Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Well it was an exciting year for the Lapointe family.  For those of you paying attention (thanks Moms) we didn’t do a Christmas post last year because we were in the middle of a major life transition.  Eric was in the process of interviewing at Samaritan’s Purse to work for Operation Christmas Child and at the same time, his position was downsized at the U.S. Dream Academy. 

Needless to say, he got the job and is in the process of completing his first full year. It has been an exciting adventure including a trip to Uganda to distribute shoeboxes and share the love of Jesus to children in need as well as a lot of travel throughout Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.  As we write this letter, Eric is in Charlotte, NC for the month where he is on a team that will process more than 2 million shoebox gifts!  The job has been really rewarding, and while life is somewhat challenging with him on the road fairly regularly, everyone is handling the change very well.

I (Ashley) continue to work with BOC where I coordinate over 1,000 families who are dealing with significant childhood illness but do not live near member hospitals.  These patients and their families constantly remind me how blessed we are to be healthy.  This year I made a commitment to get back involved in photography in my “free time”.  I get really excited (Eric would call it fixated) on different photographic themes.  You can see my photo projects on cemeteries, ivy, and wrought iron by clicking on the links.  I also had a chance this year to visit California with Audrey and Adeline.  We’ve decided that all three kids on a plane by myself is not realistic, but any combination of two of them seems to work out fine.  Before you start feeling too bad for Elliott, he had some fun with Dad going to the Orioles game and the DC Zoo.

We continue to love our church, The Village, in Baltimore.  This year, I helped coordinate the Fellowship (food) Ministry and Eric was voted in as one of the first two elders of the church. As with any church plant, there is always something that needs to be done but we have been so excited to participate in very tangible ministry opportunities including grocery giveaways, VBS, a Halloween Festival, and many decisions to follow Christ.  Our community at The Village continues to be absolutely amazing for this stage of life.  We continued our tradition of camping as a group throughout the summer, one trip we had about 18 adults and 18 kids under the age of 9!

The kids are growing like weeds.  Audrey (6.5 years old) is thriving in first grade at Baltimore International Academy.  She learned to ride her bike without training wheels (she was really proud of herself) and her adult teeth are starting to push through (her dentist told us she’s going to have an expensive mouth…yikes!)  Elliott (3.5 years old) is getting very articulate and is showing his big heart and adherence to the “rules”.  He is his father’s son.  He enjoyed a fireman themed room update (Audrey’s Farm hand-me-downs had to go) and got his first bike, a balance bike which should make the transition to pedals much easier.  Adeline (1.5 years old) started walking and talking (or we started understanding) this year.  She absolutely loves animals and continues to be the most mellow of the three (thank the Lord).  Speaking of animals, God gave us a great gift on the day Eric left for Charlotte.  A kitten showed up on our doorstep demanding to come in the house.  Max (as Audrey named him) has been an amazing addition to the family letting the kids carry him around the house (including Adeline) and being all around great with the kids.  Max was a very welcome distraction easing how much the kiddos miss Dad.

All in all, it has been a full yet tiring year.  We are thankful for everything God has provided this year, recognizing that every good gift comes from Him.  Obviously, this letter paints a rosy picture of our lives and there have certainly been many ups and downs but we continue to consider ourselves very fortunate.  We are thankful for your support and prayers and want you to know that there is always a room for you in Baltimore.


The Lapointes

P.S. Thank you to Kari Miller at Austin Wayne Designs and Tiny Dog Press for taking our family Christmas picture!

Here are our outtakes