Monday, December 22, 2008

The "Christmas Letter"

Merry Christmas!
Now that you've gotten over the shock and awe of receiving our Christmas Card this year BEFORE Christmas (hopefully anyways) you may have mosied on over to your computer and checked out our blog (because the link was on the card - Thank you Lisa for the wonderful idea!)

I don't know how many years in a row now I have constructed the "Christmas Letter" (6 maybe?), but we have so much fun doing it and yet have so much trouble actually getting it out during the Christmas season. Well, you can imagine that with a new baby, postpartum blues and all the craziness of the year (for us - to elaborate: a move from 7 years in our condo, 2 dead computers, 2 months without internet, 2 dead digital cameras, finally a computer that works BUT intermittent DSL & isn't hooked up to a printer yet, etc. etc. bla - bla - bla -) and whatnot - your Christmas Letter probably wouldn't have arrived until June, at the earliest...perhaps not even until Christmas of 2009. So, in an effort to make things easier on me; to eliminate the guilt of seeing the stack sitting on the counter month after month, and to update family & friends in a timely and tree-saving manner, here is our 2008 Christmas Letter:

Dear Family & Friends,

What a year! In January, we had the privilege of attending a new church, a real life changing moment for us. During one of the services that month, we learned that the number "8" means New Beginnings. For some reason it resonated with us. It was going to be a year of New Beginnings - 2008. Looking back, boy did that turn out to be true! It was a year of hardship as well, but we keep our focus on a new beginning and look forward to what 2009 brings us.

SPENCER - We welcomed Spencer into our lives in November - on our 8 year (there's that number 8 again) anniversary - Nov. 25th. He was almost 3 weeks early, but a really healthy 8 lbs, 2 oz! We are slowly adapting to having 4 children, while feeling very outnumbered and yet increasingly blessed by God to have these beautiful gifts in our lives.

PRESTON - Still a very active little boy who keeps us on our toes. He is super funny and quite the BIG boy lately at 2 1/2 years old. Our little monkey was two in June and talking up a storm all year long though we are continually amazed at his increasing vocabulary.

HANNAH - She is very much the princess of the family. Testing us in her 4 1/2 year old way and very independent and full of spunk. She also had a birthday in June. She is currently in her 2nd year of preschool and loving every minute of it. In 2009 she will embark on a new journey into Kindergarten and is so excited about that.

NATHAN - A big 1st grader already, wow! He is a special 7 year old, and while we have our moments with him, he is really proving to us how inquisitive and bright 7 year olds can be. He loves to figure things out and ask questions, though he doesn't love homework. He loves his teacher, though he doesn't love obeying all the school rules. (we're working on that!) He is very much into Legos and Star Wars - put those two things together and you'll show him heaven early.

ROYCE & COURTNEY - We are parents of 4 little kids, what more is there to say??? We are busy, busy, busy. Royce is still working for Artisan Tile and still enjoying it, though things have slowed down a little bit in the business. Somehow God finds a way to provide for our family so when we start to get stressed and wonder how ends are going to meet, we continually ask ourselves, "Why did I allow doubt to creep in?" God's timing might not be our own, but it works and is perfect. Courtney is still involved with her Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group and even went to a MOPS Convention in Dallas in October that proved to be a very valuable experience.

As difficult a year as we had, we have somehow come out ahead and closer than ever and are very blessed and can only attribute our blessings to Jesus Christ's power in our lives. When we are weak, He is strong.

Enough about us, we want to hear from YOU. Please keep in touch and drop us a line anytime. Our email addresses will be listed below and did change this year, so make a note of it. We pray that you are all having a PEACEful and JOYful Christmas Season!






With Love,
The Phelps Family
Royce, Courtney, Nathan, Hannah, Preston & Spencer









courtneyaphelps@att.net
roycephelps@att.net

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but this cocoa is so delightful...






Our annual Christmas Light Night with a Live Nativity play at Christ the King Lutheran church on Walnut & stroll down Dovewood Court was Sat. Dec. 20th (Preston turned 2 1/2) and especially cold! Good thing we brought our hot cocoa along with us. Spencer didn't get to enjoy the hot cocoa but he was bundled up and nursed through half of the play anyways! After Dovewood, we drove by one more Court, our friend Kevin from Choir has his house all decorated along with everyone no his court. It's almost just a beautiful as Dovewood without all the traffic. Anyways, I took a picture of a tree on his street that was decorated like Rudolph.

Stinky Baby

After waiting 3 weeks (for belly button to get regular) without a real bath, it was finally time when we went to snuggle Spencer and he was a bit sour. Here are a few pics of his first bath! I love the 2nd one because he is looking up at my face while I wash him. Don't you wonder what he's thinking??




Bumper Sticker: "I'd Rather Be Here:"


Okay, WE didn't go to Disneyland, but Grandma & Aunt's Em & Gracie went last weekend. Since my mom is so willing to share her digital camera with us, I was able to upload HER pictures to our computer and can't help but share a few with those who haven't seen D-land all decked out for the holidays. Enjoy - even though we weren't there, we still enjoy the sights!





7 Years Old, Nathan Turned



On Dec. 5th, Nathan turned 7! It is hard to believe he is really 7 years old already! We held a party in our home (we hadn't been able to do this at the condo) and went all out with Jedi Training, a gorgeous Darth Vader cake made by Grandma Cheryl, Light Sabre fighting in the backyard with cousins & friends. It made for a pretty crowded night, but Nathan had an absolute blast - we hope his Jedi friends did too. Here are some pictures of his Star Wars Birthday Bash.





Love, Definitely

When we thought about the prospect of bringing home another child, we couldn't fathom what it would be like and how the other kids would react and be with him. I don't know why we have those weird questions, because how could it be anything but wonderful, crazy, great and lovely? The kids absolutely adore Baby Spencer and it is just so fun to see how automatic and easy love can be. With our spouses we have to "fall into love" but with kids, it just happens and you can't explain it. To think that this is how our Heavenly Father feels for His children is mind-bending. We don't need to woo Him or please him - He just loves us because we're His creation. Enjoy a few photos of this special adoration between siblings below and some pictures of bringing Spencer home....






Saturday, November 29, 2008

Spencer Theodore Phelps


Meet the newest Phelps!

Spencer was born on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 (his mommy & daddy's 8th anniversary!) at 2:59pm. He weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20 inches long with blonde hair and blue eyes. He and mom came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. Needless to say, we have a lot to be thankful for this year. Despite being 2-3 weeks early, he was perfect and big!

Below are some pictures from the hospital that family took. (Thanks for sending me these Debbie!) If you've been wondering where my updates are - well, we've been busy and also still don't have a camera, though we've been borrowing my mom's camera - so there will be more updates more often now that the computer is working again!


Friday, September 26, 2008

No pictures...but an update nonetheless!

In August, my digital camera broke. Eventually we'll replace it and be able to update with photos of the kids. For now, here is an update on us. Parts might be a repeat for some:

Early August, we moved! We have a ton of space and a huge backyard and it has been busy in itself to slowly unpack, etc. In fact, we still have a ton of stuff to bring over this weekend from the condo. Since the move, our laptop has crashed and just a month or two prior to that, my old computer (literally) died. Smoke actually came from the back of it when it turned off - never to turn on again.

Along with the demise of our computers, the internet service has taken forever (2 months) to get situated in the new house. I'm currently "online" but the DSL signal is intermittent, so a technician will be out on Friday to really fix things.

An angel (good friend) brought over a computer (actually, make that 2 Angels, 2 good friends dropped off used computers at my house all in the same night on Monday) and one of them has allowed my usage and is working, though pretty slow but I'm not complaining!!! Long story short, I am FINALLY online again.

The family is doing great, Royce is working his tail off to provide and keeping extremely busy despite the economy of other Tile companies. We are blessed to be with Artisan Tile as God has His hand on this compnay, as well as on our family.

Nathan started 1st grade last month, Hannah started 4 year old Preschool at Christ Community Preschool, where she went to the 3's program last year. Preston is talking a lot and cute as a bug. They're all 3 doing really good and driving their mother crazy all at the same time.

Now for the news, we are expecting a little boy this Winter and have decided to name him Spencer. The middle name is up in the air at this point. We thought we were going with Theodore, but are thinking about switching it to Immanuel, which means: "God is with us" - it just seems appropriate for this season in our lives. Spencer is due Dec. 12th, however we expect to have him in November! With H being 10 days early and then P being 12 days early, the doctor and I just don't think Spencer will hang on until December!

On other news, my mom is moving from Tahoe to come live with us and will be looking for a part-time job and go back to school for her Accounting Degree and hoping also for her Nursing License along the way! We expect her here in about a month and are looking forward to it.

Many of you, my special friends, have been leaving me messages or voicemails and I have been really unfaithful to return many calls/messages/emails, etc. It is not personal, so I apologize if I have hurt any feelings. In addition to family stuff I have been balancing my MOPS group of which I have been Co-Coordinating with my good friend Janet. It is like a full-time job, but is an act of service in a ministry that I believe in whole-heartedly. I've been trying to check my email at family/friends houses but also the local library and it has been difficult to do much more than skim and read a few here and there. Very hard to balance a 2 year old on my lap and try to construct an email! Even here at home for the past day he has been fighting me over the keyboard. : )

So there is my update to any who come here a wondering! Next week I'll be going to Dallas for a MOPS Convention and my mom will be here helping Royce with the kiddos. Sometime later in October/November I hope to make more time for all of the important people in my life. Happy Fall!

Love,
Courtney

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Having a healthy Baby!

Today was our sonagram and we were pleasantly surprised, but also very excited to learn that we are having a BOY! We thought it was going to be a girl and were proved wrong. So now the name decisions begin. Exciting!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beach Babes!


We just returned from a fun family vacation in Santa Cruz for a family reunion. Before returning home on Saturday, Royce's birthday, we thought we'd take the kids to the beach for the first time. The kids had so much fun playing in the sand for two hours, collecting shells and getting very sandy! Preston didn't like the ocean, but he did enjoy playing in the sand. Hannah was rolled over in a wave of sand (mud) and took home a less than happy memory about the beach, but the video below will show how much fun they had running to and from the waves.

video


video

Check out our slide show of the beach and more pics from Santa Cruz to follow soon....


Saturday, May 31, 2008

EASTER FUN

We went to an Easter thing at church the day before Easter.



The kids watching us practice in the Choir room before church started...

Family picture at church...

The kids in front of the water fall was NOT happenin'Grandma & Grandpa The kids were excited to receive their Easter Baskets once we got to Grammy & Papa's house.
Easter Egg Hunt!Dinner Time on the Patio
My Sisters & I

Easter Haircuts at Jack & Jillybeans!