Dear Friends and Family,
Great Great Grandma’s Scottish shortbread is baking again tonight and the girls are watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the original) after sledding all day. It must be just about Christmas time! We are excited to see our friends and family this busy December full of birthdays, gotcha day and Christmas.
Claire is now seven, I know, wow! She is doing very well. Early in the year we transitioned to a different school, which has been a life changing decision. Life changing in the best way possible: Claire is happy in school, learning, making friends, and when she comes home she is excited to be a part of family life too. Having a consistently stable place for Claire has made her open up so much more. We are so blessed by her new team. Last year was so hard, just not a good fit, and we feel that our prayers have been answered. God has always had Claire in his hands and is so faithful to make a way for us. She is exited for this advent season; there is always something to look forward to. We took the girls to see the Christmas lights in the green house at Manito Park (go if you are in the Spokane area, it’s beautiful!) When Claire walked in she looked up and said “enchanted garden.” She tiptoed as if she would find a fairy or elf around each corner.
Team Claire @ Step Up For Down Syndrome
Makenna is nearly five and is such a joy. As we unpacked the Christmas boxes of decorations after Thanksgiving she couldn’t help but squeal, “I love Christmas! I loves Christmas!...” It’s so fun doing Christmas as the girls are getting older; Makenna made her very first gingerbread house with Mom and Grammy this year. Makenna loves preschool, Kindermusik, drawing, painting, swimming, playing with friends but most of all she loves animals. We got a very big puppy this year, Olive the Great Dane/Great Pyrenees and Makenna has loved helping Mommy train her. She came with us to Puppy school and Olive will do all of her tricks for Makenna. Currently she is saving up her quarters for a betta fish. Makenna is also very excited to announce that she can now swim, for real.
Makenna's first day of preschool
Alice just turned three and, as always, is the sweetest little girl. She loves everything mini mouse and Rapunzel. I love her imagination and total faith that if you believe it will be. Last night I was putting her to bed (all three girls are the most chatty at bedtime) and she told me, while stretching her arms out like wings “when I am big like Mommy I will have pierced ears and when I have wings like Tinkerbelle I will fly up in the sky, outside” as she looks behind herself to check for wings. She brings a smile to our faces every day.
Alice waited so long for this cake. It's rough watching cakes leave every day.
She knew just what she wanted.
Nate is entering his fourth year as a Boom Operator (air refueling) with the Washington Air National Guard. He was in Guam this spring and Kyrgyzstan/Afghanistan in August and September. Work is great but his favorite thing is just hanging out with his girls. They love the tandem bike and going on dates; even doing chores is fun with Dad. One of the highlights of the year was Claire taking Captain America Dad to her school Halloween party. The kids were glued to him, they would come poke is stuffed muscles… it was hilarious. We have been doing foster care after taking a brake for about two years but still no boys for Nate. Never underestimate a man who is not ashamed to have a tea party with four little girls, dress up included.
Green Bluff apple picking
Home coming October 2013
I have had a big, fun, busy year starting Leitz Delights, a little hobby business making cakes and treats from home. I love having this creative outlet. It’s the best job ever! I started going to a bible study called BSF, it’s all over the world using the same curriculum. It has been a huge blessing to be in the word with some totally wonderful ladies. I am still volunteering for PAVE (a parent advocacy group in public schools) and Parent to Parent (a parent support group). We have met so many amazing parents through these groups and we are so grateful for the opportunity to share our journey with them.
Welcoming home Nate
Huckleberry Ice cream @ Spokane Interstate Fair
The Leitz Family
“He puzzled and puzzed tell his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas he thought doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -The Grinch How Stole Christmas By Dr. Seuss