2018 Christmas Card

28 ”Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Bible)

We are growing.

The kids are getting older.  Evelyn started preschool this year.  She’s my last baby.  The last little three year old I’ll have to push on the swings at the park, her blond hair floating back and forth in the sunshine, accompanied by giggles from a blue rain jacket covered in tiny pink hearts.  None of us can get enough of her.  She is full of life, smiles and silliness and by far the smartest and most clever three year old around.

Eli loves soccer and basketball – if he’s not doing homework, reading a book or helping out with chores, we will find him with a ball in his hands.  The boy is active.  He loves spending time with his friends and he loves to play.

Dani also loves her friends and has really taken to reading.  She also loves to play by herself.  We find her sitting for hours with books, crafts and toys.  She has written quite a few books and loves to tell stories.  She’s also developing a sense of humor and is actually quite funny – which we all enjoy.

Ellie continues to show sparkles of young lady maturity.  We’ve marveled watching her be so kind to her little sister or sitting so still when we’ve gone out to dinner.  She loves to sing, and dance – she loves to perform.  She also loves her friends.

This year we tried out ballet, swim team and soccer.  We visited Disneyland and listened to Evelyn pray, “to go to Disneyland and the Jungle and Santa Cruz” for three months straight during dinner prayers.  Girl likes her vacations.

Davin and I have been stretched quite a bit this year.  Building a house is obviously an example of that, but even more importantly, we’ve discovered each in our own ways, how to rely on the Lord even more.  We’ve hit many a moment where we realized this thing – whatever it was in our life was bigger than we were.  We realized we don’t have to be tall and strong and brave – because we know the one who is.  The one who loves us.  The one who made the world.  God has shown up more in our lives this last year than I can ever remember, it’s been a huge blessing being so aware of his presence.

Here’s a picture recap of some of the highlights.  For some reason I don’t tend to snap photos of my lowlights.  I did get one actually, I’ll put that on my part of the card;-)

Even though all of our pictures look pretty and fun – and they were and are.  There were a lot of really tough moments this year.  I’ve had a lot of health issues.  I finally have some relief from the back pain I’ve had for over a year and a half from flying over the handlebars of my mountain bike the year prior.  Here’s a “lowlight” moment, of me waiting to get two injections into my spine…

Even though the idea of needles going deep into my spine wasn’t my favorite, God met me there and I felt his presence and truly felt like God the Father was holding my hand through it.

He was there in moments where we were laboring and heaven laden.  And we found that if we cried out to God for help – had family and friends praying for us and went back to what the word of God says, we ended up finding him right there – walking and carrying us through it.  All the stuff I feared never happened, at least not in the way I was afraid it would.

If I may encourage you in anything- anything at all.  Give this scripture to Jesus and tell him you want it to be true of your life also.  He’s taught me so much, that even though this year has been really tough, really challenging and really exciting – I’d do it all over again if just to have the understanding that I am starting to grasp that we’re not meant to carry it all.

He means what he says, 28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Bible)

He can make the yucky stuff not so bad after all.  It’s been a great year actually because of him.

To God be all glory and all praise.

Much love,

The Anthonys

Christmas Card

 

Davin won quite a few mountain bike races and has become an expert in home construction.

 

Most weeks I’m just happy I get to drive the kids to school, hang with the baby, run errands and make dinner (well, Davin cooks half the time, so I should say, “eat dinner together as a family”).  Davin and I try to go out on a date once a week and look each other in the eyes:-)  I just feel so grateful for everyday life.

Eli can tie his shoes, ride mountain bike trails with his daddy and loves to make breakfast for himself and the girls most mornings.  He also built a rocket and started pastoring his own church in our pantry.  Everyone is welcome.

Dani knows all her sight words and has lost five teeth is tall enough to ride Screaming California and has become quite an artist and story teller.  She blessed us with a drawing of my Gramma Jo when she passed away at the beginning of the year.

Ellie has learned self control, loves to take care of her baby dolls, her baby sister and generally enjoy life to the fullest.  She is often found in a tutu, crown or jewelry of some sort.  We have discovered that there is nothing Ellie can’t make into a good time.

Evelyn learned to walk, say at least ten words and has mastered the tiger growl sound, which she now uses for ALL animal sounds.  She also spent 19 days in the hospital, grew 5 teeth WHILE IN the hospital, fought e. coli and overcame HUS.  She came out happier and more full of life, and we took her to Disneyland to celebrate!

There were a TON of visitors at the hospital and I can’t wait to write about Evelyn’s story and how so many people rallied around us and helped us in such miraculous ways.  Here are just a few photos from her time in the hospital.  Thank you EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU for praying for our sweet baby, Evelyn._DSC3813.JPG_DSC3808.JPG_DSC3806.JPG_DSC3805.JPG_DSC3875.JPG

Here’s a photo of me, probably getting e. coli.  I just couldn’t gown and glove anymore!  I needed to hold and touch my baby.  And then I got e. coli.  So there’s a lesson in there somewhere.   #stillworthit_DSC3877.JPG_DSC3880.JPG

These two.  Let’s just say our other three kids came out of this whole experience happy, healthy and perfectly normal – I can’t thank Davin’s parents, Ivan & Pam enough for putting their lives on hold, flying out here and basically running our home and parenting our three other kiddos for the length of Evelyn’s hospital stay.  They did it with a smile like old pros:-)  We love you Dad & Mom!_DSC3882.JPGSome of our MANY favorite nurses and doctors.  Seriously, I have only good things to say about this hospital.  What an INCREDIBLE facility with INCREDIBLE people._DSC3884.JPG

The photographer and chief, “cheer-er-up-er”,  Dad would stay with Evelyn to give Davin and I breaks, and he spent many of his days at the hospital with me so I wouldn’t be alone.  And he brought me chocolate milkshakes.  Love you dad!_DSC3886.JPG

This was our view most nights._DSC3896.JPG_DSC3914.JPG

Uncle Tom and Aunt Nancy:-)_DSC3949.JPG_DSC3953.JPG_DSC3955.JPG_DSC3967.JPG_DSC3982.JPG

Christmas on the Peds floor.  _DSC3983.JPGMom took a couple night shifts so Davin could actually get some rest at home, and we could see each other for more than a second when trading off at the hospital.  Mom loves Evelyn and mom loves our marriage.  I love you mom!Grandma Evelyn 2 .JPG

Thank you for your prayers.

In 2017 we are praying for a year of excellent health, that we sell our home, move into a perfect rental near the property and begin all the fun on our project of building our dream house on the little piece of property near the kids school.   This Christmas we are celebrating that we are all healthy and together as a family.  We feel incredibly blessed.

We love you all!  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!