Dear Family & Friends,
We want to wish you and yours a joy-filled Christmas season! Since we're between semesters right now, it gives us the chance to look back on 2011 and consider the blessings we've been given, and feel grateful for family and friends who make life sweeter. We've been able to correspond with most of you via emails, blogs, Skype, telephone, and visits when possible, and feel blessed to know you. This year has been filled with lots of changes in plans, including a new address and new career plan.
We moved to a new apartment just a mile from the old one when Jared switched schools, and has just finished the first of two grueling semesters in a teacher credentialing program to teach high school German. He enjoys the atmosphere there much more than academia, and finds fulfillment and joy in his work. We got a glimpse of the benefits of having Jared home in the summers when we went on a 2500 mile road trip in July. Our adventures led us to a rodeo in Winnemucca, to friends in Provo, UT, to "Green Gables" in Holladay, UT, to moon-craters and a house-church in Arco, ID, to "the farm" in Tri-cities, WA, and to Oregon, where we enjoyed friends, planking, wild animals and camping at the coast. It made for a REALLY memorable (and long) trip, so much in fact that each person we visited is even more engrained in Lukas' memory, and he still talks about many things that we saw and did together. Especially riding the tractor with Joey at the farm, seeing pa-hoy-hoy rock at Craters of the Moon, and petting a baby tiger.
Lukas turned 2 this year and has discovered his voice even more. He's fascinated by trees and the people who cut them, is enthralled with anything related to American Indians, loves finger painting, reading, camping (i.e. drinking cocoa, sleeping in the tent, and playing with fire), riding his Strider bike, going potty (YAYYY), and doing "gymnastics" (jumping along the huge trampoline at a facility for a season, and mostly now on the couch at home). The living room doubles as an arts venue and a soccer training facility. He loves to sing and dance to everything from Miles Davis to hip-hop, and when playing Fussball he's particular as to whether it was a volley or a drop kick. He's become quite attached to people, and looks forward to date nights every weekend so he can play with his BFF, and loves to Skype with grandparents.
Jared has been incredibly busy this year handling lots of responsibilities in school, church and work. He worked for UCD teaching German while taking a full load of classes, helping a professor write a book, and teaching a seminary class 20 minutes away each day. He has most recently been putting in 14 hour days student teaching and we're all excited that he has a student teaching spot in Davis next semester so he can trade in the hour and a half daily commute for a 10 minute bike ride. We look forward to having more family time, a lower gas bill, and the use of a car!
Jessica has learned a lot from other women in the neighborhood and at church, including how to can fruit, how to realistically start a food storage system, and how to make croissants. She's no longer an RA at Orchard Park since we moved out of student housing in July, and has filled the time with mothering Lukas and serving in church. She still keeps up the family blog and can often be seen riding bikes with Lukas or pulling him along in the bike-trailer through Davis on one of their daily adventures. With a sigh of relief, Jess just finished her last year of organizing three days of music for the annual Community Crèche Festival, and was thrilled to direct a choir of over 160 singers this year!
We hope the new year brings you closeness to those you love, renewed faith, and a new zeal for life. If you want us as neighbors, just keep checking with your local school districts for High School German Teacher job openings and keep us posted. All the best to you and yours in 2012.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Jared awoke to a sweet little boy voice singing "Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück Papili, Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück Papili, Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück Papili, Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück!" Jared had told people about his 31st birthday for weeks... how he was going to get a cake, and go out to eat steak at a great restaurant... until he realized that he was actually turning 32. Someone had asked me how old I was and I said 31, to which Jared replied, "No you're not! You're 30... and I looked at him: "No... I'm 31!" and then we both paused, and started laughing, since even I hadn't thought twice of it that he'd told people he's turning 31. Haha. I guess time flies by when you're having fun. Or stress. Or little sleep. Or all of the above. Happy 32nd birthday to a wonderful husband and father!! And if it seems like he's teary-eyed in this first picture, it's because the steak was SO good his eyes had tears in them. I'm not kidding. And that cheesecake was amazing. Tahoe Joe's is my new favorite (only for special occasions) restaurant. When we got home we enlisted the help of Grandpa to blow up balloons while I hung up streamers and Lukas slept to make everything ready for our family party.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
|See-saw with Papili|
|My favorite. Completely filled to excitement that he might burst!|
|"Here's my ticket sir!" (We practiced)|
|On the train for the first time!! And with Grandma!|
|40 inches tall. Not ready for alone. (Booyeah! Free ride for mom & dad!)|
|First draft pick: The flamingo.|
|Me & my little boy. "Das Karusel faehrt...LOS!!!!!"|
|Second draft pick: Der Hase|
|The best part of watching the carousel go by- the emphatic hand waving!!|
|Do you see that face? And he was the happiest kid on the planet in this moment.|
|Time to ride with Grandpa!!|
|Lukas buried himself in grandpa's arms. Cute, huh?|
|I told him if it was too loud to plug his ears. Then he sat like this for a long time.|
As per request from the Grandparents before visiting, we went to Fairy Tale Town. (Apparently Mom took Dad on a date there back in the 70s.) This place is a definite kid-venue, full of things to see, pet, slide down, climb on and listen to. Lukas was pulling my arm and running all the way to the entrance gate when we got out of the car! While Grandpa got tickets he gave Lukas pennies to spin down into the penny well, reminiscent of days gone by at Huling Mall in Fort Worth, TX where mom used to entertain us for just a few cents. We saw animals (thank goodness there was a horse -or donkey- there, you know, the one Mary rode on with Baby Jesus, says Lukas) and got a kick out of watching Lukas play on everything. My mom still has her own F.T.T. "key" stashed somewhere a memory box, and they got Lukas his own key to push into the little sound boxes at each story stop. Lukas especially liked listening to the three little pigs, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and the friend song over at the owl's house. Stick with what you know, right? We could have spent all day at Owl's slide or the Crooked Mile, since they were major favorites.
|Back it on up!|
|Every day I'm shuffelin'|
|Fee fi fo fum|
|Lukas: "Mama!! Eine EULE!!!" and later pleased to find out that it's |
"Minnie Pooh's Freund"