Christmas Letter 2011

Merry Christmas!
 Welcome to our blog! We are so glad to find you here today and in an effort to be green we hope to continue this tradition of blogging our Christmas letters for the years to come. As we recount the year’s blessings and heart aches we vow to stay steadfast in our hearts and minds of God’s goodness and love.
 In January Deirdre was facing some very serious kidney problems. Extensive tests revealed her kidneys to be leaking proteins and after an intense encounter with the Holy Spirit and lots of prayer from friends and family, her kidneys are fully functioning. We thank God for His touch on her body. For more details about this testimony, read this post.
In April we celebrated Ashden’s 5th birthday at his favorite park with his favorite super hero, Ben 10! We also experienced our first ever Bingo Night at Ainsley’s elementary school. This was a BLAST. We played family bingo in the gym of our community center with other families from her school. As the bingo’s started flying up, the kids would win a ticket to get a free book and they loved it. We will forever be fans of Bingo Night!
 In May we lost Jesse’s Dad, Charles Hopkins to emphysema. Jesse was blessed to be able to travel to Georgia and Florida to spend time with his siblings and extended family during that time. As the memories are a constant reminder of his absence, we are also reminded that we are Heaven bound ourselves.
  (Daniel, Amy, Jake, Grandpa Hopkins, Jesse)
The summer months were filled with ordinary activities that every childhood memory should include: swimming camp; dance lessons, humid days at the pool, weddings, Dairy Queen blizzards and puppy kennel visits.

In August we started our new school year, AT THE SAME SCHOOL!        pics here
(This was a first for Ainsley and Ashden.) We were beyond excited to find out that Ashden would be taught by Ainsley’s kindergarten teacher. She is a fabulous educator and our relationship  with her from the previous school year has made this year very smooth. Ainsley’s teacher is also an excellent educator with a real ZEAL for teaching. She even updates her own website throughout the year. For more pictures of Ainsley in her classroom, click here.  Overall we feel beyond blessed that our children have superb teachers who really care about them as individuals. Ainsley’s teacher wants her to stretch herself by practicing her public speaking skills apart from the rest of her class because she sees Ainsley’s strength in this area. Ashden’s teacher is always smiling, even at 7:55 am when I drop him off, which tells me she likes her job and values her influence.
We also had some house guests in August and September- Deirdre’s Dad and sister came out to paint the exterior of the house. Whew, that was an adventure. Here are the professionals hard at work. Nessa and Deirdre took a road trip to Colorado to visit family and go to a cousin’s wedding. We loved spending quality time with cousin Shelby and wish we weren’t separated by the miles.
On October 20th we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We took a short, three day getaway to the Lied Lodge in NE City. Reconnection and rejuvenation were top on the priority list. We’d like to thank those who made the trip possible, namely, Deirdre’s Mom who took on the ginormous task of babysitting for 72 hours. She did a great job.

In the next few months, we look forward to Jesse becoming certified by the International Life Coaching Association. For more information on this visit academiclifecoaching.com.
In the year of 2011, we have been stretched and we have grown. Literally, we have grown, a mere 4+ inches between the 3 kids, but also figuratively. God has been a faithful potter and our spirits have been molded. Praise the lord that He never leaves us unchanged.
With Love, Us

 



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