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Christmas front 2013 web
Christmas back 2013 web

{To those that don’t know, Nick always writes the letter that accompanies the card! This year, he sat down with each of the kids, and our wall calendar and let them talk about 2013.}

Dear Friends & Family,

I am considering a transition into a new career in 2014 – a court reporter career! That being so, I decided my first test would be to transcribe the musings of my 4 children, about the year 2013. Please enjoy their thoughts on the year.

Jackson: Santa says ho, ho, ho! I liked going to Maine and Vermont on vacation this summer*! Last year I got the flu. This month we are going to have Christmas! I like to play baseball in the spring and summer! The best thing about being 6 is that I get to go to kindergarten. My favorite part about kindergarten is being able to go to 1st grade for an hour and a half. School is great! I love 2013!

Tyler: January 2013 was an exciting month we had Lily’s (2nd) birthday! In February it was a rockin’ day as we ate tacos from Taco Bell and watched the super bowl. March was a boring month. We did not do anything on the weekend, but daylight saving time was funny because I woke up at 6 instead of 7. On April it was a good time, we got smiley faces on the calendar and we stopped on April 22. In May, an exciting thing there, we graduated from Preschool and we had Mother’s Day. In June we did VBC* at church. In July it was an exciting month cause we went on vacation. Yippee! Vacation was from the 17th to the 23rd it was fun. In August it was kinda fun we had a birthday, and our birthday was rockin’ fun! In September we did Sacred Steps* and ate frozen yogurt. October was rockin good cause we did the fabulous sleepover that started at 3:30 p.m. November was great because of Thanksgiving and we did the smiley faces and Lily got into the Kid of the Day program. In December it’s gonna be a great time cause we are going to have Christmas and maybe a sleepover.

Chase: In January we had New Years Day! That day was so fun! On the 21st it was MLK Day; we did a project and we got smoothies after that. In February we saw the super bowl and we had tacos! YUM! On the 12th it was Lincoln’s Birthday. In March, on the 29th, there was Good Friday. We went to school it was the day before Easter when Jesus died. In April we struggled with staying in bed so we had to do smiley faces. It was sad that we struggled. On May there was national day of prayer; it was fun. June 21st was the first day of summer! July vacation started on the 15th and went until the 23rd. Vacation was fun, we went to Omaha it was fun and went to the fantastic ZOO! And then we swam in the swimming pool the day before that. August 27th was our birthday and August 15 we started school that day and school was fun. I had lots of things to learn at school. October the 12th we had a sleepover that day and that was fun. We saw loud pops and had hamburgers and we watched a movie and had a yummy vegetable. November the 24th we started doing smiley faces and there was a sleepover coming up. On the 29th we did Men’s night. December the 2nd we started not doing very well on the smiley faces we had 4 in a row but did not do very well which was sad…booo! December 8th Daddy put a person for the smiley face.

Lily: I like music. Bear is crying. Pick bananas. I like pretzels. Bananas! Apples! Cookies! Kitties! Kitties! Kitties! Cookies! Daniel Tiger*! Bananas! Candy! Doggies! Pretzels!

*We did not travel to New England For Summer Vacation in 2013

*VBC=Vacation Bible Camp

*Sacred Steps = Our Church’s 5k fun run and walk raising money for Africa

*Smiley faces on the calendar = all children going to bed quietly and on time

*Daniel Tiger = Kid’s show on PBS

Please know that none of this was altered in any way, and if you know any judges looking for a clerk reporter to please have them contact me on Facebook.

Merry Christmas! May the hope, peace, joy, and love that Christ brings be with you in 2014!


Nick and the fam!



  • December 22, 2013 - 3:05 pm

    RoseAnne (mom/grandma) - Wonderful letter! I have to admit I was a bit confused by Jackson’s mention of vacationing in Maine this past summer. Glad you set that straight because it was one more thing that made me question the state of my memory. ;) ReplyCancel

  • December 22, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    Helen - Ha! I know, Mom! I told Nick he had to put a note in there that we did NOT go to Maine and Vermont this summer, otherwise we’d have people thinking we blew them off ;) ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    Nellie - A lovely family, and a lovely Christmas letter! May peace and joy be yours in 2014! xo NellieReplyCancel

Once upon a time, a couple bought a house. The house was what we like to call “move-in ready”, meaning it had clean, off-white carpet, and freshly painted walls. While off-white carpet and beige walls weren’t exactly what this couple had in mind for their first home, move-in ready was what they needed, for the wife was 6 months pregnant with identical triplets.

Fast forward 3.5 years, and the move-in ready carpet has taken a beating. Potty training 3 boys, plus random spills of food and drink has left the carpet in a sad, sad state. On a whim, the husband decides to pull up a corner of carpet and take a peek at what’s underneath… and what to our wondering eyes should appear (sorry – I have Christmas on the brain right now), but hardwood floors that made us shed a tear! (We didn’t really cry – I just had to rhyme with “appear”.)

So about 6 months later the husband says “I can do this myself!”, but maybe we should test this on just a small section of the house. The carpet was ripped up in the dining area first, because of all the places to put carpet, that seemed the worst. With a rented sander and a huge stack of sanding pads, he got to work and it didn’t look half bad! (Man, I’m on a role with the rhyming right now!)

All that being said, the job took a lot longer and was more pricey than expected, and so for just over 2 years, we lived with the carpet still on the floor in the living room and hallway. Until this month!!

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That, right there? That’s how we really live, but it bugged me that you couldn’t really see the carpet, so I cleaned it up;)

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You’ll just have to trust me that the carpet used to be much lighter in color, not to mention not as matted down. And Chase got a little silly when the camera came out!

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These were snapped quickly just before we had to vacate the house for the floor guys we hired. Notice all the staining and crud on the floors? Yick! And over where you see Jackson’s legs in the corner, there was a big slab of uggo tile on top of the floor.

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Notice the slight shading different between the two rooms? (It’s tough, I know – terrible lighting that morning!) Nick had done the room the boys are standing in, which is why it’s lighter here.

Just 36 hours later….

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Do you hear the angels singing as you look at this?! Needless to say, we LOVE our new floors! (There’s normally an area rug on the floor, but I rolled it up just for the pictures.)

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So next up on the home improvement list? Paint! Nick is already working on the trim, which was in sorry, sorry shape, and I’m currently looking at paint colors for the walls. Time for our little house to have a lot of TLC!

Seeing as we’re almost to Christmas and the end of 2013 already (eek!) I thought I better play catch-up here! So what’d we do in November?

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We attended Family Literacy Night at the boys’ school! The boys all read a new book in the library, and then filled out a book report form and had their picture taken to be displayed in the library. And then we wandered to a classroom (Chase’s!) to “fish” for words, and then build silly sentences out of the words they caught.

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It was on this night that the first grade teacher  the boys’ see daily, hooked Lily up with her very own “Read!” t-shirt! She loves wearing it, especially on Wednesdays when the boys all wear their Read shirts to school:)

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The Cat in the Hat was there, which the kids were all excited about!

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Then we all went into the music room for a little karaoke! Yep. Karaoke. Know why that was included in Family Literacy Night? Because the kids have to read the words on the screen! So what songs did the boys all pick (and insist on singing separately)? Jingle Bells. Yes. All three of them picked the very same song, so everyone in the music room was treated to it three times in a row. Bahahaha!

In November we also played in the leaves! There’s never a shortage of those at our house. We live in a old neighborhood, with HUGE trees, and while people always comment in the spring and summer how great our trees are (a lot of friends live in new subdivisions that have tiny trees), we kinda feel like they’re not so awesome in November;)

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Know what else was awesome that we did in November? We went and saw the penguins! YAY!! The brand new penguin exhibit is finally open at the Kansas City Zoo, and it is AWESOME!

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We went on a very cold Saturday morning, so the zoo was practically empty. We spent a solid hour inside that penguin exhibit, and had to pretty much drag our kids out of there finally. They had so much fun watching the penguins swim, jump out of the water, push each other back into the water, etc. Lily’s squeals were awesome!

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We wrapped November up with these three handsome guys taking Communion for the first time. They’d been asking for months about it, so we had a little sit-down with them to discuss the why’s behind Communion, and answer questions they had. After that, we were certain they were ready for it. Right after I took that picture at the end of the service they announced they want to be baptized next! While we do attend a United Methodist Church (they baptize infants), we decided to wait and let our kids tell us when they want to be baptized. Nick and I both have our own special baptism memories and want the same for our kids! So bittersweet to watch your kids grown up, isn’t it?

  • December 17, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Cindy in San Antonio - Thanks, Helen, for the blog! It is always so refreshing to see your kiddos and hear what they are doing. Loved the photos, especially the penguin exhibit, and the leaves, and Dr. Seuss — well, ALL of them!!ReplyCancel

  • December 18, 2013 - 4:29 pm

    pop pop - Wow, first communion AND the Cat in the Hat !! Plus penguins. Can’t wait to visit !ReplyCancel