Greetings from Tehachapi, CA!
This year seemed to have flown by for us, as the years seem to be doing lately. It seems as though if you want to know exactly how quickly time goes by you just need to have kids and watch them grow up at lightning speed right before your eyes. And ours are doing just that, which is why we just keep having them. Ha! Not really, but kind of. =)
Abbie is 7 years old and is in 2nd grade. She loves school and is a social butterfly. Abbie is doing very well in school and loves to learn. She is still our strong-willed girl, but she is also very kind and compassionate and is a HUGE help. She loves helping with her little brothers and thrives the most when we give her responsibility. She is maturing daily.
Benji is almost 5 years old and going to a preschool near our house. We weren’t going to put him in preschool this year, but decided to enroll him after he begged to go back to school. We are THRILLED with the preschool we found for him as they focus on learning and education versus just playing. He is memorizing sight words and has shown a great interest in reading and all things involving space. He has more energy than he or I knows what to do with, but I suppose that’s typical of 4 year old boys. He is learning what it’s like to have a little brother that wants to do everything you do and he’s not always thrilled with the idea.
Jamison is now 18 months old and is learning new things every day. He is a very happy little boy, although we are starting to see a little bit of his temper shine through when he doesn’t get what he wants. He loves all animals, especially our dogs and cats and he loves to watch the chickens. He loves to sing songs and be outside and he knows quite a few animal sounds and body parts and around 30-40 words. He is our snuggler and I think when baby girl shows up it will be a rough adjustment for him.
Mark has been busy with working at Edwards AFB. He is working in OGV and flying a bunch as well. Working in the ops group isn’t his favorite job, and he’s been pretty busy between that and flying 2-4 times a week. He is in the process of applying for a job with the Air National Guard and we are praying that that works out the way we are hoping it will. When he’s not at work, he’s busy renovating our house here in Tehachapi. So far we have laid engineered hardwood floors, tiled all 3 bathrooms and the kitchen and entryway, completely redone the kitchen cabinets, counter and back splash, painted the majority of the house, replaced the vanity in a bathroom, put a door and a walk in closet on a den, making it a true bedroom, and added lots of shelving in the garage. The end is in sight but we still have a little bit to do. He also built a chicken coop in our back yard. We had a chicken randomly show up in our front yard so we decided to keep her and get 3 more. We decided that 3 kids and 3 dogs weren’t enough and we wanted more things to take care of….
I am kept busy by the kids and dogs and chickens and trying to keep up with all the messes they all make. But in between the cleaning and refereeing I have found some great friends in this little town. I am a table leader for our local MOPS and I help out at church with greeting and the welcome desk. We are also hosting a life group from our church here once a week, which I love. And I usually have 2-3 play groups per month here as well. I’ve done a little bit of photography and I try to keep up with the blog but I don’t have nearly as much time for it as I did before we had all the kids and dogs. I taught myself to crochet this year and have been quilting a little bit, but not as much as I would like.
We’ve been putting our travel trailer to good use this year and are so glad we bought it. We went up to Petaluma in January and explored Napa Valley, the coast and San Francisco. We camped along the Colorado River in Needles, CA and also went to Bishop, CA with our church. We took trips to Yosemite and Redwood National Parks too. Recently we went to Point Mugu and camped on the beach, which was a blast. We are trying to explore as much of CA as we can before we move from here. We also flew to my parent’s house in MO in July for a visit. It was fun to see them and spend some time at the lake by their house.
Baby #4 is due mid-December and we are all excited about her arrival. So far this pregnancy has been the easiest for me, which has been very nice. Hopefully everything will go smoothly from here too and her birth will be as easy as Jamison’s was.
We hope this letter finds you happy and in good health. Best wishes to you and yours for the holiday season and all of 2017.
Mark, Monica, Abbie, Benji and Jamison