Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here is our Christmas letter and year-end slide show (scroll down; it's at the end of the letter) for your enjoyment. I hope you each had a wonderful Christmas yesterday and are looking forward to the New Year.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

2010 is almost over! It really did blow by. I was trying to explain to Isaac the other night why time seems to pass more quickly for adults than for children. It really is true. It seems like ever since he entered kindergarten, time has sped up. Nevertheless, we are enjoying our life that is going by so quickly. We try to take advantage of each moment---take a picture so we don’t forget---try to freeze time for just a bit. That’s what Christmas letters are for, to try to share some of those joys of the year that’s gone. Here we go!

Jaylie is 5. I can hardly believe she is. She is a fun little girl with lots to say. She is busy all the time. She loves to be outside as much as possible. Jaylie is taking ballet again this year and is gearing up for The Christmas Dream. Although we have never seen it, it is supposed to be a really Big Deal. It is the ballet studio’s take on the Nutcracker. I’ll post pictures on facebook. Last March she danced at our Talent Show at church while Eric and I sang. Then she danced in her first recital in May. She really likes to be on a stage. Jaylie will start Kindergarten in the fall. I’ll let you know how I handle that next year!

Ethan is 6 ½ and in the 1st grade. He loves school! His teacher is so perfect for him. Ethan continues to love reading. I am so proud of how well he reads. We gave him a big kid Bible for his half birthday last month and he has been doing the readings for our Advent devotionals. It is such a joy to hear a young voice read God’s words. Ethan had a speaking and a singing part in the Thanksgiving play at school. It seems we have another child who likes the stage! Ethan has just started his first ever stint in organized sports. He’s playing UPWARD basketball. Eric is coaching his team. We’re looking forward to a fun season. Ethan is a sweet little soul and a treasure to be around. His dimples are quite potent!

Isaac has just turned 10 years old! He’s in the 4th grade and enjoys school immensely. This year, he has done two notable things in school so far. 1: After a unit on the brain, his PATHWAYS class dissected a sheep’s brain. While I think it sounds pretty gross (I always managed to have a sympathetic lab partner who did all the dissecting in biology) I think it’s cool that he got to do it. 2: Thanks to his PE coach, he has discovered Speed Stacking. If you don’t know what this is, look it up on youtube and prepare to be amazed. On the last day of school before Christmas break, there was a tournament. Isaac won 2 1st place trophies for both of the 4th grade events. He went on to compete against the 1st place winner of the 5th grade and won there too! So he was the school champion of Speed Stacking at his school! Pretty good for his ego, let me tell ya. His UPWARD season has just started as well and he loves basketball. He’s just over 5 feet tall (inching up on me every day) so we’re looking forward to all the rebounds he’ll be pulling down.

Eric continues his ministry at Meadowbrook. We are just about to celebrate 5 years here! He graduated from Lipscomb in May (for which we are exceedingly thankful) with his Masters in Theology. With school out of the way for the next 15-20 years (I hope!) he has tons of free time! I’m kidding. He’s always busy with…well, with lots of stuff. Too much to write down. He serves Meadowbrook well with his time and talent. He and Isaac have started learning how to play guitar this year. It is really neat to hear them improve.

I haven’t added anything noteworthy to my daily routine. Jaylie and I hang out and stay busy during the day. I am treasuring our last year at home together. I got a bicycle last year for Christmas so when the weather is nice, we would go for a ride around the neighborhood. Me on my bike, she on her pink and purple Big Wheel. I think we probably looked pretty cute! I have been teaching the 6th grade class at church and enjoy them so much. I’ve had that group since they were in 2nd grade. It is such a joy to see how they have grown and changed.

In May, we all (my parents included) went to Nashville to celebrate Eric’s graduation, Ethan and Audra’s (our niece) Birthdays, and Mother’s Day. It was such a great weekend of celebration. The next weekend, Eric’s folks came down for Ethan’s birthday party and Jaylie’s recital.

A few weeks later we made our annual trek to Galveston Island for a week of fun on the beach. The week didn’t start out that fun though. Mom and Dad had taken the kids to Galveston a few days ahead of us. They slept at my Pawpaw’s house on the way and wouldn’t you know it, Ethan’s head and the corner of Pawpaw’s dresser met with a crash. 2 stitches later, he was ready for the beach. The worst part of the whole thing (for me) was that I wasn’t there with him at the doctor’s office. But this particular doctor is beloved by (and takes care of) my whole family in Jasper, TX so I knew he was in good hands. The rest of our trip was fun, but blessedly uneventful.

A few weeks after that Eric and I took Ethan on his completion-of-kindergarten trip. This is a little tradition we started with Isaac (we took him camping). This time, the 3 of us road the Amtrak train down to New Orleans. The train ride was a fun experience. It is definitely easier than driving. It took about the same amount of time. We walked the whole time in NOLA, which is definitely doable if you stay in close proximity to the French Quarter. This was our first trip to NOLA and we really had a great time. We went to the IMAX and to the Children’s Museum. Whenever Ethan would get tired of walking, we’d duck into a candy shop or toy store. We hope to go back as a family sometime soon. Ethan had a great time and still talks about it.

In July, Brad, Dawn and the girls came for a few days. Audra and Carmen are our kids’ only cousins and so we try to get them together as often as is possible. We love how they love each other so much.

In August Eric and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. In celebration we went to New York City in September. We went on a Monday and came back on a Friday. We had such a great time. We saw 2 shows on Broadway, went to the MET, road the subway, saw the Statue of Liberty, toured several cathedrals…it was really a wonderful time. Thanks to Mother and Daddy for keeping our kids. We know we couldn’t have done it without them.

Eric’s parents visited us in September for Jaylie’s Birthday. We are so grateful for them being willing to come visit as often as they do. Grandpa took the kids fishing and they are still talking about that!

Thanksgiving saw us back in Nashville! Eric grandparents and aunt and uncle from MO drove out. It was so fun being around extended family and remember we have so much to be thankful for.

Eric’s parents are hoping to come visit during the Christmas break. Eric’s dad has just had a partial knee replacement so when he gets a bit more comfortable, they’ll be coming. My Pawpaw got here on Isaac’s birthday and will be here for a couple of weeks. My brother, Jason, drove in to town last night to stay for a few days. He is actually en route to Lubbock, TX, where he’s starting a PhD program at TX Tech. It is going to be a family filled Christmas---the best kind.

Our 2009 ended on a sad note and it continued into the beginning of the year. Both of our Grandmothers passed away within a couple of weeks of each other. My Grandmother died pretty much on my birthday last year. We had just arrived at Eric’s grandparent’s house (500 miles from MS) and got the news. We traveled another 700 miles to south TX for her funeral and then another 650 miles back home. It was a lot of driving. Right after the first of the year, Eric’s Grandma passed away. Eric and I drove out to MO to be with his family. As we anticipate the joy of this season, I am acutely aware of both of our mothers and how the absence of their own mothers is a constant ache. Praise God that He came and will come again. We long for that day of reunion.

Enjoy this Christmas and the people around you. We have all been given so much. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…

Merry Christmas

Eric, Dixie, Isaac, Ethan and Jaylie

Eric’s blog:
Dixie’s blog:
And you can find us on facebook too!

Livingston 2010 from Eric Livingston on Vimeo.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas is Pretty

I have been struggling with what to post lately. This isn't an entirely new thing, but usually it's because I haven't made time to do it. Lately, it's been that I just don't know what I should say. What? Me? Speechless? Well, apparently. I even noticed that my facebook page has no status next to my name. I don't think that's happened before. So, why am I status-less? Who knows. I have lots going on; lots to think about, I've just been second-guessing what to say, or how to say it...sheesh.

Here's a fun thing you might want to know. Isaac has been speed stacking in PE for the past couple of months. If you don't know what speed stacking watch this:

Anyway, he has been getting better and better and faster and faster. This week, his PE coach has been timing them to qualify for the school tournament next week. Isaac's class goes to PE on Monday and Friday. His time was the fastest in his class on Monday. The top 2 fastest from each class go to the tourney. Today he beat both of his times from Monday and his coach said he's the fastest in his grade and maybe the whole school. He's excited for next week. I think we'll get to go watch the tournament.

I have gotten our Christmas letter written and the pictures picked out for our annual slideshow. It is always such a blessing to go through the year's events and relive these memories. Look for that on facebook and via email real soon.

Isaac's birthday is right around the corner. Then Christmas. Then my birthday. It's the best time of year and I love everything about it. Our tree is pretty, the house is pretty, the street is pretty...Christmas is just pretty!

Enjoy the weekend

Merry Christmas