I wanted to take some time to hopefully start a new habit of reviewing our family's year in writing. This is my version of those "Christmas Letters" many people include with their Christmas cards.
This year has been a relatively calm and joyful time for our family. My maternity leave with Karis officially ended at the end of January; I made the decision to not return to full-time work outside the home, and instead invest that time and energy to serving my family full-time at home. Until May I continued to do some contract grant writing work from home a few hours a week for my former employer. This contract ended, and now I enjoy serving our church Calvary Grace Church of Calgary a few hours a week with admin work. I really do love being at home with Karis; it allows for a less stressful pace of life for our family and much time to train and teach Karis at this important formative stage of her life. It's hard to believe how busy ordinary life at home can be. There is always something to clean, toys to pick up, children to feed, budgets to balance, etc, etc. We also love spending time with other moms and children, especially the 4 other gals and our 9 children combined that meet every Wednesday for a time of prayer, play and lunch.
Shawn continues his work as south Alberta District Manager for St. John's music where he sells musical instruments to schools throughout southern Alberta. He enjoys the day trips to various cities/towns around south Alberta each week and is really good at what he does. At the moment he is the top district manager for the whole company nation-wide in terms of sales. He also teaches one drum lesson a week. He is a great daddy to Karis and Titus - at the moment He is giving Karis a bath, so mommy can have some down time while Titus is napping. It's a blessing to have a husband who serves his family selflessly, and I am so grateful for him. He and Karis have so much fun together, especially doing funny dances together and listening to great music. He's so proud when she asks for more jazz.
A highlight for our family each week is coming together with our church family at Calvary Grace Church of Calgary to hear God's word preached so faithfully. We have many wonderful friends there that we love dearly, and the teaching we receive there has been so integral in growing our faith and relationship with Christ.
Karis has done so much growing this year - physically and developmentally. The Lord has graced her with great verbal skills which she loves to practice all, and I mean all, day long! She is our little parrot, we like to say. We get many laughs over the new things she says or mimics each day. She loves music, dancing and nursery rhymes. She walks around with the itouch to her ear singing and swaying "Jesus te tu" (Jesus Thank You) by Sovereign Grace. She also loves books, dolls, and stuffed animals. She currently has about 15 "friends" (stuffed animals) that share her crib. She also loves to pull up a chair on the kitchen counter to "help" me bake or cook. "Helpy - you" she says, and "Mix, mix, mix" to the dough she loves to eat. She loves her new little brother Titus. She gives him lots of kisses and loves the chance to hold him. "Oh, come here Titus" she says in the funniest voice that I realized she was mimicing after me. Having Titus join our family has encouraged her to find ways to entertain herself and be a great helper to mommy.
In the summer we took our first family vacation. We spent a week in the Kelowona area relaxing by the beautiful Okanagan lake. Karis was a bit afraid of the water at first, but warmed up to it nicely. Vacationing with a toddler has its relaxation limits, but nonetheless we had a great time and enjoyed the chance to slow down and just spend time together.
And a few weeks ago we welcomed our second child into our family. Titus Whitefield Evans arrived on November 29th at 6 am. You can read his birth story on a former blog post. We love having a new baby in the house and seeing our little family grow. I was really surprised about how much busier one little baby could make one, and although I can complain about not having time to do hobbies (like blogging - I'm not sure how I'm pulling off the time to write now!),we feel so blessed by our children and all that the Lord teaches us through their being in our lives.
There are big changes on the horizon for our family, which I will share about in a few weeks once plans are a bit more solidified.
Overall this year has been a time to see the faithfullness of God in so many areas of our lives. To Him we give glory and gratitude.