Merry Christmas everyone!
We hope this Christmas season finds everyone well and blessed! Our year has just flown by. The kids are all four now. (Daniel will be five in February!) Where does the time go?
The kids are all excited to start school next year. They will start full-day kindergarten in August and they would all go tomorrow if anyone would let them. We toured their school recently and were very impressed with all of the staff and the general positive atmosphere of the building. One of our close neighbors will be their bus driver, so that will be very handy.
Maja goes to speech therapy once a week to work on her pronunciation and she’s doing well. As she’s been there for a couple of months now, she’s letting her “true colors” show and she’s not always the sweet, demure girl that her therapist met that first day! She knows most of her letters and all of her numbers. She loves to draw, but it’s hard to get her to concentrate on writing. She would rather just make a shape and call it whatever letter she thinks it should be that day. She’s a “color outside the lines” kind of girl!
Daniel was not prescribed any speech therapy despite his cleft. Everyone at the school that tested them could not believe that he’d only been speaking English for one year. His vocabulary and pronunciation were as good as any American-born four year old. He isn’t quite as excited about reading and writing as the girls, but he’s making progress.
Mali is the ring-leader of the group and always keeps the other two in line…of course, she doesn’t always follow her own rules so well! She can write all of her letters and knows most of her numbers. She can recognize a few written words and is starting to learn some phonics.
Tony is still working at Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections and loves it. The State of Kansas has made huge budget cuts this year (including cutting the funding for three prisons and Tony’s job is paid from the same budget as they were), so we are a little worried about that, but we continue to pray that the legislators understand the increased importance of probation, particularly when they are closing minimum security prisons.
Alyssa continues in her position as Admin Lt. at Saline County Sheriff’s Office. This year one of the grants she wrote resulted in the shared Communications Center (dispatch) receiving $210,000 for much needed new E911 equipment, so that was very exciting. Our county’s budget is very tight (whose isn’t?), so the grants are very important to us right now.
This summer we lost our 13-year old Airedale Terrier, Sammy. He is now in doggie heaven, chasing all the bunnies he can find. He had bad hips for many years and had been on medication for a number of years. Medication was no longer enough and we decided to let him rest peacefully. We miss him everyday.
Shortly after that, Alyssa surprised Tony with an early 10th Anniversary present… his name is Kegan and at the writing of this letter, he is a 6 month old, 65 pound German Shepherd. Our vet estimates that he will be a 110 pound adult! Hard to imagine how big that will be … he has already outgrown our other dogs. Tony plans on training him for volunteer search and rescue work.
We didn’t manage to get a Christmas picture done this year, but you can check out the kiddos at www.five4now.blogspot.com if you are online.
Enjoy your holiday season and remember to celebrate the reason for the season – Christ, our Lord!
Love to all of you!!!
Our favorite places to visit on the web:
- Wide Smiles - Another great resource for parents of cleft-affected children
- Maja's website (not updated in more than a year, but still cute!)
- Love Without Boundaries: An incredible charity providing for medical needs in China
- Daniel's website (not updated in ages!)
- Cleftline -- a great resource for parents of cleft-affected children
- CCAI - Our favorite adoption agency!