Here's the latest rundown. Consider this your Christmas letter!
Jeff - has pretty much settled into his role as stay-at-home Dad. He has time out every week for breakfast with a men's group from church, time out with his accountability partner and occasionally he gets to go on a date with me! His hair was reallllllly long but has now been buzzed with a number 2 clippers (think Flo-Bee!!) He still wears earrings and has evolved his sense of humor to that of a three year old - they like to tell knock knock jokes and the classic "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Gotta love it! He hasn't been able to do much photography work but is looking to change that in 2012. Jeff has even attempted detangling Ruthie's hair! Way to go Dad!! A highlight for Jeff was poison ivy that covered most of his body :( We are glad to have that time of life past!
Noelle is now in 3rd grade at St. John's Lutheran School. She is doing very well and made straight A's the first quarter. She has joined Girl Scouts and loves it! She is also still very interested in Science, Computers, the Wii, Barbie, LaLaLoopsy and a few other things. She is reading the Dork Diaries currently and is very excited to see Gramma and Grampa at Christmas! She has grown much and is now in a size 3 1/2 shoe. Look out Autnie jen - she will be caught up to you in no time!! Noelle is still very artsy and will be taking classes in the spring.
Eli started preschool this year and is doing incredibly well! He is speaking in full sentences and is playing with his words. Our favorite quote of this year comes from questioning his Dad after Jeff had gone to the store to run an errand for me. Jeff walks in the door and Eli leans against the door jamb. cocks his head and asks, "Hey Dad, where ya been?" so cool and casual :) He is a bundle of energy and loves Barbie, the doll. Seriously folks, he needs a brother! Eli loves swimming and we are going to start lessons in the spring. School is going well and after the first few days of screaming and crying after being dropped off, he is now excited to go to school in the morning and has a best friend named Isaiah.
Ruthie, at first look, is a sweet and shy little girl. Oh how wrong you would be if you fell into that trap!!! She is vocal and strong. I am woman hear me roar!! And she is finally roaring at school. While she didn't speak at all in the spring at school (seriously - she only spoke 1 word the last week of class. period.) she has been a blabbering fool at home and will repeat herself a million times over until yu answer her question or give her the answer she wants to hear (as in, no ruthie you can't have a whoppie pie right now. to which she continues to repeat herself and includes the infamous, "But mom! I said please!" as if all the world changes because you remembered to use good manners!) She has begun talking to other kids at school now and playing on the playground. She has grown so much it is truly amazing. She has an amazing smile that warms your heart. She also has to pick out her own clothes every morning. It gets interesting.
Anna is still a joy and goes with the flow so well, unless you try to take her toy or a toy that she thinks should be hers. Anna turned 2 in October. Really? How is that possible! She enjoys taking everyone to school and then gets about an hour and a half of just daddy time! She is a character and is already trying out different facial expressions. She babbles constantly and has strung quite a few words together. She loves the chase. Anytime, anywhere. Including when you say, Anna, come here! That must mean the chase is on. She is also the one with the most injuries from this year. She fell and needed stitches under her chin :( she ran into something at the new house and got a lump on her nose and a black eye. Rough and tumble is the name of the game. She doesn't give an inch to big brother or sisters!
Jeanne -well I am still plugging away at EIU. I am enjoying my classes and my students and we have fallen in love with an Amish store in Arthur. They make awesome whoopie pies and have an old fashioned candy aisle. I had the chance to present at conferences in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Pennsylvania in 2011. It was a fun and fairly stressful first year at EIU
So that pretty much rounds out our year. here are a few more pics for you to enjoy.