Well my Cool Fonts and Colors I used on our Real Letter are not on here, but here is our yearly Christmas/New Year Letter they are going out to Our Family, Friends, Church Friends, and Correspondents this week so if you are one of those you might want to wait and read it when you get it in the Mail :)
We are almost out of my very favorite time of year, and it is time to send out our Yearly Greetings to Special Family and Friends!!! I have now decided to take one stress off of myself and start sending our Annual Christmas letter as a New Year’s Letter from now on. December is just so busy with 4 little ones and I never seem to get the letter and card ready to mail out until Christmas or a few days later so instead we will do a New Year’s letter and that will be more FUN for me!!! I did not make this decision until after I had created and had our Christmas Card for the Year printed up, so it still says Merry Christmas :)
If you have not heard from us much in the last 3 Christmas Seasons it is because 2 of the last 3 years I had a Christmas letter made up and pictures ready and wouldn’t you know it our printer broke (yes twice in 3 years in December LOL). Well of course at that time of year it is not the best time to be making the purchase of a new printer so we waited until later in the year and got one, but 2 printers breaking in the same month of December is not likely to happened again I hope. I kept telling myself I would send out a letter in the spring, but things got busy and it never got done.
Last year I was really looking forward to sending our letter because we had special news to announce!! So for those of you who don’t know last year in September 2010 we welcomed our 4th baby to the family.
Meadow Hadliegh Schlatter September 1, 2010. She is just 15 months now and we enjoy every moment with her she is fun, and spunky and so laid back- as she is the 4th child. She is quite used to being held or carted around because she has 5 loving and willing pairs of hands to hold her and take her everywhere we go and do everything we do!!! Meadow is small for her age at 15 months old most of her clothes are still 6-9 months, and she really has no desire to start walking yet, she recently just started cruising along the furniture, she definitely likes to do things on her own timing she did not crawl until 11 months old and she did not get her first teeth until just before her first Birthday, but she “gets” to everything eventually and she adores her big brother and sisters, and really loves the Animal’s too!!! She can say about 25 words now. She is quite the chatter box, and quite the enjoyment to the rest of her family!!!
So if Last year the BIG news was the arrival of Baby Meadow into our lives this year the Big News was we went on our first ever (other than trips to Colorado every year to visit family and friends) Our 1st Family Vacation. We headed out to Florida and Walt Disney World for a fun 10 day Vacation. We spent 7 days in the parks, 1 day at the Beach and one day at Down Town Disney. It was a wonderful trip and we are already talking about when we can go again!! Next time it will be between Thanksgiving and New Year’s though so we can enjoy the Magic of Christmas along with the Magic of Disney, and several friends who have recently gone during this season say the weather is Awesome and the ride wait is almost nothing! I grew up going to Disney both Disney Land and Disney World, but I had not been since I was 12 years old so it was a very special time for me to go back and remember all the special memories I have of going with my own Mom and Dad, but for the rest of my family this was their first trip and we all had a lot of fun Marvin’s Mom was even kind enough to come along with us to help out with Meadow who was just 8.5 months old and Tucker who was 3 years old when we went.
Marvin – Marvin remains at ADM working with Grain Accounting, Merchandising, Marketing, and his Hundreds of Farmers each year! Marvin also remains one of the most Amazing Daddy’s that I know he is very close to his kids and very involved in their day to day activities and they love him all the more for that too!! Marvin teaches Tuckers Sunday School Class 1 time each month, and he started teaching Willow’s 1st Grade Wednesday Night Bible Max Class at church too. This year he was asked to run for Church Board, he made it on the board this time and he really enjoys being part of the Church Board, working with the Pastors, and being on the Church Fellowship Committee of the Church Board. He is still on the Alumni Board for Smith Scholarship House where he lived in college as well. Marvin got to go skiing early this year which he loves and had not gotten to do for many years so he is excited that hopefully another time soon he and his friend Adam who he went with can go again sometime. Marvin also continues to have the Annual Country Boy Can Survive Hunting Trip he and his College Buddies and other friends do…up by his parent’s farm every year!!
Heather – Well what can I say I am a very busy Mommy to 4 that alone keeps me on my toes, with my 4 kido’s there is never a dull Moment for sure!!! This year I upgraded my Camera to the next professional level and I am really enjoying photography and learning more and more on a professional level. I was able to take an intermediate and advanced photography class this year and I joined a photography group with about 40 other adults from all over America we are all doing a project called Project 365 where we take at least 1 picture a day and really work on expanding our photography skills and abilities while having fun with pictures and editing. One of my good friends and I are in the group together and we have had so much fun doing all the research and expanding our skills together in both photography and Photoshop editing!! I have started doing some Photo Shoots again if you remember I got started with Family pictures and Weddings before I got pregnant with Tucker and then that all came to a halt so starting that back up is both enjoyable and skill expanding for me I really truly love to take pictures of others, and everything really!!! In fact a couple of weekends ago I got to shoot a wedding with one of my good Friends who is also a fellow Photographer!!! It was so much fun and we really got some creative and fun shots and I am finishing up my edits of the shoot this week. So my main focuses this year were being the Mommy to another new baby and her 3 great siblings, planning our trip to Disney the first 6 months of the year, and Photography and Editing the last 6 months of the year along with being on the Woman’s Planning Committee at church and helping Marvin teach Tucker’s Class once a month too.
Piper – Piper started 4th Grade this year which moved her up to a new school as the grade schools in our part of the school district are k-3rd and 4th – 6th. She is really enjoying her new Teacher, Principal, and School. She started Piano Lessons at the end of last year and still enjoys that, and she is really looking forward to starting voice lessons soon, and being in the City Wide Musical Production of Narnia she tried out for last week and the performances will be at the end of February. Piper loves to write songs, plays, and skits which she and Willow, and Grace (the next door neighbor / best friend / 4th Daughter (at least if feels like she is part of our family most of the time J) practice then perform for either Marvin and I or once in a while Marvin, I, and Graces family all at once J Piper is still very active in 4H she took Best of Breed for her 4H Bunny at the 4H County Fair this summer and she also got a couple of Champion Ribbons, and many Blue Ribbons and a couple of Red Ribbons too!!! Our rule is usually 1 activity per semester but since 4H is only once a month and she begged to be in Girl Scouts with Grace since Grace’s Mommy is the leader we let her do that too so she is doing something at least 2 to 3 Monday’s a Month and she is enjoying it a lot. Piper is doing great in school this year and excels the most in reading.
Willow – Willow my sweet sweet Willow girl started 1st Grade this year she is our Natural Brilliant child (shhhh we don’t tell her or her siblings that J) Willow has the best personality she is happy, outgoing, and a friend to many and she really enjoys school and art, and is showing a interest in Photography too!! Willow is the closest sibling to baby Meadow they have a real bond and they both just adore each other very much, but she also is very close with Piper and they spend all of their free time pretending making up skits, and playing House/School/ Veterinarian Clinic/ Disney princess – really anything they can dress up for and use their imaginations doing!!! Willow also really loves art and learning to write really pretty lettering she practices all the time and I am sure she must have the best writing in 1st grade because she has neater writing than most kids many years older than her. Willow also started 4H this year and is really enjoying that and being with Piper and Harley in their 4H club!!! She can’t wait until the 4H Fair this summer to show some of her own stuff. Willow will also be in Narnia the city wide Musical in February.
Tucker – Tucker is ALL Boy!!!! He must be ALL Boy as he will grow up with 3 sisters. He is all about Tractors and Trains and spends much of his day playing Farm in the living room. Tucker started 3 and 4 year old Pre-School this year on Tuesdays and Thursdays but he really would rather be home playing with his Mommy he tells me every time it is time to take him and leave him at Pre-School!! Tucker got to go to the Farm and stay a few times this year and he adores being at the Farm with Poppy Jim and Grandma Marianne and getting to spend time playing with his 7 boy cousins. I guess we are the “Girl” Family Marvin’s Older brother now has 3 boys and 1 girl, and his younger brother Mark welcomed baby boy #4 this month!!! Tucker is my happy joy (most of the time, but he is a Boy J ) each day and he always gives me lots of hugs and kisses and he is finally starting to let Baby Meadow start to play with him now too. He was really not sure for the 1st year or so of Meadow’s life if he really wanted to keep her or not, but now he is very protective of her and glad he has a new playmate during the days!!!!
Other noteable news for the year??? We still enjoy all of our Animals we said a very Sad Goodbye to Rickey the Cat (who really was what brought Marvin and I together as friends, then more, then married) who we really loved and enjoyed as a very important member of our Family for almost exactly 13 years! So our Family Zoo now consists of Clifford the BIG Black Dog, Porkers the small black Dog, Rufus the Cat, and Bandit the Cat, Autumn and Goldie the fish, and Arial the 4H Bunny. Marvin and I feel very blessed to have our Sunday School Class at church were we have 10 other couples who we can trust with our deepest needs, fears, joys, and praises each and every week!!! Last year our Sunday School Class merged with another class that started about the same time our class did 8 years ago and that merger has added new life to our class and new joy to each and every family involved!!!
Well I hope I have sufficiently caught you back up on our “little” family of 6 now!!! This year it was Thanksgiving and Early Christmas at the Farm and we will head out to Colorado for Christmas with family and friends there a few days after Christmas as a Family at home. Now I better go time to rush off and be a Mommy to 4 of 2 kids who just woke up from Naps and 2 kids who just got home from school!!!
Love from The Schlatters,
Heather, Marvin, Piper, Willow, Tucker, and Baby Meadow Schlatter
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