I am at loss to know where the year went. I’m off work this week and this morning put up our Christmas tree so the girls (and Matt) can offer mom help in decorating it. I can remember taking it down last year, the months have been a blur. Here’s just a brief review of where things are with us:

Cally is in 6th grade at Hickory Hills and doing well. She had her struggles 2 years ago when we moved, which I believe was somewhat stress related in getting settled into a new school and friends. She is doing so well now, and plays violin in the school orchestra and is in the pep club. I’ve haven’t enjoyed watching the Spartans lose but it has been fun seeing her cheering alongside her friends in that lavender shirt. Cally is involved in our church’s youth group and growing up more and more every day. 

Lucy is in 1st grade this year at Hickory Hills. One adventure I have every morning is driving her and Cally to school on my way to work. Even with such a short commute, there is usually time for them to annoy each other and occasionally they’ll get me involved. I am doing my best to enjoy such experiences. Lucy has a good first grade teacher who really cares about her and Lucy’s work thus far demonstrates good progress. She isn’t thrilled about getting up in the mornings, but I do my best to have the biscuits and chocolate milk on her TV tray while she watches cartoons.

Matt is riding the bus to Shady Dell four days a week for half days, and has become quite verbal which we all appreciate. The goal is to have him ready for Kindergarten next Fall, which means I’ll be taking all three of them to the NEW Hickory Hills school in the mornings. We’re praying to that end, and in the meantime are enjoying watching him spell his name while holding his pencil correctly. He still enjoys trains and cars and is becoming quite the architect with his legos. Life is good, with pancakes for breakfast every morning and an abundance of paper to practice his “homework.” He turned five years old in September.

Lori and I have been married 15 years. I am glad the Lord brought her into my life and blessed us with healthy children and interesting places to live. She is involved in the PTA at school and sings in the choir at church. She helps keep us connected to the world through posting pictures and updates on Facebook. We have been in Springfield more than two years now and are gearing up for another holiday season. We grateful to be in the Ozarks, and look forward to having Christmas with Andy Williams at his show in Branson in a few weeks. Of course, the trip to Silver Dollar City and their lights is a must as well.

We are grateful for our health, family, and friends. We have have experienced our share of struggles just like many others. In some ways, it’s been a really tough 2009. There’s a lot that could stress us and problems that must be faced. But for this week in particular, my desire is to slow down and count my blessings. I hope you’ll join me in that effort. Happy Thanksgiving!