Well, I managed to get a Christmas photo made on too-cold day in December (last week), write out the Christmas letter and finally mail them off. The week before Christmas. Better late than never, right?! (or so I console myself....)
I am hosting about 25 people for a Christmas Eve shindig and there is much to do before then. After that, it will be a whirlwind weekend of visiting and festivities so really, everything must be DONE by tomorrow at 4:00~ including those last few gifts I have been procrastinating on finishing.
Not much time for blogging I am afraid, so I thought I would hop on here one last time to post our Christmas letter for the year and the few frozen photos of the family and to make sure to wish you all, kind souls, a very Merry Christmas!
As I was putting the Christmas cards together, it occurred to me that nearly every Christmas card photo we send contains a new Newman. And so it is with this one, and in just a glimpse you can see what a wonderful year 2010 was for us.
Little Judah Benjamin was born on big sister Corynns birthday, and is, in truth, anything BUT “little”; he weighed in at 10 pounds, 11oz. at birth and has feasted on heavy cream ever since. We were at the hospital only a terrifyingly mere 7 minutes before he arrived but he has, ever since, been easy going and patient (a wonderful thing for a fourth child to be!) I am daily in awe over him and incredulous at his near perfection.
Corynn is seven and in her second year of homeschooling. She can read an entire afternoon away or spend hours creating anything from elaborate sketches and paintings to paper binoculars and gifts for her siblings. Her heart is sweet, her mind is sharp, and her spirit is always, always giving. She is such a help to me, and such a joy.
Andrew is four and insisted upon starting his first homeschooling year this year. He has shocked me time and again with skills I didn’t realize a four year old boy could master. He doesn’t cry when he is stung by bees, can work all day with Matt in blistering heat without complaining, and uses saws and hammers with the best of them but he still finds time to curl up with me and read a book or give me a hug and call me sweet. He is the perfect blend of all-boy and sweetheart. He saved up his money and bought a pig this year and yes- he is *still* always in cowboy boots. :-)
Adele' turned two over Thanksgiving and makes life interesting for all of us. She cracks us up and lives to do so. We always enjoy hearing her own invented vocabulary for things; “doo” is horse, “blah blah” (with some major tongue rolling) is Judah and shriek is for just about everything else. :-) The girl does not stop moving. She is feisty and sweet, infuriating and adorable all rolled into one beautiful bundle and my parents assure me that I was just that way when I was her age, so I deserve everything I get.
Matt continues to work at Dairy One installing networks and cameras for farms, and though he had no previous experience when he started his job two years ago-has really proven himself to be the exceptional man I have always known him to be. Unfortunately, this means that he is well-utilized within the company (read: sent out of town) for about half of each month. This is quite challenging for our family, but we try to focus on the blessings of a job at a time when there are few and find grace as we learn to grow through these trials. He doesn’t work directly with animals as he has always done, so he makes up for it on Old McNewmans farm. I counted them up and we are feeding 59 living creatures here (that is, until the cat gives birth to her kittens)~among them, cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens, dog, cat and children ;-). He is devoted to his family, ever patient with me, and a hard worker. I still don’t know how I found such a catch.
As for me , I am turning into a regular country girl now that Matt is gone so often. I can split kindling, gather eggs and call pigs with the best of them, even if I do say so myself. I am crazy busy every day but my constant struggle is not just to get through the days, but to do so with grace and beauty. I don’t just want to get food on the table, but I want it to be delicious and nutritious. I don’t want our home to just be a house, I want it to be a welcoming and cozy haven. Being called a wife and mother isn’t really enough, I want to be known by my husband and children for always being available to them, my words to always be loving and my demeanor always to be calm. I don’t want to just live life, I want to notice every speck of beauty in the life I live. So- I am often behind the camera, flowers are often on the table (even if they are from Aldi), and because I fail utterly at reaching my own expectations, I often go to bed on my knees thanking God for His forgiveness and mercy and the grace of a new day to try again. I count myself truly blessed to be able to call this life my own.
Babies who nuzzle in necks, toddlers who draw you into the wonder of new experiences and achievements, children who discover and learn, create and teach, and mature right before your eyes….there are times in these everyday moments that I cannot help but pause to realize the great calling that mothers have. We are world-changers.
Did Mary, as she peered into the face of God-made-man, realize her part in changing the world?
Our Savior, who gave up His power to become weak, gave up the heavens for a trough; born a babe to be tended, grew to give the greatest gift of all. Himself. For us.
Have a wonderful Christmas, we have a wonderful Christ .