The Year in Review-from Mommy

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year!  Those of you who are on our snail-mail list are probably receiving our snail-mail New Year's card and picture right about now.  Here's the letter we promised!  To our faithful blog readers who are not on our snail mail list, this letter is for you, too.  Thanks for being interested in our lives!  A note to those of you who are new to our blog:  If you look over to the right-hand side, you can take a look at our friends' blogs or look at our old posts by date.  You can also post your own comment at the end of this letter.  We love comments!  Oh, and the other posts are usually written from Jonathan's point of view.

As you may have already read, we've been in our new home for just over a year now.  We're thankful the move is behind us.  We have so many dear friends and family who helped us in so many ways on both ends of our trip, and in the middle, too!  Thanks to everyone for the many ways you supported us.

Jaunary...  After we got here, Jeff spent time adjusting to his new job working with tomatoes instead of greeting cards.  We had the pleasure of spending time with family nearby instead of getting on a plane to see them.  It was great to be near them and have Jonathan get to know my side of the family better.  We started doing our best to see my mom and my dad at least once during each week.  We don't always make it but we do the best we can!  Also, Jonathan and I worked on finding friends and activities to fill our days once we had the unpacking under control.  I met my neighbor, Amy, whose son is six months younger than Jonathan.  She was so kind to introduce me to some of her friends, Jen and Jetta.  Amy, Jen, and Jetta were my first friends here and continue to be good friends to me.  They had an informal playgroup and included me in it.I'm really thankful to have met them.

February...  Our new home has taken us away from some people but brought us closer to others.  Now it's easy to see our friends, Charlie and Paola and their kids, Sophia and Antonia.  James and Karyn came out to see Karyn's family, so we got to see them on that trip, and Jonathan and Jamey got to play together while we visited.  And regardless of the distance, we'll always enjoy visits from Jeff's parents.  There are not many pictures posted of their February visit because soon after they went home, my grandpa passed away unexpectedly.  We all miss him and were not ready to say goodbye.  Here are some favorite pictures of Grandpa with Jonathan.

March and April...  We enjoyed the early spring in the valley (it actually starts in February with the almonds) and were surprised that it was still winter in the mountains.  (They call it "going to the snow" here.)  We took a trip to go hiking and found that about 3 ft. of snow where we had planned to hike.  Snowshoes would have been helpful, but we had a great time!  We continued to become better friends with Amy, Jen, Jetta, and their kids and husbands..  We enjoyed visits from Kathy, Sarah, and Gretchen, all old friends with camp connections who are much nearer to us because of our move.  Another benefit of being here is that Jonathan can use the bed my siblings and I used, and my brother brought it over here for us.  Jonathan switched to sleeping in it and said goodbye to the crib with no problems!  We had to take him in for a CT scan because of some concerns the doctors had about his facial asymmetry.  We finally got the scan done on the 2nd try, and everything was fine.  Right afterwards, we enjoyed a chilly family campout and Easter at home and with family.  Pizza Day at the "tomato factory" was another fun highlight of the spring.

May...  We enjoyed more visits!  This time they were with Krista and Jacob & Laura, all college friends.  We also found our new church home and began making friends there.  It's a small, friendly church, and we are enjoying settling in there.  Jonathan got glasses.  He had an easier time adjusting to them than we did.  He looks so grown up now!  We had fun hiking and seeing old friends, going to the coast with  new friends, and another chilly family campout.

June...was a big month for us.  We traveled back to Jeff's roots to celebrate his parents' 60th birthdays.  We also enjoyed a visit from three sets of couple-friends...and their kids...all at the same time.  It was great, especially the trip to Yosemite.  I put the finishing touches on some rooms I had painted.  We discovered the joy of the local fountains with little buddies, Ella and Jared.  And I also helped teach the K-1 class at Vacation Bible School.  Whew!

July...  A much calmer month!  Jeff was getting ready for his first "Season" which would last until October, so we went to the coast for one last big day together as a family for awhile.  I got some time to myself to do some scrapbooking.  I'm still enjoying Creative Memories.  You can see my site here if you type in my name and state.  We celebrated our 8th anniversary!  We also enjoyed a visit from Mark and Jennie (the same couple that just welcomed Micah into the world.)

August...  Still tomato season!  We managed to get away for one hike as a family.  Jeff helped start an Ultimate Frisbee group, something he'd been missing a lot.  We enjoyed a visit from John and Cheryl.  They always help us a lot with home improvement projects, and this time they built Jonathan a sandbox under the playhouse they had previously repaired.

September...  Still tomato season!  Here's a picture of Samantha, our beloved babysitter from our church.  Since Jeff was so busy with work, Jonathan and I went on a big trip.  We spent some time with family before hopping on the plane to meet Tim and Jo's new baby.  We had a fantastic time with Tim and Jo and the boys as well as other dear friends and family.  We continued getting to know families at our church better as we experienced little-girl birthdays here and here.

October...  The end of Tomato season!  As I look back at October's posts, I can see that we were starting to get into a routine of life (finally.)  Our life involved work, play, time with family, new friends, and old friends.  A highlight of the month was getting away to the city-just Jeff and me.

November...  This is usually the beginning to a very busy fall and Christmas season for us.  We had some really fun times this month:  Disneyland with Jake and Laura, and a trip to see Jeff's side of the family for Thanksgiving.  I also had my CM Open House, and Jonathan chipped and cracked his front teeth.  (Amazingly, they were gray but have turned white again!  We have one more checkup for them next week.)

December...  We'll always be busy because of the normal Christmas activities, but Jonathan's birthday and my birthday add even more activity to the season.  He really "got it" this year and had a great time turning three.  I think he enjoyed celebrating Jesus' birthday just as much, as you can tell from what he said here and here and here and here.  We hope you experienced the joy of Christ's birth this year and continue to remember his amazing gift throughout 2008.  We loved being able to celebrate Christmas with our nearby family so easily, but we missed the other parts of our family that are far away!  We also added a new dimension to our lives this month:  officially pursuing adoption.  You can read about it here and follow our adoption blog here.  We finished an amazing year of transition with a fun evening with Dave and Jen and the girls and a refreshing snowshoeing trip.  We also thought a lot about what was going on last year at this time and dearly miss everyone we left behind.

As you can see, this letter has turned into a novel...I'm not sure how many readers actually made it to this point!  If you did, I'm impressed.  Thanks for taking time to read about our lives.  We are so thankful for the many blessings in our lives, particularly all the people who mean so much to us and fill our lives with joy.  Happy New Year to all of you!

With love,
Jeff, Amy, and Jonathan

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Dan said...
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