Obviously this is a few weeks late, but here is the Christmas letter that I typed up last month...
Dear Family & Friends,
I (Matt) will attempt to give you a brief glimpse into what we have been up to this past year. Once again it has been a busy year and to mix it up we decided to add another boy to the house…
In January of this year my nephew Isaiah moved in with us and began attending Westview Jr. High. Isaiah turned 13 in May and is currently in the 8th grade at Westview. He is a great student and is enjoying going to Westview (who wouldn’t?). Having him living here has been an adjustment for all of us. Isaiah doesn’t have any siblings so having three “little brothers” was a whole new experience, and for us we made the leap from kindergartener to teenager almost overnight. You can definitely see a difference in how Isaiah interacts with the boys now versus when he first moved here. Of course, he and Brennan can fight like brothers too.
Brennan turned six this past June and is in the 1st grade at Meadowview Elementary. He is currently obsessed with all things Star Wars and spends a lot of time playing with anything that remotely resembles a light saber. This fall he played soccer in the West End league in Shipshewana. Despite the fact that his coach (me) didn’t know what he was doing, he really enjoyed playing. Recently he lost his first two teeth.
Sawyer turned three in October. He likes to make us work for his happiness. He’s got a heavy dose of stubborn in him. I’m told it is revenge for how I was as a child (my apologies to my parents). Recently we seem to be seeing more frequent signs of hope with him. He can be so cute and funny during those times. Now if we can just get him convinced to go pee and poop in the potty. We did manage to get rid of his pacifiers when they magically “broke” on his third birthday. He recovered from that loss pretty quickly.
Jeremiah turned two this month. He’s talking quite a bit and has developed a bit of his own stubborn streak. He’s still cute and cuddly though! Of our three boys, he is the closest I’ve gotten to having a daddy’s boy. He can often be seen carrying his blanky around and/or sticking his thumb in his mouth. That thumb habit will probably be a bit harder to break than Sawyer’s pacifier addiction.
Monica is still teaching Title 1 (working with groups of kids on reading) at York Elementary. This is her 3rd year at York. She teaches in the morning and gets home around noon each day. I’m still working as the controller at Honeyville Metal. I’ve been there over six years now. When Monica and I are at work, Sawyer and Jeremiah are with their babysitter Linda. This is Linda’s 7th school year taking care of our boys. We’re very fortunate to have her taking care of the boys!
There have been some pretty big changes in the Beachyville subdivision this past year. In June my Dawdy Beachy passed away. It was pretty sudden so it has been an adjustment not having him around. After that, my mom and dad decided to move Grandma Beachy from the nursing home into their house. We get over there quite a bit to see Grandma. Jeremiah loves to give Grandma her water cup and tell her to drink. Grandma’s health has declined quite a bit. Because I work so close to home, I’m on call when mom or whoever else is staying with Grandma needs some extra help moving her around.
At the end of June, Monica and I went on an amazing vacation to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua with our friends JB & Carla and Ben & Jen. It was great! We stayed in a house right on the Pacific Ocean. We did a lot of relaxing, sitting and staring at the ocean, reading, lounging in the pool, and eating. Sign me up for that vacation again!
We hope all of you are doing well. Merry Christmas!
Matt, Monica, Isaiah, Brennan, Sawyer, and Jeremiah
As I mentioned in the letter, Grandma's health was deteriorating and after Christmas she declined rapidly and passed away on 12/31/2010. It's an adjustment not having her around but she was ready to go and lived a long life. My mom posted a great tribute to Grandma on her blog.
Our family with Grandma on Christmas Eve
Jeremiah watching Grandma Barbara's video with her. They had a special bond.
As of today, we have a teenager in the house. Isaiah is now 13 years old. I got up this morning and surprised him with bacon, eggs, sourdough toast, and one of the world's best donuts from Rise 'n Roll for breakfast. I think he was pretty pleased. Now I need the rain to stop so I can grill pork burgers tonight.
Sawyer had to get in on the donut action this morning too.
OK so I've been doing a poor job of actually documenting what is happening in Beachyville. This having 4 boys thing is keeping us busy. Here's a little update of a few things going on.
Two years ago I had looked into converting my heating system to geothermal but the payoff just seemed to take to long. Thanks the the federal tax credits for energy efficiency and the energy efficiency rebates available through the state of Indiana, the payback on a system conversion is much more appealing so I'm "going green". We're going to have a closed loop system with the ClimateMaster TMW Water-to-Water geothermal unit.
For the closed loop, we're having a horizontal loop put in, which means they'll be burying pipes in the ground between 3' and 6' below the surface in about 350' of trench. Since we're in the woods, that means we need to clear some space so that they can put the loop in. This actually works in our favor because we've been wanting to add onto the yard so we can move the swing set over closer to the deck. The last couple days have been spent cutting trees down and burning brush. Sawyer and Brennan really got in to working out there with us.
Here's a few shots of the action...
Ice Cream Run
Did anybody else see that Dairy Queen commercial with the family who ran through the car wash to get in their car and chase down the DQ truck? Well, we saw it Sunday night around 7:00 and saw that Sunday was the last day you could buy one blizzard and get the 2nd one for $0.25. Being the spontaneous folks that we are (speaking sarcastically), we threw the kids in the van and headed for DQ. We went through the drive through, ate in the van, and then drove back home. It was a good time and the boys loved it.
Brennan has been wanting to act "older" lately and last night he told me that he wanted to wake up and get ready for school by himself. I didn't think much about it at the time. Well this morning all of a sudden Brennan was standing beside our bed and he proudly told us that he was ready for school. He had gone potty, brushed teeth, ate his breakfast, and put on the clothes we had laid out for school today. There was only 1 minor problem....it was 4:00 AM! After we told him that he still needed to sleep for a few more hours, he hopped into bed with us. Just as he was drifting off to sleep he pointed at the ceiling and frantically said "there are bugs in the house, there are bugs in the house". Either he has amazing night vision or he was just pointing at the green light on the smoke detector.
For a little further explanation, Brennan's desire to act "older" is because he wants to be like his older cousin Isaiah who is 12. For those who don't know, Isaiah (my sister's son) moved in with us in the middle of January and is in the 7th grade. Since then Brennan has tried to grow up quickly so he can do things like Isaiah does. Thus, he woke up this morning to get himself ready for school all by himself. If only he could tell time like Isaiah can.
First of all, sorry for the no posting slump I've been in lately. It's too the point where I feel like I need a home run post to break out of the slump, but I've given up on that and I'm hoping a bloop single over the second baseman's head can help me end the slump. OK, on to the actual post...
The last few years we've been putting up my parents "fake" Christmas tree. This year I was dreading the process because it turns me into a scrooge every time. You have to take every piece and spread apart the branches and I was sick of it. I decided it may be time to venture out and go get a real, live Christmas tree.
So, last Saturday we bundled up and headed to Wilfong's to find and cut down our own tree. It went pretty well. We may have started a tradition. We walked around a bit trying to find the "perfect" tree but at some point you just get really cold, the kids start fussing, and you need to cut down a tree and get out of there. I'm not sure we found the perfect tree but it looks pretty good. We got an 8' tall Douglas Fir. The other kinds had looked pretty good but they were twice as much money.
Here are a few pictures of the adventure.
Jeremiah turns 1 on Friday so that should give me enough motivation to put together another post. Maybe it will be a double in the gap. Jeremiah isn't walking yet but he's likes to stand up beside anything he can grab ahold of. He's managed to find the kitchen cabinets.
Upon further review, based on the number of pictures I've included in this post, I feel like it at least qualifies as a hard ground ball through the infield. Forget this bloop single stuff.