Our 2013 was full of new joys and blessings, and we thank and praise God for the many great gifts He has given to us.
In January, Nathan turned one, and he was off and running! He loves to play with his big sister and copy whatever she says and does. His favorite activity is doing puzzles—he’ll focus and work at it, trying each piece in all directions until he finds the right spot. He’s a good lesson for us in the value of persistence. He is a big smiler and is quite adept at turning on the charm. Michelle confesses to not being able to resist those big hazel eyes when he wants a cookie but hasn’t finished his dinner…
We took the plunge and bought a minivan in February, trading in Michelle’s red sports car. We had a bit of a conflict with the dealer when we found it needed a new transmission shortly after we bought it, along with some other work. Thankfully, my attorney and mother taught me well how to handle such situations, and the dealer grudgingly paid for a good portion of the work. It’s been a good experience since then, and I’m going to go down officially saying when you have kids, leather interior is a must. 🙂
In April, Chris’s parents took our whole family on a trip to Tampa, Florida. We had a grand time in Busch Gardens, went on a dolphin-watching expedition, and lounged by the pool. My parents rented a vacation home a stone’s throw from the beach, and we had many great moments spending time and relaxing together. Don and Chris even got a bike ride in one day, and found the scenery to be even better than that of rural Nebraska!
We celebrated Lydia’s third birthday in May at the Sky Zone—an indoor trampoline fun park. Don and Lynne joined us, in addition to some family friends, and Don forget that he was an adult, joining in with Chris and Lydia for a serious and fast-paced game of trampoline dodgeball.
Lydia is growing up to be a very sweet and polite young lady. She loves numbers, like her mom, and we regularly practice counting and adding at home. She discovered the movie Annie this year, and loves to sing songs and dance around the house. She’ll often write her own songs impromptu, singing about her day, what she’ll do, and what she loves. She’s growing to be such a smart and delightful little lady, and we are thankful for the laughter and fun she brings to our home.
The summer couldn’t be short enough for Michelle, as she spent it very pregnant. We welcomed Hannah Lynne into our family in September, and she has been a delight from day one! She cries only a little, and almost exclusively for either a diaper change or because she’s hungry. Chris thinks God gave us an easy baby so Michelle will be agreeable to adding a bunch more kids to the household. 🙂
Hannah is a big smiler and loves to be held and talked to. She’s very strong and at three months old, can already stand up if you hold both her hands. She’s good at going with the flow, which may be a necessity for the third kid—sometimes there are more demands for mom and dad than we can keep up with! Grandparents on both sides keep her supplied with the cutest little outfits, and she’s been accused of being the cutest baby on Facebook…
Michelle’s mother Janet celebrated her 60th birthday in September! We brought the whole clan to Omaha for the party, and Janet’s reaction of surprise when she came in the front door was priceless! Kudos to Curt for planning and pulling off a wonderful and successful event!
Work, Church, and Fun
Chris and Michelle keep plenty busy between work, church, the kids, and a myriad of other fun activities! We are thankful for our wonderful babysitter Jackie, who takes care of the kids when Michelle is at work, three days per week. Michelle is the Controller (lead accountant) for Phoenix Family, and helps keep the finances of the organization running smoothly as they provide social services at low-income housing communities. Chris continues to work for MRIGlobal, conducting traffic engineering research. His work helps to write the manuals that engineers use to design roads. Chris and Michelle are both active in serving at their church, Calvary Baptist in Lenexa. Chris works as a deacon to make sure the various needs at the church are met, and has focused this past year on reaching out to people in the community who don’t know the Lord and haven’t heard the gospel. Michelle serves on the finance committee, and has helped strengthen the financial health of our church to better provide for the congregation and the community.
Building and Growing
Chris and Michelle continue to enjoy owning their own business, helping our friends and family to live healthier, look great, and be kind to the planet. It’s been wonderful to help our people start enjoying these benefits, and the extra income coming in helps out a lot too! We’re looking to continue our personal development in the coming year and help more people enjoy the benefits that Amway has to offer.
Learning and Sharing
In his down time, Chris enjoys sharing resources on success in Finances, Fitness, and Faith via his website, www.TotalThriver.com. Chris writes an article each week, sharing what he has learned that week, and how the same concepts can be used to help others build a thriving life. His ThriveFit page offers a free fitness program that can help anyone create a healthier life and an increased fitness level. If you know anyone who’d like to drop a few pounds, be sure to connect them with this great free resource!
A Great Year to Come
We are excited to find what 2014 will bring, and are thankful to all of you, our dear family and friends for the happiness and joy you bring to our lives. May God bless you in the coming year, as you enjoy his many great gifts–most of all His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself that we may live!