Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas letter

December 2008
Dear Friends and Family,

It has been an eventful and happy year for our family. In August, we welcomed our sweet Gabrielle Aaliyah to our family. She is four months old now and is the sweetest, calmest baby I have seen. She coos and laughs and sucks her toes and is starting to roll over and tries to sit up. She rarely cries. She adores her big sisters and seems very aware of everything going on around her. She is a delight to have in our home and we are so grateful that she is healthy and happy.

Our other new addition is an 8 month old puppy named Chester. He is half border collie and half black lab. He is a smart dog, but quite a chewer. He has demolished the decorative walls of the deck Alfredo built a year and a half ago. We hope to train him and channel his chewing. We are glad to have him in our family.

Mirielle (Ella) is now 3 ½. She is in preschool two days a week. She has recently learned to write her name on her own. She wants to be like her big sister and is rapidly learning her letters and beginning reading skills. She loves books, loves to draw, and adores both of her sisters. She is excited to start primary in a couple of weeks. Ella loves to wear skirts and often argues if we try to make her wear pants, although the snow is finally convincing her to wear pants again. She is also very good with animals. She adores Chester and doesn’t even care when she gets knocked over by him accidentally. She seems to have the magic touch when it comes to other dogs as well.

Michelle is 5 ½ and started full day kindergarten this year. She attends the dual immersion program at Jackson Elementary. So she gets a total of 2 days a week of Spanish and 2 days a week of English (plus a half day that is spent doing all the extras… music, library, PE, music, etc). She is learning to read in both languages and we are hearing her speak more and more in Spanish. She loves school and loves her teachers. She continues to be very agile. She loves the monkey bars, loves to ride her two wheel bike, loves to do flips and climb and swing.

Jenny is teaching 3rd grade at Parkview again this year. She has a very nice class and is really enjoying this year, although it is challenging working and having a new baby and 2 other kids. She was recently released from the Young Women’s Presidency and starting in January she and Alfredo will be teaching the 9 year olds in Primary together. She continues to read voraciously, scrapbook occasionally and has become very excited about blogging.

Alfredo changed jobs in September. After nearly 7 years, he quit working at Primary Children’s Hospital. He is now in charge of the storeroom at Utility Trailer. Utility is much closer to our home, and he is enjoying his job. He is good at what he does and they appreciate his organizational skills and hard work. He also recently laid Pergo flooring in our kitchen and removed part of the kitchen wall to enlarge the entrance. He is becoming quite good at home remodeling projects.

We are grateful for this holiday season and the chance it gives us to reflect on the blessings of the past year. We are especially grateful for our family, our friends and the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and recognize the abundance of blessings we have! We love you!
The Panamenos