You can call this our Christmas letter.

I'm not doing a Christmas letter this year {and our cards will either arrive just days before Christmas or be Happy New Year cards - and I don't really care!}This was written at random times, as I had time and as I thought of stuff, so if it feels random, that's why.
This is a bit of a run down for the people who say I don't post enough about our personal family life. 

You're welcome ;-)

Miles is teething like crazy {2 regular teeth and his 2 year molars} caught a cold in the midst of it - right now I'm thankful for all natural remedies like essential oils that are helping him tremendously. 
He's learning all sorts of new words; will pretty much copy or try to copy whatever we say.
He's a climber, though not as much as he used to be. He loves to be outside and his favorite thing to do is "help" Daddy build fires. He's most content when our family is home together, but as long as he has Daddy, he's a happy camper. 

Everyone sleeps through the night now. I know that's an odd update, but for us, its worth noting and celebrating.
It was hit or miss for a while, but for the past 4+ months we have all 4 kids sleeping from about 8pm-8am. This is the sound of me NOT complaining. 

Kara is reading. Someone pinch me. 
We got a program called All About Reading for Rachel (that we love!) and Kara sits and listens as I teach/read with her, so she's become a reader without any real help! Crazy. 

I've made a resolution for December to stay on top of the laundry issue and I'm happy to report, on day 5, I'm keeping my resolution! I know for some people this isn't an issue, but for me its a bad one. I'm tired of baskets all over the house and rooms with clothes that need to be put away. The kids agreed to help a lot with this one and they've also followed through on their end of the deal. 

Now that our youngest is coming on 2 years old {only 4 months away, boo!} I am finally getting better about meal planning/dinner making. 
Pathetic? Probably. I'm just happy its becoming the norm before he goes off to college. I was starting to wonder..... 

We're home for the holidays this year. For reals. We're not headed down for any surprises this year, sadly. We have a local family vacation next week {can't wait!} and then we're hoping for a snowy Washington Christmas. Not sure we're gonna get it, but we can hope. 

We don't do Advent or Elf on the Shelf-- I know, how can we call ourselves Christians right?! And yet we still manage to do lots of fun traditions and enjoy the month where we give special attention to something we celebrate every day of our lives. So thankful Jesus was born and spent a good portion of his life here, only to give Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins. So, so thankful.
Our favorite traditions are the Christmas movies we watch and Special Angels, which is something I carried on from my childhood. 

The older 3 have been loving school this year! Classical Conversations (CC) has been amazing for our family. No regrets there. I actually love tutoring and its been an incredible learning experience for me and given me so much help in my own teaching at home.
Next week is our last week before our 5 week break and all 3 kids were so upset when I told them we had 5 weeks off. I on the other hand, am looking forward to the break :)

Ethan and Rachel love choir and are excited to have speaking and singing parts in the Christmas play. 
Football season has been a great one here for the Seahawks with only 1 loss and 11 wins {Ethan asked me to add that part}

We still host and lead Community Group at our house every week and are always blown away by how blessed we are by it. Our group is our family here and we're incredibly thankful for each family/person in it. 

Miles' skull fracture {from August} has healed up really well and there haven't been any fall out issues from that. 

We're loving our new home/neighborhood and Jason especially loves being 15-20 minutes from his office. We live a cushy life, I know...

We miss our families always; we're thankful for technology that allows us to keep in touch and even SEE each other when we talk. 

We love when family/friends are able to come visit and our new house has a guest room with a big full bed in it, so please don't ever hesitate to come stay with us! You just have to be able to put up with 4 crazy kids who will talk your heads off while you're here ;-)

Jason took a break from Parkour but plans to start up again in the new year. Rachel and I are going to be taking knitting classes - so FYI, our families can be expecting all their gifts to be knitted next year, LOL 

I can't really think of any other news or updates. Our lives are probably pretty dull. We do school, we go to church, we see friends a lot, we like to be outdoors no matter how cold it is so we walk a lot of places. We still like to explore Washington's local sights and have plans to do more traveling in 2014. 

That about sums it up! When we get our pictures from our photographer {I told her to take her time} I'll be sure to post a few here. 
We actually dressed nice and did our best to smile so they're definitely worth sharing, right? ;-) 

Merry Christmas and Happy New year! 

5 {comments}:

laura said...

Ok so this is me, saying I am checking your blog. :-) Merry Christmas.

Also - I love that you and Rachel are going to be taking knitting classes. If you get into it, you NEED to be on Ravelry. Need.

love to you all from CA.

Gina said...

I'm glad to have a letter even if it is a blog post :-). Always good to get updates on you all. I know you think it's boring but I think your life sounds pretty full :-). Glad things are going well. Merry Christmas Arnolds! Looking forward to seeing photos ��

Stef said...

HI LAURA!!! :)

thanks Gina. I go to blog and beyond the Grandparents, I have NO clue who finds an interest in this stuff. I know I love blogs so who knows why I can't make the connection :)

R Hatt said...

Thanks for the Christmas letter! I LOVE hearing about you and your family!!! Sounds like things are going smoothly and on track. Have a MERRY Christmas!

Melissa Joy said...

Beautiful, Stef. :) And hey, next time we head to Seattle/Centralia, maybe I should see if we can meet up for coffee. It would be one crazy hoot, I think. :)


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