Once again, I'm surprised it's Christmas time again! It's funny to think that at the beginning of the year, we were amazed that our daughter was standing, and getting her to drink a bottle was an accomplishment that literally made my day! We now try to get her to stand still for just a second and alas, we have yet to get her off the bottle! Callie Sue is such a delight to us-her endless chatter and constant movement can be exhausting, but they bring such joy to our hearts, and we praise God for our healthy, happy little girl. We are enjoying seeing Christmas through her eyes. She is in love with Christmas lights-she yells "CWISMAS YITES!" every time she sees them! She is super excited about Dave's Lego train around our tree and says "Hi and bye-bye Choo Choo" as it goes around each time. Our little music-lover is enjoying the Christmas music, as well. Each year, we buy a new Christmas c.d. This year, it was Matthew West's album. There's a song on it where he sings about Jesus being the "Light of the World." A couple days ago, I had it in my head and sang the first line; all of a sudden Callie burst out saying "Yight of da Woold!" It was so cute, so all day we worked on "Light of the World is Jesus." She never quite said it, but when I put her to bed that night I said, "Jesus loves you, and He's always with you." Around her binki, she nodded her head and said, "Yight of da Woold." So, I guess she did make the connection!
While my days mostly consist of playing with Callie and doing a passable job of keeping the laundry and dishes at bay, I am still enjoying working at the real estate office a couple mornings a week. I feel blessed that I do have so much time with our daughter and get to take part in each accomplishment and milestone as it comes!
Dave just began his 6th year working at Grace Community Church. He once again had the opportunity to preach several times this year and has done a great job coordinating and choosing topics for adult Sunday School and Life Groups. He is also still working on his Master's of Divinity and continues to watch Callie when I'm at work. They are so much fun to watch together. Dave manages to get Callie's belly laugh out faster than anyone, and it is so sweet to hear "I wuv you, Daddy." Callie and I joined Dave at one of the youth camps he spoke at this summer. The youth pastor Dave interned under in college was the camp dean, so it was fun to re-connect with his family! Callie LOVED camp, especially the pool! We enrolled her in parent/tot swim lessons this fall to encourage her love of the water. She had a great time and is quite the fearless little jumper! She now jumps all over the house while saying "pool, jump!"
Callie adores both sets of grandparents, as well as uncles, aunts, and her cousins! She regularly points to their pictures throughout our house and tells us who they are and what she imagines they might be doing throughout the day! She spent two nights at my parent's house this last month while we went to a Family Life conference and did great! Even though Josh, Anna, and the kids live several hours away, we Skype often enough that the cousins are close friends despite the distance. (Although, Callie regularly tries to blame A.J. for anything she does wrong! It is a common occurrence to hear "A.J. did __________" whenever we tell her no!)
That sin nature starts early! And because of that, I am once again so thankful for the reason we celebrate this time of year. Jesus, God's Son, came as a baby to live the perfect life, to pay the price for our sins in a gruesome death, to be the "Yight of da Woold," offering us the choice of salvation! We pray each and every one of you accepts that Christmas gift and chooses to make Jesus Lord of your life. When we choose to believe in and live for Him, Jesus tells his followers that we are to be the lights of the world! Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." With that being our goal, perhaps all the Christmas lights this month can remind us to be lights in this world, pointing others through the darkness to the Way of Life!
Lots of love from our family to yours!
Dave, Amy, & Callie