Getting mail this time of year is one of my favorite activities. A daily event that generally evokes feelings of dread and negative emotions (because BILLS...) gets a boost of cheer and delight this month of December. I have so many wonderful friends and family members to thank for this. You brighten my mailbox.

My favorite Christmas decorations are the cards that adorn my wall, bulletin board, chalkboard and window pane. I look around and am reminded that we are indeed so rich. We are connected to so many people, near and far, that have affected our lives through many seasons, consistently offering love, prayer and presence. 

4K6A6999 (1).jpg

Plans to send out a Christmas card in early December continued to be pushed back week after week. I typically enjoy the process of addressing and stamping envelopes. It has been a way of focusing my thoughts and affections on our friends and family who are living their stories around the country and world. And while I will miss the process of writing out names and zip codes, I am excited to share so much more than the average Christmas card can deliver. Although we will not be tangibly contributing to the holiday cheer of the snail mail industry, we hope that we brighten your digital mail box with hope and good news.  

2015 has been a year of growth.  With growing, we've experienced some pain and discomfort. Hudson has lost his two bottom teeth. The old had to go so that the new would have room to flourish. We had hoped that 2015 would be the year of "death to the diaper", but with one week to go we still have a few remnant sackcloths that unfortunately have proved to be useful. We are praying Lucy through to 2016 with dreams of bathroom independence. Feel free to join in with us. Margot and Ryken turned 8 last week and are growing taller right before our eyes. The kids are full of life and energy. There are many words that could be used to describe them, but boring or quiet will be excluded from the list. Taylor is working hard at his job at the church and can be found to be exceptionally thankful around the holidays to not be working the retail rat race. His hobby of videography has provided some recent opportunities to film weddings and homecomings. Seeing him engage in the creative process has brought new life to the surface, It has been fun to watch. I have been steady on the home front corralling the kids, but in my spare time have developed a newfound appetite for reading and am beginning to dabble in the land of blogging/writing. I too, am finding life in the process of creating, and want to fight to make room for that to exist in the pattern of  everyday life. 

We made a list of goals for 2015 that were not all accomplished. We are opting for the rollover plan into 2016. I will say that I am proud of the things we did accomplish this year, even if not to the ideal we had hoped. We set out to have an adventure as a family once a month. We accomplished that for 6 of the 12. We've memorized scripture as a family and have made time together around prayer and the Word of God. I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit has brought conviction to my heart through the words or actions of one of my children. My faith has been strengthened as I have seen their hunger, curiosity and faith grow. At the year's close, we can say with confidence that our hearts have grown in love for our Savior Jesus Christ. He is faithful and walking closely with us through every situation. 

We will be ringing in the new year with a road trip to the Pacific Northwest.  In our few weeks of travel we are looking forward to stops along the way to see family and friends. To all of our loved ones who are far off, if any of your travels bring you into our neck of the woods, we would love to be a stop along your journey. One of our most favorite things to do is to sit, share a meal, and life stories with those we love. We eagerly hope to connect with many of you in 2016.

It is with full hearts that we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Lucy Rhodes Armerding (3) & Hudson Taylor Armerding (5)

Margot Sinclair and Ryken Sophia Armerding (8)

[Photos by Peter Amend]

Christmas in  Motion

[Watch more videos HERE]