Life in Our Corner - 2016

Since there won't be an official in-your-mailbox-picture-perfect Christmas card from our family this year, I thought I'd take a moment and update whoever still listens to this nearly always silent space. :-)

Pickle- is POTTY TRAINED! The week before Thanksgiving, in the midst of holiday bustle, her older sister getting sick, her mother developing a weird rash, getting sick herself AND her father needing stitches, Pickle decided diapers were overrated. I truly should have known it was coming. Her previous two attempts were last year during fall finals and then in the spring while we were moving my grandmother to her new apartment. So at perhaps the busiest and least desirable time, she demanded the little potty and underwear. Much like her sister, we encouraged and reminded, but left the training up to her. It is so amazing when they are ready how they just do it! She sleeps in underwear and has had only a few accidents. Now to rethink the necessity of our Costco membership...

Pickle is behind, in comparison to her sister, when it comes to letter and sound recognition. However, she can entertain herself for hours with stories and imaginative play. We've loved seeing her exhibit a protective spirit for those she loves and she continues to be a nurturer. This girl has the sweetest prayers. What joy to hear the young talk to Jesus! She loves dressing up as Super Luke and her Baby Luke comes most places. Luke Skywalker is simultaneously her hero and her identity. 

Sweet Potato- is GROWING! Physically she's tall and has lost two teeth,  but mentally she's absorbing nearly everything in front of her. She is plowing through The Magic Treehouse series of books and their companion non-fiction books. In two months she's read something like 40+ books. Her mother may envy her. She is still leery to push herself out of her comfort zone, but we've seen steady improvement by how she handles change and learning to be flexible. These are two major answers to prayer. Although there remains much ground to cover, we rejoice in the progress she's made. 

Our goals for Sweet Potato in the new year are to get her to swim and ride a bike. She remarks how she wants to do these activities but when it comes time to actually doing them... Let's just say it's a slow process. We love our dear girl and her sensitivity. It is because of her our patience is growing and our understanding of others has increased.

David- is BUSY! Fall saw him participating as part of the core development team for a new class which will be offered in the spring at Harrisburg University. Simulating Global Crises will have students using role playing as a way to practice strategies and tactics for handling crises. David and his colleague John are hoping to present at several gaming conferences given the cutting edge nature of this teaching model. We're so proud of David and how we've seen God create this beautiful intersection of David's talents and interests with application in his career.

David continues to enjoy building Lego although he is in the midst of downsizing his collection which means more sorting than building. However, he's fantastic at making all the girls' Lego dreams come true. This currently means helping imagine and design Santa's workshop. He's also enjoyed playing the game Star Wars X-wing in a few local tournaments and even had the pleasure of meeting the game's current design team on a weekend getaway he and Kristin shared to the Twin Cities in April. 

Kristin- is EXCITED! Having moved beyond the early years of mothering very young children, Kristin is eagerly anticipating several new family adventures, as well as some solo getaways with girlfriends. This season of motherhood presents challenges, but feels less draining and more hopeful. An unexpected bright spot has been finding a local food hub sourcing organic produce, meat, bread and dairy from our region. The majority of her weekly shopping can be accomplished in one stop and because the variety is limited to the growing season we've seen an uptick in our health, been grateful we can support local farmers, and watched our grocery budget decrease. Plus, she's been challenged to cook some new foods that we've all found scrumptious!

Knitting and reading remain her two favorite lazy day activities. She was privileged to teach again at Messiah College this fall and continues to homeschool the girls. Some days she isn't sure how to get everything done, but such is the career of motherhood. 

2016 has been a year of deep contentment. As we gear up and hold tight for the 2017 roller coaster ride of LIFE, we feel blessed to be rested and ready for a year chock full of momentum. May your Christmas be merry and your New Year bright.

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