Merry Christmas!

our family photo card from Shutterfly

Merry Christmas!

our family Christmas letter 2012

We hope this letter finds you enjoying many holiday festivities and traditions alongside friends and family. We are especially focused on family this year as ours has grown with Sam’s arrival and Ella is at a perfect age to get excited about everything from Christmas lights (“Oh, gorgeous!”) to celebrating new family traditions (“Mama, let’s have strawberry shortcake for Jesus’ birthday!”). We are soaking it all in while also preparing to leave for two months in Kenya. More on that later. First, the family.
Samuel Thomas:On May 24 we welcomed Samuel Thomas Amani to our family. Sammy is now seven months old and is a smiley, social little man who loves to cuddle, eat, and play with his big sister. Sam was born with Down syndrome and has proven to be strong and very healthy. Though we were surprised by his diagnosis upon his birth, we know that God was not. We continue to trust that He will show us how to parent our darling little boy and look forward to all the things that God has for him.
Miss Ella: Ella, who will be 3 ½ on Christmas, continues to keep us on our toes. She started Montessori preschool in August and absolutely loves it. She is learning the alphabet, to care for her surroundings, and even how to sew a button. She enjoys running (she didn’t knock anyone over during races this year!), dancing, making up songs, and playing outside. Ella makes us laugh with her silliness and reminds us of the sweetness of a child’s pure heart when she whispers, “I love you, and so does Jesus.” What a lovely girl she is.

The Mama: Angela had a very busy year, indeed. She nearly completed her Master of Education, worked hard on developing her online bake shoppe, The Little Yellow Kitchen, had a baby (kind of a big deal), and went through the craziness of a ruptured appendix in November. With a desire to focus more on family, Ang recently closed her kitchen and extended her grad work through next semester. She continues to write the family blog and will be exploring the joys of photography with her new DSLR Canon Rebel camera.   
The Daddy: Pete spent the year working as hard as ever and is now in his third and final year of family medicine residency. He will complete residency at the end of July, take a month off (yay!), and begin a job in September. Details of the job will be on our blog as soon as they are finalized. In non-medical news, Pete bought a black, lifted Jeep Wrangler this summer and was pretty excited when he was called on to drive through the treacherous waters of the Duluth Flood to rescue the clinic in June. (Okay, he just had to close it, but our street was practically a raging river, so it was certainly an adventure.) When he’s not working, he loves napping with Sam and taking Ella on their weekly daddy/daughter date.

 
Kenya: On January 13 we will be trading the bitter cold of Minnesota for the warm sunshine of East Africa. Pete will be working at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya while Ella, Sam, and Ang soak in daily family life and explore local schools. We’ll be traveling with World Medical Mission, a part of Samaritan’s Purse, and plan to return in early March.
We ask for your continued prayers as we prepare for our adventure abroad and explore all that God has for us down the road. May you be blessed with happiness and peace through this holiday season and the entire year!
Love,  
the Olsens


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