Sunday, January 8, 2012

wrapping up a year

Merry Christmas!

I say this every year, but wow- the year has flown by. What an exciting one it has been! We started out the new year with the exiting news that we were expecting another baby. Yeah! And then to our wondering eyes, we beheld it was going to be a boy! Holy cow- who would have thunk? (Not us!) But we were sure excited to have a little man join our crew of rascals.

Let’s see, what else happened this year?
A trip to Disneyland.
Some fun family reunions.
Mom threw up lots. (whoops! Too much information?)
Dad worked hard as ever.

Ryenne has done growned up on us! What we want to know is how in the heck do we stop this growing up business? What’s new? Intermediate school, flute, & lots of funny. (maybe the funny part ain’t so new?) This one is developing quite a sense of humor and can be a lot of fun. She’s trying to convince mom to wear mascara. Hmmm. No, but thanks for asking, says mom. We‘ve had to consolidate our bedroom real estate and she now shares a room with Kate. She is not so happy about it but has resigned herself to her “hard knock life“ (most days). Such is life. . .

Kater bugs. . . She and Emmy have moved to a new school this year and are handling the change quite gracefully. The best part? The girls all get on the bus at our house this year. Hip, hip, hooray! Kate loves her teacher this year (who calls Kate her “voracious reader“). Her determination makes us shake our heads every now and then! She still likes to stand on her head, loves a good joke, and has a heart as big as her vocabulary.

Miss Emmy is now in school all day. First grade! She’s waited her whole life for this moment, and just a few weeks ago decided it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. At least, that’s what we are suspectin’ on account of the awful tummy aches she seems to have every morning (but miraculously disappear once the bus pulls out). Her favorite thing is teaching Claire school, which is fantastic except for the part about Claire only having a one minute attention span. Poor little sister is forever being sent to detention.

Which brings us to Claire. Oh, Claire. She turned three this summer and will be heading into big kid primary in a few weeks. Heaven help who ever is doing sharing time, that’s what we say! The other day I realized that she is going to be “that kid” in primary. You know the one. She doesn’t have a shy bone in her little body and always has lots to say. Needless to say, she makes me laugh every. single. day.

As for Mr. Samuel, he’s captured our hearts. He arrived on his Daddy’s birthday, August 25th weighing in at 8 lb, 10 oz. He is growing waaaay too fast for our liking. He has a smile that can’t be beat and is a pretty sweet little guy. His coming into our family has already taught us more than we ever imagined. Our little family is now complete!

If you’re getting this letter, you probably already know about our adventures following Samuel’s birth. What’s a good year without a near death experience, anyway? While our experience following Samuel’s birth has been challenging in many ways, we know that it has blessed our family too. We have become more aware than ever that while there are lots of things that matter in life, there are only a few things that REALLY matter. I often think back through those last minutes before I headed into surgery. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t make it.

Moments like that tend to pull things into focus in a hurry. When everything is said and done, the only things that matter are our relationships. . .with our family, our Father in Heaven, and our Savior. This coming year, we hope to do a better job at making the most of those relationships that REALLY matter.

Most importantly - We couldn’t end this year without telling you how overwhelmingly thankful we are for all of you. We have received more than we can ever repay. We know we have seen miracles as a result of many, many prayers. Every time we had a need, someone stepped in and filled it. We know the only thing we can do to repay your kindness is to pay it forward to those we see in need. Thank you for teaching us so very much.

Like we said, what a year! This past year has brought many blessings, taught us countless lessons, and will be remembered as a sacred time for our family. We hope the new year finds you well. We thank our Heavenly Father every day for all of the good things in our life, including you!

Love the Wood family,
Courtney, Kelly, Ryenne, Kate, Emmy, Claire, and Samuel

This is our one and only chance at mortal life- here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the Earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you to not let those most important things pass you by. -President Thomas S. Monson

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