This has been another year of changes for the Burdick Family. To name a few: Josie turned 6 (now she is about to turn 7), Jolie turned 5, Joel turned 2, and Joe and I both turned 30 (although in about 3 weeks Joe will be 31). Josie started 1st grade and Joel moved from a home daycare to the Child Development Center with Jolie. After 11+ years with Robert Trent Jones, Joe started working for Hyundai in July. Our old van was costing us more than what it is worth and broke down one too many times and so we have aquired a "new to us" van (a 2004 Honda Odyssey). We had to put our beloved dogs, Browning and Cherry, to sleep. After 20+ years at our church of First Presbyterian we started visiting First Methodist in Millbrook. The children have become very active and are loving it. Josie has turned into quite the songbird singing in the children's choir at church and at school. Jolie has also sang in the preschool choir at church. Joel was weaned of his paci. Lastly, the Tooth Fairy has started making appearances at our house.
And now we find our ourselves at Christmas and ending this year. We are preparing for the next year where I'm sure there will be more changes. This has been a tough Christmas season for me. I do not feel like I have been able to enjoy it and have gotten off centered. I feel overwhelmed with life, but am trying to make Christmas as normal for the children as possible. I feel like I am failing, but I pray that I am not. Now that Josie is older and can comprehend things better I have tried to stress to all of them but especially her that Christmas is not about presents or "me, me, me," but about the gift of baby Jesus and all that that entails. She can tell you that, but I pray that I am really teaching her what that means. I normally really relate to Christmas because I was very pregnant in 2005 at Christmas with Josie. I remember crying during the Christmas Eve candle light service trying to imagine what Mary felt. Knowing that a precious baby was growing inside me that would never truly be mine, but the Lords. In the movie version of the Grinch, Little Cindy-Lou Who sings a song, "Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you, why have you gone away..." That is me right now as other things occupy my mind. I pray that all of you have "found" Christmas this year, but for those of you struggling like me, I will pray for you. I pray that you will feel that special "magic" that centers us on the real reason for the season. Not the presents, not the parties, and not the food, but because a beautiful precious child was born. A child that changed our lives forever.
However, I do say the above knowing that I am very blessed, and as I look at the pictures below I am reminded of how very grateful I am. God has given me more than I deserve, and I am eternally thankful.
We do have an exciting Christmas planned. This will be the kids first Christmas in Pennsylvania. I have not been up there in 12 years and Joe, Jolie, and Joel have never been. Josie went once with my mom when she was 18 months old. My grandmother and aunts have never met Joel and have only seen Jolie once and Josie twice. The 13+ hour drive should be interesting, but it will be well worth it. We leave this Saturday morning as soon as Joe gets home from work and we will head back home early Wednesday morning.
Out of the Silence, Music. Out of the darkness, Light. Out of Uncertainity, Promise. Hope was born that night.
Merry be your Christmas. Peaceful be your home. Joyful be your family. Blessed be each one!
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
And now our year in pictures:
Joe's 30th birthday party at his favorite place, Bass Pro Shop:
Josie's 6th Birthday with family:
Her first slumber party (for her birthday):
Millbrook Mardi Gras parade:
Raising money for Relay for Life with a Valentines Bake Sale:
Celebrating Dr. Sesuss' Birthday:
Spring Break at work with Mommy. We went for a walk in downtown Wetumpka one day:
Had a Happy Easter:
Jolie took up offering for the first time at 1st Pres:
School field trips to the Zoo:
"Fly In" at the Wetumpka Airport:
Joe and me on our 10 year anniversary:
Town of Elmore Tractor Pull:
Josie signing at 1st Pres:
Ending Ceremonies for Awana:
Josie's Year End Party for Kindergarten:
Josie's last day of Kindergarten:
Celebrating our 10 year anniversaries in Orange Beach:
VBS at 1st Pres:
Fun at the Lake for the 4th of July:
Eating Mexican before our last hoorah at RTJ in Greenville:
First day of school: Josie-1st Grade, Jolie K-5, and Joel-Preschool
Celebrating a great first week of school with a trip to the Zoo:
Jolie got her ears pierced for her 5th birthday.
Batman, I mean Joel, on his 2nd birthday:
John Deere Photo Shoot:
Jolie's & Joel's John Deere Birthday Party
Joel at MCDP:
Josie lost her front tooth:
(My cousin Laura with the kids. She lives in Tuscaloosa)
Photos with Santa:
Christmas Shoot done on Thanksgiving because we were too sick to visit family:
Christmas on the Coosa:
Christmas with the Burdicks:
Girls singing at church: