Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Holiday Letter

A Silent Night

We paused for a moment tonight after cleaning up. The doors were locked: lights off. A still night in the "Ander-inn". We reflected as we gazed through the front windows.

Radiant beams from the moon pour in. Avalon is snuggled in heavenly peace upstairs. Smooth baby skin, wispy brown hair and wide eyes that see if you happen to have something that she wants. Should she happen to spy this object, she will proceed to point and yell until you finally turn it over- once you hand over the object, she'll blow you a big kiss- as if to say "thanks so much!!" This precious action seems to completely erase the previous rudeness.

Atlee and Beckett bunk together tonight. Such close friends (and every once in a while, bitter enemies). They have a fascinating connection. Unbelievable communication (ie, half of the time Atlee acts as translator when we can't understand him). Favorably inclusive with little Avie (if she isn't pulling her screaming stunt)...and Riley (our dog).

"Dad, Beckett and I need our ice water and will you tell me a story of when you and mom were dating...or one from when you were a little boy?" This is the sentence that we here nearly every night. But now, words are over...lips rest.

On this damp night, drips of water bead on the windows. Each droplet represents provision from the past year.

-Atlee's kindergarten debut in a wonderful classical/university model school...she seems to love every minute of learning, and this is a joy to watch!

-Beckett's perseverance over a few health scares (see former blog entries for more details). His generous spirit truly melts our hearts.

-Avalon, healthy, expressive(!) and alive- we are so grateful for her especially when we remember our Rhogam incident of '01 that gave us no promises that we would be able to carry a baby of differing blood type...we have fallen in love again!!

-Bible Study Fellowship has been food and water for our souls.

-Jeff passing the Texas Counseling Exam! Now he has an official license to show for all those hours in Seminary!!

-Trips to Cancun, California, Kansas...

-A great church that teaches and models the beautiful character of God.

-8 years of marriage, dates over sushi and lots of nights spent on the couch watching a movie or "the office" re-runs after the kids are tucked in bed.

-Friends and family like you that provide true fellowship.

May the coming year dawn an increased understanding of God's redeeming grace and how we can better orient our story to His. We are grateful for the kindness, patience and purpose He lavishes on us.

Happy New Year...and Much Love,
Jeff and Nikki

Saturday, December 22, 2007


dearest atlee nickole,

are you really six? i can still vividly picture that beautiful sunday morning that dr. mcalpine handed you to me. the room was dim, daylight was just beginning to were covered in all that had encompassed you the past 37 weeks- and your eyes, they were so big and beautiful...i remember thinking that you looked a bit stunned those first few minutes- but then, it seemed to me, that you felt at home in my were the most precious thing i had ever held- and held you we did...if you weren't in my arms, you were usually in dads. your little room was directly three steps from ours (in our spacious 800 sf apartment), but that seemed like too far to me...most nights you slept snuggled between daddy and i or in your bouncy seat next to our bed. we never had a "game plan" so to speak...when other babies had consistent naps and bed times- yours changed with my mood- and your disposition. most of the time you were so content that daddy and i would keep you up until we went to bed. when i compare your babyhood to that of your brother and sister, yours had the least structure, the least predictability, the least order- now, how is it that you delight in routine, you thrill at having everything "in its place", and you have your own little patterns that you repeat with diligence?

you seem so big to me- you tower over beckett and avalon, you can read, you can write, you dress yourself, you embroider and you can chop cherry tomatoes for bruschetta and make guacamole, and the most daunting of all is the way i can no longer carry you in my arms with ease (which says as much of your stature as it does of my lack of muscle!) however, each time i pick you up at school i marvel at how tiny you still the sea of upper elementary, middle school and high school kids you still look small- and i really like that.

a few nights ago, i laid with you in bed, i was feeling especially sensitive to all of the pressure you must feel at the oldest child- all the conscious and unconscious expectations i have of you. as we laid there i told you how proud i am of you and how much you have changed in six quietly took my words in and then beamed beautifully when i said "atlee, you are getting big, but you are so little- and you will always be my baby no matter how big you get- always"
"even when i grow up?"
"even then, especially then".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

bad teeth, "breeding treatments" and a dinosaur bite.

poor little beckett has had quite a month...

first, a sweet friend presented him with an amazing pair of "ulgy teeth"- beckett considered these the best invention ever! he deeply loved these teeth, he wanted to wear them everywhere, and when we drew the line on certain places (mainly church) he kept them safely in his pocket...his fascination with these was brought to an abrupt end when is was reported that they contained 400 times the safe level of lead. when i discovered the news, i quickly placed the offending teeth in a ziplock bag, put them out of reach, and then called our doctor, the response: "though lead poisoning is quite rare, you better bring him in to be tested- since he spent so much time with them in his mouth"- and that was trip #1 to the doctor.

the lead tests came back fine, however, a few weeks later i noticed that a persistent cough seemed like it was making it difficult for him to breathe. the big tip off was one morning when he laid his little head on my lap and his tiny chest caved in with each labored breath. i called the doctor their response was "how far do you live from our office? ok, get here as soon as possible" we rushed in and found out that the persistent cough was actually asthma...we were issued a nebulizer and have been continuing the hated "breeding treatments" ever since.

the third strike happened a few weeks ago when he and atlee were racing down the hall and they bumped, becketts head collided with the baseboards- resulting in what he described as "the baddest dinosaur bite in the whole world"....and what the emergency room doctor described as a "head wound that would require four staples" the following picture describes his feelings about the entire incident.

here's to good health in 2008!

thanksgiving 2007

we spent the holiday in kansas city with my parents and some very special was a wonderful time! atlee and beckett expeirenced jumping into a big leaf pile, a beautiful light snow and a few fun filled afternoons with their beloved "mellema cousins".

Life in the Inn full of Andersons