?? Letter 2008
By now it's much too late to pretend this is a Christmas letter, so... Happy Valentine's Day!
Another year has passed, and we find ourselves on our knees thankful for the many mercies we have seen this year.
The first mercy was that God called Kev's Mom home on January 19. It was a rugged struggle with Pancreatic cancer. She was determined make it through all the major events and holidays of the season (including 3 birthdays and her wedding anniversary into the bargain). Also, as is sometimes the way, she had an uncanny sense of when she would go, and amid some delirium at the end was eager for Saturday to come. She was a gentle and considerate woman of grace to the very end, and is much missed as we continue on here through highs and lows.
The next mercy was the safe arrival of our nephew, Kellen Douglas Wayt. He was born by caesarean section on Feb 19th, exactly a month after Mom/Mum passed away. Though missing Mom a lot at this time, it was nice to be gathering for a happier reason. He is now a bonny blond boy who is bound and determined to keep up with his brother and cousins.
In March we took a lovely trip with Kev's Dad to Arizona to visit Family Friends and Relatives on the Brown side. Des was thrilled, because she is usually banging and climbing the walls by that time in the winter season. Sam enjoyed the different landscape and animals too.
April and May were opportunities for Kev and Des to play music in public again.. for a church fair, and the opening of a Garden Centre. Though it's harder to do these days with the little ones, we continue to get a real kick out of playing. The second "gig" was especially fun, as we negotiated to be paid in flowers...
At the end of May, Des's Mum came on a 3 week mercy mission visit. You may recall from last year, that we were waiting to get our second son from Guatemala. Well we were still waiting in late May, and it was taking its toll on us all. Des had been trying to arrange to go to AUS herself, but things had fallen through with that, so Mum came over to brighten things up.... It was a massive effort on her part, to travel alone, and to negotiate all of the travel docs and plane changes. But she rose to the occasion with all of the grit of a mum doing it for her kids. It was a special time for Des and her mum, but also for Sam to have time with his Oma, or "Oma Top" as he took to calling her.
July was the month when things got crazy.... We were enjoying our annual week at Church camp, when we learned that we were approved to travel (IE: it was time to get our second little boy!). We found out Wednesday that we were due in Guatemala the following Monday. We had tried to be prepared for that chance, so we finished our week at camp, arrived home Saturday, and packed our things. We delivered Sam to family and friends on Sunday, and were on a plane early the next morning.
Amazing how you can wait and wait and wait, and then all of a sudden things go so fast you hardly have time to blink. Our flights to Guatemala ended up delayed a bit, so instead of settling in at the hotel on arrival, we walked into the lobby of the hotel and saw a very beautiful, well fed little man there to greet us. We did check in and put our luggage down, but that was about all we did before we became parents for the second time.
The adjustment process has been graced with mercy. We were apprehensive as to how things would go with this little fellow because he was 19 months old.... Definitely old enough to be fully aware of the change of guard, and fully immersed in Spanish. Initially he showed a definite preference for Kevin too, which while lovely for Kevin, was a bit disconcerting for Des who had been preparing to comfort this little chap and mother him through his transition. Still, looking back, it was a mercy too, as it meant that Kevin was more able to help Des out, and it was a little less rough on Sam, who has been a mum's boy all along. All this said, though still very fond of Daddy, Des has had her chance to love and care for this lovely little chap who has added so much joy to our home.
We have had our highs and lows adjusting. The change for Sam has had its challenges as he learns to share everything, and Kev and Des are constantly wondering what it was ever like to have more than 10 minutes to themselves. (Did we say 10? - we meant 2!) Still, we guess that is about normal for families, so we are working out how to make it normal and comfortable for us.
In September, Sam started Preschool. He has taken to it like a fish to water. Loves the routine, and the people, so that has been a joy to all of us, and timely in giving Des a break. He comes home with all kinds of new songs and phrases, so far none too alarming... It has built his confidence, and has helped him to be a bit more independent.
In the midst of things we have been looking at moving to Orrville. We have had our house listed since November. We found a house that we are interested in just beyond city limits. So we will see how things progress. It would be a longer commute, but would mean we can be closer to family and long time friends, and in the countryside. The property has 4 acres, a large play set, and a big woodworking shop. (And the house is nice too).
The "Holidays" have been fun for us this year. Sam is all the more aware of decorations and dressing up, so it has added some wonder to it all. He is a thoughtful little man who continues to stagger us with his memory for detail and his astuteness. He is also a strong willed chap, so that is keeping things interesting. He loves puzzles, reading and music. He sings a lot at home now - he has had some fun favorite songs like "Hound dog", "Hip to be square", "Staying alive", among many ecclectic others. He has also taken a strong interest in birds, and can recognize a good number by sight, and many by sound. His favorites are the Bald Eagle and the somewhat obscure Bohemian Waxwing. He still loves to help with anything, and fancies himself a post man with the number of stuffed envelopes we find around.
Jordan is a sweet affectionate little fellow. Very sociable, and quick to learn. Also a bit sneaky. Unlike Sam, who announces his transgressions, Jordan is a stealth operator. He is the child that you worry about if you haven't seen him for a while and things are quiet. He is a lot more apt to explore, taste, climb on, and disassemble the world around him to understand it. He is a tough little nut, and won't take any nonsense from his brother - who naturally tests this out frequently. Jordan is the little wombat of the family. He has taken to this animal, and has a stuffed one he calls "wom-a-bat". He is very attentive to wom-a-bat's needs. (He is with us for most meals with a token morsel on his paw).
Our families are doing pretty well. On the Beh side, Des' sister Rach is pregnant with her second child (after a fairly tricky journey of fertility treatment). Jo and Scott and their family are well. Jo has started giving music lessons again and continues to be very busy. She and Scott were due to go to India on a mission trip in December, but the government shut down travel just before they were due to leave. So that was a bit disappointing, for them. They are still keen to go at another time. We also hope God willing to take our boys to visit Australia in Late April, 2009. So that should be a special time.
We mentioned Kellen's birth in Kev's family. We are fortunate to see Karen and her family quite often. The boys all play well together and are quite attached to one another.
Kev's brother Scott and his wife Clara are now living in Newark, Delaware, where Clara has a teaching position at the University. They have moved a lot in these last years with Clara's work/studies, but now they hope to get a bit more established and are looking to buy a house. Kev's Dad has kept busy. It has been tough for him to adjust without Mom, but he has had a lot of support, and has kept active. He has made a huge effort to keep entertaining the family for holidays, and visits, and has mastered many kitchen and household arts. He's also begun "seeing" a friend he met at camp this summer, Sharon from Ann Arbor, so that has meant many trips back & forth on I-90.
That is about all our news for now. We will finish by saying that we hope and pray that 2009 is graced and blessed by God for you our friends and family.
Love, Kevin, Des, Sam and Jordan
p.s. - in case you missed the letters from the past few years, you can find them all here.
© 2008 Oatmeal Records 440-257-3740 info@KevinandDes.com