Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Merry Christmas! 2014 is coming to an end!

We’ve just had our quietest Thanksgiving ever, with just Grandma and Grandpa Fischer and Aunt Mary joining us for dinner. The kids missed having some cousins to play with. Now our stockings are all hung by the chimney with care and God’s tree is up and lovingly decorated by the kids. We finally have some snow and everything feels cozy. We are going to be having our quietest Christmas ever, with just Grandma and Grandpa Howard joining us as we celebrate.

There’s a theme going on here, I guess. Quiet is good in this season. I am experiencing peace and joy as I reflect on God’s grace and provision. This school year I have opted to take a break from most of my ministry activities to reflect and refresh and refocus. Keeping up with a strong-willed toddler and my household chores is keeping my time plenty filled. The one thing I have not given up is going to CrossFit 3-5 times per week. Landon enjoys getting out and playing with friends there as much as I do.

We are having a very busy basketball season currently, with Matt coaching Carson and Montana’s Boys and Girls Club team in addition to his middle school team. It is difficult for me to get to the games, because Landon does not do well at them and he also usually goes to bed much earlier than they end. I did, however, get to see Montana make her first basket last night! Carson’s playing is coming along and I am very proud of the way they handle playing on the same team, as well as their dedication to the game and fitness in general.

Carson and Montana are also in the same classroom this year! That is something I never thought would work out, but they are doing well together. This school year has had its share of struggles already, particularly due to a large staff turnover at the kids’ school and all the changes that ensued.  Carson is really looking forward to middle school next year and Montana is hoping to have a teacher with more experience. They are both enjoying Quest (gifted program) this year and the CrossFit Kids curriculum that is being integrated into the district PE program. Carson has decided to try out the saxophone this year and he’s doing so well! They are both so helpful to me at home and with the toddler.

Our middle-girl Hallie has a special, dramatic spirit! She is also very helpful with Landon! She is constantly cartwheeling, flipping and handstand push-uping. This summer she finally got her wish of being in a gymnastics class. She definitely has a natural talent for all things gymnasty! Unfortunately, schedule and cost has not permitted her to continue thus far in the school year. I hope we can get her back there to continue with guidance in the future. She is also really hoping for an American Girl doll for her 8th birthday in a couple weeks. Although I feel it is outrageous to spend so much money on a doll, she has been wishing for this for more than a year and saved up some of her own money to put towards it.  So, her wish just might come true!

Ollie is Mr. Kindergartener this year. His teacher is awesome and he is doing great in school! I can’t believe how fast he has picked up the letter sounds and numbers, because he had very little knowledge of it going in. Practically none! He is still meeting with his speech teacher and making big strides to becoming fully understandable. He loves to dress for success in bow ties and sweater vests and regularly looks quite dapper. His teacher tells me he is one of the most popular kids in class. Ha! A new side has come out at home, however, and that is a tired side that snaps at siblings in never-seen-before fits of rage when he is crossed. I have come to expect yucky new behaviors with each of my kindergarteners, as it is such a hard transition. Ollie builds amazing Lego structures in his spare time, prefers not to do homework, and loves to go play in his dad’s CrossFit gym, climbing ropes and swinging on rings.

And Landon, sweet Landon. He has a special character. He challenges me almost every minute he is awake it seems. He is very cute, his saving grace. All cheeks and curls. He prefers to wake at 5 am and I cannot get him to wake at a different time. He is loved by those who care for him at CrossFit and church, so I guess he saves all his battles for mom. I am praying fervently that he will simmer down before baby number 6 arrives.

April 4 is the estimated due date for our surprise ending, baby number six. As per our tradition, we are not finding out the gender prior to birth. Being unexpectedly expecting has been a challenge for me in many ways. But it has also been an amazing blessing God has used and is still using to teach me much. Babies are a gift from God and I am very excited to snuggle this new addition! Everyone is excited and six will be a very nice, even number.  I only wish I could fast forward pregnancy…

I cannot close this letter without mentioning Matt’s big happenings. This summer our two local high schools combined into one and Matt’s middle school moved into the abandoned high school building. In collaboration with a couple of the area high school P.E. teachers, Matt persuaded the district to provide CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids training to all the district P.E. teachers, which took place in his amazing gym, which he spent countless hours setting up over the summer. I am very proud of him and thankful that our kids and the rest of the kids in the district will have the opportunity to learn about and become hooked on fitness! We are a CrossFit family! Matt has seen many amazing things with his middle schoolers with the introduction of CrossFit, especially those that have had a bad attitude about P.E. or athletics previously. He is regularly thanked by students for giving them a confidence they never had or encouraging them to try things they wouldn’t have tried.  Students who might not be friends outside of class are encouraging each other. CrossFit is truly life changing.

I hope you are able to slow down during this busy season and reflect on CHRISTmas. What a wonderful time of year!