Sunday, December 15, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas! Love, The Vanderpools

Merry Christmas 2013
Hey everyone!  I am just updating our year here on the blog is all.  I wanted to first off, wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I wanted to first thank God for all He has taught me and our family this year.  We are so blessed and He is teaching us to trust Him day by day.  We are so thankful for each one of you.  We really did not have the mentality last year to do this.  We were so blessed to have Anna home with us right before Christmas last year.  God has truly taught us some things about our priorities with the way she came and His miracles and healing. 
Ricky has done a lot of traveling this year for work, but thankfully he never has had to go for too long.  And he is done for the rest of the year.  We are so thankful for the new friends we have met, and the old ones where God has allowed us time to grow closer.  We also are very thankful for each moment we have together as a family, altogether.  We are tremendously grateful for each one of you that helped us in our family's time of need, it means so much to know that so many care about our family, our children, and truly wanted to help.  We were forever changed through that time in our family's life and God has helped us to be aware of how we want our priorities to be. 
Chelsea has started home schooling Caleb and Ava and is loving every minute.  There are some sacrifices involved, and are thankful for the support we have from friends and family in this endeavor.  We are truly touched by your love and prayers.  Caleb is in 2nd grade this year and is so great at Math and is loving to read now!  He celebrated his 8th birthday in June! Ava is in 1st grade and loves reading so much...she gets caught sometimes reading when she should be asleep for bed time.  She loves learning about animals, every single kind.  Ava celebrated her 6th birthday in January, we are so close to having a very grown up 7 year old!  We really love how mature Caleb and Ava are with Anna, and just are so humbled to see the love they each have for their little sister.  They are such big helpers and truly have a heart like Jesus. 
Anna is doing amazing with catching up after being born at 27 weeks 3 days.  You wouldn't even know she was a preemie now.  She is so healthy, happy and is just about all caught up.  She is crawling very fast!  She is loving baths, so cute, she loves to splash, and has the cutest smile!  She has four teeth now!  She was 21 lbs. at her last check-up, and cannot remember the exact length, but is on the chart for her ACTUAL age!  She is bigger than Caleb and Ava were at her age.  We celebrated her 1st birthday in October, and just celebrated with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles.  We are so blessed by them.  She really is starting to show her personality now, and has just started giving kisses and standing up, already walking across furniture...only a matter of time!  She now shakes a lot when  you say dance, it is so cute.
Our children help teach us every day, and they truly are a gift from God.  We love being parents, and love our family.  We are most thankful for God's mercy and grace.  I'm so thankful for forgiveness, compassion, learning the importance of having a thankful heart.  And am so thankful for family and friends and those who want to spend time with me.  With some sacrifices made being a homeschool Mom now, I have learned just how precious a friend who wants to talk with me over lunch, and my favorite, when they want to talk about God and share what He's been doing in their life, brings me courage in my own walk with God.  It took not having it to realize just how important and vital it is to me.  I am so thankful for your thoughts, prayers, and so thankful God made you...each and every one of you.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Vanderpools

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