20 December 2009

Christmas Letter Text

Buitenwerf Family

From the desk of Miss Bethany

I found the elf today. The elf hides around the house and watches us to see if we're naughty or nice. He reports back to Santa, even though Scott and I know that Santa isn't real. He was sitting on the bookshelf that Daddy made for mommy this year. Did you hear about the shelf that daddy made for mommy? It's in the room with the Christmas tree. We love seeing the lights on the Christmas tree and playing with the ornaments that decorate it. I love playing with toys - the aquadoodle, Scott's blocks, my Dora kitchen. I also love helping in the kitchen by mixing stuff while I sit on the counter. I even have my own scraper…

As you can see, Bethany is growing quickly and her mind is always on the go. She's thinking, and getting distracted non-stop…

Daddy, this is my letter, let me share this year, please. What was I saying? Something about the kitchen... my favorite thing is hot chocolate. It's tasty! I just have to have it right away in the morning. I can down a cup of hot chocolate almost instantly. Mommy and daddy keep saying that I'm addicted. Scott likes it too. Scott likes me more than hot chocolate. He loves to sleep with me at night and I don't wanna share a bed with him so now I just ask to sleep in my crib. I love my crib, my duckie blanket, and having my fan on. I love when daddy tells me stories. Mommy isn't a good story teller. My momma is great as long as she's not washing my hair.

What was that I heard… Veggie Tales… LarryBoy, there's no here quite like LarryBoy...

Like Ryan said, Bethany is easily distracted. And thank goodness; we want to share with you about our year.

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Bethany is definitely her mother's daughter and talks and moves non-stop. I'll try to keep it brief here…

It's been a full year, one full of blessings, full of busy days, full of grace, full of failure and full of trying again. I continue to work full time while trying to make the best use of the rest of the time in the day God has given me. A couple of things I've done this year include starting the adoption process of an Ethiopian orphan, visiting with family and a few friends for a week in California where I got to celebrate the life of my late Uncle James and participate in the wedding of my cousin, Sarah. Shortly after that, I spent 10 days outside of Mexico City on a missions trip with 11 other amazing team members while Ryan kept the kiddos at home. I canned a bunch of tomatoes into salsa. I made use of my sewing machine by making some black baby dolls and a shoulder bag. I organized a few fundraisers and attended various training sessions for our adoption. I spoiled myself one weekend and attended my first ever blogger conference.

Throughout the year I've continued to lift weights. After getting hooked on the Biggest Loser, I am trying to focus more on my physical health recently by incorporating some time on the treadmill. Of course some days when I eat 10 snack size almond joys, I fail miserably but get back up and try again the next day. I also fail at respecting my husband and serving him but am thankful that he is forgiving and loves me regardless. I love him too and am so thankful for his continued devotion and leadership in our family.

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Veggie Tales are over now and mom is off changing Bethany's diaper so I'm going to play computer. I can't play on PBSkids.org so I guess I tell you a few things. I finally started school this year - I go to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday. I love spelling and reading words, W-O-R-D-S, words.

Scott, this is my letter. Get away. Scott is my big brother. He watches out for others. He loves to feed the animals, take baths, play in the sandbox and draw. He still has problems pooping.

BETHANY, don't tell people that! Daddy's making supper, you should go help him… nevermind her. I love to tell jokes, tell stories and sing songs. Bethany and my favorite song is Good Morning Beautiful and we both love to sing it with Daddy. Lately I've been trying to remember phone numbers of people while I dial their number to call them. My favorite thing this year was going to the waterpark.

Okay Scott, that's enough, I want to write about Daddy.

Okay, I'll just go play in the snow without you, Bethany.

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My Daddy is the coolest guy ever. I just adore him and love him. Daddy is the one who makes me hot chocolate every morning while he sings Good Morning Beautiful and lets me help in the kitchen. Okay, really I sit on the counter and talk to him, but he let's me think that I'm helping. When Mommy went to Mexico to tell people about Jesus, daddy took good care of Scott and me. He told me stories every night before bed.

Excuse me, Bethany, can I share a bit about Daddy too? For those of you who don't keep up with Ryan, he's quite the busy guy. Besides being one of the local veterinarians, Ryan also takes time to search out the details involved in a one-room school, writes an agricultural column for a local newspaper, installed an outdoor wood burner this year, and countless other things it takes to lead a family and maintain an acreage.

Okay mommy, my turn again. Did I tell you about when he took us to the water park? He let Mommy and Scott go on the big slides and he played with me in the shallow water. He's a good Daddy like that. He reads us stories, prays with us and makes us dinner. He even watches cartoons with us when Mommy isn't home.

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As usual between my kids and my wife, I don't usually get a chance to say much. I'm okay with that for the most part. Something they didn't share much about is our adoption process through Ethiopia. It's been a process in paperwork for sure that we started this past summer. Most recently we were matched with a little boy from Ethiopia. He is 22 months old.

His name is Dirk. No Scott, his name is Judah. That's my girl, Bethany, you know mommy likes that name. All three of you are crazy. His name is _____ (which means "take the lead to expand") and I like the name Daniel. Names are important to us, but that's not the point of this.

Anyway, though we've been matched with this beautiful little boy, it will be approximately six months before we can go to Ethiopia to bring him home. While Scott and Bethany are looking forward to sharing their things and Bethany is even making excuses as to why she needs to take her shoes off and share them, we have a lot of paperwork to complete, money to save and praying to do. We would love to have you join us on this journey. You can follow along with updates on our adoption blog (www.journey4hope.blogspot.com) if you'd like to read about the specific things we're doing along this journey.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Christ-filled Christmas!

With love, Ryan, Tamara, Scott and Bethany

3 comments:

Beth said...

A very Merry Christmas to you guys, too. On of our highlights this year was meeting and getting to know you. Praying for the newest child and an easy transition from orphanage life to your home. Can't wait to know more and more about you in the coming year. Blessing to you all!

The Schlarmanns

Sincerely, Jenni said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I can't wait until the day where we can all read about you bringing your child HOME.

Blessings,

Jenni

The Steeles said...

Hi Tamara! Thanks for checking out our blog. It's nice to share in the adoption journey with others. Email me if you want to chat more at jamiebsteele@yahoo.com. Maybe next year this time we will have our little ones. Merry Christmas!