I have been receiving many Christmas letters this year. My friends are good writers. It’s amazing to me how they manage to capture a whole year in two or three pages. I thought about trying to do the same thing. I honestly think it’s impossible. There are 7 of us. Life is full, and I know you don’t have the time to read what we have been doing and thinking over the past year. Just read our blog. That will cover some of the high lights. For now, I thought I would just mention we are doing well. Juergen and I are still holding hands and walking in good unity after 19 years of marriage. I love my man! Juergen turned 50 years old in June. We got to celebrate the day with some good friends in Cyprus in a villa overlooking the sea. My brother Rick was the cook, and he blessed us all! Having Rick in Europe was totally great! I lost him in Paris...I'll never forget it! Jessica turned 18 years old. She still has autism. We had to go through a legal process to become her personal guardians. I have a hard time explaining why this was painful for me. I guess it has something to do with hopes and expectations. Know one hopes their first born child will be declared permanently disabled, and requiring full time care. We hope for independence, a bright future and promise. Jessica is as sweet as always. She is happy. The legal process we have been through does not change anything. It was upsetting to me, but it is finished. I am blessed with this extraordinary daughter that will live with us perhaps forever? Only God knows. Nicole is in her last two years of high school. She went on a missions trip, helps lead worship in her youth group, continues to be a great artist, and sword fights. Her challenge is what she will be when she grows up. Will she pursue art or science? Our challenge is to help guild and support her. I also think it’s a challenge to let her go. I’m not any good at it…letting go. I promise to try harder! Thomas is in the 5th class. He has mastered the Rubik cube. He has done many other things in 2009 but the Rubik cube is a good symbol to describe his amazing persistence. Once Thomas decides to do something, he will work at it until he has done it. I like this about him! He and Philip eat everything in the house. They are 11 and 12 years old and growing! So our food bills are high, and I am always buying new shoes. Philip is doing very well. Last year was pretty difficult for him. He hated school, and was angry and some what lost. But he has gotten over the ruff spot. He comes home and does his home work right away. We found a great speech therapist that also helps him with reading therapy. He has a long way to go…but he has found a good path. Is it great news to say you are no longer in a mud pit? I guess it is! Perhaps we will begin to see his potential realized? I have hope! And Sarah is in her final year of kindergarten. Her language is very delayed. She expresses allot of anger and frustration because she can not communicate well. But we also see progress in this area. Sarah has graduated from the baby pool to the deep water. She loves to swim. She can tie her own shoes and clean her own room. She is often lonely for a sibling closer to her own age. I often think we should adopt one more time. So far the right path hasn’t presented itself. We are not actively seeking to adopt again. But at least I am open to the idea, and I think Juergen is too.
We took trips to Holland (with My Parents), France and Cyprus(with my brother) and Thailand in 2009. I loved visiting with my family. I miss them always. We saw the tulips on the best weekend this spring. It was amazing! But Thailand was my favorite trip. I remember sitting on a roof top café on Dolphin Bay just south of Hua Hin Thailand. The kids could order anything and everything they wanted because the prices were so low. Philip eat 3 plates of shrimp. I looked over the bay and cried. It was so perfect and you long to hold on to what is perfect. You can only capture it in your memory. It was the best day of my year. My small little family far away from everything, together in paradise. Our daily lives are filled with homework, music lessons, shopping , sports and cleaning. But in my memory I hold this perfect day we laughed and played , went on adventures and build castles in the sand. We wish you progress in your life, Gods love and help, and a few sweet memories you will want to hold onto forever. Merry Christmas!