Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
Well, the first half of this year was rather a wild ride for us, but we have a lot to praise and thank God for, as many of our friends and family already know.
Last Christmas (December 2015) we had the delightful surprise of discovering that another precious child was on the way. Then in late January we were told that an ultrasound had found a subchorionic hemorrhage, which threatened the pregnancy and the baby. Over the next three and a half months, I was in bedrest most of the time and Ryan worked from home in order to help manage the children and household chores. We had the support of family and friends during those months, through prayer, meals, childcare, etc., which meant a lot to us and helped to ease the burden. I was eventually induced and Serena Hope Kidd was born on May 17th — my 30th birthday.
Yet that was not the end of our difficulties, as shortly after her birth little Serena was laboring to breathe, and an x-ray revealed a hole in her lung. Over the next few hours her condition rapidly deteriorated, and Ryan and I began to fear for her life. Serena was transferred to Sick Kids, where she bounced back quickly, praise God, and after a week in the NICU we were able to take her home.
It was a wonderful, busy summer and fall, with Ryan at home on extended paternity leave and five little kiddos filling our home with fun and laughter.
Some of the highlights of the year include: birthdays; Serena’s baptism party; summer vacations, long weekends, and holidays spent with both sides of the family; my brother’s wedding; family time at our property up north; having a sweet new baby in the house; etc.
Justin is seven years old now. He continues to be an outgoing, active young boy with a big imagination and a heart of gold. After school is over for the day, you will often find him playing in the backyard with his cousins. If not there, he’ll be building something with Legos or filling reams of paper with action-packed drawings and pictures. I am pretty proud of him for the way he will help and care for his little siblings, even without being asked, and how reliable he is with running little errands for me.
Patrick is just over six years old. He’s a pretty strong and agile boy, and he can climb a wall or tree like a monkey. Patrick shares his father’s interest in machinery and man projects, and it’s not unusual to see him working alongside Ryan or discussing how to fix things with him. The two of them like to scheme together behind my back (or right in front of me) to buy machines like snowmobiles, tractors, and excavators. Patrick is attentive to detail and can be fairly thorough in his work.
Oliver is three, and still our little sunshine. His big blue eyes sparkle with mischief and fun, and his smile and giggle are incredibly contagious. You can’t ever miss him if he’s in a room with you, as he will always make his presence known. He loves being around people and being involved in what they are doing, and will often be found playing with his older brothers or his cousins. He adores his baby sister, as do his older brothers, and like them he attempts to smother little Serena daily with kisses.
Melinda is almost two, and she’s a busy, intelligent little girl. She already had a growing vocabulary by 16 months, and now she’s saying whole sentences, asking questions, making requests, etc. She’s got her own ideas about how to run the house, and it’s a race every day to stay ahead of her! That said, she can be very sweet, and she likes to help Mommy and her brothers with their chores. Her favourite toy is her pink kitty, which she hugs at night as she falls asleep.
Well, you’ve already seen Serena about 4 times (all of the kids wanted their picture taken with Serena, including Patrick, although in each of his photos with her he was looking at Serena and not at the camera…). However, I still wanted to include a photo of her all by herself…
Serena is our sweet little doll of a baby, with big blue eyes, long dark lashes, and plenty of chub. Now over six months old, she delights all of us with her big sweet smiles, her coos, and her laughter. She’s an irresistible little bundle of joy, and we are so privileged to have her as one of our family.
Ryan and I have our hands full — full of blessings from God. Sometimes having so many blessings proves to be quite a challenge, but overall we are thankful and happy for the wonderful life God has given us.
And we are eternally thankful for the gift of His precious Son, whom we celebrate at this time of the year. We could not have such a spirit of joy were it not for the hope that we have received through Him.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!