Season’s Greetings as the year 2015 closes!

I normally write to you while laying on the floor in the kitchen, from my favorite landing on the stairs, or from laying in the sun on the driveway, but this year I am writing from a very different place…more on that later.

The narrative of this year hasn’t drastically changed from the narratives of the last two years. As Brittany says, “We’re just maintaining the crazy!”

The usual narrative is the lack of an even ratio between worn clothes to worn underwear in the laundry baskets; clean floors to unclean floors; a playroom where you can sit on the floor to one where a small child could be lost; and a garage that looks like a war zone to one where cars could park.

Unlike bad haircuts some things are worth going back too. Nate started working for Starbucks again in the spring. He has enjoyed reconnecting to his coffee roots and seeing many of his old customers. He started a new adventure this year teaching guitar lessons and enjoys watching his students progress.

Brittany is still working for inContext Ministries and enjoying the production work of a podcast ministry. She broke up a gang of “murderer guppies” this summer when Emerson’s 1st grade fish ganged up on Emerson’s Kindergarten fish and snail. Thankfully Steve the Snail survived…Bob the Guppy had his last swim.

Just like a fine, aged wine Nate and Brittany celebrated their 15-year wedding anniversary this summer. They enjoyed renewing their vows on the steps of the church where they first met. They can be found cheering like crazy people on any given Saturday at a soccer or basketball game and putting on layers of sunscreen Tuesdays poolside for fierce swim meets. And they worked hard as a family this spring and summer doing all kinds of odd and end jobs to raise their cost of both their interview trip to Minnesota and Vision Trip to Germany.

Will, age 10, has entered into the tweenager years with full gusto. He has an eye for good hair and his preferred fashion is a pair of athletic shorts and t-shirt…usually put on from a pile of clothing on the floor or an unloaded laundry basket of clean clothes. I over heard the following conversation the other day. Set scene: Will finishes his shower and enters into kitchen: Brittany says, “Will, did you wash your hair?” He replied, “No.” Mom said, “Did you wash your body? Why did you not wash your hair?” Will, “Because you said, ‘Go get in the shower. You never mentioned washing?’” Brittany with a dumbfound expression stated, “Will, taking a shower should ALWAYS involve soap! Always!”

Shhh, don’t tell, but when no one is looking he loves Math and Science in school and can be found making folding/drawing/video projects at home. Mirroring his daddy, he is fond of his siblings and is a loyal friend.

Emerson, age 7, believes God created the world as a personal obstacle course. He leaps onto and over objects, climbs poles, walks tight ropes, and stacks objects together to balance on. He does this all under the assumption that it is common behavior to climb on the top of playground equipment. The parents signed him up for American Ninja Warrior classes, which he loved until he had accomplished all the obstacles and was “bored” and ready for the next challenge. The parents are hoping for an endorsement deal from Sprite when ESPN X-Games come’s knocking on the door! And when you are not looking he is sneaking a hug from his brother, building forts with his sister, helping the parents around the house, and being best friends with two of the special needs kids in his class.
Fashion Show in Kohl’s
Sadie, age 4, is the combination of dirt and ruffles. She is usually found outside digging in the dirt for worms while wearing her ruby red slippers. She’s a normal “third child that is the only girl” as she does not like to be alone, is full of sass, has an “I can do that too” attitude, and is ready for the big adventure at every turn. She reminds me a lot of her sassy mommy! When she is not dancing or singing, which is rare, she is eating her favorite sandwich of tortilla with peanut butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickles! And when you are not looking she is either drawing on a piece of furniture with a marker or cooking in her kitchen getting ready for a tea party.
As for me I had a beautiful afternoon on June 15th with all five of my people huddled around me on the living room floor. We shared great memories, prayed together, hugged each other, and cried together. After 13.5 years, my old body was done. They knew it and so did I. As I took my last breaths Nate and Brittany were huddled with me whispering sweet words of love and affection. I do enjoy looking down on them from heaven and I know they miss me terribly. I’ve seen the tears…even after months of being gone.
Thank you for reading my Christmas letters for all these years. This will be the last one I write, so I hope you enjoy!

Merry Christmas,

Cooper (The family dog)

Christmas Letter 2015

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