Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Letter, 2007

{Sorry, just a few days late with the annual Christmas letter. I'd blame the post office, but that wouldn't really work for the internet, and the truth of the matter is I've been too busy stuffing my face with pumpkin pie to post this.}

{That's a total lie. I don't even like pumpkin pie.}

{It was pecan.}


Cards courtesy of Erin Leigh Photos and LD Images.

Escoe Family, Circa. 2007

Well, as you probably know if you’ve received our Christmas letter year after year, I normally pride myself on having them in the mail relatively early. My goal this year was to mail them obnoxiously early, to make sure all of you had our new address so you could send us YOUR Christmas cards and letters and pictures, as well (not that that’s a hint or anything -- ahem.) But considering it’s already the 16th of Dec and I am just now sitting down to start the letter, chances are this year I will be one of those people who doesn’t mail their cards until New Years. Or at the rate I’m going with the unpacking, they might become July 4th letters. **

Yes, that’s right, in case you weren’t aware, we finally, after five and a half years in Georgia, PCS’d. We are now the perfect example of “full circle”, moving right back to our hometown … in fact, only four blocks from where we lived when we first got married, and from where the Air Force came and packed us up the very first time we left home, back in 1988. Guess in our case, there is something to be said for returning to your roots.

Blaine is still active duty, and started a new job at Tinker AFB last week. He does something …. With contracting …. {vague hand motions} … Or something. Not exactly sure, but he seems glad to be back on familiar territory, having worked in the same building fourteen years ago when we were last stationed here. He’s still on the road of reconstruction as far as his surgeries and procedures go, but so far he likes all his new doctors here. And as long as the cancer stays gone this time - FOR GOOD - then all is manageable.

I am thrilled to be back on my old stomping grounds, with my kids attending the same school I attended as a child. We’re back in my childhood church, and I see old classmates almost every day, as their children attend the same school. Depending on your outlook, it’s either very Norman Rockwell, or very lame and creepy. I *have* been surprised at how much I miss Georgia and our life and friends there. I didn’t realize it was possible to move “home” and then still feel “homesick” for the place you left behind.

The kids seem to be adjusting well and like their new school. We do hear from them on a regular basis about how much they miss Georgia …. But overall, the move has been a positive one. They LOVE being in the same school as their four cousins, being closer to my mom and Blaine’s dad, the Texas cousins, and they think it’s cool that we live close enough to walk to and from school (Although I’ll confess that I still drive them if it’s cold --- see? I’m lazy AND a wimp!)

Brayden gets first mention as the oldest -- she’s ten now and in the 5th grade. I am alternately shocked, proud, and tearful at the realization that she’ll begin middle school next year. Whatever happened to the sweet little angel who used to projectile vomit strained peas across the dining room? If I could stereo-type for a moment, she is our artsy-musical one, and loves all things crafts. She swings back and forth, with no predictability whatsoever, between being the sweetest, most helpful child on the planet and behaving like a complete over-the-top melodramatic. I would probably be online researching multiple personality disorder if my friends with older girls didn’t reassure me that this is normal “tween” behavior. So for now, we just enjoy the sweet moments and breathe deeply through the others.

Kellen is definitely the easy-going one who just rolls with the punches, Mr. Flexibility. He is nine, in 4th grade, and still considers recess and PE the best parts of his day. He played basketball and soccer this past year and recently said he wants to learn to play the piano, although he might change his mind when he finds out actual practice and lessons would be involved. This move has gone well for him; it probably helps he has a cousin he adores in the same grade, hence ready-made friends. He joined the chess club at school and transferred from one gifted program to the next --- both sound lofty until you realize his idea of a good time is running around the house in his underwear, telling fart jokes.

Kendrie, eight and in 2nd grade, well, she’s still my baby, although she reminds me every day that she would like us to have another baby so that for once, *she* could boss somebody else around! The move has been hardest on her, I think, because she had the tightest little group of school friends to leave behind. She also transferred into the new gifted program, and is excited to continue soccer in OK. In between that and school, she’ll hopefully settle in soon. She just hit the two-year “done with chemo” mark and every day we count our blessings. In her spare time, she sneaks chocolate chips out of the pantry and holds the world record for most amount of dirty clothes on a bedroom floor.

As a family, we got to do some neat things this year: Spring Break in the DC - Virginia - Pennsylvania area, visiting good friends and *trying* to expose the kids to a little bit of history. We got to spend a Lighthouse week at a Florida beach in June, always a highlight, and then Blaine and I went on our “Trip of a Lifetime”, a two-week cruise/visit to Alaska in July to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. (Thanks again for the babysitting, Mom!)

This fall was pretty much taken up with move preparation stuff, and shortly after we finished unpacking in OK, we had to put everything back up and drag out all the Christmas stuff. Needless to say, I’m almost eager for the holidays to be over so we can get in some semblance of a routine. Our only sad note this year was the loss earlier this month of our dog Lager, who graced us with his companionship for over fifteen years. So all told, and except for missing him, which we do, we had a pretty fulfilling, successful and blessed year.

I hope you and yours enjoyed the same.


Blaine, Kristie, Brayden, Kellen and Kendrie

**For the record, these letters were totally ready to go by the 17th. Then thanks to an ice storm we lost power in our house and I couldn’t print them. I realize that’s almost as lame of an excuse as “my dog ate my homework”, but it’s the truth, it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


Colleen said...

Gorgeous Photo!

Please show us the rest of them!

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Oh I'm first, I'm first!
Got your card in the mail before I read it here too! I really hate braggy Christmas letters but I must say I enjoy yours because it is just newsy and fun.

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Dang! Colleen types faster than me!

Monica H said...

I'm ready to post this up on my fridge with the others :)

Oh, I saw your other photos and I LOVE the black and white one- great family photo.

Melanie said...

I love the Christmas card and the letter! I would have loved to volunteer on a Lighthouse Retreat that you all attended. You must come back from OK to be with us again soon! I'm glad you are all loving being at home. I always look forward to your updates....and, of course, the photos!

Was this years photo taken in Georgia or OK. Again, I love the setting!

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

Thanks for sharing once again Kristie! It was fun to read and reminisce as I remember the full stories that are detailed in the letter from your posts through the year. Here's hoping 2008 is a great one!

Leesburg, VA

cakeburnette said...

So my holiday gift to you is that I'm even "lamer" than you...not only are my cards/letters not ready/not going out until Mark gets back from deploying in March, but...I got your letter in the mail last week AND I haven't even opened it! So I read the letter here before I read my actual hard copy of it. I had to admit to another friend yesterday that I've been stock-piling cards & letters as they come in and have been opening them in spurts. I am pathetic this year. :(

Dayna said...

I love Christmas letters! I can't believe it's been two years OT for Kendrie! WOW! I can't even imagine what having a life that didn't include clinic visits would be like! May 2008 keep everyone happy and healthy!

Lisa L said...

Really lovely letter Kristie! Thanks for the smiles! (..and RIP Lager xx)

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