Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

As I have run out of time to send these, I thought I would post our Christmas letter here for all of your to see--plus, it will hopefully bring you to our blog and let you know a little more in depth how our family is doing and what we are up to. At Billy's band concert, a grandma of one of the other saxophone players was sitting behind us and chatting with us. She asked if this was called a Holiday concert or a Chritmas concert. Of course, the school had to be unoffensive and call it a Holiday concert. She made the comment that it is too bad that everyone is afraid to say Merry Christmas and offend another and that she makes a point of wishing others a Merry Christmas whenever she can. I take her wisdom and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may Tidings of Great Joy fill your lives throughout the coming year!

Dear Family & Friends, December 2008
As another year comes to a close, I find myself facing the blank screen and wondering what to report of the Allen family news to you all. We have had quite a year and the next one proves to be just as exciting. We have now lived in Kalispell, MT for an entire year and love it just as much as the day we rolled in to town. We are slowly settling in and getting the house set up how we like it. We miss our friends & family in the south but love living in the mountains and having four real seasons.
As 2008 began, we prepared for the arrival of our little baby boy and I was most thankful for the healthiest pregnancy ever. The delivery on July 28 was the best c-section experience I could have asked for. I was grateful that all went so smoothly! I substitute taught before Tanner was born and continue to substitute as I need to. I began the year teaching the sunbeams (Amelie’s class of 34- yr olds) and now I teach the 10-11 year olds each Sunday. And in September I began my own Pampered Chef business. I have had so much fun with this because the products and recipes have completely enhanced my desire to cook. It’s easy to do fun, creative dishes and clean-up is a snap! I never knew cooking could be so enjoyable, so it has definitely been worth the effort of getting my business up and running. If you are ever interested, I would love to tell you more or get you free product as a host for a catalog or cooking show. Just let me know!
Jim is thoroughly enjoying his switch to the northern border. There is something to be said about hiking through the mountains of Glacier National Park and calling it work. It is beautiful and beats any office he could ever want. Jim also stays busy as the 1st Counselor in the Young Men’s organization, which means that he works with the 12-13 year old boys on Sundays and as the Assistant Scout Leader. He has had a lot of fun with them, especially Billy!
Tiffany (and Mary and Billy) got to help us move into our new home in the snow, then enjoyed Spring break with us and the summer, which was unnaturally cooler than usual. She is now half way through her senior year, and it seems that Senioritis is settling in J She is doing great right now playing Varsity soccer for Mesa high. She only has a half day worth of classes and she loves to fill her calendar with activities with her many friends. She’s a social butterfly and so much fun, who wouldn’t want to hang out with her?!
Mary is a busy bee as usual. She is a Junior at Mesa High and not only has a full and challenging academic schedule, but she also played tremendously on the Mesa High Varsity volleyball team and now on the Varsity soccer team with her sister. Mary also completed a huge project painting & decorating her room with Tiffany. Mary had her first job this summer at Bajio’s here in Kalispell and everyone there loved her. She is a hard worker and such a wonderful, fun and loving young woman.
Billy, Amelie and Eric have all lived through their first real changing of the seasons from summer to fall and fall to winter this year. What fun it has been to watch their excitement, especially for the snow! It has been so wonderful to have Billy with us. He is the best big brother ever. Billy is only 4 merit badges away from his Eagle Scout as he and Jim have been working hard on that. It has also been so fun to cheer him on as he played on his 8th grade football and basketball teams. And he has worked hard to make his first ever appearance on the honor roll—even recognized in the newspaper! He had 7A’s and one B. We have also thoroughly enjoyed listening to him practice and attend his band concerts where he plays the Alto Saxophone. If you check out our blog, you can listen to one of the songs he played in his Christmas concert. He has had a wonderful year and is growing into a fine young man.
Amelie continues to amaze us with her ability to learn and be creative. She loves planning parties for her pretend friends, which usually resemble cartoon characters. She is in Joy School to prepare her for kindergarten next fall and she loves it. She just played the Angel in the school performance of the nativity. Amelie loves to entertain! She is our little angel.
Eric thinks he is as big as Amelie and Billy. He will talk to anyone & everyone. He loves pretending to be a pirate or superman, or combining the two to be a superman pirate . . . to the rescue! Eric is a quick learner and would live outdoors if we let him.
Tanner is a very happy baby most of the time—even teething, he isn’t too fussy. He loves to laugh and smile, especially with Amelie and Billy! He is learning to sit up and just began scooting backward on his belly a little, too. He just discovered his tongue and that he can make all sorts of fun sounds & squeals. He is a big kid, too, wearing 9-12 month clothes at five months. He’ll make a great football star someday!
We are so thankful for the Christmas Season and the opportunity it gives us to focus on the gift of the Savior and on what we can give to the Lord and to others around us. May the true meaning of Christmas fill your homes & carry you well into the new year. We love you and wish you a very merry Christmas & a happy new year!

1 comment:

EmmySue said...

Wow! What a busy year and a fun family. We are thinking of going up north too! David has to graduate first... but I've already been looking at houses. Guess a little antsy. Your family is amazing. Congrats on the newest addition, and Merry Christmas!