Didn't we just send out last year's Christmas greetings?
Time hasn't slowed down at the Handy household.
Owen (now 14 months) toddles all over the house searching for something someone left out that he can rummage through. He loves to empty drawers and cupboards, smile and laugh
Adam (5 years old) is "anxiously" awaiting kindergarten next fall. He loves his group of friends, reading books, and being a helper. After 3 years of attending his sisters' 3 soccer games nearly every Saturday, he got to be on his own team this year. He always has a new fact to tell you. Last night he said, "Mom, did you know that kids in China don't eat with a fork or spoon? They use chapsticks." We're not quite sure how he mentally captures using "lip balm" as a utensil? He is so fun!
Madelyn (7 years old) loves school, soccer, and piano. She loves reading and playing with friends. She loves to help with Owen and carry him around. She is kind, thoughtful, and one heck of a "Blink" card player.
Catherine (9 years old) got contacts, got her braces off, continues with piano, and entertains with her sense of humor. While listening to a Bing Crosby Holiday song about a grand country Christmas feast set in a square dance rhythm, she noticed the line, "and promenade to the black eyed peas." At the conclusion of the song she said, "Here I thought this song was so old fashioned, but then they sang about dancing to the Black Eyed Peas? More modern than I thought!" Perhaps we'll have black eyed peas for dinner tomorrow so she can understand.
Julianne (11 years old) still wears contacts and plays the flute. She participated in her school's musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She loves 6th grade, walking to town with her friends, and is eager to start babysitting for people other than her mother. She is always fun to be around!
Jamie (one year older and wiser too!) continues to keep busy. In the past year she coached 4 different teams (3 soccer and 1 softball). She continues to work on her photography and loves doing that in her free time. She also loves to blog. This year she posted on her blog (http://just-what-am-i-thinking.blogspot.com/) every single day. She ran her first 5K in May (the Sprint for Life in Houston, TX) and her first triathlon in June (the Pawling NY tri).
Trent (also older and wiser) is still at the FASB. He has completely won over Owen to Camp Daddy. Trent barely gets anything done when he is home other than play with Owen. It is pretty endearing to watch this little boy follow his dad ABSOLUTELY everywhere, ALL of the time.
On a more personal note, last year's Christmas card didn't even mention that Jamie's mom had recently been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. 2011 took our family on an emotional roller coaster. We all traveled to Houston in February and enjoyed the most perfect week with all of our family there. Candy (Jamie's mom) was on a one week break from chemotherapy and was nearing the completion of what seemed to be a successful round of treatment. But things took a turn for the worse when her cancer turned out to be "platinum resistant." Jamie traveled back again to Houston for Mother's Day where she participated with her mom in the Sprint for Life 5K. Her mom was honored at the event as a "survivor." Unfortunately, the news continued to worsen and Jamie traveled again for another week in June. As soon as the kids were out of school, we all headed back to Houston (arriving on June 23rd). Jamie's mom passed away on June 29th. Jamie and the kids stayed in Houston another 6 weeks helping ease the transition for her Dad and brother, Tyler, who is 14 years old. Jamie got to be on hand to help as her sister, Amber, had a baby (her 3rd little girl). This year was filled with some of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
May we all pause for a moment and give thanks for the relationships that enrich our life and remember the hope that is central to this Christmas season.
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:22
Trent, Jamie, Julianne, Catherine, Madelyn, Adam, & Owen