~ ~ ~
Dearest Family & Friends,
Peace be with you as we celebrate the joyous occasion of the birth of Our Savior this Christmas season!
This letter is getting out a wee bit later than we had hoped, but hey, thank goodness the twelve days of Christmas come after December 25th and not before! And now that the new year is looming, we look back in amazement at another year gone by in the blink of an eye.
In May, we celebrated John’s first birthday. Around the same time he began to take his first steps, and since then the world has never been the same. John loves to run around the house, climb on furniture, and generally tear the house apart. Lindsey can usually keep up with him, but on her busier days you can definitely tell where our sweet little boy has left his mark. Throughout the year he has gone from one fixation to another. It used to be pens and then cellphones. More recently his fascination has been with hats. He also loves to wear his red rubber boots around the house all day, sometimes from the moment he gets out of bed.
Although fluent in his own native language, John is still working on speaking English. “Hat... go?” is his way of telling us he’d like to put his hat on so he can go outside and play. “Auh?” he says as he points to something he wants. One of his favorite things to say is “BY-e”, with sort of a Southern drawl, as he smiles and waves at strangers passing by or as he’s leaving the room. Everyone loves to see his cheery face, especially his “Mama” and “Dada”, who feel so blessed to have him entrusted to their care.
In January, I began working part-time for our parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, to help with marketing and web management, in addition to working at SwingSetMall.com. Having both jobs and working six days a week have definitely kept things busy, but we feel fortunate to have the extra income which has helped us to pay off all our debts and get us closer to owning a home (just waiting for home prices to fall a bit more in Malibu). At SwingSetMall.com, we’ve had a record year of sales and growth. Without going into details which would violate the terms of the confidentiality agreement (in which case I would have to kill all of you), let’s just say the business is doing better than ever and showing promising signs of continued growth in large part due to this thing called advertising. Praise God! We hired a new employee in September to fully manage the warehouse and shipping, and although Glenn is still not keen on my idea of hiring an in-house sushi chef, I think that day is coming soon. :)
Lindsey has been staying busy with all of her duties as a (wonderful) homemaker. She finds a lot of fulfillment and meaning in the little things she does each day. She is also leading a mothers group at our church which meets every week. She tries to reach out to our friends and have lots of play dates for John. Fortunately, we are blessed to be in a community where there are many moms who are homemakers, so Lindsey feels blessed to have so much support.
Another important part of our lives has been our continued involvement in pro-life work. This year Lindsey helped lead the Pro-Life Youth Committee at our church. I am still co-directing the Anti-Choice Project, now a non-profit organization, with our good friend Tom. Other highlights of the year include attending 5 weddings of some of our dear friends; a trip to Bellingham to be with my two sisters, Jenny and Marie, who were visiting from out of state; several batches of homebrew; more than one trip to the mechanic; going to a Dave Matthews Band concert with friends; and of course our annual camping trip to Mt. Adams to pick huckleberries.
We love you all and hope to hear from you soon. May you have a blessed Christmas season and a happy new year!
Andrew, Lindsey and John