December 25th, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
As I hurried into the emergency room last summer carrying an injured child in my arms and pulling another one by the hand, I remember thinking “wow, I don’t know what I’m doing.” We’ve felt that a few times this year. Our boys just keep growing up, changing. They keep us on our toes and often off-balance. Our careers evolve and start requiring evolved skill sets. All sorts of factors conspire to confuse and discourage. But at the end of the day, the year, we have peace knowing that our anchor holds within the vale and we stand on the solid rock of Jesus.
Elliott is now 5 years old with an expansive vocabulary and a great attention to detail. He’s developed a love for art projects at home because, as he says, it’s like making yourself a new toy. He also loves the outdoors and we spent lots of time this summer hunting for rocks, shells and other specimens to bring home for his collection on the porch. Elliott particularly loved our first family camping trip this year because it gave him the chance to catch frogs and caterpillars. Elliott does very well in preschool and enjoys being goofy with his friends there. We’re in the process of visiting kindergartens for Elliott for next year and I’m convinced he’s going to love wherever he ends up. As I was saying goodnight last month, Elliott said “Daddy? Who wrote that story in the Bible (Genesis 1) if there were no people alive yet?” I love that he is mulling these big questions over in his head.
In last year’s Christmas letter I wrote about how Zachary was a daredevil. This is something that definitely hasn’t changed now that he’s 3. An active and energetic kid, he loves destroying forts as much as his brother loves building them. He even decided to quit napping early this year to make space in his day for more play. If he overdoes it and starts to melt down, the remedy is usually to sit down and read with him. He loves books and I often test his memory by changing an insignificant word in the story to hear him correct me. He almost always does. Zach got his first stitches this year (when Becky was out of town no less) after he hit the back of his head on the radiator while wrestling with Elliott. Us three boys spent a couple hours in the ER watching movies and eating popsicles while waiting. We broke the news to Becky later that evening when she got home. This fall Zach started attending preschool 2 days a week and has grown to really enjoy his time there, especially building with blocks.
The majority of Becky’s days are spent caring for the boys – from getting them up and dressed and to preschool to organizing get togethers with friends to getting food on the table. She spent 5 days in the Boundary Water Canoe Area this summer with a group of women from church and I found a renewed appreciation for her parenting powers when I flew solo (and presided over the head injury incident). Becky also works part-time at our beloved Hiawatha Church as the Administrative Assistant along with co-leading a women’s Bible Study, volunteering with the kid’s program, serving on the deacon team and much more. God has given her a big heart to serve and the skills to do it extremely well. It’s a joy to watch.
As for me, I’m still enjoying my work as a microbiologist at Aveda and the various challenges it presents. As the worship leader at Hiawatha Church I get to spend lots of time each week playing music and learning new songs. I serve on the elder team there as well and have been blessed to preach a few sermons this year to give our lead pastor a sabbatical. Beyond those activities, it’s all about spending time with my family, my greatest earthly joy.
So as our boys have grown from infants to toddlers to preschoolers, things sure have changed at our house. And as we leave their room at night, listening to them remind us not to let the bedbugs bite, we wonder if the next 5 years will pass as fast as the last 5 have. When I ask older parents, they usually give me the same answer: it will be faster.
From Peter, Becky, Elliott and Zachary