Archive for December, 2017

Christmas Newsletter 2017

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We hope this Christmas newsletter finds all our friends and family well.

This year, after many months of prayer, planning, and preparation, we made a life changing move, the upshot of which is: We are building a house! You can find a shortened version of the construction photo album here.

We are in the process of trying to sell our Toronto home, and are halfway through the construction of the new house, which is located in Markdale, ON, about a two hours’ drive northwest of Toronto, and a 20 min. drive from Ryan’s parents. Ryan has been overseeing the project and building the house largely by himself, with the generous help of his dad, a few hired hands, and the occasional volunteer hours of friends and family.

We are so grateful for all the support and encouragement from family and friends, but are especially indebted to Ryan’s parents, Michael and Marilee, who made a room in their basement for our family to live in during the construction phase, gave us free run of their house, and have contributed so many resources towards helping us. All the help from family and friends has made the transition so much easier.

The kids have been pretty resilient through the process, though they miss their home and friends in the city.

Justin is now 8, and growing in maturity and responsibility. He is sweet-tempered, easy-going, and eager to please. He’s even had a hand in the building of the new house: moving materials, fetching tools, spreading gravel, etc. Justin loves to spend time with friends and family, especially his cousins. His biggest interest continues to be Lego, and he has demonstrated a remarkable ability¬† in recreating objects that he has only seen in pictures (e.g. a Lego model of the submersible that discovered the sunken Titanic). His reading ability advanced by leaps and bounds this year and he is now reading books on his own.

Patrick turned 7 this year, and is also growing in maturity and responsibility. He too had a hand in building the new house. Patrick is analytical, witty, and a hard worker when he sets his mind to a task. He is quite a monkey at climbing. Patrick also has a great interest in tools and machinery, more than you would expect from a young boy. For example, when Ryan gave him a broken weed wacker for his birthday and told him they would fix it together, you wouldn’t believe the amount of excitement it generated! A chip off the old block, that one.

Oliver is at the grand age of four years and is ever the rowdy one, yet once in a while you can catch a sweet little glimpse of him playing house quietly with his sister Melinda. He is a clever little boy, he loves to tease and joke, and his smiles and giggles are contagious. Oliver is also excited about Lego and playing with his older brothers and cousins. He has a big imagination and is full of ideas of things to do and games to play.

Melinda will be turning 3 just after Christmas. She is a “kleine moeder,” that is, a “little mother.” Melinda is very observant, and can help me find things when I’ve forgotten where I placed them. She likes to help with the housework, although sometimes she will re-organize things to suit her own tastes. She has quite a vocabulary, and will tell you in no uncertain terms that she won’t eat salsa because it has “halapeenyos” in it, and is, as such, too “picy” for her. She keeps me on my toes. She loves to play with PlayDoh and her toy kitty, and loves to read books with Mommy.

Serena is 1 1/2 years old. She is our sweet little cherub with big blue eyes and wispy blonde curls. Almost everyone who sees her comments on how bright her blue eyes are and what a big beautiful smile she has. And she is fairly easy to coax a smile out of, much to our delight. You can often find Serena tagging along with her older siblings, especially Melinda and Oliver. She loves dolls, and will wrap her babies in just about any bit of clothing she can find, so after a few embarrassing incidents, we try to keep our dresser drawers tight shut and our laundry out of her sight.

Ryan and I are still happily in love–which is good because our 10th anniversary is fast approaching (in May 2018). This year has had its ups and downs for us, with the stresses of trying to sell, trying to build, trying to homeschool, and trying to find time for the kids, each other, and all our many other responsibilities. It’s been little chaotic, to say the least, but God has been good to us, and we have been growing closer together through it all.

A Blessed Christmas, from our family to yours.

The Kidds