Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas! 2012

Last year we dropped the ball for getting out a Christmas card.  This year, you will see we have experienced some significant changes since our update in 2010, particularly a new address and member of the family.  I have given up on blogging as a whole, so I apologize if you tried to keep up with us on here!  I have made some posts with snapshots from the year, if you want to scroll through the blog.  The process of moving, pregnancy, parenting a toddler, and now taking care of a new baby pretty much sums up 2012 for us!

Our much longer than expected chapter in Florida has come to an end.  (Reminder: a nine month assignment turned into five years.  We wish we knew and we would have bought a boat!)  Ethan received a new assignment and in May we moved back to the Dayton area in Ohio.  He is getting his masters in electrical engineering, so back to academic life!  The scenery is a bit different, but we are very happy to be here.  Seth and I miss the beach (Ethan not so much) and I miss my violin students and symphony jobs.  We of course miss people we knew in Florida, but that is part of military life and we are thankful for the lasting relationships we formed.

The move was a bit drawn out.  We were thankful to sell our house in Florida quickly!  Just after we put our house on the market, intense morning sickness set in with the pregnancy.  I had no idea how I was going to keep up with showing the house, but God is so good.  After just two showings (from the same person), the house was sold.  The rental house in Ohio we fell in love with wasn't available until July.  In April we moved into TLF (temporary living facilities) in Florida.  In May we moved into a one bedroom apartment in Ohio until the house was available in July.  All the transitions were difficult, but Seth hung in there.  Two families adopted Caedmon while we were in the apartment and they loved him well.  Seth and I also spent some time in Virginia to break up apartment living.  The house was worth the wait.  We are in an ideal location for work, church, and play and can facilitate hosting, which we love.  We are much closer now to many of our friends and family and since moving in, our guest room has been full more weekends than not.  Ohio seems to be a great "pass through" area, so if ever you need a place to stay, let us know.

We are back in the area of Cedarville University and it has been fun revisiting our old college stomping grounds.  We have made many trips to Young's Dairy where Seth loves feeding the goats and we went to some of Cedarville's homecoming activities in October.  We are back at Patterson Park Church, the church we attended most of our years in college and where we were married.  In many ways, it has been like coming "home" for us.  After five years in Florida, it was wonderful to experience autumn again!  Although the warm temps currently haven't phased us at all.

Seth turned 2 years old in September and he keeps our hands full.  He is a sweet, observant, and extremely active little boy.  Seth's favorite things are food, books, jumping, and watching and playing football with Daddy.  It has been wonderful watching him discover and interact with the world this past year.  He is definitely a little boy now, and not our little baby.  I love hearing him talk and develop new words.  It is precious starting to develop little conversations with him.

In October we welcomed Jonathan ("Jack") Murray into our family!  The pregnancy was a very happy surprise.  Jonathan was 8.10 lbs and 20 inches and was born with a full head of hair.  We had a wonderful delivery at Family Beginnings, a birthing center here.  It was like a home birth, but not at home!  Jack is a sweetie with a laid back temperament.  Seth is adjusting to being a big brother. (And we are adjusting to being parents of two!)

Caedmon is still with us, though he is getting up in years.  You wouldn't know it though since being in colder temperatures seems to have knocked off a couple of years!  In fact, he caught his first real game, a rabbit, in August.  His husky side is very happy to be farther north.

We look forward to 2013.  Hopefully you will hear from us again next year!  We love keeping in touch, so please shoot us an email or leave a comment.  God bless!

December - Getting Ready for Christmas

November - Happy Thanksgiving

October - Welcome Jonathan!

September - Seth's Birthday and Waiting for Thing #2

July and August - Summertime in Ohio!

Lovin' the backyard in our new house!

June - Trip to AR for (Great) Grandad's Birthday

April - Fort Walton Beach

December 2011 - Sledding in New Hampshire

This Florida baby got to see some snow last Christmas and enjoyed some sledding.

Christmas 2011

We were up and down the East Coast visiting family in CT, NH, PA, and VA!

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year(s) Newsletter

Welcome to those of you who come by direction of our New Year's photo card! We have neglected sending out a newsletter the last two years, so I am going to try to recap here.

We said goodbye to Tydnall AFB in February '09 and headed West, about 2 hours. We are now at Eglin AFB, still on the Gulf Coast, and Ethan is an Air Force Engineer. We took another step into American adulthood and bought a house! We have loved our little 3 bedroom home. We are still only walking distance away from one of the Bays, but we miss our "private" marina and community at Tyndall. Now let's fast forward...

September 23, 2010, we welcomed Seth into our lives! He was born 9lbs and 22inches long. The labor went very well (see post) and we have loved having him in our life. No, he doesn't sleep through the night but we get enough zzzz's here and there and are functional and very happy. He is a sweet, happy little guy who will smile at basically anyone who waves or talks to him. He continues to be a big boy moving into twelve month clothes and at the top of the growth charts. He will be four months later this month. He smiles and talks all the times and loves playing with his toys. Mostly he loves cuddling with mommy and playing and reading with daddy. It is a very special time in our life and we are trying to savor it.

Sandra (Nana) was able to be here for a while to help with the baby. What a blessing! She helped Heather in her intense nesting mode before the birth and walked with her miles and miles and miles in almost 100 degree weather to spur on labor, then provided massages and encouragement during labor, and then was able to be a part of Seth's first couple of weeks of life. Ron (Grandad) came down for a week in October and Uncle Josh visited on his Fall break. Seth met Ethan's side of the family in New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. He spent more time with the Johnsons over Christmas in Virginia and Nana Pam and Peppy Paul are coming to visit us in Florida in March.

Ethan is in good health, praise the Lord. In September 2009 we switched our diet to the Maker's Diet/Clean Eating Diet. Ethan has been able to control his Crohn's through diet and thankfully has been off his (very toxic) medication. It was quite a big lifestyle change, and overwhelming at first, but worth it. We are now some of "those" people who read every label in the grocery store and have weird snack foods in the pantry. Veggie chips, goat cheese, and raw almonds anyone? Don't worry about visiting though, everyone who has eaten with us claim our meals are yummy. We eat real meat and Ethan still won't go near tofu.

With Ethan's work, he has spent a lot of time in Colorado. The diet is good for his body and Colorado is good for his soul. He got back into hiking and rock climbing during his travels. One of his TDYs happened to coincide with a big Hennessey reunion in August. Heather was unable to go since she was at the end of her pregnancy. It was one of the biggest Hennessey gatherings in years and naturally a good time. In October Ethan participated in his first Triathlon in Destin (see post). It was a positive experience and he plans on doing another one in the Spring.

Before the pregnancy Heather was volunteering at the Eglin Pet Welfare, where we adopted Caedmon. She loved working with her shelter pups, but once morning (err, all day) sickness set in, she stepped down. Heather is still teaching violin lessons, though she is keeping her studio small to balance with mommyhood. She continues to perform with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Niceville and joined the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra in 2009. She took time off in the Fall, but started playing again in December.

We have been involved with the Contemporary Service of the Base Chapel. Both Ethan and Heather serve in the praise band, help with the leadership team, and facilitate a family small group at our home. We have found a very precious community at the Chapel after having spent a few years of feeling a little aimless.

Caedmon is doing well. He is starting to age which saddens us, but he is still full of personality. He has adjusted well to the baby. He was very protective of Seth the first week and now basically doesn't pay much attention to him. If Seth does start crying in another room, Caedmon will alert Heather. Caedmon is excellent about knowing whose toys are whose and that Seth's playmat is NOT a dog bed. Poor dog is still hopeful that everytime we say "food, eat, or hungry" to the baby we are actually talking to him. When it gets warmer (yes, it gets cold here!) we look forward to family trips to th dog park.

Feel free to keep visiting the blog. We try to keep it updated with pictures and events of our life for family and friends to see. It has been a little hit or miss recently, but we will try to post somewhat regularly. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for 2011!

Ethan, Heather, Seth, and Caedmon

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