DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
Our thoughts are with you, as we sit down to write our annual Christmas greetings to you. We hope that you and your family are well, and are enjoying this special time of year as we together celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth into the world.
It’s truly been a year of blessing for us, beginning with the birth of our precious daughter, Amy ---, born on ---. Amy’s birth was long and difficult, as she got stuck on Lori’s tailbone, and just wouldn’t come out! But God protected her during the birth – she remained strong throughout the labor, and emerged with only a bruised forehead. We really thank God for His protection in a situation like this, in which we really had no control. We clung to our Lamaze training all the way (“In 2, 3, 4, Out 2, 3, 4”), and feel so much closer to each other after going through labor and delivery together.
Amy is now 7 months old, and is such a joy. Her favorite pastimes include zooming around in her walker, putting things into her mouth, yelling (any syllable which happens to come out of her mouth at the time), putting things in her mouth, growling, putting things in her mouth, playing peek-a-boo, putting things in her mouth, laughing, crawling, eating paper, and most of all, putting things into her mouth.
We also enjoyed visiting many people and places this year. In February, we flew to Denver to spend time with Rich’s brother, Dave, and his family, Suzanna and Clio. Rich got to do some heavy duty skiing, while Lori enjoyed talking with Suzanna about mom “stuff.” In August, we attended Conference Point Camp in Williams Bay, Wisconsin with our church family, and later that month, enjoyed a visit from Lori’s sister and her husband, Donna and Loren. The following month, we got brave and packed up practically our whole household to go camping at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. Despite the fact that all three of us caught colds, we had a wonderful time of being together as a family and enjoying God’s creation. Amy loved looking at all the fall colors. In October, we all enjoyed Mom Tanaka and sister Cathy’s visit, who were passing through Chicago on their way to the East Coast. Then the three of us packed up again and went off to Starved Rock State Park for a few days to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. We’re mindful that our marriage too is God’s gift – and we’re thankful for these past three years, and all of the molding and changing that God has brought in us through each other.
So we pause now to thank God for all of these blessings – for our marriage, for our precious daughter, Amy, for our parents, family, and friends, for our church family at Lakeside (who provided so many wonderful meals after Amy’s birth, and helped us pack and move last June – thank you so much!), but most of all, for sending Jesus Christ into this world to suffer and ultimately to die for each one of us. Without Jesus, there would be no real joy or peace in our lives, no security about our life after death. Jesus is the true joy in our life. We hope and pray that He will be more real to you as we together celebrate His birth.
RICH, LORI, & AMY
AMY'S BIRTH WAS LONG AND DIFFICULT
PUTTING THINGS IN HER MOUTH...
ENJOYED A VISIT FROM LORI'S SISTER AND HER HUSBAND
SO WE PAUSE NOW TO THANK GOD FOR ALL OF THESE BLESSINGS