This is the first year since getting married that we haven't sent out a Christmas photo/card/letter. Mostly because we will be sending out an adoption announcement when our son comes home (which we hope will be SOON), and I am way too lazy to send out that many cards twice!
In lieu of an actual letter, here is the blog version. Enjoy!
Greetings friends! We hope this letter finds you happy, healthy, and enjoying the season with the ones you love.
2010 was a big year for our family - we tried new things, went new places, met new people, and had our hearts opened, broken, and mended over and over.
Nate started kindergarten this fall and is absolutely loving it! His reading and writing are improving every day and currently one of his favorite pastimes is writing notes to me and leaving them around the house. This year he played T-ball and swam on the summer league swim team. Nate enjoys doing mazes, building train tracks, and playing with his best friend - his brother Dexter.
Speaking of Dexter, he is still cracking us up with crazy antics every day! His preschool teachers have a story for me every time I pick him up. He is still obsessed with Thomas the Train, but also loves puzzles, books, and sidewalk chalk. He gives the best hugs in town and enjoys snuggling with Mommy and wrestling with Daddy.
Jon continues to find his job satisfying and challenging. He regularly gets recognized at work for his great technical ability and strong leadership. I'd brag more but I don't want to embarrass him! He has been serving as an Elder at our church for the past year and a half, as well as leading a search committee to hire our new Director of Worship, Music & the Arts. He also still plays drums a few Sundays a month.
I have been busy as usual, especially since joining our church staff as the Interim Worship & Arts Coordinator last Winter. I planned worship services, coordinated our art gallery, and put together several special events throughout the year. I enjoyed this work, but am happily finished now that we have hired a new director. I still teach parent/child preschool classes once a week and participate in weekly women's Bible study, as well as singing in church regularly.
In October we traveled to Ethiopia as part of our adoption process. It was truly a life-changing experience and we plan to go back as often as possible. Our son, Eba Ezekiel ("Zeke") Ballast, was officially adopted into our family on November 15, 2010! We are now waiting for the US Embassy in Ethiopia to finish processing his visa and passport so we can bring him home, hopefully in early 2011.
God has been good to us and we are so thankful for his blessings, including many of you - our sweet friends and family. (And a shout out to any internet strangers out there too, thanks for reading!)
May the miracle of Christ's incarnation, the glory of his resurrection, and the hope of his coming kingdom fill your hearts with joy and peace this Christmas!
The Ballast Family