Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Highlights from 2007 for our family include me starting this blog that allows you all a peek into our everyday goings on...

Shell finished out her Junior year of high school and began life as a Senior in the fall, as a third year varsity volleyball player. She has such a heart for children and is in her second year in a partnership between the high school and local elementary schools that allows her to serve as an aide in a kindergarten class. She also volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and works part-time at a pre-school. She is looking southward for college...Southern California, that is :) We will keep you posted on more specifics as the time nears.

Gabby is in 1st grade now and is still enjoying being homeschooled. Aside from math (her absolute favorite), her favorite classes that she takes at the HomeChoice Academy include chess and World Crafts. Horses are an obsession with Gab, whether it is drawing pictures of them or riding them, or making up stories about them, she just loves them. Of course, she loves just about any animal and is always asking if she can have another kitty or puppy.

Ian is four years old and all boy. All it takes is our one boy to balance out this house full of girls. His pockets full of dirt and rocks, sticks and leaves, keep me busy in the laundry room. Despite owning two pairs of rubber boots, he still manages to get his shoes soaking wet every day and has more than once worn flip flops in the rain, simply because they were the only footwear not missing, stuck in mud or too wet to wear. He loves to draw, color and create and our house is filled with his art work, from tiny little "webs" (huge spiderman fan!) to collages of many pieces of paper taped together, he is quite the artist.

Evie has gone from active baby to super active toddler! I can't even say she keeps us on our toes, because that would indicate that we were, in some way, on top of her many exploits...but, no, she has left us in the dust :) Music is still her favorite thing. She dances and sings to everything and loves to make music with instruments.

Jeff switched jobs in November. He is now working for Epiq Systems in Beaverton, OR. His commute went from less than 15 minutes to about 1 hour and 15 minutes one way. Despite the time on the road, he really loves his new job and is excited for all the opportunities it presents. He still serves as an usher at our church and now, also, has a group of guys that he meets with for Bible study and prayer in the morning once a week. He was also the culprit behind our becoming leaders of a small group (5 couples) at our house twice a month. We have been so blessed by this group, and I am so grateful for his faithfulness to God's calling him to lead.

I started out this year as a witch. (no comments from the peanut gallery, please) The White Witch, that is, in a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Then I jumped right into another production, "The Curious Savage", a great play with the chance to work with many friends...however, just too much time away from the family, so I decided to take a break for the rest of the year. The break from theater gave me the chance to start up the scrapbooking group at church again. It is such a blessing, once a month, to scrap with friends, meet new faces and enjoy good fellowship. I am in my second year homeschooling Gabby, (and Ian and Evie in a less structured way!) it is amazing to be so connected to their learning process...I learn just as much as they do.

We wish we could see everyone of you in person to wish you a Merry Christmas! But until we are able to...know that we are sending our love to you and praying for you this season and always. God Bless you!


Jeff, Annaliese, Shell, Gabby, Ian and Evie

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gabby is 7!

We celebrated her birthday with friends and family on Decemeber 1st at our house. It was a horse themed party, complete with pinata. Since we had not had a formal party for Evie, we also celebrated her 2nd birthday again. Gabby decided she wanted to give presents to orphans in China this year, instead of receiving gifts for herself, so the invitations requested baby toys and clothes instead of presents for the birthday girls. Everyone brought lovely, generous gifts for the orphans and many also brought gifts for Gab and Evie! It was a wonderful time!

Gabrielle about to make her birthday wish.
(we are pretty certain it has to do with a horse!)
Happy Birthday, Princess!

Celebrating with Chuck E. Cheese

we actually had no idea that our youngest was a "Trekkie"!
Evie says--Live Long and Prosper

Tonight, on Gabby's actual birthday, we went to Chuck's, ate pizza and played games. Chuck E. even stopped by our table and gave Gabby a special birthday ice cream sandwich.