Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Wow, 2011 has come and gone! Welcome to the 2011 Lapointe Family Wrap-up. We are looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas at home and while we will miss seeing all our family and friends in California, we are excited about beginning some of our own family traditions. Looking back over the year, I think the theme would have to be growth. We have seen our community grow, taken on new leadership roles, expanded our roster of visitors and are eagerly anticipating the growth of our family! Needless to say, it was a very full year.

We'll start with the kids, isn't that what parents always do! Audrey Grace turned a very precocious 4 years old in 2011. We have been very blessed to see Audrey's sensitive heart this year witnessed through her compassion for fallen trees, and fallen animal friends.
Elliott Ryan turned 1 (though he was sick for his birthday party) and while we are still learning about his personality, seems to be a ham like his Daddy.
The big news of 2011 definitely has to be the addition of baby #3 due May 15, 2012. We are really excited to see our family grow but recognize that moving from man-to-man to zone defense will probably be quite interesting. We also welcomed our beautiful niece Eleanor to the world. Ashley got to go to California for the baby shower and to meet Eleanor two weeks after she was born and we are blessed to have had that opportunity.
We have also seen growth in our community. We are so blessed to be a part of a church teeming with young families to share life with. Audrey attends a home school co-op (or drop-off school as she calls it) with other 3 and 4 year olds from our church. The Moms take turns teaching and coordinating field trips 2 days a week. Audrey loves it and the creativity present in our community is astounding. We have also started camping with some of our friends. We both have fond memories of camping as kids and it is really exciting to have a group interested in making that happen. We're not going to lie, its kind of crazy with 9-12 kids under 5 but the best kind of crazy.
In the midst of all this, we have taken on new leadership roles as well. Ashley took on a position as Program Manager at Beads of Courage. She works about 15 hours a week while the kids are "resting" and while it has been challenging, she enjoys contributing to the organization that she saw make the most challenging life circumstances a little easier for families dealing with pediatric chronic illnesses.
Eric continues to work at U.S. Dream Academy and as he has gotten more comfortable with his responsibilities, has taken on some leadership roles at church. He currently serves as "money guy" managing church finances with another guy from church and is serving on the Transitional Advisory Board as we get ready to set up formal elders. As with any small church, we also both help out with hospitality (OK Ashley takes care of that) and volunteer in the nursery. We have seen God move in some pretty amazing ways and feel blessed to be part of such an amazing ministry.

Finally, we welcomed a litany of visitors this year. This is especially exciting to us because we were worried that when we moved back east, we wouldn't see any of our friends and family from Cali. Not in any particular order, we hosted Gogo and Grandpa Larry (Ashley's Mom and Step Dad), Poppy (Eric's Dad), Auntie Lauren, Grandma and Grandpa (Ashley's Dad and Step Mom), Auntie Lidia (twice), Todd Simonsen, Dave, Jenn and Eleanor Costillo, Bob Harriman, and Kate Farah. The basement has been busy!

All-in-all it was a very good year. We are continually challenged to stay in the moment and enjoy this (often crazy) season of life. Especially this year, we feel incredibly blessed to have everything we have been given. We continue to pray that God blesses our family with health, prosperity, and relationship and that we use all of those gifts to bless those around us.

Merry Christmas!

The Lapointes