One tradition we have at our house is that Greg writes the Christmas letter. He enjoys writing it and I love reading it (and not having to do it myself). Most of you already received it but for posterity's sake here is the annual letter.
Family and Friends,
Budgeting season has sapped all of my brain power, which doesn't bode well for the quality of this year’s Christmas letter. Numbers, black and red, are definitely dancing through my head:
3,300—the number of miles for our round trip drive from Idaho to Iowa (to see Lisa’s sister). We took the scenic route which included a stop at Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, UT and then the lonely state highways through northern Colorado to look for moose (we saw two), a stop for dinner with some old friends in Ft. Collins and then a late night stop in Nebraska. It took some effort but we entirely avoided I-80 across southern Wyoming. By the time we got there Natali and Mack knew all 50 states in alphabetical order and I was ready to get out of the car and leave the kids behind for a work trip. I came back in time for the drive home past Chimney Rock, Nebraska. At that point I couldn't really skip a chance to drive through Yellowstone so we took the northern detour.
2,100—the number of miles on our road trip Glacier National Park (to meet several of my siblings and parents) and then on to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada. It was definitely worth the drive as we saw spectacular wildlife and lots of bears. 5—the number of kids in our house after the birth of Emily Jane in April (named after two of our favorite authors Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen). Her red hair inherited from Lisa’s two grandmothers looks out of place with our blondes, but her easy going demeanor is welcome. She already has me wrapped around her finger and all she can do is look at me and giggle or smile. 6—the number of kids we’ll have next year. 100%--the likelihood that you believed that last false statement.
1—the number of cats in our household after Gimli’s disappearance and Perdita’s adoption. She joined the family three weeks ago and is making herself comfortable already. I’m struggling to type with her sitting on my lap. An hour ago there was a commotion by the Christmas tree and the next thing I knew Perdita was looking out at me from the branch beneath the star at the top of the tree. 55—the number of points BYU scored in the football game Mack, Andrew, and I attended. 16—the number of books read this year the best of which included The Path Between the Seas, Undaunted Courage and The Book Thief.
2—the number of hands Natali (now 8) uses when practicing the piano (that’s one more than I use). 3—the number of years Natali has participated in a Children’s Choir. 0—the chance for silence when Natali is around.
10—the number of goals Mack (now 7) scored in one soccer game this spring. 6—the number of times Mack used his season pass at the ski hill last winter. 4—the number of dollars Mack earned from the tooth fairy in one productive month this summer.
1.5—the number of hours it took for Andrew (now 5) to decide that it was better to go to kindergarten then to stay home as a child laborer. 167—the approximate # of animals that Andrew can identify. 33—the times he has asked this year to go to Alaska, Africa, or somewhere in between to look for animals.
It’s getting late and I should have sent this letter last week so I’m giving up on the numbers. Kate (now 3) still expects her blond curls to get her out of trouble. One night while trying to float on her back in the bathtub she said, “I need a kickstand for my bottom.” And I need one for my brain. As I reflect on another year gone by I stand in awe at the blessings we enjoy, the grace and mercy of our Savior that give us hope, and the peace to be found in an increasingly tumultuous world.
Merry Christmas, Love the Easton Family (Greg, Lisa, Natali, Mack, Andrew, Kate, and Emily)