us a child is
born, unto us
son is given; and
the government shall
be upon his shoulder; and
his name shall be called Wonderful
Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his
Government and peace there shall be no end, upon the
throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish
It with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the
Lord of Hosts
will perform this.
There is peace in the house with the babes all tucked in bed. I have a light, a fire, a cozy chair, a paper and a pen. Gifts from God. I sit to write to you all. ‘Tis almost Christmas once again. I’m trying to enjoy it, but I keep messing it up with thoughts of “I’ve really got to stay on this, I still have to sew and make chocolate candy and buy more stuff and what in the world am I going to serve for snack for our buddy singing and church is here less than two weeks after Christmas and I still have to house clean the kitchen and that will take a day and I’m going to the dentist and there are just two more weeks till Christmas!”
Like I said, I do like Christmas. The girls and I had a blast putting up Christmas décor. Oh, and it’s really fun being expected to spend a bunch of money buying neat things for the children. And being able to get things I know each one will especially like. And the feasting to come and the chocolate and cookies – I’m glad people make all that rot. I’m glad God made food interesting and a continual delight. Oh yes, Christmas is wonderful. I’m glad we make such a huge deal out of celebrating the birth of Christ. There can never be too much gratitude and rejoicing.
Speaking of gratitude, God has given us another fruitful year. A lot of sameness, as well as growing and changing. Come January, all of my brothers will hail from places other than Lancaster County. That’s definitely a large scale change for us, being of those Amish whose families, generation after generation, all live in one big pile. Mike is in college in Idaho, Raymond and Allan live on the farm in Missouri, and Nathan and his family plan to move to Missouri also. We’ve seen that country twice now – we went out in June after Dad bought the farm. I mean, we had to see it. And then we went out again a few weeks ago for Dave to hunt. And for a vacation. The area is quite pretty. Hills and trees and grasses and sky. Elbow room. Amazing land prices. Shall there be an exodus from Egypt, er, Lancaster County? Time will tell, I suppose.
Another change has been homeschooling full time, as in doing lessons every day. Maria would be in first grade now and Naomi in kindergarten. I tell people it’s harder than you think, and more fun than you’d think. Hard to get everything else done when we’re doing school for several hours each day, and fun to be the one teaching our own children these things.
Maria comes by with the wildest stuff. Random, like reading about the ant lion in the Childcraft book. She was telling the story of how they dig a hole, so other little bugs fall in, and then they throw sand over them so they can’t get out. And Dave remembered watching that at the mountains when he was a kid but he didn’t know they were called ant lions.
We are all well, but we have had a few bumps this year. In June, Maria and I both contacted Lyme disease. Fortunately, our chiropractor recognized the bull’s-eye rashes on Maria and pointed us in the right direction. We took antibiotics and are now doing natural treatment which we are happy with. I certainly found out more about Lyme than I ever cared to know.
Maria is still a voracious reader. Anything from Ivanhoe to Calvin & Hobbes to the Hardy Boys. Scary stories are awesome. Naomi is getting into chapter books, although mostly she would rather put on an apron and trot after me, bringing trouble that I could have done without, but also laughter. She is a sweet, capable little helper. She also finds it invigorating to tease Lucian. The poor guy. Having two big sisters can be trying, indeed. Lucian enjoys little brother Virgil a lot and is quite good with him. They are three and sixteen months and good buds already. Driving their tractors and sitting on each other on the rug. Wrestling at their age! The girls never did that. So cool. Virgil is a big little chunker, easy-going and happy. He loves books (to their detriment) and bringing toys for me to exclaim over. He is sweet and much loved by all of us.
Dave is quite busy with being a realtor. He still spends some time in the fiberglass shop doing oversight and bookwork, but mostly he is hither and yon, always finding something new and exciting. He loves his work. And I love that he’s home a lot, working in his upstairs office. Daddy is the best babysitter there is! It’s so nice to just leave the children with him when I need to be off and doing things.
This Christmas, may the Lord give you eyes to see all his rich gifts.
Let His kingdom come!
Let His will be done!
Anne & all
Read 2011 Christmas Letter