Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18th - "The Christmas Letter"

Usually I am scrambling to find a good photo of all of us,
or at least - a combination of all of us for the annual Christmas card.

This year - we had them made and ordered in October -
I had super high hopes of having them addressed before we went to Saipan
for Thanksgiving....

they have now been sitting on the corner of the kitchen table for five days.
I addressed one of them.

Are you thinking I should be doing it right now?....instead of the blog?
I thought that too - I'm getting there.

I also thought about doing a Christmas letter this year.
Lots going on and some different things in our family (like foster care)
It's been several years since I did one.
But then......why write a letter when there is the blog??

But then again,
I think only my mom reads it -
maybe a few others, but mostly,
just my friends -
So maybe a Christmas letter for the fam -

And then I struggle with:

1)  Being honest about a non-perfect life without sounding negative

2)  Looking on the bright side at all our blessings without sounding braggy.
     (I don't think braggy is a word, but you get the idea - right?)

So....what to do?

Of course!  (*insert google image of light bulb clipart)

BLOG the Christmas letter!

So, I'll try to be honest and thankful - here it goes:

Merry Christmas from Guam!

It's hot and humid and sometimes doesn't feel like Christmas -
but I hate snow and being cold.
So...I'll take it.
Lots of people in the world would love to go to the beach during December -
we go often year around.

Guam's not my favorite place -
but we have great friends and love our church.
Our house on base is great too!

Mike has been extended as the Public Works Officer of Naval Base Guam.
It's mostly a thankless job I have noticed,
but as far as I can tell - he is good at it.
Construction on base is moving along nicely and no one has crashed into the
gate in a few months.
He works more than I would like - but he does have a job that hasn't required
him to take a pay cut - so, again, I will be thankful.

In his free time - if he has any - he enjoys scuba diving (*without a wetsuit)
and ultimate frisbee.

(*the water is warm here-so he doesn't need one)

 Michael - 14 1/2

has turned into an athlete.
He is on the Tsunami swim team,
he ran cross-country and played soccer for the middle school.
He is fast and "natural" at everything he tries.
Of course, it helps to be 6 ft. tall on an island of short people.
I think the average height of a grown man on the island is about 5'7.
He is on the honor roll, but works for it.
He has two high school credit classes, Spanish and Algebra.

Isaac - 12 on Jan. 1st
is in his first year of middle school and starting to adjust.
He has trouble staying focused and organized, but thankfully,
remembers everything he reads and has great test scores.  He has
become a WWII / Military expert.    Loves history!
He also played middle school sports this year with Michael -
probably the only year they will be together in sports.
It was special for me if nothing else.
His asthma LOVES Guam - he is off all his medicine and hasn't had
any issues here.  I am truly thankful for that!!

is in the 4th grade and our artsy kid.
He loves drawing and music and dancing.
He is also good at math and makes friends easily.
He is in the GE* program at school and they do a lot of fun, hands-on projects and field trips.
He is on the Tsunami swim team as well.

(*GE - gifted education)   

and there's me - Melda
I do all the things that mom's do.
Keep up with everyone's schedule 
and make sure they have clean underwear when they get there. 
Teeth brushed
homework done
lunch packed
you know the drill ....
(*Yes, people still tell me I look like her)

I sing on the praise team at our church once a month;
go on the boys' field trips when I can 
and I am the treasurer of the Buzz Club.
(that's the name of the CEC Spouses' Club)

(*opps, did it again, CEC - Civil Engineer Corps)

Another big change for our whole family this year is being licensed as foster parents.  
We got an 11 year old boy in April 
and a newborn baby girl
in July.  

The boy went home in August - 
and we still have the baby girl.
She came to us without a name - so we named her Meleah.
We love her very much and would love to adopt her -
although, sadly, it doesn't look too hopeful.

She is beautiful though...don't you think??

After the new year - we will be adding at least one more foster child to our home.  
There is a great need here on Guam and not many licensed homes.

We are thankful for healthy children, food on the table and a roof over our heads.
We are thankful for friends on the island that make sharing life together fun.
We are thankful for family far away and miss you dearly.
We are thankful most of all for this blessed Christmas season -
where the God of the universe came down to earth to live as one of us.

Having a baby in the house again has made me think more about Jesus as a baby.
The words of the old carol have pierced my heart fresh this Christmas season.
How strange to be GOD and then......

Away in a manager
no crib for a bed
the little Lord Jesus
lay down his sweet head

the stars in the sky
looked down where he lay
the Little Lord Jesus 
asleep on the hay

What a strange way to save the world......

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