Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter Holidays 2013

2014 is just waking up (still very drowsy at 9:32 am with all the children still sleeping and the daylight just starting to show).  I realize it has been 2 months since I last posted.

I thought I'd share about our holidays in the past couple months and also tag on our annual newsletter at the end.

Josiah with his birthday cheesecake
Starting in November, Josiah had his 7th birthday on the 11th.  We took him with a friend and our family to Jumping Junction to play miniature golf with black lights.  It was nice that both Josiah and his buddy won another free game at the end of it.

At the end of the month we had an unusual meeting of the holidays - Thanksgivukkah (a mixture of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah) and also lit the lites for Hannukah each of the 8 days.  We had a special friend and her son over for Thanksgiving/Hanukkah on the day of Thanksgiving.  We sat around playing games and watching Youtube videos by the Maccabeats and others celebrating Hannukah and/or Thanksgivukkah.  Tim made a turkey and we had a lot of the fixings as well.  On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we had a celebration of Hanukkah at our fellowship group as well with lighting of candles, dreidel and lots of good food.

December passed quickly for the first two weeks, but ended in a muddle of sore throats and pain meds as half of our family (Josiah, Jaedyn and Ciara) had their tonsils taken out.  We put up a Christmas tree to enjoy the lights and cheer of this holiday and shared a few gifts with each other.  Our Christmas dinner was delicious for the 3 of us who could eat.  At this point, the younger two have almost fully recovered, but Ciara is still having a rough time of it - although I don't think she's been up since 11:15 pm to get more pain medicine (a first since her tonsillectomy on the 23rd).

Today we will focus on cleaning our house and enjoying a day off.

The following is the Christmas letter we sent to family members with their Christmas packages:

Dear Family,
Merry Christmas everyone!  Here’s a little blurb from each of us.
Carol:  This was an intense year for us as Jaedyn was diagnosed with Crohn’s and finding out how to make her better.  I traveled daily between two different clinics for almost the last year.  The stress of life is making me fat!  Ciara and I went to Hawaii for a medical conference in October – it was wonderful!
Tim:  I didn’t grow any except more white hairs.  I enjoyed Leonard and Valerie visiting and Mom and Dad visiting.  It was very special.  I played my djembe with the Kenai Orchestra for two performances and currently have a bunch of my instruments in an art show.

Josiah is in the center with a white shirt and tie,
Elly is behind and to the left with black and pink dress
Hi, my name is Josiah.  I just want to tell you about my Christmas.  I went down my sister’s and my slip-n-slide.  We had fun.  My friend Rachel came over to play with Jaedyn and then go to the movies to watch “Frozen”.  I love you all lots.  I am in 1st grade!  (I’m learning about punctuation and reading).  In the summer I went to the Watershed Forum camp and played at the park, where the camp was held.  I am learning violin.  I played basketball, but I missed the jamboree.  I played soccer indoors and outdoors.  I got 1st place in the private Christian school spelling bee in Wasilla, Alaska – Elly got 4th place in 4th grade and I got first place in the first grade!)
Elly and Josiah with their ribbons from their spelling bee
Dear family,  Merry Christmas.   Love you so much, Elly.  (She’s in 4th grade, still loves to dance and is taking Jazz right now.  She went to Bible camp and drama camp this summer too, and soon she and Josiah will be taking cross-country skiing).
Jaedyn accepting one of her many rewards this semester
Jaedyn:  In January I was diagnosed with Crohn’s.  I had to have a feeding tube for a few weeks.  I couldn’t go anywhere because it was humiliating.  In June I went to Camp Coleman, where there were other kids with Crohn’s and Colitis.  It was a lot of fun and I want to go back again next year, but it is really expensive.  I spent the rest of my summer in my room.  I did go to drama camp and was the comic relief of the show.  That went well.  I was a vampire.  I played a couple video games and ya-da, ya-da, ya-da.  I do homeschooling and that is pretty much it.  This fall I won 2nd place in a writing contest, first place in a poster contest, and 1st place in a pumpkin carving contest.

Ciara left and Jaedyn right
Ciara:  I spent most of my time in my room doing either homework, writing stories or drawing pictures.  Every Monday I watch Once Upon a Time with my sister and dad.  I was Romeo at drama camp and was a werewolf.  I’m hoping to be able to go to Peru on a trip with my school in March if I raise enough money.  I’m in 10th grade and I feel like high school is going by really fast.  I feel  so old already.  I feel being a Junior would be so old.  Oh, and I finished my first novel.
Ciara at the resort in Hawaii
I think that pretty much sums up our year.  We hope you are all having a wonderful year and finding ways to grow and love and express yourselves in ways that give you fulfillment and bless other people.
Love you always,
Carol, Tim, Ciara, Jaedyn, Eliana and Josiah