Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Our annual Christmas newsletter--if you've been reading my blog, you already know all this, but it's fun to look back :)

Dear Family and Friends,

Lately God has been prompting me (Scarlet) to give thanks in every circumstance, as a matter of faith. It takes discipline to condition oneself to react, in every situation, with praise and thanksgiving, but the practice of praise yields unimaginable blessings. This year has been filled, for us, with many opportunities to praise God through our challenges and in our victories.

Sawblock & Scarlet
AKD is 12 and in 7th grade. He’s played soccer in the past, but this fall he played travel soccer for the first time, and he loved it. The level of skill is so much higher than in the recreational league he had been playing in, both on the part of the players and the coaches, and AKD’s team made it to the state tournament, where they placed 2nd in their division.  AKD is anticipating playing again in the longer spring/summer season.  AKD is also active in Boy Scouts, becoming a patrol leader in October.
AKD's soccer team after a muddy victory
AKD enjoys people-powered sports, continuing to gain skill as a whitewater kayaker. He also started off-road cycling more this year, working on building an ever-evolving network of trails on our property, and he intends to start snowboarding as well.  AKD is a terrific problem solver—he’s a great thinker and a hard worker, and he’s becoming more independent and self-confident as the years progress.

MC is 9 and in 4th grade. He played tackle football for the first time this fall, and l o v e d it! He was pretty good at it, too--his stubbornness (aka tenacity) is a great asset on the field.  MC is also progressing in karate—it’s hard for him to look at what someone else, like his karate instructor, is doing and mimic it, so it’s been slow going, but MC works hard, and we’re proud of how his balance, strength, and flexibility have improved. MC is active in Cub Scouts, and placed in the top 10 in this year’s Pinewood Derby race. MC also participated in his school’s production of Sleeping Beauty in March.
MC hanging out in the river
We’ve known for a long time that MC has sensory differences—his senses feed him corrupted information and/or there’s a disconnect between the input from his senses and his reaction, leading to inappropriate or exaggerated responses. This fall, we had MC tested, and found that he meets the criteria for an educational diagnosis of autism. As a result, MC’s educational team has recommended a plan to develop MC’s strengths and support him in his areas of struggle moving forward. MC is a sweet, affectionate boy who in an excellent hugger and loves being active and all things football.

Roger is 5 and in his 2nd year of preschool. As is often the case with youngest children, he is a handful and a half—an amazing daredevil who knows what he wants and is surprisingly sophisticated (for his age) in the ways he goes about getting it. He loves jumping and climbing and pretty much doing the sort of death-defying feats that will shave years off a mama’s life. His new catch-phrase is, “I got this,” as in, I can do this—I don’t need any help :)

Roger riding his 2-wheeler
He also loves cars, trucks, and trains, and snuggling with his stuffed animals and his mama.  Roger rode his bike without training wheels for the first time in 2012, and got to go along with the rest of the boys to the BWCAW for the first time as well. I love Roger’s contagious enthusiasm for life.

Sawblock kayaking at Wausau whitewater park.
Sawblock continues to work as an engineering consultant and Scarlet is still in her dream job as a stay-at-home mom.

Some highlights of our year include an ice fishing trip in January, a spring break trip to Wisconsin Dells and to visit Sawblock’s sister and her family, a weekend canoe camping trip in May, a family trip to Madeline Island in Lake Superior and the boys’ annual trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in July, a trip to Colorado to visit Scarlet’s brother and his family in August, raising monarch caterpillars and our summer fun to-do list, various Cub Scout and Boy Scout camp-outs, service projects, and other activities, and family camping trips.

Boys in the BWCAW
We said goodbye to Sawblock’s Grandma when she passed away in August at the age of 89. She and her husband had been married for 68 years. What a testament to faith and love this pillar of her family was. She is sorely missed.

The Bluefield family
As you can see, this year has been filled with joy and hope for our family. We look back on this year in praise, with thankful hearts, and we wish the same for you and your loved ones through this Christmas season and in the new year.

With love,
Sawblock, Scarlet, AKD, MC & Roger

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