OUR SABBATICAL YEAR
Sabbatical [suh-bat-i-kuh l]:
I thought about taking a complete sabbatical from the Christmas Letter this year, but then remembered that I wouldn't have any recorded memories and would quickly forget that this year even existed if I didn't. So I figured I would use the word 'Sabbatical' as inspiration for our theme this year. Forgive me if when you read this you really do find my mind on leave...I'm just hoping to put together some sentences that are cohesive :)
vacation because she was born 4 days late and my 6 hour labor began after I sneezed and my water broke.
Bobbie is currently taking a furlough from sleep, although she is never one to not give you a smile while awake. When she does sleep, it's like a vacation for her in that she loves to sleep in the swing and be rocked all the day long. Even still, she brings joy to our lives more than we ever thought possible.
Her sisters and brother love to hold her and when mommy needs a break, they are always there to step in and make her laugh... although, when it comes time to change Bobbie's diaper, the kids seem to take a leave of absence.
The next child up is Zeke (3 years). If I didn't know any better, I would have thought Zeke was the one granting furloughs, sabbaticals and vacation time since he seems to like the authoritative role in the family.
We have a lot of conversations about who really is 'The Boss' in the house.. Often times, he likes to take the liberty of claiming himself as Boss.
In other news, Zeke has decided to take a long furlough from going on the potty like a big boy.
It's almost as if the bathroom is his office and he needs a hard earned vacation. Every time I try to get him to go in there and sit at his 'desk', he adamantly grasps onto the door jams with both arms and legs. I'm' trying to get him to cash in his vacation days just to get him in the door. Zeke does, however, truly enjoy riding his two wheeler bike, playing his acoustic guitar and making up songs, and riding his scooter at the skate park every Saturday with the family.
Claire (6 years) seems to be living in a state of constant recess. She is so light-hearted and free spirited that I don't think she'll ever feel like she's working a day in her life...
Being a middle child and not as strong minded as some others in the family, Claire has learned how to quietly disappear from any room where math, handwriting or reading is being worked on and instead find small areas where she can do her creative art. This art usually involves cutting different colored pieces of paper into hundreds of small strips, gluing them on another piece of paper, and then leaving the rest on and under the homeschool table and floor.
I love Claire's creativity and free spirit. Claire also loves to write in 0's for every math problem and tell me she is finished with her work so she can go put on a tutu and twirl around. This 'creative' math has definitely landed her in some trouble and her 'recess state of mind' often times has to be brought back into reality. Claire is still trying to figure out what a book is.
leave of absence' soon because eating out of the side of her mouth has become quite the chore.
Lily (8 years) likes to take a breather from her family by escaping into books. Her love of reading has become an integral part of her daily life and I love the fact that she can take this skill and be forever learning.
Hopefully one day she will take a true sabbatical as a professor like her great aunt and uncle at Stanford. Lily's newest passion is pogo-sticking. I'm anxiously awaiting the time when I can get a break from the up and down 'reh-ee' pogo sound that I hear a thousand times a day. I can't get too upset though as the pogo stick was indeed my favorite toy growing up.
Lily was also born to take the role of big sister. She takes this job very seriously and is completely in love with her siblings and especially Bobbie.
As for me, Kristen, this year has definitely been an overwhelming one in many ways. The first was being very sick with my pregnancy while caring for 4 children and trying to homeschool. We ended up homeschooling the entire summer which has helped out with my stress to try to get it all done in the regular school year time span. I'm looking forward to a two week break from homeschooling over the holidays.
Another incredibly difficult time for me was saying goodbye to our foster son, David. As much as David caused me to want to check myself into a 'happy place' facility, he stole my heart from the very beginning. He was with us for a year and a half, and was placed back with his biological father and siblings in March of this year. While I am happy that David is back with his family, I can't help but notice that we all feel a void in our home and hearts without him and not a day goes by that we don't mention him or laugh about something he did. We are taking a sabbatical from full time foster care for now and are doing respite care for other foster parents who need a break or are themselves going on vacation and cannot bring the foster child. We have had 3 children in our home since David left and they have all been so sweet and special to us. We look forward to stepping back into this ministry in the future after this mama can achieve a little more rest that is missing due to being on full time baby night duty. I'm also looking forward to a short furlough from my photography business which has been so exciting and overwhelmingly humbling to say the least. I am so thankful for all my clients who continue to come to me each year. September through December for Family and Portrait Photographers is like tax season for Accountants and I truly do feel like I need some time off to recharge my batteries, refresh and get inspired for 2015.
Brian continues to work extremely hard to support our family, and for that I am forever grateful. This year, he reignited his passion for skateboarding and we now go to the skate park every Saturday morning and plan on doing so for a long time. The skate park has been a place where we have met and see great friends, get exercise, drink lots of coffee(okay, so that's just me), and get injured. Brian took a gnarly spill about two months ago and is just now feeling like he can skate aggressively again after his knee went on an extended vacation and didn't want to come back. I love Brian's persistence with things he is passionate about and skating is definitely high up on his list.
He is still listening to pod-casts while he works and the newest one Serial has become a bit of an obsession for both of us. If you are looking for new Podcasts to listen to, Brian would reccomend: The Moth, Steve Brown, Freakonomics, This American Life, Snap Judgement, & Tiny Desk Concerts.
We are hoping to take a real vacation this upcoming year to take the children to go see snow as it's just not gonna happen here in Sunny FL... for those of you needing a break from the cold, we'd love to see you!
Have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year!!!
Love, Kristen, Brian, Lily, Claire, Zeke and Bobbie