Our Christmas letter

I thought I'd post the Christmas letter we sent out this year....

* * *

Dear Family and Friends,

I love this time of year. First comes Fall, with it's blustery days and the beautiful hues of leaves on the trees. And then Winter. With Winter comes the smell of pine from our tree, twinkling white lights, the occasional snowfall, glowing candles, and a sense of anticipation in the air as Christmas approaches.

It's also a time of gift-giving. There are a few gifts-- wrapped and ready-- that I am most eager to give. Those are gifts I know will be a delight to the ones opening them. I can't wait for those gifts to be unwrapped.

Can you imagine the joy of God the Father as He waited for His Gift to be unveiled to mankind? I'll bet the air in heaven was pregnant with anticipation. And as the baby Jesus was ushered into the world, surely there was great rejoicing in heaven. And probably a flurry of activity as hosts of angels were dispached to make the birth announcement.

In the midst of our own flurry of activity this time of year, our family delights in the most treasured gift ofall: Jesus. Jesus-- our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Bear with me, if you will, as I share a little about some of the other gifts God has lavished upon us.

There's Mark-- wonderful husband, daddy, and an incredibly hard worker. One of my favorite perks of Mark's job is that he gets to be home every day for lunch! :) I am daily grateful to have married a man who loves Jesus first, and his family second. (Oh, and coming in at a close third: the Pittsburgh Steelers! :))

Ella, just five- is our responsible, thoughtful, compassionate, nurturing one. She brightens our lives with her chatter and her sweet spirit. She brightens our home-- quite literally-- with the dozens of cards she writes every day. She sounds out and writes many words. Soon she'll learn to read, and we're excited about that! She is a wonderful helper around the house, and always does her chores with a joyful heart.

Isaac, now three- is our laughing, singing, affectionate boy. When we asked him at Thanksgiving what he was most thankful for, he promptly said, "You guys!" (And here we thought it was milk!) He is learning to be a gentleman to his big sister, and delights us as he serves her and looks out for her. I'll bet not ten full minutes ever go by without him bursting into a worship song; his favorite is "God of Wonders."

Isaac and Ella have both learned many Bible verses this year, and it is one of our greatest joys that they are hiding His word in their little hearts.

Isaias, 21 months, has been a wonderful addition to our family this year. And it has been a full year. Today, as I write this-- December 14th-- is the day, one year ago, that we walked Isaias into our home for the first time, and placed him into the arms of his big sister, who had tirelessly prayed for his arrival.

Mark said the other day that Isaias has a "rough and tumble zeal for life", and I thought that was such an appropriate description for our little boy! Isaias has strong feelings about everything. He loves to eat, play with trains and cars, and to follow Ella around wherever she goes. He's also beginning to have hourly wrestling matches with Isaac on the living room floor, and we love to see that interaction! :)

Isaias is beginning to use more words, and we are excited for the day that he'll take off and begin chatting with us! (IF he can get a word in edgewise with his older two siblings, that is! :))

And me, well... I get the incredible privilege of taking care of these God has entrusted to me. So I spend my days cooking, cleaning, and trying to keep up with the laundry. And I pray that these children will grow to love God with all their heart, soul and strength.

Mark bought me a sewing machine this year, so I'm busy learning how to sew, and love it. I also read and write and knit, when time allows. In the fall I'll begin homeschooling Ella, and I look forward to that!

We pray daily that God would add to our family, and we are in the process of adopting again! We hope to adopt a little girl or a sibling group through the state's foster-to-adopt program, and so we wait to see whom God will set into our family within the coming year.

We wish you, our family and our friends, a wonderful Christmas as you celebrate the Gift of Jesus!

~Stacy for Mark, Ella, Isaac and Isaias

* * *

The letter was tucked into our homemade cards. (Remember? All colored by the kids? They turned out great! :))

And with those, our family photo.

I figure if four out of five of us were smiling, it was a good shot. (I think our youngest was busy sucking on the M&M I'd given him in-between takes! :)

Blessings to all of you for a wonderful Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Dec. 21, 2006 - Congrats!
    Posted by guatemama
    Stacy, Congratulations on your decision to adopt again! I am about to bring my baby boy home from Hannah's Hope in January. I so enjoy your blog and I cant wait to hear what God has in store for your family.


    Dec. 22, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    A happy, happy Christmas to you and your beautiful family! I enjoyed reading your letter, and I pray that your adoption process will go smoothly, and that God will set just the right one (or ones) into your family. I never realized that your Isais is the same age as our Alethea- it's a fun age.
    Many blessings to you.


    Dec. 22, 2006 - Adorable picture
    Posted by Sandi
    I have an Isaac too! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!


    Dec. 23, 2006 - Smiles
    Posted by http://www.xanga.com/HouseOfSmooches
    Four out of five is definitely good! I’m going to have to try the M&M idea for our next family pic!



    Dec. 23, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by jengresak
    Merry Christmas!!!!!! That is a fantastic letter. I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive - lol! I've so enjoyed having you for a friend this year - even if it is only in the blog world. I can't wait to hear more about the new addition to your family. What an exciting time!!


    Dec. 24, 2006 - Just Beautiful, Stacy....
    Posted by Anonymous
    Blessed CHRISTmas, Stacy.... God is so good... to see all of your gorgeous smiles... all blessing!

    All is gift,
    Ann Voskamp


    Jan. 4, 2007 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by lindafay
    Wow! Stacy. I did a double take when I saw your picture. You look so much like my sister! Blessings to you and your sweet family.


    Feb. 1, 2007 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Anonymous
    Hi Stacy, What a great family picture! I was excited to see that you still have a blog...now I need to get caught up. :)
    You have such a beautiful family and heart for the Lord. I look forward to reading more.

    Wendy swbbm.blogspot.com


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you, and I will do
my best to reply back to you in the comment section.