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!
The Phelps Family
Royce, Courtney, Nathan, Hannah, Preston & Spencer