Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

You’re holding it in your hot little hand! It’s the Main Family’s Fashionably Late Christmas Letter….it’s how we roll these days! I figured your mail box would be lonely after Christmas and would need a little cheering up, so I delayed in getting our card out just to be considerate of your mail box and its feelers.

Let’s get down to business, we have lots to share. Leading the team this year in Christmas letter news is Howard. Howard is plugging along in his college studies and doing quite well. He is planning to graduate with his associate’s degree on June 12th, with ten credits over the required amount. We will spend this summer having fun and then Howard is slated to enroll at Southern Oregon University in the fall to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Howard is in his second year at New Hope teaching High School science and math and Junior High PE. Basketball season is in full swing as is customary this time of year, making it his, um, let me think, 13th year coaching. It’s starting to run together a bit. Howard is managing to do quite well juggling his work load and homework load. He is a great daddy to our three not-so- little boys and always manages to get them out the door in the morning with lunches packed, homework done, clothes matching (for the most part) and on time for school.

I have been dispatching for emergency services for almost 3 years now and have been working graveyard for way too many months. I get home around 7:30 in the morning just in time to see the boys as they walk out the door. I have more than enough work hours due to short staffing issues and find myself trying to find the balance between being grateful for a job when many others don’t have one and being frustrated with working too many hours and missing out so much on my kids lives. I enjoy my job but it really does take a toll on my energy level and my family time. To combat some of the work stress I joined the gym for the first time ever and changed my eating habits greatly. Sure I still eat junk food on occasion but in the last 3 months I have lost 20 pounds, 2 pants sizes and am actually starting to have a figure again! I feel good and have a few more goals to reach, namely loosing 15 more pounds and running in the famous Pear Blossom run in April with my sister, Katie. Lastly, I have succumbed to the peer pressure and have joined the Facebook scene. My mom told me I had to and in a moment of weakness I listened to her, broke down and opened an account. Now, I can’t help the darn habit.

Jordan, 10 years old, is our super active, super boy. He loves science and anything related to space. He is playing saxophone, enjoys his piano for fun, still rides mountain bikes on my dad’s race team, joined the fun sport of BMX racing this year and played baseball for his 2nd season. He has done quite well as a left-handed first baseman and has tried his hand at the catcher position. He is very athletic and loves physical fitness. He also eats 3 times the amount of food I do and is wearing a size 8 men’s shoe! Need I say more about how much he has grown this year?

Grant, 7 years old, and sweeter than ever, is taking after Grandpa Steve more and more. His imagination and day dreaming are at their peak (especially in the classroom and on the baseball field). He comes up with the funniest stories and characters and keeps us laughing with his ever evolving mind. He has a very best buddy named Adam who shares many of his same interests and imagination and they love spending time paling around, fighting bad guys and building Lego creations. Adam’s house is way more fun than ours ever will be and I’m pretty sure Adam’s parents will serve us with adoption petition papers soon, as they would love to have Grant for a son.

Carter, who just turned 4 years old this month, started pre-school this year at New Hope. After asking every 3rd day last year when he was going to get to go to school, we decided we shouldn’t stifle his interest in school any longer, even though still only 3 when he started in September. He is writing his name, knows his letters and loves to sing! He has learned so much in the few short months he has been in school and is so excited every day to go. He asks every night at dinner, “Is tomorrow a school day? “ and when we answer yes he says, “YESS!” and when we say no, he asks “How many days until it is? “ He loves his teacher and his friends. He is so enthusiastic about life and his brothers and everything we do and everywhere we go. He is happy all the time and loves monster trucks and candy. He is terrible about sneaking candy under the bunk beds when we are not looking and hiding the evidence of wrappers in the far corner!

Lastly, Warren, the other boy in the family, is enjoying his promotion to “inside dog” this year. Although he thinks he is a lap dog, forgets he isn’t supposed to sleep on the couch and has snatched more than his fair share of whole loaves of bread off the kitchen counter when we were sleeping, he’s hasn’t been demoted to “outside dog” yet.

Collectively as a family we spend lots of time at the basketball gym cheering for Howard and the New Hope Warrior’s boy’s basketball team as well as sitting at the ball parks watching Jordan and Grant practice and play baseball. This last summer we took our first ever “real” family vacation to California and visited all of my family, spent three days at Disneyland and one day at Newport Beach. We also visited Diamond Lake, Crater Lake, Lake of the Woods and the Oregon Coast while camping this summer. While having fun with the previous listed activities we also spend many of our days cheering for the Oregon Ducks. Howard and I made it to Autzen Stadium this year to watch the Ducks play twice! 4 out of 5 in our family are Duck fans and are excited they made it the Rose Bowl! The lone Oregon Beaver fan of the family will remain anonymous for his own personal safety! It’s hard enough being a Beaver fan these days without your mom throwing you under the bus in a Christmas letter.

Having all the boys at the same school where Howard teaches is a huge blessing. It has eased our stress with my ever changing work shifts and just this last week all three boys were in the same Christmas program at school. Jordan played his saxophone in the school band and Grant had a speaking part! Carter was just plain cute in his little tuxedo and just after getting into his dress clothes for the event, said to his brothers, “Go ahead….touch me….I’m SHARP!” Where do my kids come up with stuff like this?

As a whole we haven’t done too badly this year with medical events. All the boys’ breathing issues appear to be subsiding as they grow up. Only a few routine visits to the ER for rowdy boy behavior requiring x-ray confirmation that nothing was actually broken! Leave it to their mother to end up with the worst injury of the year after falling off a quad at the sand dunes and subsequently having my leg run over by it. Compared to years past we really did well staying away from doctors. I’m sure it’s because of that AFLAC policy I got roped into at work!

Merry Christmas to you, albeit somewhat late. We hope you enjoyed time with those you love as you celebrated the gift of Jesus Christ our Savior. May all His blessings be yours in the coming year.

With much love,

Howard, Mandy, Jordan, Grant, and Carter (and Warren Sapp, the inside dog)

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