Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours


This past year has been a year of growth for all of us. We have grown spiritually in our walk with God; our marriage has grown in depth of intimacy and love; and of course the children just keep amazing us with the growth of their beautiful young minds and bodies!

Here in Florida, snow would be nearly a miracle, so we rang in 2008 throwing marshmallows at each other instead! We spent the cooler months enjoying the blissful weather outside. Our area is home to numerous beautiful parks with trees, water, trails and playgrounds. Summer is beach season here, so I, Esther, really enjoy when that is over and park season arrives. Needless to say, I am not a beach gal, unless it is in the breezy, moonlit summer evenings.

On March 7th, we celebrated Abigail and Hannah’s first birthday. At that time, they were not yet walking but now are nearly running! Interestingly, Abigail was the twin to lead in all firsts: sitting, crawling, etc. Well I guess Hannah had enough of that, and she surprised us when she was the first to walk! Now the girls LOVE moving those feet anywhere they can. They love to carry baby dolls and to push each other in the wagon. They adore running around outside and have even begun climbing stairs a little at the playground, and going down the slide gleefully!

We are able to tell the twins apart easily, but it is a bit difficult to explain to others how we do it. They just have differences in their facial expressions that all of us notice- even Sarah and Peter can tell them apart! Sometimes better than dada and mama! In their personalities, they are not yet all that different. Although Abigail is a bit more affectionate, loving to be held and cuddled. She is also a little more timid than Hannah. Her first time going down a slide, she began crying from fear, whereas Hannah just nonchalantly crossed that bar!

Hannah and Abigail are miracle babies and they truly melt my heart. I love to hold them and hug them. I cannot believe that they will be turning two in March...they are looking more like toddlers every day with the growing hair and moving feet. I am eager to hear them begin talking to mama, as both Sarah and Peter did not say much until two months after their second birthdays.

On June 11th, Peter turned four. Peter is truly the most wonderful son a mother could ask for. When he was a baby, God spoke to me that Peter would take good care of me. He has proven this already. This little boy has a sensitive, caring personality. At the same time, though, he is quite masculine in his love of playing with cars, making loud fighting noises, and just being wild as most boys are. He enjoys pretending he is a cop or someone else that is “fighting the bad guys”. Yes, with his caring heart and sense of justice I am awed when I imagine how God will use him one day to fight for the helpless and needy. Of all my children, Peter seems to enjoy browsing our bookshelves the most. He also adores his sister, follows her lead often and is often eager to please her. Sarah has no problem with that:) Even though Peter is almost two years younger than Sarah, he wears the same shoe size as her and weighs more than her. He has made great strides this year, becoming more independent with his potty training, getting himself dressed and learning things such as his shapes and colors.

In July, I turned 29. I cannot believe this is my last year in my twenties. It has been an awesome year for me, a year filled with so much growth in all areas. I have been on a path to becoming healthier through exercise and am only about ten pounds away from reaching my goal weight. Throughout the year, I have been re-discovering so much about myself and my interests. It has been a journey that continues and I am soaking in every minute of it.

Sarah celebrated her sixth birthday on August 6th. Sarah is a precious and delightful little girl. She has changed this past year; she is growing up and becoming more of a little lady. Her interest in cars is diminishing and being replaced by dress up clothing and other feminine things. Sarah loves to look beautiful. She loves to dance and to sing. But more than anything, she loves art. She loves to create beauty through art. Every day will find her coloring, cutting and pasting and just making lovely things. At the same time, Sarah is very energetic. She LOVES all the Florida wildlife and simply delights in the critter hunts outside with daddy. She loves to capture her live treasures, show them to me, photograph them and learn more about them through our nature guides. This is what we do for science in first grade homeschool. Sarah knows about more animals than I do! She loves for me to read to her...her favorite stories are the true ones from the Bible. I read while the children color, I read while they eat and after “quiet time” we have “tea time” in which I read poetry and a chapter from a piece of children’s literature while they have hot cocoa and a snack. Sarah is learning how to read and doing wonderfully. We have been formally homeschooling for three months now. It has been an adventure that will just get better!

On September 22nd, Roderick and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. This past year has been one of the best years in our marriage. We are closer than ever and there are truly not many things I would rather do than just “hang out” with my man. I love our times together. Rod turned 31 on December 3rd. He is growing his hair and looks more handsome than ever! He is working hard for our family, spending his free time with us, running and writing articles about the amazing things God is putting on his heart.

We pray that all who read this letter would feel the amazing love and power of our God this Christmas season. We are not only celebrating the birthday of our Savior. No, we are celebrating his life; a life like no other; a life that saves us. We are celebrating the fact that God loves us so much that He came to us. He came to us. Emmanuel means “God is with us”. God came down to those He created and showed us what He is like in such a human way. A God who loves, forgives, heals and holds.

When you look at that star on your tree, remember the star which led the wise men directly to the Son of God as he lay helpless in the body of an infant. Wise men and wise women still seek God. What are we without Him? If it is an angel on your tree, let that remind you of the angels who appeared to the shepherds and proclaimed “good tidings of great joy, peace on earth and goodwill toward men”. As you gaze at the lights on your house and tree, remember that Jesus is the true light in this dark world. Let the candy canes you see everywhere also remind you of those amazed shepherds guarding their sheep with their staff, and about to seek after and find the Lamb of God. As you give gifts to those you love, think upon the gifts that were offered to God’s Son by the wise men, as He lay in the manger. Thank God for the greatest gift- the one He gave to us- His only beloved Son. Through Him we can be reconciled to a relationship with our Maker.

4 comments:

Amy said...

ESTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea that you had another blog that was your own personal one... I had the school one and the All Glorious one... yay! I love it.. I am going to go and check out more of what you have written! Love you so much... precious, woman, you!

Beautiful family pictures too... love the sparkle in your children's eyes! Such love they are surrounded with :)

Hugs.. Amy

Esther Ruth said...

Amy I just created this blog not too long ago! I let everyone on myspace know but you were gone by then! Anyway, the homeschooling one is mainly for reference I have decided...I don't think I'll be posting much. And I don't know what I'll do with the All Glorious one. I think I'm pretty much ditching that one. I needed something to just write on ANY topic...one just for me...so here it is...and I think I'll finally write regularly!!

Thank you so much for reading! I love you my precious friend!!

Amy said...

Well so so so glad!! I changed your addy on the Christmas Spirit award/meme...yay! Thanks for playing with me! Yay!

HUgs.. Amy

Mommy said...

Esther. What a beautiful letter. :) I enjoyed reading it so much, and thanks for the picture in the mail.

How is Rod growing his hair though?

I'll do the memem and reward that you sent me after my extended family leaves. Thanks for it! I love getting blog rewards!! :)

 

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