Archive for December, 2011

Christmas Newsletter 2011

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Blessed Christmas to All!

We hope this newsletter finds you all well. This has been a happy year for us, despite some struggles.

In January, our little Patrick began to break out in eczema on his face. Over the next six to seven months, the eczema would come and go, sometimes moderate and sometimes severe. We tried many different creams and diets, investigating possible infections or food and environmental allergies, but without success until the eczema suddenly cleared up on its own in August.

In March, Justin celebrated his second birthday.

In April, Ryan ran in the federal election as the Christian Heritage Party candidate for our riding. I served as his official agent, managing the bank account and paperwork. We put up signs where we could, raised funds for the campaign, attended an all-candidate meeting, and sent out flyers to most of the homes in Don Valley East. We were very encouraged by those of our family, friends, and neighbours who offered their support, and by the handful of strangers who phoned to say they were glad to have a candidate like Ryan to vote for.

In June, my 20-year-old cousin Michael was killed in a motorcycle accident.  His death came as a severe blow to the whole family.

In July, we spent a fun-filled week with Ryan’s family at his parents’ house near Collingwood.  In August we went camping at Grundy Lake for a weekend with Ryan’s parents and younger siblings, and the following weekend we went camping at Port Burwell on Lake Erie with my family and some friends. Whereas Justin had to be coaxed into the lake, Patrick LOVED the water, and we had to watch him closely to prevent him from crawling in and merrily drowning himself.

In September, Patrick celebrated his first birthday.  Ryan ran in the provincial election as the candidate for the Family Coalition Party in our riding. We ran a smaller campaign as compared to our federal campaign.

The harvest from our little garden was grand this year.  I grew some beautiful sunflowers (squirrels ate them though), and grew some pumpkins for the first time too, in addition to my usual crops.

In December, Ryan and I went on a spur-of-the-moment second honeymoon to the Dominican Republic. The prices were cheap, and the grandparents were willing, so off we went, leaving the boys with Grandma and Grandpa. The vacation was so much fun! Lots of water sports and a few excursions into town to experience life in the Dominica.

As always, Ryan is keeping himself busy. This year he built a wood fence and gates to replace the old chain link fence and gate, and to keep the kids safely contained in the backyard.  Ryan also built a backyard playhouse and swing set for the kids.  He  re-organized his garage — twice! — and built a new worktable.  He re-organized his bike shed and gave it a face-lift with some new boards and a door.

Justin and Patrick too are busy boys, curious and energetic. Patrick loves to be tickled and chased, and is fascinated with blocks and books, boxes and baskets. He’ll also tag along after his older brother playing with cars and trucks. He is quite the climber, and will make surprise appearances on the dining room table from time to time. As I mentioned previously, he also loves water — the bathroom door is always closed at our house. To our delight, Patrick just started walking in the past couple of weeks.

Justin is obsessed with trucks of all shapes and sizes, but his favourites are firetrucks and digger trucks. He also loves working with tools, and has his own tool set,  tool box, and workstation to rival his daddy’s. He knows most of the tools by name, and will happily saw, hammer, chisel, and drill a block of wood if given the chance. Like his father, he is also an avid cyclist, and is thrilled at every opportunity to ride his two-wheel bike (with training wheels).  I am doing some pre-school with Justin, and he already knows most of the alphabet by name, and can recognize some geometric shapes as well.

As for myself, I tried my hand at some woodworking projects this year, constructing a toddler bed for Justin and a shelf. Currently, my health leaves something to be desired. I’m struggling with some fatigue and musculo-skeletal issues (related to the repetitive strain injury I suffered in my wrists a few years back) but otherwise I am happy and blessed.

We thank God for His goodness and grace toward us this year, and we pray for His continued blessing in the year ahead.

May the Prince of Peace bless your homes and hearts this Christmas and in the New Year.

With love,

Ryan, Kristin, Justin, and Patrick