Dear Family and Friends (and devoted blog readers 😉 )–

We’re foregoing our traditional Christmas letter this year and are hoping to get a letter out in the spring.  Here’s a “quick” update while you eagerly await that note…

Christian is enjoying first grade this year at Roberts Elementary.  He has the same base teacher and assistant as last year.  He loves music and art classes and computer lab, still loves reading and spelling, and has developed a recent love of rollerskating in phy ed class.  Christian has honed his computer skills this year and often asks for “Daddy’s computer” so that he can surf “youtube” looking for the best end credits to favorite movies or television shows (i.e. “Hollywood Squares”, “Inspector Gadget”, “Animaniacs”, etc.).  Christian is still in an intensive in-home therapy program.  We have to maintain at least 80 hours/month to stay in this program, so Christian usually has 3-4 hours of therapy after school every night and 3 more hours on Saturday mornings.  He’s a very busy guy.

Olivia (“Liv”) is absolutely happy at Hope School’s afternoon 4K this year. 🙂  She can’t wait to go to school everyday and is really blossoming into a social girl.  She still spends her mornings at home with mom (which can be rather “boring”), but enjoys their visits to the local children’s museum, library, and stores.  (She’s a shopper!)  Liv loves visiting Grandma and “her” kitties down the road at the farm.  (No, Tim, that’s not an invitation to send any home with her!)  Liv had her first round of T-ball this summer.  She was pretty shy around the coaches and other kids on the team, but insists that she would like to do it again next summer.  Liv would love more playdates in the new year and wishes more of her cousins were closer to play with.

Brian continues to work on the family farm.  During the spring/summer, he completed a LOT of work around the house — building a shed, adding to the landscaping, putting in a front sidewalk.  Don’t worry, he still had time for fishing and hunting.  Brian had his first chance to take Christian fishing this spring.  They both thoroughly enjoyed it!  Christian has asked to go again.  (I don’t think that will be a problem.)  And Olivia would happily go along anytime Brian will allow. 🙂  As for hunting, Brian saw a number of deer while bow hunting, but gun season was very successful this year as Brian had a buck and a doe by 11 am on opening morning!  Our freezer is well stocked and the steaks are delicious! 🙂

Mama has been doing pretty much the same “Mama things” as last year.  She did add “fundraising coordinator” to her list of duties as we started our quest to get Christian a specially trained autism service dog.  It was a TON of work.  The house became even more neglected, but God blessed our efforts and by the end of October our goal was reached.  Mama has also started running (well, jogging) again.  She has a goal to run complete a 1/2-marathon before her 35th birthday.  She has her eye on two races in May.  Mama needs Christmas break to finish up so that she can get back to training in the afternoon while the kids are both in school.  😉

As mentioned, we have completed raising funds for Christian’s service dog.  While there had been an unexpected and unfortunate delay, our training facility (Compassionate Paws, Inc.) has a puppy for Christian now!  😀  She is a St. Bernard/Blue Heeler mix.  (That combination should give us a big dog that is good at herding.  Much what we need. 😉 )  We haven’t seen her yet, but have heard that she is already 25# at 15 weeks!   Her name will be “Ubu.”  (After a favorite production company of Christian, of course.)  She will need LOTS of training, so Ubu will not be coming to live with us until the last week in September.  Mama is starting to get the urge to nest in anticipation of Ubu’s arrival. 😉

Well, that’s about all for now.  If  you want more frequent updates, you can find Mama and Brian on Facebook or just stop by Mama’s blog here.  🙂

We pray that y’all had a blessed Christmas rejoicing in the birth of our Savior!

Much love, 

Brian, Mama, Christian, & Liv