Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas 2009

You found our Christmas letter!! We sent out Christmas postcards, but decided to do an e-letter. Why? We could say it was because we wanted to be eco-friendly or that we wanted to save some money on printer ink or even that we wanted to lure more people to our blog. But the boring truth is that we ran out of time this year. 2009 was a crazy busy year full of changes for our family.

Most of you know from our Christmas letter last year that Derek was laid off at American Express after 13 years. His last day of work was in January and then he started 8 months of severance. He looked and looked for a job in Phoenix. There was NOTHING out there. So we decided that now was the time that if we wanted to move anywhere, where would it be??? We wanted to be somewhere close to rivers and mountains for Derek and somewhere without snow for Amy. Sacramento had everything we wanted and we really felt that this was where we should focus our search. But the Sacramento job market was even worse than the Phoenix market. So Amy packed up Derek and sent him out west to check it out. Derek fell in love with Sacramento, applied for a few jobs, then headed back to the heat.

He got a call from PG&E in Sacramento and they wanted him to come out for an interview. He flew to Sacramento and went to the interview. He thought he wasn't qualified for this particular position. But it went really well!! And they told him that if he didn't get this job, he was also very qualified for another position there. A couple of weeks later PG&E called and wanted to do a first interview over the phone for the other position. He was on the phone in his bedroom and the kids were being rowdy. Amy asked them to be quiet and Kendall asked why. Amy told her that he was on the phone about the "electricity" job. Kendall said "Just a minute." Amy watched her walk over to the couch, kneel down, and say a prayer that daddy would get the job. When Derek got off the phone he said it went awful and that he didn't even think he would get called in for a second interview. A week later, on his birthday, they called and told him that he got the job!! We could not believe it!! We know that our Heavenly Father truly listens to our prayers and that miracles do happen in today's times. 2009 was a very hard year for us and we would never want to go through it again, but we are so grateful that we did go through it. Because of our trials we are so much happier and more grateful for what we do have than we would have been without those trials.

To make a VERY long story short, Derek started work in August. Amy came out over Labor Day weekend, we found a house we fell in love with, put in an above the asking price offer (along with 8 other people), and got the house by just $1000 over the next person's offer. More miracles!!

Finally in October Amy and the kids moved out to Sacramento and we all stayed in Amy's old roommate Shannon's house. We are forever grateful to them for letting Derek stay with them for a couple of months and then Amy and Derek and 4 kids for 3 weeks!! We moved into our house on October 30 and we love it!!

Derek loves his job and is enjoying seeing the river every day when he drives to work. Amy is at home with the kids and is still working from home doing medical transcription.

Kendall was very sad to leave Arizona and all of her friends, especially Emily and Victoria. But she has made new friends and is getting used to her new school. Her school put on a play this year and she got one of the leading roles. She loved acting and wants to do some more. Does this surprise anyone?? She turned 8 this year and was baptized in Utah. She is such a wonderful girl and a very big help with her younger brothers and sisters. We are so proud of her.

Carson is 6 and in the first grade. Socially he is doing great and has lots of friends, but has had a tough time academically. The school district here is very advanced and his teacher said that his particular school is even more advanced than the other schools in the district. He is slowly catching up, but we are trying to decide rather to have him repeat first grade or go on to second. The kids go off track the whole month of January and we have another teacher all set up to tutor him 2 days a week. We are hoping that is all it takes. He has moved on (finally!) from Thomas the Tank Engine and is now really into Spiderman and Batman. He loves to climb and is looking forward to getting a play structure for the backyard. He is really fun to be around!

Landon is 3 and has made great strides this year! His speech therapist continued to come to our house once a week and he started occupational therapy to help with his sensory issues. He is starting to talk more and is learning to be more patient and wait for things that he wants. He and Presley are best friends and love to pal around together. His favorite place is outside. He has taken over all of Carson's Thomas trains and he loves cars and trucks. He is all boy!

Presley is 2 1/2 and is still a daddy's girl. Her language has exploded the year. There are a few sounds that are hard to hear because she has a cleft in her gumline, but she makes it work! She likes to take care of Landon and make sure he is behaving! She still wants to do everything we do. She is already loading the dishwasher!! Amy is thinking of teaching her to clean the bathrooms next year! :) She can be a stubborn 2-year-old at times, but once she realizes she can't get her way, she backs down and is very obedient and easy! She is now a head taller than her older brother Landon and is still in the 95th percentile for her height. The doctor thinks she will be 5'10" to 6' tall!!! She is a complete delight and our family wouldn't be the same without her!

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your families and friends. We are hoping that next year won't be quite as exciting for us as this past year and our big news will be that we added a puppy to our family!

Derek, Amy, Kendall, Carson, Landon, and Presley

We are both on Facebook, so you can contact us there if you want!!


Gwen said...

Wow, what a year you've had! So many blessings and so busy! :) Wow, Presley is tall-- who'd have thought she might be 5'10!! Sarah's is pretty tall, too.
Thanks for the ecard! :) Merry Christmas!

Steph said...

I love the Christmas photos! Reminds me of when I try to get one of mine! It takes so many to get everyone smiling together and no funny faces!

Merry Christmas!
Stephenie in Utah

Ellie said...

CUTE photo! I loved reading your update! Sounds like everything is falling into place nicely for your family.

Merry Christmas!

Jodi Sue said...

such a beautiful family! :)

The Little Family said...

Loved your Christmas letter. And posting it on your blog... brilliant! Must try that myself next year! :)


Presley's Adoption Timeline

  • 8/15/2007 - Received referral for Geneva!
  • 9/13/2007 - Sent LOI (letter of intent) to our agency
  • 9/29/2007 - LOI was sent to China!
  • 10/08/2007 - LOI was delivered to the CCAA in China
  • 10/29/2007 - PA (pre-approval) was issued!!
  • 1/15/2008 - DTC (dossier to China)
  • 1/18/2008 - Dossier delivered to CCAA
  • 1/25/2008 - LID (log-in date)
  • 4/1/2008 - LOA (letter of acceptance)
  • 4/25/2008 - CCAA issues TA (travel approval)
  • 5/22/2008 - Leave for China!!!
  • 5/25/2008 - Met our sweet Lexi!
  • 5/26/2008 - Discovered Lexi had brain damage
  • 5/30/2008 - Met precious Presley!
  • 6/7/2008 - Arrived home

My Family

My Family
My favorite people!!