Dear Family and Friends,
We wish you a very Merry Christmas! May the true spirit of this blessed holiday be upon you. We are pleased to announce that we have survived our first year in Utah. For Lori and Garrett, it was also their first year experiencing four seasons. Though Lori enjoyed how beautiful the snow was last year, she’s not in a big hurry for it to cover the land once again. You can take the girl out of San Diego but you can’t take San Diego out of the girl.
Troy loves his Senior Pastor position at that one church. Our congregation is full of wonderful people and he loves guiding them. Troy serves as the leader of all aspects of the church’s functionality. He preaches on Sundays, works with the youth program, performs counseling, and oversees the individual ministries. In September, Troy planned a men’s retreat and enjoyed a weekend of playing paintball, eating too much food, and diving into the word of God with other men from our church. During his free time Troy can usually be found with a toddler glued to his hip. Troy adores being a father and, when he’s home, you can be sure that Garrett is his shadow.
Lori is enjoying her roles as pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom. She is directing the Children’s Christmas play, participating in women’s Bible study, and has even sung with the worship team a few times. In October, she helped plan a women’s retreat and served as one of the speakers during the weekend. She is adjusting to life without family nearby but realizes that unlimited long distance calling is a very, very good thing. She blogs several times a week (at http://www.familyfishbowl.blogspot.com/) in the hopes of keeping friends and family updated on life in Utah. She enjoys being home with Garrett and loves watching him transition from baby to little boy.
Speaking of Garrett, at two, he is all boy. He loves to jump in puddles, dig in the dirt and generally get filthy outside. He adores playing with anything resembling a ball, chasing bigger kids around the church and personifying the words rough and tumble. He has a deep love for music and we have an extremely difficult time keeping him away from the drum set at church. We hear that Santa is bringing him a set of toddler drums and we’re hoping that they’ll be a hit. His language exploded over the summer and it seems that he says several new words or sentences every day. While he definitely has his “terrible two” moments, he makes us laugh constantly and is an extremely sweet little boy. In January, he survived his first surgery, an umbilical hernia repair performed at Primary Children’s Medical Center at the University of Utah. He did extremely well and we were trying our best not to let him run around that very afternoon. He loved playing in the snow throughout the winter and swimming in his little plastic pool every day in the summer. He is certainly his mother’s pride and joy and the apple of his father’s eye.
We are in the process of adding to our family through adoption. We’re listed with a certain organization in a certain place. Please join us in praying for this very special addition to our family. We’ve tried to keep Garrett informed of our decision to adopt and when asked what he would like to name a future brother or sister, he gives us two choices: Tree Guy or Baby Boy. So pray for his little spirit not to be crushed because those names just aren’t happening.
Beck and Oliver also survived their first experience with seasons and lived to bark and meow about it. Oliver has become a hunter and is so proud of the “prizes” he brought us all summer. Thankfully, most birds have migrated south for the winter. Garrett loves Beck and we know that the dog secretly adores being ridden like a pony constantly.
Lori and Garrett had the opportunity to travel to California several times to visit her family and satisfy her cravings for good Mexican food. In July we all took a trip to San Diego. We went to Disneyland with Lori’s parents and celebrated Garrett’s birthday with family and friends. In August we spent a fantastic week at Lake Tahoe with Lori’s family. Garrett loved the lake and continuously referred to it as a pool. We all decided that it was the biggest pool we’d ever seen. In September we visited Troy’s family in Oregon for his mom’s 60th birthday. We had a great time hanging out, shopping, and playing games. In late November we packed up our house and moved to West Jordan, about ten minutes from our church. We’re settled and excited about the Christmas season. So from our home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.