Friday, March 21, 2014

2013 Christmas card and letter

Hello Family and Friends,

Here’s a little update on the adventures of each member of our team:

Danny really lived up to the title of “adventurer” this year as he found himself backpacking, camping and jumping into water in Havasupai (Grand Canyon area) for four days in the spring as well as camping and hiking in Yosemite not once, but twice. After almost 10 years with the Fontana USD, Danny has gone to work for the Riverside County Office of Education.  He travels throughout Riverside County to inform and support the 20+ school districts as they try to keep up with new laws and policies.  Although it was difficult to leave mentors and friends in the FUSD, Danny is motivated by new experiences and challenges.

Sarah continues in the daily adventure of motherhood with all the highs and lows that accompany it.  She participated in the opening of the replacement hospital of Kaiser Fontana and is excited by the constant changes that 21st century health care brings.  She still enjoys working once or twice a week and the flexibility that a per-diem position provides, especially since she has more to do every day as the kids grow up and have more activities and responsibilities.

Carter is now in 3rd grade and is still a voracious reader, budding pianist, snake collector, aspiring artist and a super soccer player.  He was on a team that made a lot of growth but not a lot of goals until the final game of the season when they pulled together and the game winning goal was scored by none other than Carter himself!  It was quite the way to finish a gloomy season and so wonderful to finally taste victory for he and his teammates. More than anything we have been pleased to hear from his coaches and teachers that he cares about others and is always happy to lift up others when they’re down. Like his dad, Carter loves to share his ideas and makes friends with everyone he meets.

Claire is a big first grader now. Academically she is doing quite well thanks to a lot of hard work and patience.  She has a teacher that “gets” her and even stuck her tongue out in response to Claire having stuck hers out upon hearing the directions and sometimes that’s just what Claire needs.  We’re so grateful for her spunk and determination since it drives her to try her best.  She is our best sleeper and played soccer for the first time in the fall.  She vacillated between apathy and athletic aggressiveness, it all just depended on her mood and that’s sort of a great metaphor for Claire Bear’s temperament.  Thankfully, she had great coaches, family members and teachers who see her for who she really is: a very intelligent and loving little girl. Oh, Claire is also taking a fabulous music class that teaches music theory, composition and understanding and it’s helping her in ways that go far beyond just music.

William is a whirlwind. He is very sweet and cuddly, but that makes up about 10% of the day, the rest is filled with persistent questions, constant messes and…joy. Will started preschool in the fall and has enjoyed his time there and generally behaves very well which is a good sign. He wants to be a “big boy” and is adamant that he’ll be turning eight (not four) in the spring, even though he knows very well that’s not true.  He is athletic, strong and healthy!  We look forward to all the future holds for Will who will still refer to as “our miracle baby.”

The biggest adventure on which our family is embarking is the introduction of our fourth baby this spring.  “Cookie Dough” (William’s name for this child) is due to arrive 4-4-14.  Although we hadn’t planned on finding out the gender of this baby we ended up discovering that we’re having…a girl! We’d be lying if we didn’t admit that we’re both ecstatic and scared to add another member to the team but we know she’ll bring blessings. 

We hope this letter finds you and yours well at this glorious time of year.  To close in the words from Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas: And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'".

Luke 2:10

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie brown.

Merry Christmas! Love, The Todd Family


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