Greetings from Idaho Falls!                                                                                            December 2010

It's hard to believe that the year has come and gone and it's time to send out holiday greetings again.  This letter may be a bit behind schedule, but that seems to be our theme for this year; it has been a busy one for us and we're still not sure when (or if) we'll get caught up.

I read through our Christmas letter from last year and thought, "Hmm, I guess things haven't changed that much."  The kids are still playing, squabbling, trying new things, and growing up much too quickly.  We see pictures of them and realize that they really do change a lot in a year.

Patrick is quickly catching up to his parents and will be the tallest in the family before too long.  He's a great big brother and we rely on him quite a bit.  Greg loves the fact that Patrick is strong enough to mow the lawn and shovel snow and he does both pretty often.  He hiked Table Mountain this summer and made it to the top without much trouble.

In February Maren was excited to be baptized, but not so excited to find out that her new sibling coming in July was going to be another brother.  Thankfully, she has fun aunts, cousins, and friends, and doesn't have to look too far to find someone that will play something more girly than Legos.  (But she'll do Legos, too, if only her brothers are around.)  She's a great student, and I am hoping that someday I can follow her example of not procrastinating.

Henry keeps us all guessing with his active imagination.  He can make up a story like no other and has a constant string of sound effects.  Give him a pile of Legos and he'll have some kind of "ship" concocted in no time.  He's got a contagious giggle and enjoyed being outside a lot this summer, despite his phobia of any kind of bug.  If he can get past that, he'll turn out to be a good little camper.

Lucas is where his brothers are.  He wants to be right with them and is disappointed when Patrick is at school and Henry plays at a friend's house.  He showers his baby brother with attention, though, and before too long he'll be the big brother with a tag-along instead of the other way around.  He is already really good with his letters (again-always with Henry) so he might be reading before he is potty trained...

Conrad is our new addition that joined us the beginning of July.  Deciding a name proved to be a challenge this time, and so for most of the pregnancy was referred to as "Cinco".  (Except for Henry, who consistently called him "Rocket Launcher".)  He had a bit of a slow start with weight gain, but is now getting back on track.  He's about the smiliest baby ever; he'll grin at anyone who makes eye contact with him.  We all love him to bits and he has adjusted quite well to the chaos.  He really doesn't like to be left alone.

We knew we needed some more room, so we started finishing the basement.  We had high hopes of getting it done before Conrad arrived, and when that didn't happen...well, things slowed down for a while.  Adding another person to your family is a pretty significant adjustment!  Having the cold weather arrive has been a pretty good motivation to get it finished.  With all our basement stuff stored in the garage, our vehicles were parked on the driveway.  We don't like digging our cars out of the snow!  We just finished up the paint, carpet, and moved things back in last week.  Merry Christmas to us!  The extra space is wonderful.

One of our favorite things about this time of year is the chance to reflect on our blessings, and those include our association with you.  While we're not the best penpals, we do think of you often (What do you think the insert your name here are up to these days?), and are grateful for the influence you have had in our lives.  All the best for a Merry Christmas and a happy 2011!

With love,

Greg, Hailey, Patrick, Maren, Henry, Lucas, & Conrad

4060 Shadow Mountain Trail
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

2010 photos