Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

We're in San Juan Capistrano, counting down till New Year's. The younger kids, (Nicky, Tori and Joshie) are in bed. Lizzie hanging out with the adults, trying to keep her eyes open!

What a great year 2008 was! We were truly blessed. We've become more settled in the Ranchos, (we're making fantastic friends out here!) we're trying to keep our sanity raising three very busy kids, (how do people handle more? although my mom tells me that after three, it's no big deal!) and are totally looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2009. Can it get any better? God has been so good to us in 2008!

Anyway, here's to a fabulous 2009, Happy New Year to all our friends and family! We love you all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A True Christmas Miracle

We had the usual Christmas chaos this year. Lots of parties, family and friends visiting. Everything we enjoy about Christmas.

Every year we have a Christmas brunch, usually very small, our family my mom and dad and the Sciocchettis, (this year the Regiers were able to join us) followed by a much larger and louder Christmas (late) lunch. (apx 30ish peeps)

This year we celebrated the end of my mom's Hep-C treatment at our brunch. (She received her last shot this week.) We are all thrilled to be done with this treatment. It has been an extremely difficult year for my mom. The treatment completely wipes her out. She's lost weight, hair, and lots of sleep.

But we celebrate that fact that so far, the treatment seems to be working. The virus count has been knocked down to 'undetectable'. She will have a liver biopsy in six months to determine if further treatment is necessary. Of course, we're praying that it won't be!

What a great way to celebrate Christmas! Here's to a GREAT New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Joshie!

On Monday Joshua Tucker turned 2! This year has flown by.

Joshua is ALLL boy. Some of his favorite things are climbing (anything, anywhere, any time), he particularly likes climbing up dressers and cabinets. He loves balls and cars of all shapes and sizes, Christmas lights, milk and meat. He's not much of a carbs or veggie eater...bring on the meat and he's a happy camper!

His athletic skills continue to amaze us! Catching balls, throwing (full speed), hitting and kicking balls, he is incredible.

He's still not talking much, but his therapist isn't too concerned. His favorite words are: lights, ball, car, airplane, lala (for lizzie) and toto (tori). He is also learning to make different noises, he is hilarious!

We are so blessed by him.

We love you Joshua Tucker!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht

Growing up in my small Mennonite Brethren church we had a tradition that all of the children looked forward to every year. After the Children's Christmas Program, all of the kids would receive 'Toot' bags. These Toot bags were small brown bags filled with an orange, nuts, a candy cane and a small assortment of candy.

Another tradition the same night was singing Silent Night in German. When I was a kid, our church was probably at least 80% German with many of the grandparents still speaking Low German – mine included! This is a very fond memory of mine, the entire congregation singing in German, a capella. Beautiful!

Here's a little history on Silent Night. The world's most popular Christmas carol was first sung in Austria on Christmas Eve 1818. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863). The words came from the pen of pastor Joseph Franz Mohr (1792-1848). The song was almost lost forever after its first performance in a church in Oberndorf (near Salzburg) to Gruber's guitar accompaniment.

The first known performance of "Stille Nacht" in the United States took place near New York City's Trinity Church. In 1839 the Rainer family singers of Austria included the German version of "Stille Nacht" in their repertoire during an appearance at the Alexander Hamilton Monument near the church, some 24 years before an English version of the carol would be published.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day!

A year ago today we celebrated Joshua's official adoption. Wow, how time flies.

Joshua has changed so much this past year! He continues to delight and amaze us.

We are so blessed that God chose us to raise this little boy. We can't imagine life without him.

Thank you Lord, for the gift that is Joshua Tucker!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another day in the office

Today we enjoyed the annual Carol Sing at FPU. Incredible! Handbells, brass, Crosswind, little children singing "Feliz Navidad". It was excellent!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pfferneuse Night!

Every year, my dad's extended family gets together between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make pfferneuse (also known as peppernuts). This tradition is probably close to 50 years old now.

We usually have approximately 30 people show up (aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, dog, etc.) and everyone lends a hand. It starts with my uncle Bill and his son Greg making the dough. From there it gets passed to the rolling people, to the cutting teams, to the stacking people, to the oven. Wow, it's quite a process! We have a couple of different recipes (peanut butter! yum!) we use.

We always miss the family members that can't make it, but it is a great family tradition.

I have some photos...a little blurry. They were taken from my phone.

Joshua and Uncle Kerry hard at work rolling.
Family working together.

Tori and Nana cutting the dough.
Lizzie and mommy taking a break!

Lizzie stacking...or sneaking a peppernut?
Tori on the way home...wiped out!
Exhausted babies!

Monday, December 1, 2008


It's a little late, but we have much to be thankful for in Alveyland.

1. We serve a merciful, forgiving Savior
2. We are all healthy
3. Three incredibly smart and cute children
4. We have fabulous extended families
5. Tons of friends
6. Very supportive church family
7. Good jobs
8. Low gas prices!
9. Two new friends this year - Micah and Macey
10. Kev's ability to go to school
11. My mom's fight against Hep-C

There is lots more, but that's a quick wrap-up. We are grateful for YOU!