Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Christmas Miracle

What was it, you wonder?  

I got Christmas cards designed, ordered, letter written, addressed, stamped and MAILED OFF!!  I'm quite proud of myself (in a non-prideful, more surprised that I actually got it done, sort of way).  The problem....I got them mailed off to our faraway friends but not to our near friends plus I probably forgot a few people so if I missed you and you were thinking "I wonder what ever happened to that weird family the Warbuttons, no Warbutters, no Walbutts, no....what was their name?" you know. 

Dear Family and Friends,

I have once again been given the assignment of writing our family Christmas letter.  I am given this task every year which is the reason no one has received a Christmas card from us in the last decade.  I love writing the Christmas letter...I just have a hard time with follow through.  Plus...I am a procrastinator.  I am grateful for all of our non-procrastinator friends because we love hearing from you this time of year (actually we would love to hear from you any time of year) and I like to keep your pictures up all year long.  Usually around June someone will make a comment like " know Christmas was over 6 months ago..." but I love looking at all of our friends and thinking about all of the wonderful memories we have made through the years and it makes me happy and grateful for this life I live.

Our year has been filled with adventures like a pioneer trek, girls camp and church missions; bummers like termites, broken air conditioners and broken ankles; the mundane blessings like household chores, school and work; life adjustments like having a parent move in with us and the nest emptying faster than we'd like; the sad like wonderful friends moving away; the joyful like new friends made, weekly letters from missionaries, and that we wake up each day with a promise of new adventures, bummers, mundane, life adjustments, and joyful experiences ready to be had.

Gary stays busy with work, church and family.  He works at Matt Martin Real Estate Management and does something that has to do with HUD homes, the real estate market, and being busy from the minute he gets there to the minute he leaves.  He teaches a cute class of 5 year olds at church that keep him laughing and love him unconditionally.  His family keeps him hopping with...well, all of the things that a family requires of you but he does everything we ask with a smile on his face and not even a tiny complaint.  He is the best husband/son/dad a family could ask for.

Shanon (that's me) stays busy with the stuff that stay at home moms stay busy with and being the caretaker of Gary's mom.  It is a new task (caretaking) and we haven't completely gotten into our groove yet but it is an opportunity filled with challenges and joys.  I also get to serve with the young women (ages 12-18) at church and it brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.  I don't always do the things I am asked with a smile on my face and without complaint but luckily my family still loves me.

Chris is diligently working hard to finish a degree in Computer Science with a minor in math at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT.  He loves all things nerdy like Dr. Who, Star Wars, video games, and other stuff that I don't understand.  He can even take over my computer from Utah and figure out what in the world I did to make it not work anymore.  He is amazing!!  We are all anxiously awaiting his arrival home for Christmas break (Carson is especially super anxious and has asked us several hundred times if Chris is coming home today?!).

Kinsey took a break from her schooling at BYU to serve a church mission.  She is serving in the Washington, Tacoma mission and is loving the experience more than we or she thought she would.  She works hard and writes the most wonderful letters.  I feel like I'm walking right along side her.  She has overcome her fear of big dogs, walking outside after dark, dreary days, and talking to people.  She has adopted lots of new family members (practically everyone she meets) and is hoping that one day she will be able to live in Belfair, WA.

Jared graduated from high school and decided to go on a church mission too.  He is serving in the England, London mission and having the experience of a lifetime.  His first companion was from Ghana and wants to become a doctor when he gets home because he wants to find a cure for diabetes so that Jared won't have to give himself shots anymore.  Needless to say, we love him. ;)  Jared tried his first fish and chips and wasn't very impressed but has taken a liking to Ghanaian food so I sent him a jar of Shito for Christmas (I had to Google what it was first).  Jared doesn't have as much to say in his letters as Kinsey but it is still a joy to read them.  I have learned to ask lots of questions so I get more details.  He loves being a missionary and serving others.

Emily is a junior in high school and is one of the happiest people I know (most of the time).  She loves singing, theater, painting her fingernails in creative ways (she is very talented!) and serving others.  She is very social and likes to plan activities for the 16-18 year olds at church.  She has planned some pretty fun activities.  She started driving this past year (or maybe the year before...details are a little fuzzy) and I love saying "Emily will you go to the store and get...."  It is wonderful!!  She also drives herself to early morning seminary at 5:45 so we don't have to!!  Did I mention having someone that can drive is wonderful?!

Carson is in 7th grade and is one of the other happiest people I know (except when he's tired...then he is grumpy and exasperating...but then again, so am I).  He participated in Special Olympics Bowling and had a great time.  At the end of the season, he was a little better at bowling, earned a bronze medal and made a few new friends.  He loves riding the school bus and likes school most of the time.  He also loves basketball and will be starting Special Olympic Basketball in January.  He is SOOOOO excited!  His favorite thing besides basketball is playing with his Power Rangers and his best friend Tori.  He packs his suitcases for college at least once a month but so far hasn't found anyone who will take him to the airport.  He mostly keeps us laughing with the funny things he says and does.

And there you have it...our family life in a wordy 2 page newsletter.  Sometimes I look at my life and my children and wonder what I did to deserve such blessings especially these children of mine that are so thoughtful, that love serving others, and that love unconditionally but then one of them will say something inappropriate or drive into a car (that's happened a couple of times) or pout or do something equally annoying and I wonder what in the world I was thinking having 5 children but then they do something wonderful again and I'm grateful that I get to be their mom and the effort has been completely worth it.  They bring me far more joy than sorrow.

We hope that you find joy in each day and that your life is filled with lots of adventures and love.  Have a wonderful Christmas season and know that we are so very grateful to have each of you in our life.

Merry Christmas!!


The Warburton Family

"We feel the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season."
Thomas S. Monson