Season’s Greetings my friends and family! This is our 2018 Christmas Card & Letter, late and digital. Did I lose track of time or am I going green? You shall never know! 2018 was a fast, busy, and exciting year for this family and God’s blessings were truly abundant.
We started out 2018 with a perfect little blessing, Allison Eloisse. She graced us on January 30th. Twenty days later we found ourselves on a plane headed to Sanford Children’s in Sioux Falls. Through the power of prayer and amazing doctors, our tiny little baby was able to beat RSV and pneumonia. Ever since, it has been smooth sailing and lots of smiles and laughs with this little peanut! We are coming up on birthday number 1 and we are reminded daily how boring life would be without this wild “nugget” (as we lovingly call her).
Abbigail is 2 years old and she is still our little sunshine girl. She is the soft and tender hearted sister that Allison is already picking on! Abbi still loves cows, but she also likes dinosaurs and playing with her dolls. She loves to be a little mommy and boss Allison around. She really enjoyed swimming and playing outside in the summer. We are hoping to do more of that in 2019, now that baby sister is a little bigger. She completely potty trained herself in November. She is really becoming independent; sitting and coloring or playing by herself for longer periods of time. She loves to visit MiMi’s house and she enjoys having Nana and Papa coming to visit our house. She is hoping 2019 brings pre-school or head start and she REALLY wants to ride the school bus. Poor thing isn’t going to like being a teacher’s daughter, she may not ever get to ride the bus!
Tasha’s big 2018 event was graduating high school in May. She is currently a student at USD in Vermillion. She is still undecided in her career choice, but she is doing very well. She managed 17 credits, a part time job, and earned a 4.0 for the fall semester. Mom misses her help and company terribly. Tasha makes it home often, there is a young man that she started dating over the summer and she comes back to visit. Even though she spends much of her time with him while she is home, we are thankful for the time we get to spend with her. She will return to USD for the spring semester and fingers crossed, will have a degree choice in mind before summer.
Livia had some big changes in 2018. She finished up the spring semester at USD in May and then spent a big portion of her summer with her biological mom in Washington. She moved to Sioux Falls in August and is currently pursuing her degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Southeast Tech. She works three jobs and maintains a 3.0 GPA. She isn’t able to come home much because of her demanding schedule, so we really appreciate having her here when she is able. Abbi and Allison adore their oldest sister, and we are all really proud of her.
Ray and I are, well, as you can imagine living it up as parents. Ray stays busy with work and loves being with his babies in the evenings. He was able to visit Livia at least once this fall while he was working on the eastern side of the state. He is still dedicated to the fire department and goes hunting and shooting as much as he can. I gave up coaching in 2018 and it was the best thing for my family and my health. We have a good handle on my heart issues and have really been focused on my overall health inside and out. I decided to start working towards my Masters degree in August, and that takes up all of my “spare time”. I am still teaching 2nd grade at Batesland School and absolutely loving it. In November, I volunteered myself to direct and accompany the Christmas concert because we do not have a music teacher. I gave up all of my prep time for 3 weeks to work with all of the students and it was so worth it! I forgot how much I missed music in my life. At the beginning of the school year, I decided that my goal for the year would be to make this is the best school year yet and so far it is. My students have already achieved their yearly growth goal and we are only half way through! I could not be more proud of my students and the learning community that we have built.
Even though we have been really busy being parents and people, Ray and I have managed to get away a couple times this year to tend to our relationship. We always enjoy our time away, but miss the babies terribly in a matter of a few hours. Can’t wait to get away, but then miss them as soon as we leave the driveway. That’s normal, right!? I think the biggest thing we have learned this year, is to let go of what we can not control. From sickness to toddlers to teens, there is so much that we have had to learn. So we will just keep loving and teaching our girls everything that we can.
We hope that all of our friends and family are full of joy and peace entering the year 2019. We pray for God’s blessings to continue for all of you. May 2019 be the best one yet!