Lexi, Jake, Lizzy, Morgan and Bob