Merry Christmas! I hope this holiday season finds you and your family well. We are doing very well. We have been very blessed this year. This has been a year full of waiting that sometimes felt like a merry-go-round that was never going to stop, but we have finally reached the end of a long ordeal that resulted in Lenard landing a full time job at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard base! This is a huge answer to prayer. We were hoping to stay in this area so that we would not have to leave our family or our church family, but we were willing to do whatever God asked us to do. We are very excited about 2012 and what will happen now that we have a little bit of stability in our lives. Something we have not really had for the 11 years we have been married!
Lenard – As I said the big thing this year was Lenard getting a full time position. Since he joined the military in June of 2009 he has just been working on military orders which are never guaranteed to be cut again when the end date comes. This position is something that we thought was a sure thing in June, but didn’t happen until October 11th, thus the merry-go-round. Lenard’s orders ended on September 30th and he found out that he got the position on his last day. We were sweating it a little bit! We know that God is in control and we trusted Him to take care of us, but it is still a little unnerving when you don’t know if or where the next paycheck will come from. Well, Lenard absolutely loves his job! This is a long way away from being a veterinarian which was our original plan but obviously not God’s! Lenard has been so blessed and favored in his job. He has had great favor with his superiors and has gotten to do a lot of cool stuff this year! He has travelled a LOT this year! One of his coolest trips was sailing on a Navy ship from San Diego to Seattle. He also was selected as the only officer from his unit to go to a leadership conference in Washington DC where he got to rub elbows with the top people in the National Guard! His latest trip was to Colorado for three weeks in space school. Sarah and I got to go visit him for a weekend while he was there too! In case you couldn’t tell, I’m awfully proud of Lenard and all his achievements, and I’m very excited to see where God will take him in his military career!
Cindy – Let’s see. What’s new with me? Well, while Lenard has been out “playing”, just kidding he really has been working hard, I’ve been attempting to hold down the fort. Sometimes I do ok, other times, not so much. I’m getting better with practice. The hardest part for me is just the loneliness especially when it is time for me to crawl in bed alone. I love Lenard so much and miss him a lot when he is gone. I just want to say that I truly feel like I am one of the most blessed women on earth. I have a fabulous husband who is my best friend and the greatest kiddos ever! I sometimes complain about how cramped we are and that there is no room for stuff, then I think about my wonderful family and have to remind myself that all that stuff really isn’t that important. I am still staying at home and still loving it! Our new thing this year is homeschooling! We decided that homeschooling was what we were supposed to do, so teacher is now added to my many hats! It has gone very well so far and I am so thankful that we have the privilege of teaching our children our values. I turned 30 this year too. I guess that’s kind of big. I think 29 was weirder for me that 30. We (Nathanael and I share the same birthday) had a great birthday party at my parent’s cabin surrounded by lots of family and wonderful friends. It was a great day. I have to admit though that I’m kind of glad to see this year end and looking forward to a new beginning in 2012. Oh and in case anyone is wondering, there are no new “announcements” to make!
Gabriel – Gabriel is 6 now and as I mentioned before is in kindergarten. He is sosmart. He has grown up so much and is such a big help. I’m not sure how I managed babies before I had his help! He is doing well in school. He is a whiz in Math and is getting better in his writing. He knows how to read a little but gets lazy about it sometimes and doesn’t want to try. We will work on that. He’s got plenty of time. He is a great helper around the house and with Sarah. He loves going to church and is now in Royal Rangers (like Boy Scouts). They go camping and hiking and learn about lots of different things as well as learn about God and memorize Scripture. I’m so excited about Gabriel and his potential. He is a special boy. I know that God has big plans for this kid!
Hannah – Hannah is three and is such a beautiful little girl! She loves paint on her toes and loves to be pretty. I don’t know what to do with a prissy girl! She can talk so well and loves to cuddle. She loves to wear dresses and dance and twirl. The most important thing though is earlier this month she asked Jesus to come into her heart. I am so proud of this little girl! She sometimes asks to do school work too and I give her some pre-school work. She knows her colors, numbers, letters and is good at matching and sorting. She is so sweet, but can be rough and tumble with her brothers too. She can shoot a bad guy as good as any of them! Hannah is a very special little girl and I’m proud to be her momma.
Nathanael – Nathanael is two now. This boy! I gotta say I love this kid to pieces! He can be the rottenest stinker ever and later be the smiliest most affectionate kid you ever saw! This little guy keeps me on my toes. He loves to help. He helps with the laundry, the dishes, cleaning, cooking (he loves to cook), but if I ask him to do something he doesn’t want to do I get a firm “No” and he usually won’t budge. We’ve had to duke it out a few times. He is very strong willed, but for the most part very compliant too. He is very independent as well. If he needs something he doesn’t wait around for someone else to get it, he just gets it himself (which when it involves him spilling juice all over the floor or cutting up the vegetables with a knife on his own is not the greatest thing!) He is a very physical child too and hits a lot which is hard too. He still doesn’t talk much and I think as he gets better able to communicate for himself things will be a little easier for the both of us. I know he gets frustrated. He is very good though most of the time at pointing and grunting his wishes to let me know what he needs. While this independence is challenging now, it will be a great asset to him when he is older and I am so excited to see where this little guy is going to go too!
Sarah – Sarah is one! As most of you know we were moving from TX to TN when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Sarah last year. We made it back to TN on Dec. 19th. Our furniture arrived the 22nd and Sarah was born on the 23rd! We got to bring her home on Christmas day. She is so cute and so petite and loves to chatter and run and play and climb and pull books off shelves and things out of cabinets and drawers and, well, you get the picture. She keeps me on my toes too! She has been on the go from the beginning, rolling over at 2 months, crawling at 5 months, walking at 10 months and now running at 12 months. She is even saying a few words! I am beginning to think that she will talk before Nathanael! Did I mention that she is cute as a button?! We are so glad to have her as part of our family! She is such a little blessing.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012! God bless!!!
The Ross Clan
Lenard, Cindy, Gabriel, Hannah, Nathanael and Sarah