As I sit here pondering on the many things we have been blessed with this year, my heart is full. I will attempt here to list our years events – and I hope I don’t forget anything.
First and foremost, I have a wonderful family that loves me and I love them. As grandparents, we have been blessed again, and again, and again, and again, and will yet be blessed again. We have added 4 grandchildren to our growing mound of blessings and will yet add another next year.
- · Cynthia Katherine (Kate) was born to Mahon and Cindy on March 25. She was named after her mother Cynthia, her grandmother Cynthia, her great grandmother Cynthia, and her grandmother Katherine. She was a miracle baby from the start – Cindy was blessed to be able to take a new drug to help her with her Cystic Fibrosis and that has been a blessing for her and for her pregnancy. Kate was a full-term baby weighing in at 9 lbs 8 oz and was 21 inches long and Cindy’s health was better in the end than anyone could have anticipated. What a miracle!
- · Chayce Hazen was born to Chris and Chantelle on July 15. He was named Chayce to keep the tradition of the “Ch” sound going (Chris, Chantelle, Chelsea, Chayce) and Hazen after his great grandpa Olsen. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long and was blessed when he was 2 weeks old. The Baldwin family reunion was that same weekend and we all enjoyed cuddling him. Then he was a star of the show at the Johnson family reunion the following week. He was a good eater right from the start, but didn’t like a pacifier. He would take a supplementary bottle though, and they discovered he has a lactose intolerance just like his daddy. I think that very soon he will be bigger than his sister.
- · Jane Lael was born to Devin and Julie on October 9. She was named after her grandma Henderson. She was watched over very carefully in utero because she only had one artery in her umbilical cord – so she was photographed and measured and photographed some more. She weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 18 inches long and is a very contented baby. She joined Anna and Nick, who I’m sure can’t wait for her to grow up so they can play with her.
- · Kenzey McKayla was born to Kyle and Kathy on December 13. She weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz and was 20 inches long. She was named Kensey to keep the “KKA” tradition going (Kyle, Kathy, Ashley, Kaite, Kami, Alyvia, Kensey). We were surprised, as were her parents, of her upcoming arrival. As we were visiting their home for Kyle’s birthday in June, all the girls were wearing white t-shirts with writing and drawings on them. I thought nothing of them because I knew their family is always thinking of ways to keeps those girls busy. But then when Kaite was sitting on my lap and showed me what was written on her shirt “There are 5 of us”, I thought “No, there are only 4”. Then Ashley showed me her shirt and she also had written something about 5 of us. Then I looked at Kat and she had a sheepish look on her face. A fun way to announce it. Five girls – kind of reminds me of five boys. And we love them all.
- · Missy and Briant will add a girl to their family in May – they just found out the gender this week. We are so excited for them.
The Baldwin family reunion was a big event of this year. Missy was planning to come to Utah for a Giles family reunion and wanted to make sure that our family had a reunion while she was here. The weekend she planned to be here just happened to fall on August 2-3. Vic and I celebrated 40 years of marriage on August 3 – so I asked Kat to make us a Banana Nut cake, which was the kind of cake we had at our reception 40 years ago. It was delicious. The kids all went in together and got us a mirror etched with our names, the Logan temple and the date we were married. We love it!!! You can read more about our reunion on the August 16th blog I wrote.
Vic was diagnosed in July with Alzheimer’s – we knew it was coming, but really didn’t want to admit it. So we are working through things a day at a time. And I am so happy that we wrote his life story a couple of years ago. There are so many things that we have done together and I will always be grateful for the 40 full years we have had. Now, as we adjust to this new phase of our lives, we say “I love you” with greater meaning, we have gained greater patience, we truly do value each day to its fullest.
We were released from our scout callings after 32 years of service. Vic was the Cub Committee Chairman and I was the Pack Trainer. Scouting has been a great part of our lives and we truly have learned and grown from the experiences we had there. Kathy enjoys playing the piano in primary and is working full-time as a secretary for Seminary & Institute. It has been a blessing to have an assignment change and can work in Idaho Falls now – closer to home.
Gene is happier than he has been for awhile. He has found a new job that he likes and enjoys helping Sharon with fix-it jobs around her home. Do I smell a wedding in the future? Maybe… We love it when he is able to come visit and bring his kids. Sydney turned 16 this year – can you believe we have a granddaughter who is 16? And Cole who turned 6.
Kyle built a deck on the front of our house and is also putting on vinyl siding. He is doing a good job and we are so happy with the results so far. Kyle was been so busy this year. He has been a full-time student for the past 3 years and will graduate on Dec 20 with a Bachelor’s in Construction Management and an Associate in Architecture. Besides that, he is working full-time for the City of Rexburg and is being a good husband and father to his family. We are so proud of him! Kat is a typical “mom chauffeur” with Ashley 11 – who is taking ballet, Kaite 9 – who is in gymnastics, Kami 5 – who is taking ballet and started kindergarten this year, Alyvia 19 months and Kenzey 1 week.
Chris and Chantelle keep very busy with Chelsea 3, and Chayce 5 months. Chris was released as scoutmaster, but still serves on the Roundtable staff. Chantelle is a nursery supervisor over 4 nurserys in their ward.
Devin and Julie are busy with Anna 5 – who started kindergarten this year, Nick 3, and Jane 2 months. They enjoy raising a garden and canning the results. Devin was released from scouting recently and received an Innovation award from Orangesoda.com where he works.
Mahon and Cindy are enjoying life with Kate 9 months. Mahon sings Primary songs to Kate in German and Cindy enjoys photography – I think Kate may be the most photographed baby in history. I love it because I have been able to watch her and keep up with her progress on facebook and blogs. But I still enjoy the visits where I can give her lots of hugs and kisses.
Missy and Briant are in their 2nd year of graduate school. Briant interned this summer in Hershey, PA in his hometown. He was offered and accepted a job at Hershey where they will move in July 2014! Hurrah – it will be sad to have them so far away, but we are so happy for them! Andrew is 2 1/2 and enjoys trucks and grandma kisses. I love talking to him on the phone, but wish he weren't so far away. A baby girl is expected in May next year.
May the true spirit of Christmas fill your hearts now and throughout the year. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we are reminded of all the wonderful blessings we have. We are especially thankful for friends and family who share our love and are among our choicest blessings.