Monday, December 11, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

To all of you family and friends, this year I chose to do an online Christmas Letter, rather than worrying about printing them all out. It's hard to believe that it's already Christmas again! I don't know what happened to the time. I'm stuck back in summer I guess. No complaining from me though! This year has been busy busy busy, with lots of stuff going on.

Little Emalee Grace was born on Father's Day, (June 18th). She's been such a bubbly cheerful baby! I couldn't ask for a better baby. She sleeps all night, and only cries when she's hungry or dirty! We blessed her in July, just before she made her first flight across the country to see her Aunt Debbie and an Uncle Marky as they each celebrated their weddings. (My friends thought I was crazy for sending her across the country at such a young age! Oh well...I guess I am!) By the time Grandma, and Grandpa Reece...and Uncle Nathan fly out, she'll probably be crawling! She is just getting so big so fast! Where does the time fly?

Merryetta is such an independent, helpful thing. She is always the first to help unload the dishwasher, or set the table. She's such a good big sister to Ema! She runs to get me if she thinks Ema needs something...or, she'll get out of bed a million times saying, "Sister bothering me!" She is always trying to help out. Recently she's let us know she has a mischievious side when she cut her hair. It looks good now that we had our friend fix it. I miss the long cutesie could look past the golden locks and see innocence...not you can see the trouble maker trying to come out.

Kaleigh has had an eventful year. She finished her first year of school, and had a kindergarten graduation ceremony....It was so cute! She's doing very well in school. She does lots of reading now. Infact, we had no clue she could read because she completely avoided it at home, then one day she sat down, and flat out read a small story to us! Blew us away! Ever since then, she's loved to read. Kaleigh loves to sing as well, and she's always reminding us that she has to practice her talent. We just keep telling her, as long as what your singing matches what's on the radio, or what everybody else is singing, it's ok. She's going to be our Opera Hairstylist! She has got such enthusiasm for life and learning! It's so fun to watch her have "lightbulb" experiences!

Marley is definitely growing up. She likes to play with her sisters, but she likes to do the grown up things too. She is absolutely LOVING 2nd grade. She's lucky enough to have a computer of her own to work on everyday in her class room. Her teacher is always sending home different websites to explore and learn from. Marley loves games on the internet, and the gamecube. All she keeps saying is that she wants a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. Unfortuantely...not this year...she'll have to wait just like her daddy! :) Marley is doing very well in her studies too! Her teacher says she is one of the most self motivated good/hard workers in the class. She's always willing to help others.

My year has been crazy busy. 2 kids in school, a newborn and a toddler...oh my goodness, I guess that's what being a mom is all about. I try to keep up with the girls at school. I volunteer 3 hrs. every Tuesday at the school. 1 1/2 hrs with each teacher. I love being able to see the girls in school and know what they're doing. It's also nice to get to know the teachers they have. I have had so many blessings this year. I started the year out as the Primary President, and was released when Emalee was born. Now I'm back to being just a piano player. I was blessed to have a very quick recovery after the delivery. It really made up for being on bedrest for half the pregnancy. Gotta love the rapid weight loss issue there! Now if I could just maintain! Anyway...I have so many friends out here that I love to visit with. I call it Momma's Therapy Time!

For Michael's "Daddy Therapy Time", he got a Trek 5000. He's put so many miles on that thing already! He set a goal for himself to ride in a rigerous 100 Mile Bike Ride. He signed up to do the 3 State 3 Mountain Century Challenge in Chattanooga TN. He set a goal of 8 hrs. for himself. He trained and trained...sometimes I wondered if he was glued to his bike! To prepare himself he rode in the 2 County Metric on April 15th. We went to see him cross the finish line. He did awesome! A couple weeks later, May 6th, He did the BIG one! We went as a family for our summer vacation get-away. We were there when they started the ride...I have never seen so many riders! While Michael was off riding his bike up some pretty high mountains, and sweating, and miserable (and loving every minute of if) I, (7 months pregnant), had the girls all to myself, in a city I've never been in. FUN!!! We walked around the aquarium, saw a 3-d movie, and played in water. EVEN MORE FUN!!! Unfortunately...we were at the movie when Michael crossed the finish line...He finished in 7hrs from start to finish...including rest stops...if you don't count the rest stops it took him 6 hrs. 10 min. He kept up on riding his bike after the 3 State 3 Moutain Challenge. He was on one of his bike rides the weekend before Emalee was born when he came down a hill going too fast, and turned too wide. He slid out on the gravel, and landed in a barbed wire fence. The good thing....he is still alive because he was wearing a helmet, the bad thing was, he broke his collar bone (a.k.a. clavicle). It made the week before Emalee was born one of the hardest weeks of my life. We're just glad our Daddy is ok now.

All in all our family has had a very successful, very eventful year. And we couldn't be more blessed.

Once Again...Merry Christmas,


Michael, Rachel, Marley, Kaleigh, Merryetta, and Emalee Arnold

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