Has another year flown by?

“Oh gracious how the child has grown”

“It seems only yesterday we brought her here, just a tiny baby…”

This funny little exchange between two of the good fairies in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty rings true for most of us parents, even if we don’t relate to much else about the fairies’ childrearing experience, such as the fact that in 16 years they never learned to bake a cake. But never mind that.  Jeremiah and I certainly do feel like our kids are growing fast. I can’t believe that our birth kids are 9, 7 and 5 years old! Engaging with them is so fun at these ages, and they have so many amazing thoughts and ideas. Yet I also feel nostalgia for the stages we have left behind.

Anyway, I thought I would give a little family update, since it is the end of the year when the newsy Christmas cards come out. Speaking of Christmas cards, this year I am actually going to hang them up on ribbons with clothespins (the only pinterest-ish thing I will be doing, by the way) in our hallway, so if you send us a picture, we will put it up.

Those who know us know that we have been involved in Foster care for a couple years now. It has been a little weird this fall not having any foster kids in our home. The reason for that is that, while we LOVE being a foster family (having those precious kids as part of our family for however long they need us and getting to know their families), we are now pursuing a more permanent foster placement by working with an agency that matches waiting kids with forever families. We have been going through that additional licensing process this Fall.  Because we have been deeply affected by our fostering experiences in positive ways, we plan to stay engaged with the foster care system long term—this is just another step in our continuing journey.

And now, to describe our 3 imaginative and joy-filled adventurers …

Isaiah (9) is my inquisitive book worm.  He continues to read way more than I can possibly keep up with. He consumes books—there is no other way of explaining it. He loves learning about new things and has questions to prove it. He doesn’t want to miss out on any conversation, especially with adults. It has been fun homeschooling him for 4th grade so far, watching him enjoy the process of learning at his own pace (and having more time to read), while re-learning some fun things I forgot long ago.  He is also making progress learning piano, enjoyed playing soccer this fall, loves running club, and ranks Legos and fuse-beads as his favorite creative outlets.

Bethany (7) is my empathetic artist.  She also loves to learn and enjoys going to our neighborhood school both socially and academically. I love hearing about all that she is learning, including the many biographies her teacher is reading the class. I also love that she always has a list of friends she wants playdates with. She continues to enjoy ballet, all things artistic, reading, and creating imaginary worlds with her brothers. She misses her foster siblings and is looking forward to meeting a future little sister (often praying for her, wherever she is).

Judah (5) is my social sportsman. He started kindergarten this year and seems to be friends with everyone in his class. He says his favorite time at school is recess, but I can tell he is also enjoying the learning and creative projects too. He loves to be outside playing with the neighborhood kids, and excelled at soccer this fall.  I’m so glad, however, that he still likes to cuddle and read books together, which we often do when he isn’t busy playing with a ball, imagining he is a knight/pirate/monkey/etc.,  or asking if it is the weekend so he can play Wii.

Jeremiah and I continue to enjoy life with these three blessings, as we try to direct their hearts to where we believe the true source of life is—Jesus Christ. We can’t imagine our lives without our kids. We also continue to enjoy ministry with students here; somehow we meet awesome young people everywhere we go, and UC Davis is no exception.  In addition, Lori enjoys juggling her new role as home school teacher and her continuing work as a Cru staff attorney.  Jeremiah manages to squeeze in lots of studying for his seminary classes amid his many Cru responsibilities. And we are both enjoying getting to know our neighbors better and making more friends at church while finding little ways to serve there.

Well, there you have it—a little family update.  God is indeed good to us.  As is no doubt also true for many of our friends, 2015 went by both slowly and quickly at the same time—slowly enough to enjoy each unique moment and experience; fast enough to cause us to look back and wonder how we are in December again.

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