Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Family Christmas Letter

It's Christmas Eve and here we are sitting down to write about our year... as per usual, we are a bit behind- still wrapping gifts, making cookies...  it's funny when people ask (prior to this) if we're ready for Christmas. They're really asking if decorations are up, if gifts are bought and wrapped, etc.  And, though neither parents in this house like shopping (thank you, kijiji and online shopping), we really do enjoy thinking of gifts to give people... this year, we were also busy making some of our gifts... BUT does that make us ready for Christmas? When thinking  of true prep for Christmas, we're reminded of John the Baptist who came to prepare the way for Jesus.  If we prepare to welcome and celebrate the Christ Child in our lives, perhaps that means repenting (as was the message of John) of all the distractions we've allowed to take His place.  It's a great challenge to lead our family through this - but it's been very clear that we need to repeatedly focus on the Truth, as we've had Jordan at every turn saying, "I want...!" and "What about me?!" (Funny how the human condition seems magnified in the character of children, probably as a clearer reflection of our own selfishness).  And we in turn say, "Is it YOUR birthday?!" and "What do you know about St. Nick? He loved Jesus and gave to the poor.  We should do the same."

As the year draws to a close, we realize how very blessed we are.  We are doing what we love: serving God in our community, and raising our family of six kids.  We are constantly being challenged... in some ways, this has been a challenging year of ministry that had left us with more questions than answers , but we are in a place to grow.  We are anticipating God moving and working mightily in our church and community.

Our family is, of course, a great source of joy and laughter, and of challenge, at the same time.

Caleb is 10! Can't believe we got to be so old! He is enjoying his academic subjects, reading... and robotics club this year.  He is learning the value of hard work and has been our main man to take responsibility for our new dog (golden retriever), Kolbi (she is four years old - no puppy behaviour... yay! She is beautiful, loves the snow, and we love her).  Back to Caleb, he is very creative and innovative - we enjoy the new discoveries and "inventions" he comes up with!

Katie is 8 - she's been busy with sewing projects, making gifts for everyone in anticipation of Christmas. She is a hard worker and very determined (usually in a positive way) .  She is our little mama and takes on quite a few of the responsibilities of her younger sisters - she and Molly are the best of friends.

Reuben (6) just got "the plate" for reading his first chapter book and is quite proud of his accomplishment.  He is very imaginative (plotting, sometimes) and loves to make forts and "mouse houses" - architect?

Jordan (4) is a self learner.  This year, we tried to teach him to ride a 2 wheeler, but he refused to even really try.  A month or two ago, he came in the house and declared that he knew how to ride his bike... sure enough, he had taught himself how to do it! (He still has quite a few crashes but he's got his balance - just have to work on the steering!)

Molly is 2 and was potty trained in the summer.  She is a little imp - her smiles are contagious... but she is as determined as her older sister, perhaps more so.  We've had our battles, for sure.. But as with Katie, she is a good little helper and loves her sisters.  She loves the boys, too, though we've had to work through her "just girls, no boys!" motto.

Emily (15 months) is on the move! As a result, you can find Christmas ornaments (from the lower branches of the tree) from one end of the house to the other.  She is a joy (with a bit of a temper and sensitivity issues and came with her red hair we believe!)… and though the most jealous of our children, she loves her brothers and sisters, and is a Daddy's girl.

We are looking forward to the ways that God will grow us in the year to come, in our ministry to church and community, and in our ministry to our own family.  He can do mighty things with our feeble resources and efforts if we are faithful to put them in His hands.

"May the Lord bless and keep you.  May his face shine upon you, and be gracious, and give you peace."  May He also challenge, convict, and grow you in this year to come.

Merry Christmas!

the Dixons

P.S. Next year, we will be hanging one more stocking!

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