Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Traditions

Friday I surprised Ty with the Reindeer food bar after school. Anna had been asking about making it since she remembered doing it with us last year. I didn't host a North Pole party this year because Anna's family doesn't incorporate Santa in their festivities but they joined us for the Galt House Kaleidoscope event. It was fun to share the experience with them.

We also got a lead on the final scavenger hunt item after a week of searching. We can finally scratch carolers off our list. I am grateful as my alternative solution was to stand in the front yard and sing for the kids so we could say we completed it. As anyone who has ever heard me sing can attest, that would be a rather unfortunate ending for not only my children but also my innocent neighbors. To play it safe, carolers will not be included on next year's list.

I debated sending Christmas cards and a letter this year. I keep up with the blog and Facebook so most of our friends and family are able to see what is going on in our lives if they so choose. But a lot happened in our world this year (isn't this true every year?) so I conceded once again.

This year's letter:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas……not really but the under ten crowd is convinced none the less. Ty found himself home alone with both of his parents this evening (November 7) and after a rousing game of bowling on the wii, requested The Polar Express movie. So just like that, we are anticipating the arrival of the big guy in red. The wait shall be brutal but as we look at how quickly they grow, the magic of the season can linger after all. Ty is our last little one and we know this period of wonder won’t last long enough. 

It has been a very busy 2016. Lauren surprised us with a wedding we had six weeks to pull together. Only immediate family and few of their friends were in attendance but the intimate ceremony was charming and beautiful. Taylor feels very much a part of the family and his presence has been missed since August when he left for basic training. Lauren was able to see him graduate from basic training in South Carolina November 3. He is currently in Texas for AIT where Lauren will be joining him immediately after Christmas. As of May, the army will be moving them onto whatever adventure awaits them from there. We are anxious to see Taylor for Christmas and Lauren is anticipating being with her husband again. Her mother is torn between excitement for them as a couple and the desire to hold her close. 

Erin started working for the oral surgery department at the University of Louisville full time while holding onto a part time position with Aspen Dental who hired her out of her internship in 2015. She stops by to raid the fridge every now and then but living across town and holding two jobs keeps her running. She has a special man in her life. She met Jake around the time she held the maid of honor title for two weddings and is thinking toward the future with him. 

Makenna dislocated her knee cap in January. And in August. And again in September. She recently failed six weeks of physical therapy so surgery will wrap her 2016. In fact, she gets to have a new ligament for Christmas. We are a festive group around here. Despite life in a knee brace, she has maintained honor roll, a part time job, endless hours in technical theater and a whole host of friendships. At sixteen she is strong and determined. She hopes to gain a driver’s license in the new year. Given all her commitments, her parents are ready too. 

Kate started middle school in July and in October came home to finish her middle school years. She is a sweet fifth grader who is eager to please and is learning a lot about the world. She loves gymnastics but is missing a few months of classes as result of a concussion she sustained when she failed to land a double back flip. The desire to flip all over the place is strong with this one so being confined to walking has been tough on her.  She has discovered she enjoys shopping with her sisters, lingering over books with her mom and crocheting.

Our little man is so much fun. God really knew what he was doing when he surprised us with that little package! He is having a great first grade year. He loves to read, play Legos, be a super hero (including a soldier like Taylor) and play with friends. He makes his own play dates now and takes everything very literally. His teacher reports he is a very serious little guy and we see a lot of perfectionist tendencies in his personality as well. Who has to set a goal for their seven year old to relax?  

Greg has experienced a few job changes within UPS. In his current position, he supervises the international accounts working with customs agents. He is mastering smoking brisket, ribs, pork, and chicken. His wife loves this hobby (his co-workers don’t mind either). He has been hunting and taken two overnight trips with the little ones to see new cities in Indiana. We have discovered how nice it is to take just one age group out for events rather than forced family fun involving teens. 

I am still busier than I would prefer but believe this too shall pass all too soon. I keep little ones, run a very busy house, maintain a bible study, read, and have added a regular workout to my calendar. I am in my fourth year following a Paleo(ish) diet and the benefits are keeping me mostly on course. I am stronger in my forties than I imagined possible in my thirties with my arthritis diagnosis.  

In case you are interested, I still post updates on the blog ( Please stay in touch!

We want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and very blessed New Year.

With love, The Baughman Family

Greg, Sherri, Erin (21), Lauren (20), Taylor (19), Makenna (16), Kate (11) and Ty (7)

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