Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Cards Have All Been Sent...

You gotta love C*ostco for the quick and easy photo cards! We are one of those families that sends out an annual Christmas letter. Before you read ours-a short disclaimer: The real reason that we do these is to preserve some memories from the year, a history of our family if you will. Yes, I know that at least half of the people we send this to could care less. However, for many of our friends and family, the Christmas card exchange might be our only chance to 'catch up' for the year. I try to keep it from turning into a brag-fest by keeping it light and sharing the good and the not so good that is our family. So without further ado:

Merry Christmas 2006!

Yep, here we go again...

Matt has been working steadily toward his MBA. How he functions on 3-4 hours of sleep continues to amaze the rest of us! We are all looking forward to the future when he will no longer be a student, and ONLY has to worry about his full time+ employment, church calling and parenting responsibility for 4 (or 5) children. The green grass that we were so excited about in our last letter has been allowed to hibernate for the winter so he can exchange yardwork time for family time. Matt has been fortunate this year to carpool to and from work with his mentor/boss, Brad, who spends the 1.5 hours a day working with Matt on his ‘development needs.’ Matt is relieved to know that these include planning racquetball games, U of A Football events and Father/Son trips to Magic Mountain.

For Jenn, the definition of the word, ‘busy’ redefines itself every year. Last year, we were the subjects of an adoption home study. This year, Jennifer is writing home studies for other families and enjoys discussing international adoption with willing ears. It is a big plus that most of the work can be done from home and the results are that children find families! After the humbling experience of taking a cd-burning lesson from then 10 year-old Taylor, Jenn has devoted some of 2006 to catching up on computer skills. The focus became maintaining a family journal/blog and creating photo slideshows. It is now so quick and easy that scrapbooking may take a back seat until the empty-nest years. In other news, it looks like the braces will be off by March!

We took parenthood to the next level this year...we now have a junior high student! After what Jenn witnessed as a Jr. High teacher, we were a bit nervous but Taylor is doing well-even earned straight A’s the first quarter. When he isn’t hitting the books, Taylor is working on scouting. He earned his Arrow of Light and most of the activity badges in Webelos and is now an 11 year-old scout. He is still addicted to video games but is an avid reader as well. One of the highlights for Taylor (and the rest of us!) this year was a trip to Yellowstone with best-friend Josh and his family.

Audrey turned 8 this year. That meant a baptism! Audrey still loves dance class. She takes ballet and hip hop. The latter is from a guy that could pass for a Backstreet Boy. We weren’t exactly sure what to think when she came home from class commenting on the smell of his hair gel with a dreamy look in her eyes. Lord, help us all! Audrey participates in Achievement Days (girls activity group) at church twice a month. In June, she chopped 7 inches off of her hair, something that she had been thinking about and mom and dad had been dreading for some time but she is still as cute as ever!

Noah played his first season of soccer last Summer. He cried through his first game, then had a great time for the rest of the season! He started 1/2 day Kindergarten this past Fall. When the bus comes to our stop, all of the kids shout, "Noah, sit by me! Noah, sit by me!" Apparently, he has made a few friends. It is so cute to see him recognize a friend at the grocery store. Like it or not, he is growing up! He has also learned to swim.(it’s not pretty but gets him across a pool),takes piano lessons with his older brother and sister, loves to read and play track ball in the street with Mom.

Xander is a child of imagination. He loves animals and lives out his existence as a different one each day although "Superdog" has made many appearances. One morning last Spring, he woke up insisting that he had no hair. When asked why, he said, "the police man took it to jail." No more cookies before bedtime for that boy! His speech is coming along quite well. However, if ‘S’ is combined with any other consonant, that blend becomes an ‘F’. When food is too hot, he is quick to tell us that it is, "too ficey!" Xander loves the sandbox. It doesn’t matter if it is 40 degrees or 114. He would play, sleep and take his meals in there if we would let him. He loves cars; his degree of happiness is directly proportionate to the number of them that he can carry at a time. He made a discovery about the complexities of brotherly love recently when he exclaimed to Noah, "I hate you!......and I love you!"

We were almost sure that we would have Meili home with us this Christmas but China has had other plans. The 6 month wait that we expected when we began the process back in September of 2005 has grown to 15 months and continues to stretch. If current trends hold, we will be fortunate to have her home for Christmas of 2007. Apparently, we still have a few more lessons in patience to learn. Don’t worry...if anything exciting happens between now and then, everyone in the free world will hear about it!

Wishing you all of the blessings of the season...Merry Christmas!
The Bouton Family
Matt, Jennifer, Taylor, Audrey, Noah & Xander

1 comment:

Lisa & Jeff said...

Great picture of the kids! I liked your family letter. I haven't decided about sending out cards this year. I just didn't know what to say about the adoption...You worded it very well.