Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year

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					We hope you had a Happy Chriistmas and wiish you a Happy New Year!!
We hope you had a Happy Chr stmas and w sh you a Happy New Year
We decided not to send cards this year…We are not sure if this year has been busier than all the rest but it
has felt like it! So, here is a letter instead, sent to all those not in email or facebook contact, as they have
probably heard all the news. It has been another good year and we are so thankful for our friends and family
and work-places. We feel truly blessed and have found it helpful to focus on the good so that the difficulties
don’t become overwhelming!

The biggest change to our lives this year has been Mike enrolling on the Northern Ordination Course, where
he is training to become a Reverend Rutter! He has 3 years to obtain a theology degree and a dog collar and
this involves every Monday night (straight from school) and every 4 th weekend as a residential course as well
as frequent burning of the midnight oil (not incense, although he is getting used to that stuff too!). Pippa was
initially overwhelmed by the impact on family life and is now becoming surrendered to the whole process (on
her good days and excluding the monthly cycle). He is really enjoying reading lots of books and spending the
Church of England book budget and has never erected shelves so quickly as the ones that proudly hold all his
latest acquisitions (Beth’s shelves are still in the shed)! Pippa has a sense that he will be a real peace maker
between the traditional and emerging church as he seems to have a foot firmly planted into each of them.

Pippa is still retaining her GP skills for 3 days a week and thoroughly enjoying it. She particularly enjoys
teaching the 2nd year medical students at the Hull York Medical School, although the latest bunch are looking
very young, as are all the local policemen and football players, a strange phenomenon she hasn’t yet grasped.
She loves the fact that she can do most of her teaching using google image and no longer needs shelves for
her textbooks, to Mike’s relief. She continues to fill the house with people as often as she can, in order to
justify the extension. The mums and toddler group has multiplied this year and Beth has loved having lots of
babies to play with and is gradually learning to share her toys with them.

Joel has really grown up this year, in stature and emotional maturity! He has really made us proud in the way
that he responded to our fairly constant nagging and has gone from being a heart-sink to a heart-throb over
the last 6 months! He is doing really well at school and is trying really hard with his reading and writing. His
constant talking and interrupting the class was a real challenge for the NQT but she did really well (and
fortunately liked him) and he tells us that he only talks in class every 3 days now, rather than every 3
minutes. He still wants to be a vet, a zoo-keeper and an explorer and continues to have a really strong faith.
His favourite activity is playing Adventure Quest on the computer.

Matthew has continued to be our compassionate boy who constantly wears his heart and emotions on his
sleeve. This can be wearing at times but you can’t be mad at him for long, with his cheeky wide grin and
constant cuddles. Every day he tells us he loves everyone in the world and we are constantly reminded of his
love for us. He is becoming his father’s son in the technicological sense and can now set up the Nintendo Wii
and playstation by himself and can beat his mum at sonic and bowling (not difficult but still impressive for a 4
yr old) and at the moment wants to be a doctor and an IT teacher!

Bethany is a Pepper Pig and Wow Wow Wubbzy addict. It makes life easy for Pippa when she has to get on
with supper or washing piles but we are trying to wean her off it (non-pharmacologically) and get her to
actually play with toys. She is becoming quite a dab hand at jigsaws and still enjoys baby dolls and cooking in
her toy kitchen. She is starting to show signs of following in her mums floury footsteps and great at stirring
cups of tea and making biscuits. She is a real daddies girl, especially if she wakes the middle of the night
(which Pippa is really smug about!) and is almost out of nappies. We are gradually getting rid of all our baby
equipment and weekends away are becoming lighter!

Talking of weekends away, we purchased a caravan and are now official members of the caravan club (and we
are still in our 30s!). We chose the October half term for our first trip (to Helmsley, round the corner in
case we needed to bail out) and would in retrospect recommend the summer for a first trip! It rained almost
constantly and the 3 outfits we packed for each child were soaked in the first day! Pip had a stomach bug and
Beth didn’t sleep. We had a great pub lunch together in Rosedale Abbey and it almost made up for the rest of
the weekend! Roll on France, Italy…the world is our oyster now we have a Colchester 1500!

We are really looking forward to a break this Christmas (if Mike finishes his essay!) and enjoy receiving all
your cards and letters, thank you! We hope that we find time to catch up with some of you in 2008. Please
remember that York is a great city to visit and we would love to show you around!

Much love and best wishes,

Mike,    Pippa,   Joel    (Joely    Jot),    Matthew      (Matty     Moo)    and     Bethany     (Bethy    Boo)

				
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