Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

 Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends,

Thanks for taking to time to read our annual Christmas letter. If you've been following our blog, most of this will sound familiar but it is always good for us to look back and the year and see everything that has happened. Sine you heard from us last, we ended 2014 with a much needed two week “stay-cation” as Eric had been in Charlotte for a month processing shoeboxes with OCC. Eric has loved his job but as they shared with him during the interview, this truly is the hardest he has ever worked. Because of his extensive travel schedule, and the emotional toll of the work, Eric had to step down as President of the Original Northwood Association (our HOA). It was a difficult decision but it has proven to be a very freeing decision. Eric had the chance to travel to Rwanda in May to distribute OCC shoeboxes. The trip corresponded with the 20th anniversary of the genocide Rwanda experienced in 2004. It was an incredibly emotional experience but Eric was able to see how God is using OCC to rebuild an entire country and culture.

Ashley, of course, has been bearing the brunt of Eric's travel gaining a first-hand understanding of the challenges of a single-parent family. Because of various health reasons (you can ask if you're morbidly curious), Ashley started a diet called GAPS which has had tremendous benefits to her overall health. Ashley continues to support the Distance families with BOC and is enjoying her weekdays with only one child in the mornings. She is enjoying a greater amount of schedule flexibility which has allowed her to do a “child-swap” with our good friends the Posts as well as volunteer in Elliott's Pre-K class.

Speaking of the little guy, he is now 4 years old and in Pre-K at Waverly Elementary school. He loves school (like his Daddy) and we're thrilled with his teacher Ms. DeRosa. One of the things we we recognized this year is Elliott's love (and proficiency) of doing puzzles. He's up to doing 48 piece puzzles and he absolutely loves doing every day!

Audrey is in 2nd grade at Baltimore International Academy and continues to enjoy her school. She's been excelling in her french language comprehension, even winning a state-wide award called Le Grand Coucours. She was the youngest person at the awards ceremony to “medal” in the competition. Audrey is also doing Girl Scouts this year which she is enjoying tremendously. She sold Cookies to 27 families in our neighborhood and would have sold to more if we had more time!

Adeline continues to grow in size, hair length, and speaking ability. She's talking up a storm and enjoying her friendships with her two year old friends, Micah (Post) & Emma (Metzger).

There are a couple of things to share about the family as a whole. We continue to love our church, The Village and are excited to have experienced a tremendous season of growth. Ashley continues to lead the Fellowship ministry and Eric serves as one of the two Elders. One of Eric's highlights this year was being a part of baptizing 15 people as they made decisions to trust Christ. The last thing of note to share is that we tried Soccer with Elliott and Audrey this Fall. Elliott really enjoyed the organized activity and Audrey discovered that team sports don't suit the way she is “wired”. She did enjoy making shadow figures on the field and found the position of goalie to be suitable to her interest level.

Overall, 2014 was a wonderful, exhausting, but tremendously satisfying year. Since you reading this, we are excited to journey with you and hope you know that you always have a place to stay in Baltimore.


Eric, Ashley, Audrey, Elliott and Adeline Lapointe

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Mom's Visit

During Eric's busy season, he has to spend several weeks running the Processing Center where they process OCC shoeboxes.  Last year, he went to NC for 4 weeks, missing Thanksgiving and coming home right before Christmas.  This year, he was based out of Baltimore, but worked evenings six days a week.  He would get home at 12:15am, so I was solo for the evening.  My mom came to help for a week and was impressed by the amount of laundry we generate.  Here are some pictures from her visit.

Off the hear Handle's Messiah

Coloring time 

Audrey had an episode of lice during her visit, creating even more laundry.  

Eric was super exhausted on Sunday, his only day off.

During my mom's visit, Adeline had a bout of mischief. 

We got to visit the OCC processing center.  
The kids were thrilled to see where he spent his many hours away from home.

 Eric also got to volunteer in Elliott's class since he had mornings off.

He also got to go on Audrey's field trip to see the Nutcracker. 

Eric got to be part of an airlift to Iraq. 


Crows fill the trees this time of year.

Random Undies Pic

On my mom's last night in town, we went to see the lights on 34th street in Hampden.

This record nativity scene was Audrey's favorite. 

It was great to have my mom here and always sad to say goodbye! 
Thanks mom for all your help and for doing dozens of loads of laundry!

Cedulie's Birthday