Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Friends and Family, 
Merry Christmas!  We didn't send cards for the first time in 12 years!  But that doesn't mean we don't think of you.  I haven't updated this blog since March, so are we surprised there aren't Christmas cards?!  Here is a little about us in 2013.

 We took family pictures in October and got hailed on.  Seriously!  We were so stinkin' cold in this picture, just having it is a miracle.  Of course, this whole year was a miracle-keep reading.
 This is Orlando, the 4th grader and oldest brother.  He wrestled his brother below (Ivan) and ended up with a broken elbow in January.  Thankfully, no surgery needed.  He is a good student, and a loyal friend.  He is sensitive and very hard on himself.
 Ivan's broken bone was his collar bone.  He got that from his brother below (Ammon) while playing tackle football in the backyard.  He doesn't see the point of doing school work if he can still pass on to fourth grade without it, he is doing basketball this year, and was baptized at church.

 Ammon's broken bone was his-just kidding, but he did get three stitches after falling off the monkey bars at school.  Dad stitched him up, so that was nice.  Learning comes easy for Ammon, as does making friends.  This year he is a "cool dude" and is so not a baby anymore.  He is a first grader.
 Vinny's stitches were on his eyebrow, after wrestling Ivan into a couch.  Dad took care of those too.  He loves monster trucks, and chocolate milk.  He still takes naps, and still has golden curls to melt your heart.
Another life changing event was giving birth to Elmer Fudd. LOL (Maybe it's the plaid shirt, but oh me oh my, we laugh at that!)   Our little Bo hasn't had a broken bone or stitches, but the pregnancy landed me in the hospital for 7 weeks-and I got several stitches after my first C Section.  He is healthy, and a sweet baby.  What a miracle!  We also give thanks for Josh's brother, who spent a month taking care of our kids-so here is a shout out to Uncle John-David!
Boaz, goes by Bo almost always, but just to clear the air:  Boaz (for me) is a great example of someone who loved someone else regardless of race or religious background.  That is what I want for my children too.  So, when the family tree ran out of names we wanted to use, I found this one.  Occasionally, I regret the name choice, since others find it weird, or hard to pronounce, but I never regret the meaning behind it.  Our little Boaz Owen (after a cousin) is just perfect, and will hopefully have a loving heart, just as the Boaz in the old testament.  
As for me, I've had a rough year, I'll be honest.  I had really bad baby blues/depression that has taken months to overcome.  My mom came for a visit in the summer, and it was obvious something was really wrong.  She has been diagnosed with Parkinson's and that is hard news.  She has moved a few houses down from my sister which is wonderful! Josh continues to put in 80 hour weeks and always needs to be studying when he is "off".  That said, the last few months have been much better!  Currently (knock on wood) no one has stitches or a broken bone or is in the hospital! My depression has faded greatly, and I've solidified some great friendships in WI and I no longer feel so alone in this winter wonderland.
As for my husband, Josh, he is at work where he spends most of his time as a senior resident.  We took the family out to UT in November and saw some friends and family.  He also interviewed for a job!  He also has an interview in AR soon with Mercy Health to discuss jobs in Ft. Smith and Rogers, AR.  He will be going to Milwaukee for 10 weeks beginning mid February.  He will be a chief resident starting in July, and then in July 2015 hopefully we will have a good job.  This has been a long road, but we are better people for having come through so much together.  Our blessings far outweigh our trials.
We celebrate Christmas and the love of the season!  We feel God's love in the beauty of the world, the relationships we share, and the goodness of others.  May 2014 bring us all-
With love, The McElderrys