Friday, December 30, 2011

Our 2011 Family Newsletter

Our family is alive and well in Pullman, WA!

I am thankful to be alive this year! I had a terrible health scare at the end of March, when I contracted pneumonia along with a life-threatening secondary infection. I was transported to the ICU in Spokane and spent two weeks in the hospital recovering. We are thankful for so many dear family members and friends who came to our rescue during and after this ordeal, as well as many thoughts and prayers in our behalf. I'm in perfect health now (with some “battle scars” to show for it) and I'm so thankful to be home and with my family! I'm currently serving with our church’s Young Women group (12-13yr olds), and I volunteer once a month in Jane’s 1st Grade class teaching art.

Josh has been working really hard on the website re-design for the University of Idaho, which will launch in January. He’s had some great experience, and works with some really outstanding people! He met one of his goals this year and completed a ½ Ironman in Boise in the Spring; while he got into the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, we've decided to defer this dream for another season in our lives: it's an expensive and time-consuming hobby. Another first for Josh was his ambulance ride and a day spent in the hospital with the first of three kidney stones this year! Poor Josh. It looked pretty painful. He serves with the 11-yr-old Scouts, and is an awesome dad! The jubilant rejoicing that takes place when we all hear the garage door open at the end of the day is a sight to behold. We all love him.

Jane (7) is in 1st grade and doing really well with her schoolwork. She likes school so much she wants to arrive 20 minutes early! She claims that if you’re “eighth or ninth” in line, the kids get talking too much and don’t go when the line is moving. Therefore, it is critical to be prompt, so she can stand “third or fourth” in line in 30-degree temperatures and…wait. Her favorite activity is jumping rope at recess with her friends. We’ve got all the jump rope rhymes memorized! Jane competed in a kids’ Triathlon in the Spring, that included an open water swim in 63 degree water. She finished strong, and we’re really proud of her! She competed in two more triathlons later in the summer, including one with her brother Ben. She loves doing projects and creating things. She’s made a pair of paper shoes, a paper shirt and a paper outfit for Eliza for Christmas, which was about four sizes too small. :) Jane is a great little helper, so long as the job isn’t to clean her room!

Ben (5) is in Kindergarten and having a great time in school! He loves his teacher and he’s got several nice friends. He’s learning to read and is working on writing his letters. Ben’s greatest desire is to become a Boy Scout. Josh often lets him come along to his 11-yr-old Scout meetings, and there is nothing he loves more. Ben’s learned about knots and building fires and making shelters, and has even gone on a campout. He counts those 11-yr-olds as his best friends, but it’s mostly a one-sided relationship. Josh said one meeting Ben presented one of the Scouts with a picture he’d drawn of the two of them holding hands and he’d written, “I love you,“ on the top. The Scout was gracious and said, “Thanks, Ben.” He’s our sweetest boy.

Eliza (2) is the boss of the house, and is home with mommy all day. Eliza’s sad when Dad (and Dad’s iPad) and the “kids” leave for work or school, and so excited when they all return! She got 2nd degree burns on her hands at the end of October when she touched the hot glass of our gas fireplace. After a trip to the ER and following a long week of recovery, we’re so grateful wounds heal and that burn cream exists! Eliza was also diagnosed with a speech delay (Expressive Language Disorder), so we’ve been taking steps to get her some additional help. In the meantime, we’re becoming experts on translating for her and enjoying the progress she is making with some of her words. A few of our favorites are, “Waaash!” (Sorry), “Osh” (Phone) “Hosh” (snow/snowman)“Peas” (Please), "Awsh" (wash), “Hess” (yes) "No" (No. We’ve got that one down!)

We wish you all a Happy (and healthy) New Year!

Much love,
Amy, Josh, Jane, Ben & Eliza


Doré said...

Amy, you are so sweet and cheerful! If there ever was a family that deserves a healthy year, it is yours!

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful family. I'm praying that there will be no ER visits this year for your family.

Taylor's said...

I LOVE it! Your family is so cute and amazing. I would not expect anything else from a Mom like you!

You are so blessed beyond measure!

Chad said...

I just realized reading this post that our families are so similar in make up and arrangements. I have a daughter in 2nd grade, a boy in first, and a 3 year old daughter at home. Just thought I would share that with you. Plus I am glad to know you. Glad you and the Smed were roommates way back when so I was able to mix into the shuffle! Hope this year is "the bomb" for your family.