Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cookie Decorating

The Kyllos and us go way back. We knew each other before we had any children, now they have 6, we have 5. They recently moved back to the area, and we have had a chance to catch up and enjoy their company. The kids are 10, 8, 8, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2, 6 mo, and 2 mo. Our kids are very close in age and get along great. Thanks Melinda for inviting us to decorate cookies, we had a great time!
The Wilkinson and Kyllo clans

Look at those beautiful cookies

Ellie showing off her candy cane

Sarah and Audrey

Grace with a BIG smile

Olivia, Ellie, and Clara

Cookie decorating in action.

Josh's birthday

Josh turned 34 this week. We celebrated at breakfast, lunch, and dinner....breakfast was at home: eggs, bacon, toast, Starbucks coffee. Lunch was teppan yaki, this was our girls first time and they really enjoyed watching the chef and eating all that yummy food. Dinner was just a few friends at Daily Grill. My favorite part of Josh's birthday was when he told me, "Man, I'm the luckiest man alive!"

Merry Christmas 2009!

I thought about not writing a letter this year, as nice and easy as that sounded I just couldn’t do it. I know you would probably give me enough credit (having 5 kids seems to give me a free pass on almost anything) for just getting the picture out but the over achiever that I am (NOT!) couldn’t do it. I’ve come to love the process of thinking over the year and its’ highlights.

In June, we welcomed Joel Robert into our family. Having a little boy around has been so much fun. He is definitely outnumbered but seems to fit right in. There is never a lack of arms to hold him. Audrey and I had bets he would be crawling by Christmas but as it gets closer I don’t think that will happen. He is a chubby, happy little boy, he rolls all over the place, drools like crazy (no teeth yet), smiles and giggles.

I am enjoying my life as a full time mommy. Managing the household and kids keeps me plenty busy. I sometimes get to end of the day and wonder what I have accomplished, but I’m constantly reminded that the kids grow up fast and before we know it, the house will be clean and quiet, the laundry won’t be so daunting, and I will miss it ALL. In my free time I do enjoy hanging out with friends & family, helping in the girls’ classrooms, hosting life group in our home, going to the gym, reading a good book, trying a new recipe, blogging, and facebook.

Josh still works for Kaweah Construction Company as a District Manager and Vice President. Old Pops (Josh’s grandpa) lives just a few miles from us so we enjoy frequent visits and dinners at San Joaquin Gardens.

Audrey started 3rd grade this year. She turned 8 in July. This summer she cut her hair and donated it to Locks of Love. She continues to really enjoy school. This fall she decided to go out for the cross country team. She successfully ran in several meets and made it to the City Finals. She loves reading and writing, playing teacher, cooking with mom in the kitchen, and playing with our 2 dogs, Gabby and Scout (we call her our dog whisperer).

Ellie turned 6 this year and started 1st grade. She enjoys school too, and really loves her teacher. She is almost as tall as Audrey and gets lots of attention for her height. She is anticipating the loss of her two front teeth sometime in the near future. She is sweet, sensitive and loves routine. She is a good listener and such a good helper. She loves to do her homework next to Joel in his bouncy seat. She is an early bird, always the first one up and ready for the day.

Olivia is almost 5. She started pre-school this fall. As excited as she was to go to school like her sisters, she would really rather stay home and play with mommy. She writes her name beautifully. She loves anything her big sisters are doing, but has a very independent spirit about her. I really have to keep tabs on her because she would change her clothes 6 times a day if I let her. She is very loving; her big brown eyes have a way of sparkling when she talks. She was acting goofy the other night and I told her I wanted her to calm down, and she quickly responded, “Mom, don’t you want happy kids?”

Grace just turned 2. Last year when I wrote our Christmas letter she wasn’t walking. At 17 months she FINALLY started walking. She started talking right around her b-day this year and she hasn’t stopped. She is learning new words and expressions everyday. She was doing something the other day and I heard her say, “Oh man!” She loves: her baby brother, trying to keep up with her big sisters, wearing any pair of shoes she can find, swinging, singing, and praying (especially the “amen” part).

We rejoice often for incredible family and friends, God’s amazing grace, and the hope, peace, and joy only He can bring. We pray this letter finds you and your family well, Merry Christmas!

The Wilkinson Family